HMS Terrible (1845)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Terrible.
Royal Navy EnsignUK
Name: HMS Terrible
Laid down: November 1843
Launched: 6 February 1845
Completed: 25 March 1846
  • Ordered as HMS Simoom
  • Renamed on 23 December 1842
Fate: Sold for breaking up on 7 July 1879
General characteristics
Type: First class steam paddle frigate
Displacement: 3,189 tons
Tons burthen: 1,847 7/94 bm
  • 226 ft 2 in (68.94 m) (overall)
  • 196 ft 10.25 in (60.0 m) (keel)
Beam: 42 ft 6 in (12.95 m)
Draught: 27 ft (8.2 m)
  • 4-cyl. (72in diam., 8ft stroke) direct-acting ‘Siamese’ type engine
  • 4 × tubular boilers
  • 800 nhp
  • 2,059 ihp
Speed: 10.9kts under engines
Complement: 200
  • Main deck:
    • 4 × 68pdrs
    • 4 × 56pdrs
    • 3 × 12pdrs
  • Upper deck:
    • 4 × 68pdrs
    • 4 × 56pdrs

HMS Terrible was when designed the largest steam-powered wooden paddle wheel frigate built for the Royal Navy. She was designed by Oliver Lang[1] and laid down at HMNB Devonport under the name HMS Simoom, but was renamed on 23 December 1842, and launched on 6 February 1845. With three masts and four funnels in two widely spaced pairs, she had a unique appearance among ships of this type.


Terrible was commissioned on 5 December 1845 under the command of Captain William Ramsay and was first attached to the Channel Fleet. In 1847 she was sent to Portuguese Angola to transport the Portuguese exiles under the leadership of the Count of Bonfim back to Lisbon, as stipulated by the Convention of Gramido.[2] Subsequently she served in the Mediterranean. On 6 November 1853, commanded by Captain James Johnstone McCleverty, she left England carrying Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, who had been appointed second-in-command of the Mediterranean Fleet.[3] Terrible then joined Admiral James Dundas's fleet in the Black Sea, where she served during the Crimean War. On 7 October 1854 she landed some of her 68-pounder guns at Balaclava to be used in the siege of Sevastopol.[4] At the naval bombardment of Sevastopol on 17 October Terrible was the northernmost ship of the Allied line and successfully bombarded Fort Constantine, the northern fortress protecting Sevastopol harbour.[5] In 1866, commanded by Captain John Commerell, she helped the SS Great Eastern to lay the fifth (and first successful) Atlantic cable. In 1869 she was one of three ships employed to move the specially built 'Bermuda' Dry Dock across the Atlantic from Madeira to Ireland Island, Bermuda. The dock was towed by HMS Warrior and HMS Black Prince with Terrible lashed astern to act as a rudder, the voyage lasting 39 days.[6] She was broken up in 1879.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bernard Dumpleton, The Story of the Paddle Steamer (Intellect Books, 2003, ISBN 1-84150-801-2.
  2. ^ The Times, 22 October 1847 (report of arrival in Lisbon).
  3. ^ Russian War, 1854, Baltic and Black Sea, Official Correspondence edited by D. Bonner-Smith and Captain A. C. Dewar, Navy Records Society, 1943, p. 209.
  4. ^ Russian War, 1854, Baltic and Black Sea, Official Correspondence, p. 332.
  5. ^ Russian War, 1854, Baltic and Black Sea, Official Correspondence, pp. 339-340, and map facing p. 344.
  6. ^ Bermuda's Royal Navy base at Ireland Island began in 1815