HMS Theseus (1892)

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Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Theseus
Builder: Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company
Laid down: 16 July 1890
Launched: 8 September 1892
Commissioned: 14 January 1896
Fate: Sold for breaking up 8 November 1921
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 7,350 tons
Length: 387.5 ft (118.1 m)
Beam: 60 ft (18 m)
Draught: 23 ft (7.0 m)
Propulsion: Four boilers, two cylinder vertical triple expansion engines, two shafts 12,000 hp (8.9 MW)
Speed: 20 knots
Range: 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h)
Complement: 544

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2 x BL 9.2-inch (233.7 mm) guns
10 x QF 6-inch (152.4 mm) guns
12 x 6pdr guns
5 x 3 pounder (1.4 kg) guns

4 x 18 in (457 mm) submerged torpedo tubes

HMS Theseus was an Edgar-class protected cruiser of the Royal Navy. The Edgars were basically smaller versions of the Blake class. Theseus was launched at Blackwall, London in 1892 and commissioned on 14 January 1896.

Upon commission, she was part of the Special Flying Squadron. She was a tender ship to Cambridge from 1905 to 1913. In February 1913, Theseus joined the Queenstown Training Squadron.

When war broke out in 1914, Theseus joined the 10th Cruiser Squadron. On 14 October, Theseus, accompanied by her sister-ship HMS Hawke, were patrolling the North Sea when they were attacked by U-9. The submarines first torpedo missed Theseus but hit Hawke, igniting a magazine that caused a tremendously powerful explosion, that ripped much of the ship apart. Just 70 of her 594 crew survived.

Theseus was rearmed, along with bulges to her hull, which were added to enable her to take part in the Dardanelles Campaign. In 1916 she was deployed to the Mediterranean and was then sent to the White Sea. In 1918 she was sent to the Aegean Sea to be charged with the mundane task of being a depot ship. In 1919, Theseus had her final deployment, when she was sent to the Black Sea. She returned to the UK in 1920 and was scrapped the following year in Germany.


  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
  • Roger Chesneau and Eugene M. Kolesnik, ed., Conway's All The Worlds Fighting Ships, 1860-1905, (Conway Maritime Press, London, 1979), ISBN 0-85177-133-5