HMS Wolverine (1863)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Wolverine.
HMS Wolverine (1863) AWM 300012.jpeg
HMS Wolverine, Sydney, July 1881.
Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Wolverine (also HMS Wolverene)
Builder: Woolwich Dockyard
Laid down: 14 April 1859
Launched: 29 August 1863
Fate: Given to Colony of New South Wales.
New South Wales Ensign
Name: Wolverine
Owner: Colony of New South Wales
Homeport: Sydney
Fate: Sold to Peter Ellison, Sydney for £2200.
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom
Name: Wolverine
Fate: Scrapped and hulk burnt.
General characteristics [1]
Type: Jason-class corvette
Displacement: 2,416 tons (as completed)
Tons burthen: 1,703 bm
  • 225 ft 0 in (68.6 m) (gundeck)
  • 196 ft 8 12 in (60.0 m) (keel)
Beam: 40 ft 8 in (12.4 m) (overall)
  • 17 ft 11 in (5.5 m) (forward)
  • 20 ft 4 in (6.2 m) (aft)
Depth of hold: 24 ft 2 in (7.4 m)
Installed power:
  • 2-cylinder horizontal single-expansion engine
  • 4 × boilers
  • 4 × furnaces
  • Single screw
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Speed: 11.3 knots (20.9 km/h)
Complement: c.250

HMS Wolverine (also HMS Wolverene) was a Jason-class three-masted wooden screw corvette, of the Royal Navy. Later she became flagship of the Australia Station, eventually being presented to the Colony of New South Wales as a training ship for the New South Wales Naval Brigade and New South Wales Naval Artillery Volunteers.


HMS Wolverine was built at the Woolwich Dockyard and launched at Woolwich on 29 August 1863.[2] After serving in the North America and West Indies Station in the 1860s, she was commissioned as the flagship of the Australia Station on 7 September 1875, under the command of Commodore Anthony Hoskins.[2] In 1880, Francis Pringle Taylor was appointed lieutenant in command, a position he held until 1884.[3]

Gun deck of HMS Wolverine, 1881

During its service Wolverine was present for the Royal Navy's Detached Squadron world cruise in 1881 when the princes Albert and George undertook naval training.[4] The Wolverine left Sydney Harbour at the same time as the Detached Squadron on 10 August 1881, with Commodore John Wilson, Commander-in-Chief of the Australia Station, her destination being Brisbane and then New Guinea. The scientist Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay travelled to New Guinea on this voyage where, aided by the Rev. James Chalmers, he intervened with the Commodore to stop the destruction of the entire native village of Kalo in reprisal for the recent murder of some missionaries there.[5][6][7]

A cutlass drill on HMS Wolverine, 1882

Wolverine's service came to an end was replaced by HMS Nelson and paid off in 1882 at Sydney. She was presented to the Colony of New South Wales as a training ship for the New South Wales Naval Brigade and New South Wales Naval Artillery Volunteers — challenging "enemy" ships at Sydney heads and "attacking" coastal and harbour fortifications.[4]

The ship was decommissioned in 1892, sold to a private firm (Peter Ellison, Sydney) for £2,200 in August 1893 and with the engines removed was used as a hulk.[4]

After refit and conversion to a barque, she commenced service as a merchant vessel. On a voyage from Sydney to Liverpool, England she sprung leaks and returned to Auckland for repairs, however upon docking she was found to be unfit.[2] She was sold to G. Niccol, Auckland, for £1,000.


She was partially scrapped and her hull was burnt.[2]


  1. ^ Wolverine's engine was never satisfactory and was replaced in 1876 by Ravenhill with another 400 nominal horsepower unit, but with an indicated horsepower of 1,493.


  1. ^ Winfield (2004), p.210
  2. ^ a b c d Bastock, John (1988), Ships on the Australia Station, Child & Associates Publishing Pty Ltd; Frenchs Forest, Australia. pp.69-70. ISBN 0-86777-348-0
  3. ^ "Personal News". Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld). Trove. 17 April 1913. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "HMS Wolverene". 1988. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Paton, Wendy (2002). Nikolai and Australian connections: a brief history of the life and achievements of Nikolai Nikolaevich Miklouho-Maclay. Woollahra Municipal Library. p. 77. ISBN 0949648973. 
  6. ^ "The Detached Squadron". The Sydney Morning Herald. NSW. 11 August 1881. p. 5. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "News of the Day". The Sydney Morning Herald. NSW. 5 September 1881. p. 5. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 

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