Talk:HMS Orpheus (1860)

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Where there is a dispute on the facts of the case (some sources cite the death-count at 192 instead of 189; the dimensions of the ship are cited differently in the contemporary newspapers) I have treated the book Shipwreck: Tales of Survival, Courage & Calamity at Sea as authoritative.

For strictly grammatical reasons, when referring to ships of the Royal Navy, the article 'the' is not used before 'H.M.S.' The reason is to avoid grammatical error if the abbreviation is spelled out: One should not write 'the Her Majesty's Ship Orpheus,' hence 'H.M.S.' is also used without 'the.' If the ship's name is used alone without 'H.M.S.' then 'the' may be used ('the Orpheus'). In contrast, ships of other fleets may or may not use the article 'the' depending upon the title. Ships of the U.S. Navy, for example, typically use 'the' in either form (i.e. 'the' USS Consitution, also 'the' Constitution.)

I've switched "the Orpheus" to "Orpheus" throughout, as IME it looks better, plus various other stylistic changes. Now to move the page... Shimgray 13:19, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

Orpheus Island[edit]

The reference that Orpheus Island was named after the corvette in memory of the loss of life comes from a travel article : travel article. I'll try and find a more suitable source. - Ctbolt 01:15, 7 February 2007 (UTC)


Thomas Wing being the son of captain Thomas Wing? Edward, son of Thomas would make more sense. Thomas was captain of what, the Orpheus? (Not mentioned in the text.) If Thomas was captain of the ship, and placed with the blame of not steering her into harbor, how was admirality unwilling to place blame on an officer? Or did they put blame on Edward? Confused... -- (talk) 11:54, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Uh, Thomas Wing was not the son of Thomas Wing (I corrected that) and Thomas Wing was not the Captain of Orpheus. Robert Burton and William Farquharson Burnett were. Edward Wing (Son of Thomas Wing – harbourmaster of Manukau) was the signalman on duty at the time of the disaster. And yes the blame after the court trial was laid on Edward Wing Fattyjwoods (Push my button) 01:57, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Questions re article content[edit]

A couple of questions. One is a followup to the previous question. The other is based on my ignorance of naval terminology.

1) The aftermath section says:

"Three inquiries were held after the shipwreck,.........much of the blame was laid on Edward Wing"

"The cause of this disaster is disputed, even after the Admiralty laid the blame on Thomas Wing."

Are both these statements true?

2) "Orpheus's first journey was in December 1861 under Commodore W.F Burnett, CB's pennant. " In this sentence, does CB stand for Commodore Burnett? If it does, why not just say: "Orpheus's first journey was in December 1861 under Commodore W.F Burnett's pennant. "

Thanks, Wanderer57 (talk) 23:58, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

The statements were added by different people - I can't remember which was correct, but a quick check of the history of the page and its sources may help resolve the contradictions. In the second case, no, CB stands for Companion in the Order of the Bath. Ziggurat 09:03, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Corrected some – and I think Ziggurat’s comment above was correct (The Companion of Bath one). Hope this clears things up a bit. Fattyjwoods Push my button 07:04, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Should the story about pakeha felling a sacred tree the day before be reported as fact? It sounds am improbable story, and one likely to lack a robust sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:46, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Wreck location[edit]

According to these two Daily Southern Cross articles (10 February 1863, Page 3 11 February 1863, Page 3), the Orpheus was heading Northeast by east, "keeping the Nine Pin rock on with Paratutai", and "the bar whereon the ship struck is about 2.5 miles from Paratutai". Paratutae is listed by LINZ at -37.0487, 174.5102 [1], and appears along with Ninepin Rock on NZTopoOnline and Martime Chart NZ 4314. XLerate (talk) 07:49, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

"Worst" tradegy[edit]

I thought that dubious honour belonged to the Cospatrick? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:23, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

The Cospatrick was destroyed in a fire off the Cape of Good Hope. Although many of the 469 dead were New Zealand citizens, the incident itself occured many thousands of miles from New Zealand territorial waters. (talk) 01:19, 7 February 2011 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:15, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

There were no New Zealand citizens in those days. Residents of New Zealand, perhaps. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:44, 4 February 2013 (UTC)