Her Majesty’s War-steamer Terrible

Her Majesty’s War-steamer “Terrible”. 1849. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

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This noble steam-frigate, the largest and most satisfactory paddle-wheel ship in the service, returned to Woolwich on Thursday afternoon, the 20th instant, from her first cruise. A view of her in an unfinished state appeared in our Journal soon after the launch of the vessel. The present Illustration is from a sketch taken soon after she reached Woolwich.

No paddle-wheel steamer that has yet been built has proved herself equal to the lerrible, whether in speed or armament, and, it must be remembered, she was the first steamer built that could take the main-deck armament. During her cruise she has proved herself so much superior to all the man-of-war steamers built before her and contemporary with her, that there are none to compare with her in speed, power, strength, and utility; and with reference to those vessels built subsequently to her date of launching, she can show many superior points.

Whenever the Terrible has shown herself in an English port, she has been praised praised and admired, and among foreigners she has been an object of wonder, respect, and fear. After nearly four years' service, she has returned to be paid off. We doubt not, when she is recommissioned, she will be so much improved that even those who have not been blind or kind to her imperfections, will see reason to be as proud of the ship as of the pendant which she will bear.

On Friday, the 21st instant, the Lords of the Admiralty visited this fine steamer. In the morning, the Right Honourable Sir Francis Baring, Bart, H.P.; Rear-Admlral Deans Dundas, C.B., M.P.; the Honourable Captain Berkeley, C.B., M.P.; Captain Milne; Captain W. A. B. Hamilton, the Second Secretary; Captain Sir Baldwin Walker, E.C.B., the Surveyor of the Navy; and Mr. Watts, his assistant, proceeded from the Admiralty to Woolwich; and, accompanied by Commodore-Superintendent Eden, and Mr. Long (the builder of the Terrible, and master shipwright). Captain Munday, Captain Sir F. Nlcolson, Bart, Colonel Colquhoun, &c, embarked in the Monkey, steam tender, started for Purfleet, where the Terrible, 21, steam frigate, Captain W. Ramsay, brought up on Thursday afternoon to take out her powder, &c. [sic] On arriving on board, their Lordships were received with honours, and soon after the Terrible got under weigh, and came up to Woolwich. Their Lordships inspected every portion of the ship, and minutely inquired into her character; and from the evidence addaced there can be very little doubt that the impression on their Lordship's minds was confirmed — that neither the British navy, nor any other naval power in the world, can produce so noble and powerful a paddle-wheel steam man-of-war. In the course of the day the men were exercised at small-arms and great guns, and acquitted them- selves to the entire satisfaction of their Lordships.

The immense machinery, of 800-horse power, although in constant work for the last four years, is in excellent order, and, with new tubes to the boilers, would he efficient for at least two years' further sea service.

In coming up the river, the Terrible was as much under command as a yacht, and steady and stiff, although it was blowing a gale of wind. We trust that, bc- Is stripped, opportunity will be aifordud to thousands for visiung at U one real British man-of-war steam-frigate.


“The ‘Terrible’ War-steamer .” Illustrated London News (29 September 1849): 224. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 16 January 2016.]

Last modified 16 January 2016