Ship Details

Rig

50-gun Constance-class fourth-rate frigate

Built

1846

Tonnage

2125

Demise

sold for breaking up on 23/1/1875;

Description

HMS Constance was a 50-gun fourth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy launched in 1846. She had a tonnage of 2,132 and was designed with a V-shaped hull by Sir William Symonds. She was also one of the last class of frigates designed by him. On her shakedown voyage from England to Valparaiso she rounded Cape Horn in good trim, her captain for this voyage being Sir Baldwin Wake Walker, who commented "I think her a good sea boat, and a fine man of war". On the voyage she encountered a Hurricane at 62o south. Walker wrote that "nothing could have exceeded the way she went over it, not even straining a rope yarn". In August 1848 her captain George William Courtenay, for whom the town of Courtenay was named, led 250 sailors and marines from Fort Victoria to try to intimidate the Indians. Her crew and officers were quarantined aboard whilst berthed at Port Royal on 26 October 1867 during an outbreak of Yellow Fever. In 1848 she became the first Royal Naval vessel to use Esquimalt as her base. In 1862 she was converted to screw propulsion using a compound steam engine[8] designed by Randolph & Elder. She was the first Royal Naval ship to be fitted with this class of engine, and won a race against two frigates from Plymouth to Madeira in 1865.

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