HMS Actaeon (1831)

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United Kingdom
NameHMS Actaeon
Ordered23 October 1827
BuilderPortsmouth Dockyard
Laid downSeptember 1828
Launched31 January 1831
Commissioned16 April 1831
FateSold for breaking up in February 1889
General characteristics
Class and typeSixth-rate frigate
Tons burthen620 bm
  • 121 ft 6 in (37.03 m) (overall)
  • 100 ft 4 in (30.58 m) (keel)
Beam34 ft (10.4 m)
Draught9 ft 7 in (2.92 m)
Sail planFull-rigged ship
  • 26 guns
  • Upper deck: 20 × 32-pounder gunnades
  • Quarter deck: 4 × 32-pounder carronades
  • Forecastle: 2 × 9-pounder (or 2 × 32-pounder carronades)

HMS Actaeon was a 26-gun sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy.


Actaeon was designed in 1827 by the School of Naval Architecture, and launched from Portsmouth Dockyard on 31 January 1831. She was first commissioned in November 1830 under Captain Frederick William Grey for service in the Mediterranean.

On 5 November 1831 she rescued the crew of Ariel, which was wrecked near Brindisi, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Ariel was on a voyage from Trieste to Greenock, Renfrewshire.[1]

After serving in the Mediterranean Actaeon served off South America from November 1834 under Captain Lord Edward Russell. She was assigned to the British Pacific Squadron, arriving in Valparaiso in July 1836. She was involved in the charting of the Acteon Group: a group of islands that Russell named fter this vessel. By 1838 she was back in Portsmouth under the command of Robert Russell, who sailed her back to South America in August that year.

On 23 July 1840, she ran aground at Buenos Aires, Argentina whilst on a voyage from that port to Monte Video, Uruguay. She was refloated with assistance from USS Marion, French Navy, and Royal Navy vessels.[2]

West Africa Squadron

Actaeon returned to Plymouth in 1844, before departing under Captain George Mansel in December 1844 to join the West Africa Squadron. Whilst serving on this post, she captured the slavers Astrea and Theresa on 9 September 1847.

Survey vessel

Actaeon was paid off at Portsmouth in 1848, but was recommissioned again in 1857 to serve as a survey vessel off "the coast of China and Tartary", under the command of Captain William Thornton Bate.[3] On 7 July, Actaeon ran aground on a reef in the Gaspar Strait (1°39′48″S 106°37′58″E / 1.66333°S 106.63278°E / -1.66333; 106.63278) and was damaged.[4] She was then present at the bombardment of Canton in 1857, during the Second Opium War, where Bate was shot and killed on 29 December. Robert Jenkins replaced Bate on 30 December, and then John Ward took command on 1 March 1858. Ward carried out surveys for further military operations in August 1859, before returning to Britain. Actaeon was at Shanghai on the night of Sunday, 7 April 1861 for the British census. Actaeon Sound in the Queen Charlotte Strait region of British Columbia, Canada, was named for Actaeon in 1865,[3] with many neighbouring features named in association with its crew and captain in the general area of Drury Inlet.[5]

Actaeon was then out of commission at Portsmouth in 1866, becoming a hospital ship. She was hulked in 1870 and lent to the Cork Harbour Board, before being sold at Portsmouth in February 1889 for breaking up.

Citations and references


  1. "Ship News". The Morning Post (19026). 2 December 1831.
  2. "The Portsmouth, Portsea, and Gosport Herald". Hampshire Advertiser and Salisbury Guardian (906). Southampton. 28 November 1840.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Actaeon Sound". BC Geographical Names.
  4. "Mercantile Ship News". The Standard (10380). London. 21 November 1857.
  5. BC Names/GeoBC entry "Drury Inlet


External links