EXPERIMENTAL SQUADRON

 

In 1845 three cruises of the Experimental Squadron pitted Symonds' ships of the line against earlier designs.

 

In the first two cruises, his Queen (three-decker), Albion, Vanguard and Superb (two-deckers) were matched against Trafalgar, St Vincent (three-deckers), Rodney and Canopus (two-deckers).

 

The third cruise was limited to the two-deckers, but also included the brig Daring, which had taken part in the 1844 brig squadron.

 

In the first cruise the squadron, under the command of an ailing Rear-Admiral Hyde Parker, sailed from Portsmouth on 15 July, was at Cork from 7 to 18 September, and docked at Plymouth on 20 September.

 

On the second cruise the squadron, now under Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym, sailed from Plymouth on 28 September and returned there on 10 October.

 

On the third cruise the squadron sailed from Plymouth on 21 October and returned there on 3 December.

 

During this third cruise it was commanded by one of the ship's Captains as Commodore (initially Moresby in Canopus, and then Willes in Vanguard, that joined later), the Admiralty apparently having no confidence in the available (and generally extremely elderly) Admirals.

 

If you are interested you can read more by clicking on the following link which will re-direct you to an excellent website hosted by Peter Davis.

 

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