HM Queen Victoria
Royal Review of the Fleet at Portsmouth - 11-Aug-1853

Description Since 1850 tensions rising between Russia and Turkish Ottoman Empire has been rising. Britain and France sided with the Turks and a review of part of the Fleet was held at Spithead. The Czar's two eldest daughters who were in Britain also attended as guests.  

In addition to showing the size and power of traditional line-of-battle sailing ships, it was also intended to display the power and superiority of the latest screw and paddle powered ships.

The day began at 0800hrs with the fleet unmooring and getting ready to weigh anchor after being reviewed by Queen Victoria.

At 1030 hrs the Royal yacht approached the Fleet to be greeted by a salute fired by all ships at anchor. Her majesty then boarded the flagship Duke of Wellington for an inspection. Having re-embarked on the Royal Yacht the order for the Fleet to weigh anchor was given at 1100hrs.

The Fleet formed two columns and headed to sea. A few miles below the Nab the columns manoeuvered to form line abreast ready for a mock battle to be fought. The "enemy" comprised the Prince Regent, Queen and London who closed the fleet from the south-east. While this was done the main fleet formed line-of-battle nearly 3 miles long. Both sides then fired broadsides for a time when the "enemy" retired to the south chased by the fleet. The chase lasted a short time to show the superiority of screw over paddle powered ships.

The entire fleet then returned to Spithead at 1625hrs arriving at their moorings by 1830hrs.

The final part of the review then took place with the steamers Magicienne and Vulture being moored broadside on about a mile from Southsea beach. They represented an enemy which was to be attacked by ships boats from the fleet.

The signal for the attack was given at 1830hrs when ships boats were hoisted over the side and manned. As they cleared the fleet and pulled towards the "enemy" another mock battle took place with boats firing carronades and small arms and with the ships firing broadsides. 


HM Ships
Agamemnon  Ajax  Amphion  Arrogant  Barracouta 
Black Eagle  Blenheim  Bulldog  Conflict  Desperate 
Driver  Duke of Wellington  Edinburgh  Encounter  Highflyer 
Hogue  Imperieuse  Leopard  London  Magicienne 
Odin  Prince Regent  Queen  Sidon  Stromboli 
Terrible  Tribune  Valorous  Vesuvius  Vulture 
This page last edited - 05 March, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.