The steam frigate 'Firebrand' and the Experimental Squadron of 1844

Inscribed: “H.M. Steam Frigate Firebrand and the Experimental Squadron”. Various Experimental Squadrons were at sea in 1844-6 testing new technology. ‘Firebrand’ served as the commanding umpire’s vessel in the one sent out from Portsmouth in 1844. They departed Spithead on 22 October, ‘Firebrand’ leading eight newly-designed sailing brigs, sailed to Portugal, and returned to Devonport on 6 December.

Here, ‘Firebrand’ is shown centrally in starboard-broadside view, under steam but with clewed-up sails on her foremast, and surrounded by her brig complement in various positions, the whole set out of sight of land in a fresh breeze. There are men in her shrouds, and she is signalling (blue-yellow-blue-yellow-blue horizontal from her foretop; red-white-blue vertical, red-white quartered, and white-blue vertical from her main). The overall impression is that manoeuvres are taking place.

'Firebrand' was a paddle frigate built in 1842 and sold in 1864. She appears in several drawings in the sketchbook of Captain George Pechell Mends (PAI0868 verso, PAI0873 and PAI0882) as part of the Mediterranean Fleet. In the first two of these she is shown towing major sailing vessels. [PvdM 2/12]


Object Details

ID: PAH0917
Collection: Fine art
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Ackermann, Rudolph; Hinton, A. Vernon, H. John Foster, William
Vessels: Firebrand (1842)
Date made: circa 1844-45
People: Experimental Squadon - British
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 376 x 550 mm; Mount: 19 in x 25 in

Your Request

If an item is shown as “offsite”, please allow eight days for your order to be processed. For further information, please contact Archive staff:

Tel: (during Library opening hours)

Click “Continue” below to continue processing your order with the Library team.