Girish Mahajan (Editor)

HMS Icarus (1885)

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Name  HMS Icarus
Commissioned  6 July 1886
Construction started  18 August 1883
Length  51 m
Displacement  880,000 kg
Builder  HMNB Devonport
Laid down  18 August 1883
Fate  Sold 12 April 1904
Launched  27 July 1885
Weight  985.6 tons
Draft  4.3 m
HMS Icarus (1885) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaen551HMS
Cost  Hull £39,369, Machinery £12,735
Class and type  Mariner-class composite screw sloop

HMS Icarus was a Mariner-class composite screw gunvessel of 8 guns, and the third Royal Navy vessel to carry the name. She was launched in 1885 at Devonport and sold in 1904.



Designed by Nathaniel Barnaby, the Royal Navy Director of Naval Construction, her hull was of composite construction; that is, iron keel, frames, stem and stern posts with wooden planking. She was fitted with a 2-cylinder horizontal compound expansion steam engine driving a single screw, produced by Barrow Iron Shipbuilding. Uniquely among her class she was built rigged with no main yards, making her a barquentine-rigged vessel; the rest of her class were barque-rigged. However, later pictures show her rigged as a barque. Her keel was laid at Devonport Royal Dockyard on 18 August 1883 and she was launched on 27 July 1885 by Miss Julia Wilson, the daughter of Admiral Superintendent Wilson; the launch was originally planned for 11 July but was postponed following the admiral's death on 4 July. Her entire class were re-classified in November 1884 as sloops before they entered service.


Icarus was commissioned on 6 July 1886 at Devonport. After returning from the Pacific in 1890 she had additional quick firing (QF) guns added.

The ship's companies of Icarus, Acorn and Rifleman were awarded the West Africa Medal with the bar "1887–1888" for their part in supporting the infantry of the West India Regiment between 13 November 1887 and 2 January 1888 during the Yoni Expedition against the Yoni Chiefdom in Sierra Leone.

In 1890 the levels of desertion and punishment under her commanding officer, Commander Annesley, was sufficiently high to prompt a question in the House of Commons. The reply by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord George Hamilton, reveals good reason for the concern, since Icarus only had a total complement of 126:

Her last years were spent on the Pacific Station, based in Esquimalt Royal Navy Dockyard at Esquimalt, in British Columbia, Canada. In late summer 1901 she visited Panama, under Commander George F. S. Knowling, and in March the following year she returned to the United Kingdom, stopping at Pernambuco and São Vicente, Cape Verde. She arrived at Devonport on 10 May 1902, and proceeded to Sheerness to pay off at Chatham on 4 June 1902, where she was placed in the C Division of the Dockyard reserve.


Icarus was sold on 12 April 1904.


HMS Icarus (1885) Wikipedia

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