HMS Salamander was one of the first paddle warships built for the Royal Navy. Initially classed simply as a steam vessel, she was re-classed as a second-class steam sloop when that categorisation was introduced on 31 May 1844. She was launched in 1832 from Sheerness Dockyard, took part in the Second Anglo-Burmese War and was broken up in 1883.
Salamander was designed by Joseph Seaton as a steam vessel (in 1844 designated as a second-class paddle sloop) and ordered from Sheerness Dockyard on 12 January 1831. She was armed with two 10-inch (84 cwt) pivot guns and two (later four) 32-pounder (25 cwt) guns. Her two-cylinder side lever steam engine was provided by Maudslay, Sons & Field at a cost of £11,201, and produced 220 nominal horsepower, or 506 indicated horsepower (377 kW).
Her keel was laid in April 1831 and she was launched on 14 May 1832. Her total cost was £34,334 (comprising £20,429 for the hull, £11,201 for the machinery and £2,704 for fitting out) and was the only ship ever built to the design. She was one of the first true paddle warships built for the Royal Navy. She was provided with a schooner rig, which was later changed to a barquentine rig.
She was commissioned on 27 November 1832 under Commander Horatio Thomas Austin. From 15 February 1834 she was under Commander William Langford Castle, for service in the Channel; on 15 April 1836 she was under Commander John Duffill, and then on 16 August 1836 to 1840 she was under Commander Sydney Dacres, notably off the north coast of Spain during the first of the Carlist Wars. On 16 September she was under Commander Hastings Henry, but paid off from this commission on 11 August 1841.
On 25 June 1842 she was recommissioned under Commander Andrew Hamond, and joined the South America Station, before proceeding to the Pacific. On her way home in 1847, she was repaired with a new mainmast and bowsprit at Jamaica in February 1847, and then arrived home to pay off in November 1847 at Woolwich Dockyard. After a refit at Sheerness she returned to Woolwich, and in January 1849 she moved to Plymouth where she joined the Steam Reserve.
The Salamander was recommissioned on 17 July 1850 under Commander John Ellman, and proceeded to the East Indies, where she participated in the Second Anglo-Burmese War. She returned home in August 1854, and on 18 August command was taken over by Commander Benjamin Portland Priest for a brief period of service in the Mediterranean before she arrived home again at Portsmouth, to pay off on 23 November into the Steam Reserve. She recommissioned again on 6 November 1855 under Commander George Mecham, for service off the west coast of Africa. Arriving home in June 1856, she was used as a transport, but in late 1856 she proceeded northwards to search for missing British merchantmen overdue on their voyage from Archangel. She returned to Sheerness in February 1857 to repair damage caused by ice, and was paid off on 4 February. Over the next year, she underwent a major refit at Chatham Dockyard, including the replacement of her boilers. More extensive repairs took place over the next few years, culminating in 1863 in the rebuilding of her poop and masts, and the overhaul of all her machinery.
She was recommissioned on 8 December 1863 under Commander John Carnegie, and was assigned to the Australia Station, where she transported the party to set up the coaling station at Albany passage. She undertook survey work along the Great Barrier Reef, running aground on a reef, which was named in her honour, before being refloated. She then undertook survey duties of Wilsons Promontory and Port Phillip Bay under the command of Commander George Nares from 11 July 1865, before leaving the Australia Station on 4 July 1867. She was paid off in December 1867 into the Steam Reserve.
Over the next decade, the Salamander served in a number of ancillary tasks, mainly as a tug or a transport, under a variety of commanding officers. She towed HMS Unicorn to Dundee in 1873, but afterwards was paid off into reserve again.
She was sold to Castle for breaking in 1883.