Cruise Round the World of the Flying Squadron
Economies made by William Ewert Gladstone's 1868 cabinet led First Lord of the Admiralty Hugh Culling Eardley Childers to reduce the number of ships on foreign stations. These reductions were compensated by the formation of successive "Flying Squadrons" (or "Detached Squadrons") of unarmoured screw ships which undertook extended world-wide cruises for training (and flag waving) under the command of a Rear Admiral.
These squadrons were never directly involved in hostilities, although their movements were sometimes influenced by political or military considerations: the need to contol Spanish "Intransigentes" who had taken over several Spanish warships during the civil war in that country after the abdication of King Amadeus in 1873.
They supported Thomas F. Wade, the British minister in China, who persuaded the Chinese to sign the Che-fu Convention in September 1876, allowing - among other things - several additional ports to be opened to foreign trade after tension on the Yunnan-Burmese border following the murder of a British interpreter; and the first Boer War in 1881.
Routes & Dates
Plymouth (19 Jun 1869) - Funchal (1 - 2 July) - Bahia (2 - 4 Aug) - Rio de Janeiro (16 - 25 Aug) - Montevideo (6 - 12 Sep) - Cape of Good Hope (3 - 16 Oct) - Melbourne (26 Nov - 7 Dec) - Sydney (12 - 26 Dec) - Hobart (2 - 10 Jan 1870) - Lyttleton (19 - 22 Jan) - Wellington (24 - 27 Jan) - Auckland (2 - 9 Feb) - Yokohama (6 - 14 Apr) - Yedo (Tokyo; 14 -17 Apr) - Yokohama (17 - 19 Apr) - Esquimalt (15 - 28 May) - Honolulu (16 - 23 Jun) - Valparaiso (14 - 28 Aug) - Bahia (6 - 9 Oct) - Plymouth (15 Nov 1870)
+ Read More
Rear Admiral: Geoffrey Thomas Phipps Hornby.
Ships & Captains
- Liverpool (flag), John Ommanney Hopkins.
- Liffey, John Ormsby Johnson (invalided at the Cape), then Robert Gibson
- Bristol (left at Bahia), Frederick William Wilson
- Endymion, Edward Lacy
- Scylla (left at Esquimalt), Frederick Anstruther Herbert
- Barrosa (joined at Funchal, left at Yokohama), Robert Gibson, then Henry Hand (acting, from the Cape), then Lewis James Moore (joined in Australia?)
- Phoebe (joined at Bahia), John Bythesea V.C.
- Pearl (joined at Yokohama), John Francis Ross
- Charybdis (joined at Esquimalt, left at Valparaiso), Algernon McLennan Lyons
- Satellite (joined at Valparaiso), William Henry Edye