HMS Conway - Click here to return to the menu HMS Conway 1859 - 1974

© Alfie Windsor 1998
HMS Conway - Click here to return to the menu
The Original HMS Conway

1813-1814 In 1813 a 20 (26?) gun sloop HMS Conway was laid down at Frindesbury opposite Rochester on the Medway. She was designed by Sir William Ruls and variously classified as a sixth rate, 'ship sloop', or a 'brig sloop'. Her length was 108.4 feet and she displaced  444 (or 451) tons BOM. She had a crew of 150. 
1814 Mar  10 Launched as the lead ship of her her 10 vessel class.

1814 Oct 1
Commissioned with Captain John Tancock as her first Captain.
For part of this period one of her Midshipmen was John Hood Wolesley and he kept a log of his time here
1815 Jun 26
Captured the French vessel Panther in transit from Martinique to Dunkirk and brought her into Plymouth.
1816 Sep 22
Tancock left to command Iphigenia and was replaced by Captain John Reynolds.
1816 Dec 16
Reynolds was promoted and replaced by Captain William Hill.
1817 Jul 4

Hill was replaced by Captain Edward Barnard and moved to the East Indies Station and employed protecting British trade in the Persian Gulf and in suppressing the slave trade around Isle de France.
1819 Oct 21
Off the Cape of Good Hope, a midshipman and four sailors drowned when their boat was swamped while coming alongside Feniscowles, which had been driven ashore and wrecked at Green Point. All on board were rescued. A later report stated that the second master and two men from Conway had drowned in going to Fenniscowles's assistance.
1819 Dec (late)
Arrived at Plymouth
Samuel Thornton Junior served as acting Lt for six months.

William Arthur, aged 21, of Surrey, Master's Mate of H.M.S. Conway died 10/22/1819 and was buried at the Cape of Good Hope.
1820 Jan 20
Paid off.
1820 Mar - Jul
Underwent refitting for sea duty.
1820 May
Recommissioned under Captain Basil Hall FRS.
1820 Aug 10 or 20
Left for the South American station for the purpose of exploring the South Shetlands. Stopped at Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro and the River Plate.

Produced the first chart of Hughes Bay. Her log book for the years 1820 - 21 is held by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service

1820 Dec 25
Arrived at Valparaiso having been ordered there by Commodore Sir Thomas Hardy, CinC of the South America Station.
Samuel Thornton Junior served as Acting Lt for six months
1821 Jan 22
Relieved in Valparaiso by the Owen Glendower and left for Callao.
1821 Jan 31
Arrived Callao. The Chile and Peruvian wars of independence were in full swing with Chile's naval forces led by the British Admiral Lord Cochrane.
1821 Feb 18
Captain Hall left her in Callao to visit the Spanish Viceroy in Lima. In Hall's absence, when two officers from Conway came on shore at Callao, the Peruvian authorities arrested them on the suspicion that the officers were spies for the Admiral Cochrane. Hall eventually succeeded in getting them released.
1821 Feb 23
Sailed from Callao.
1821 Feb 24
Hall met Cochrane on Cochrane's flagship the San Martin.
1821 Feb 28
Sailed for Valparaiso.
1821 Mar 18
Arrived Valparaiso and sailed on to Santiago for Hall to meet with Hardy, but then returned to Valparaiso where she remained between 5 April and 26 May. While she was there, her officers made surveys. They also observed a comet that remained in sight between 1 April and 8 June; the data they gathered helped Dr. Brinkley, of Dublin, compute its orbit and publish the results in 1822.
1821 May 26
Sailed along the coast, stopping at Arica on 7 June and Ylo.
1821 Jun 13 to 20
At Mollendo where Hall discovered that the locals used rafts made of inflated seal skins to cross a surf that would have overturned Conway's boats.
1821 Jun 24
Returned to Callao and on 25 June Hall met with General San Martin, who was aboard a schooner in the roads.
1821 Jun - Oct
Visited Concepción and Arauco, Chile. Arauco had been the base for the pirate Vicente Benavides, who had recently fled, taking with him American and British sailors that he had captured when he captured their vessels.
1821 Nov 5 and 6
Moored in Callao Roads, Chille during the capture by Admiral Cochrane of the Spanish Esmeralda during Chile's fight for independence. At some date returned to Valparaiso.

Capture of the Esmeralda 01
Capture of the Esmeralda 02
Capture of the Esmeralda 03
1821 Nov 14
Left Valparaiso to visit ports between there and Lima to assist and protect British interests. She stopped at Coquimbo and Copiapó where one of her midshipmen surveyed the harbour.
1821 Dec 9 to 17
At Callao.
1821 Dec 18
Departed Callao and sailed 4,600 miles from Mocha Island north to San Blas, then stopped at Payta, Guayaquil, the Galápagos Islands, Panama City, and Acapulco.
1822 Mar 28
Arrived San Blas.
1822 May 6
The merchants in San Blas received the authorization of the Mexican Government, conveyed via the state capital of Guadalajara, to send specie to England to pay for goods to be brought back to Mexico. Conway took on board more than half a million dollars.
1822 Jun 15
Sailed for England, nearly 8,000 miles to Rio de Janeiro via Cape Horn.
1822 Sep 12
Arrived Rio de Janeiro.
Arrived Chatham, unloaded her stash of specie and was paid off.

Captain Hall published
the result of his observations under the title of "Extracts from a Journal written on the Coasts of Chili, Peru, and Mexico, in the years 1820, 1821, and 1822." This work, which afterwards constituted the second and third volumes of "Constable’s Miscellany," contained not only a highly interesting account of the people of these countries, and the events of the war of South American independence, but a memoir on the navigation of the South American station, a valuable collection of scientific observations, and an article "On the Duties of Naval Commanders-in-chief on the South American Station, before the appointment of Consuls.

Hall also published a letter on his experiments see here
George Birnie, Surgeon RN was her surgeon for part of this period see here
1825 Jan 27
The "Principal Officers and Commissioners of His Majesty's Navy" first offered offered Conway, of 26 guns and 452 tons", lying at Chatham fro sale but her sale fell though.
1825 Oct 13
She was sold to Mr. Edward Cohen for £2,210, renamed Toward Castle and became a merchant vessel. This enabled 'our' HMS Conway to adopt the name when she was laid down in 1828.
Toward Castle appeared in Lloyd's Register and the Register of Shipping. Both showed her master as Jeffrey or Jeffrys, her owner as Smith, and her trade as London–New South Wales. However, Lloyd's showed her build year as 1808 and the Register as 1810. In much later volumes Lloyd's gave the build year as 1813.
1826 Aug 17
Toward Castle sailed for New South Wales.
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser published the manifest of the "Cargo of the Ship Toward Castle, Robert Jeffery, Master, from London and Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land, to Sydney, New South Wales". The cargo included 300 sheep, rum, wine, merchandise, four carronades, and much else besides.
From this time on she was engaged in whaling. Captain William Darby Brind sailed Toward Castle from England in 1828, bound for New Zealand. She was reported to have been at the Bay of Islands on 9 October, not yet having caught anything.
1829 Sep 25
She was again at Bay of Islands, with 200 tons of whale oil.
1829 Nov
At Tongatapu with 1650 barrels.
1831 Jul 14
She returned to England  with 600 casks and 16 tanks of whale oil.
1831 Oct 11
Captain Brind sailed from England bound for New Zealand via the Cape of Good Hope and Tonga. On 4 March 1833 she was at the Bay of Islands with 1500 barrels. She was reported at various times as being at Tonga or the Bay.
1833 Mar 4
At the Bay of Islands with 1500 barrels. She was reported at various times as being at Tonga or the Bay.
1833 Nov 17
At Oahu
1835 May
Arrived England via St Helena with 2300 barrels of oil.
1835 Oct 6
Captain Thomas Emmens (or Emmett, or Howarth, or Bennett), sailed from England on her third whaling voyage.
1837 Nov
At Monterey, California
1838 Jan 7
Toward Castle struck a shoal about 50 miles north of Cedros Island 28°11′N115°13′W off Baja California. The crew took to the boats. Captain Emmens, his mate, and five men reached the mission at Todos los Santos, more than 500 miles away. From there they went overland some 50 miles to La Paz. Dorotea carried them from there across the Gulf of California to Mazatlán. Samuel Talbot, the United States Consul at Mazatlán, arranged for two American crew members to be repatriated aboard the American schooner Boxer. Captain Emmens, his mate, and the other three crew members shipped aboard the English bark Vesper. As of 7 February there had been no news at Mazatlán of the fate of the remainder of Toward Castle's 30 (or 31) man crew. Talbot thought that they had been lost. Other reports stated that nine men had survived, out of a crew of 31. Her cargo of 1800 barrels of oil were lost. The cause of the wreck was that the location of the island as laid out in her English charts was wrong



As was standard practice at the time while surveying she gave her name to several places including:
Cape Conway in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica.
-    Conway Point,
Tierra Del Fuego

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