There were several vessels called HMS Nile prior to the vessel that eventually became HMS Conway. They were:
1800 Jul 8:
HMS Nile involved in capture of French Desiree (38) in dunkirk Roads. 3 other frigates escaped.
1800 Nov 17:
Cutter from HMS Nile destgroys French Reloaise and 2 merchant ships in Port Novalo, Morbihan.
"Lugger" HMS Nile involved in a major action with the French and
Spanish 150 miles WNW of Ferol. Captured 2 Spanish ships. alos engaged
in an action off Rochefort.
12-gun cutter was purchased in 1806. This may have been the former
hired armed cutter Nile. HMS Nile was put up for sale in October 1810
and sold, but the purchaser rejected her; she was subsequently broken
up in 1811.
Image for sale from John Maggs. It is one of a series of paintings created for the front page of the maritime 'Blue Peter' magazine in the 1920s and 30
down coronation at HM Dockyard, Plymouth as a two deck second rate
sailing line of battle ship. LOA 205 feet, depth 54 feet, weight 4,375
tons. A 92 gun vessel with ten 8 inch guns, eighty two 30 pounders.
Built entirely of wood her construction costs were £86,197. Sister
ships were Rodney and London.
Her full complement of men was 850.
Click image to enlarge
1839 Jun 28 Sat
at 6pm on the anniversary of Queen Victoria's coronation. A very large
crowd, estimated at around 50,000 had gathered to watch. She was
launched by Miss Warren the daughter of the Dockyard Admiral.
The Devonport Independent & Plymouth &
Stonehouse Gazette reported Nile’s launch in 1839 in considerable detail. It
described the figurehead, probably carved by James Dickerson, as ‘a finely carved bust of Nelson …decorated with a scarf, formed of an ensign,
gracefully tied and was also ornamented with laurel’. It is shown on the
right taken when Nile was still in commission as a sailing ship. It does not
seem to be of Nelson and in his ‘The Conway’,
John Masefield OM (1891-94) says that it may have been of Admiral Lord
Collingwood. In a 1938 letter to the Sea Breezes magazine Mr A Wilson,
Secretary of Conway’s Management Committee, was quite specific, the figurehead
on transfer was of Collingwood.
Click image to enlarge
1839 - 1854
Held in Reserve at Devonport.
In 1851 a new figurehead, a head and shoulders of
Nelson, was created and fitted by Dickerson’s son Frederick. The design sketch
is on the right below and next to it the finished figurehead masted in the Ship. This
figurehead was lost on 4th June 1918 when SS
Bhamocollided with Conway carrying it away
1852 Dec 14
this period the French had launched steam sailing ships and the
Admiralty began to debate the need for similar vessels in the Royal
Navy. Docked in Devonport to be converted to a screw ship with a
engine, propeller and funnel. This took a long time and cost £63,837.
The 500 hp engine was made by Sewards.
1854 Jan 30
On completion of the conversion she was finally commissioned.
1854 Feb 25 to 1854 Jul 17
Commanded by Commodore Henry Byam Martin, Western (Channel) squadron with complement of 830 men and boys.
1854 Apr 16-18
Underwent steam trials in Stokes Bay.
1854 May 3
by Captain George Rodney Mundy. Sailed for the Gulf of Finland to join
the Baltic Squadron - war had been declared on Russia on March 27th.
1854 Jul 17 to 1857 Apr 20
Commanded (until paying off at Plymouth) by Captain George Rodney Mundy.
1854 Oct 19
Left Gulf of Finland.
1854 Dec 7
Departed Kiel for Devonport.
1854 Dec 23
Dry-docked in Devonport (after a minor collision).
Departed for the Baltic.
1855 Apr 13
the inshore squadron into the Gulf to an anchorage in Biorko Sound.
Engaged the Russians on several occasions capturing or destroying large
numbers of vessels and supplies.
battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 marked the highpoint of the
Confederacy who hoped for international recognition, especially
from Britain and France. There were rumours that Britain
would support the Confederacy and on Sept 15 th the Union's
Foreign Secretary Seward issued a notice to all consulates
decrying Britain and France's belief that the Union could
not win and that secession was likely.
was flagship of the North American Squadron, Rear Admiral Milne
was CinC. Public Records Office records show there was steady
communication between Milne, the Admiralty and the Duke Of Somerset
- the First Lord Of The Admiralty from 1861 discussing the
capacity, readiness and potential response of the North American
Squadron to any interference with British merchant shipping. On
29 September 1863 Milne visited New York with what is described
as the Russian Fleet (see New York Times archives). They remained
for at least 4 weeks during which they were very well received
by the people of New York and were entertained to balls and other
events – the local businessmen (Roosevelts, Astors and Browns)
forming a special committee for the purpose. There was a formal
visit of New Yorkers to Nile. On October 12-15 Milne and Secretary
Seward visited a number of fortifications together. Even
at the time of the visit the Confederate side was still strong
was still strong
are suggestions that this visit was a cover for high level negotiations
with the Union which would decide finally whether or not Britain
remained neutral in the American Civil War. I can find no direct
evidence to support this but would be interested to hear from anyone
who can shed light on the matter.
Visited Port Royal, Jamaica, Havana, Bermuda and returned to Spithead by 18 April.
1864 Apr 23
Placed in Reserve at Devonport where she first started.
1875 Mar 20 to May 13
Engines, boilers, underwater fittings and funnel removed.
Admiralty carried out many renovations to the ship and a fitted a new
foremast (the old main mast of HMS Satellite), main mast, mizzen mast
and bowsprit from HMS Jason. Many spars were transferred from the
1876 Jul 24
Moved to Birkenhead and moored in The Soyne off Rock Ferry pier. Renamed HMS Conway.
1941 Mar 31
amny near misses form German mines during the Liverpool blitz. Order
given to Abandon Ship when one mine was swept close to her stern.
1941 May 22
Moved to the Menai Strait to avoid further danger from the blitz and moored at Glyn Garth off Bangor pier.
1949 Apr 13
Moved to a new mooring near Plas Newydd
1953 Apr 14
ship slipped her moorings and was taken in tow by the Dongarth (again!)
and the Minegarth - the same pair that had brought her from Glyn Garth.
During the difficult passage of the Swellies she ran aground on the
Platters Rocks below the Menai Suspension Bridge. She settled as the
tide fell and broke her back and she became a total loss. The wreck was
returned to the Admiralty for disposal. Removal of the wreck became the
responsibility of the Caernafon Harbour Board. Details of the removal
are in the Gwynedd County Archives.
1956 Oct 30
Burnt to the waterline whilst being dismantled.
Click image to enlarge
Later HMS Nile
new Trafalgar Class HMS Nile was begun -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Nile_(1888). She was the last British
battleship to be completed with a single citadel; all subsequent
capital ships had separate citadels fore and aft. Also, she was the
first British battleship to mount a secondary armament of quick-firing
guns - guns in which the charge and shell are combined together in a
cartridge which is loaded as a single unit.
This vessel was part of the fleet off Tripoli when HMS Victoria was sunk (rammed) by HMS Camperdown on 22 June.