HMS Black Prince (1861)

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HMS Black Prince
Career (UK) RN Ensign
Name: H.M.S. Black Prince
Builder: Robert Napier & Sons, Govan, Glasgow
Laid down: 12 October 1859
Launched: 27 February 1861
Completed: 27 September 1862
Commissioned: May 1862
Fate: Sold for scrap 1923
General characteristics
Class and type: Warrior class battleship
Displacement: 9,250 tons
Length: 420 ft (130 m) oa; 380 ft (120 m) pp
Beam: 58 ft (18 m)
Draught: 27 ft (8.2 m)
Installed power: 5772 I.H.P.
Propulsion: Penn Jet-Condensing, horizontal-trunk, single expansion steam engine, fixed screw.
Speed: 11 knots (sail)13.6 knots (steam)
Complement: 707

Originally :
10 RBL 110-pounder Armstrong guns
4 RBL 40-pounders (Armstrong guns)
26 muzzle-loading 68-pounders
Rearmed 1867:
24 7 inch RML 4 8 inch RML

4 20 pdr Armstrong RBL
Armour: 4.5in iron over 18 in teak for 200ft central section. 4,5in bulkheads. (1,305 tons, consisting of 950 tons of iron and 355 tons of teak)

HMS Black Prince, launched 27 February 1861, was the third ship of that name to serve with the British Royal Navy. She was the world's second ocean-going iron-hulled armoured warship, following her sister ship, HMS Warrior in the two-ship Warrior class. For a brief period the two ships were the most powerful warships in the world, being virtually impregnable to the naval guns of the time. Rapid advances in naval technology left Black Prince and her sister obsolete within a short time, however, and she spent more time in reserve and training roles than in first-line service.

Built by Robert Napier & Sons in Govan, Glasgow, her completion was delayed by a drydock accident at Greenock during outfitting, which damaged her mainmast. She steamed to Spithead without it, arriving 10 November 1862. After 6 months of trials (December 1861-May 1862) she was Commissioned a ship of the Channel Squadron at Plymouth and was flag of Captain James Francis Ballard Wainwright (commanding, the Division at Plymouth). She was signed off as "completed" in September 1862. Once in service, Black Prince was assigned to the Channel Fleet until 1866, then spent a year as flagship on the Irish coast. Overhauled and rearmed in 1867-68, she became guardship on the River Clyde. The routine of that duty was interrupted in 1869 when she and Warrior towed a large floating drydock from the Azores to Bermuda.

Black Prince was again refitted in 1874-75 and rejoined the Channel Fleet for a tour as flagship of that force's second-in-command. Later in the decade she crossed the Atlantic to visit Canada. In reserve from 1878, and reclassified as an armoured cruiser during much of that period, she was reactivated periodically to take part in annual fleet exercises.

Black Prince became a harbour training ship in 1896, stationed at Queenstown, Ireland. She was renamed Emerald in 1903. In 1910 she was taken to Plymouth for use in the training facility there under the name Impregnable III, and sold for scrapping in 1923.

File:HMS Black Prince(1861) Masts Manned.jpg
Black Prince withs masts manned by sailors


  • Roger Chesneau and Eugene M. Kolesnik, ed., Conway's All The Worlds Fighting Ships, 1860-1905, (Conway Maritime Press, London, 1979), ISBN 0-85177-133-5
  • Oscar Parkes, British Battleships, 1860-1950, (London, 1957)

External links

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