HMS Hector (1862)

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Line drawing from Brassey's Naval Annual 1888
Line drawing from Brassey's Naval Annual 1888
Career RN Ensign
Laid down: March 1861
Launched: 26 September 1862
Completed: 22 February 1864
Fate: Broken up 1905
General characteristics
Class and type: Hector class battleship
Displacement: 6,710 tons
Length: 280 ft (85 m) pp
Beam: 56 ft 3 in (17.15 m)
Draught: 25 ft (7.6 m)
Propulsion: Napier connecting-rod
3,260 IHP
Sail plan: Barque-rig, sail area 24,500 sq ft (2,280 m²)
Speed: 12.6 knots (23.3 km/h)
Complement: 530

4 × 7 inch Armstrong breech loaders
20 × 68 pounders
Re-armed 1867
2 × 8 inch muzzle-loading rifles

16 × 7 inch muzzle-loading rifles
Armour: 4.5 inch main belt and bulkheads
Battery 4.5 inch amidships and 2.5 inch fore and aft

The Royal Navy broadside ironclad HMS Hector was commissioned at Portsmouth in January 1864. She was the first ship of the Hector class to be built, her only sister ship being HMS Valiant.

She served with the Channel Fleet until 1867, when she paid of to undergo re-armament. She formed part of the Southern Reserve Fleet between 1868 until 1886; during this time her only military activity occurred when she was detailed to service in the Particular Service Squadron under the command of Admiral Hornsby during the Russian war scare of June to August, 1878.

Richard Coston, a Boatman, was aboard from 2 July 1878 to 28 November 1886. She paid off at Portsmouth in 1886 and remained there, partly dismantled until 1900, when she briefly became part of the HMS Vernon torpedo school. In the course of fulfilling this function she became the first warship to have wireless telegraphy installed.

She was described as being among the worst sea-boats in the Fleet, with neither enough length to drive through the waves nor a full enough forward section to lift over them.

She was the first British ironclad warship to receive engines manufactured by her builders.


  • Oscar Parkes British Battleships ISBN 0-85052-604-3
  • Conway, All the World's Fighting Ships ISBN 0-85177-133-5

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