HMS Condor (1876)

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HMS Condor
"Well Done Condor". Bombardment of Alexandria, 1882 by Charles Dixon
Career (United Kingdom)
Class and type: Condor-class composite gunvessel
Name: HMS Condor
Ordered: 1875
Builder: Devonport Dockyard
Laid down: 15 December 1875
Launched: 28 December 1876
Commissioned: 17 July 1877[1]
Fate: Sold to George Cohen in August 1889
General characteristics
Displacement: 774 tons
Length: 157 ft (48 m)
Beam: 29 ft 6 in (8.99 m)
Draught: 12 ft (3.7 m)[2]
Installed power: 772 indicated horsepower (576 kW)
  • 3 Boilers
  • 2-cylinder horizontal compound-expansion steam engine
  • Single screw[2]
Sail plan: Barque-rigged
Speed: 11.5 kn (21.3 km/h) under power
Complement: 100[2]
  • One 7-in (4½-ton) Muzzle-Loading Rifle
  • Two 64-pdr (64cwt) Muzzle-Loading Rifles

HMS Condor was the name-ship of the Royal Navy Condor-class composite gunvessel of 3 guns.[3]


Designed by Nathaniel Barnaby[2], the Royal Navy Director of Naval Construction, her hull was of composite construction; that is, iron keel, frames, stem and stern posts with wooden planking. She was fitted with a 2-cylinder horizontal compound expansion steam engine driving a single screw, produced by John Elder & Co. She was rigged with three masts, with square rig on the fore- and main-masts, making her a barque-rigged vessel. Her keel was laid at Devonport Royal Dockyard on 15 December 1875 and she was launched on 28 December 1876.[2]


Mediterranean Fleet

After commissioning on 17 July 1877, Condor joined the Mediterranean Fleet in 1879, remaining there until at least 1886.[1]

Bombardment of Alexandria

After rioting in Alexandria in which Europeans were killed, Admiral Seymour aboard HMS Invincible in company with a fleet of 15 ironclads arrived at Alexandria to protect the lives and property of British subjects. The local forces began work to improve the fortifications, and when they failed to respond to Seymour's ultimatum to stop work, a bombardment was begun.

Seymour signaled to Alexandra to commence firing at the Ras-el-Tin fortifications at 7:00 a.m. on 11 July 1882, followed by the general order to attack the enemy's batteries. The offshore squadron at first conducted the attack while underway, but this proved difficult, and by 9:40, Sultan, Superb and Alexandra had anchored off the Lighthouse Fort and concentrated their fire on Ras-el-Tin. By 12:30, Inflexible had joined the attack and the fort's guns were silenced.[4]

[A] steady cannonade was maintained by the attacking and defending forces, and for the next few hours the roar of the guns and the shrieks of passing shot and shell were alone audible."


Meanwhile, Temeraire had taken on the Mex Forts and was causing damage to Mex when she grounded on a reef. Condor, commanded by Lord Charles Beresford, went to her assistance and she was refloated and resumed the attack. While the offshore squadron was engaging the forts at long-range, Monarch, Penelope and Condor were ordered into close engagements with the forts at Maza-el-Kanat and Fort Marabout. Condor sailed to within 1,200 feet of Fort Marabout and began furiously firing at the fort. When Fort Marabout's guns were disabled, the flagship signaled "Well Done, Condor." Condor's action allowed the ships to finish off Fort Mex.[4]

File:Bombardamento Alessandria 1882.jpg
The Bombardment of Alexandria, 11 July 1882, from Le Monde Illustré


After a short career, Condor was sold to Mr George Cohen in August 1889.[2]