HMS Cormorant (1877)

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HMS Cormorant circa. 1878
HMS Cormorant circa. 1878
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: HMS Cormorant
Builder: Chatham Royal Dockyard
Cost: Hull £37,630, machinery £11,587[1]
Laid down: 1875
Launched: 12 September 1877
Commissioned: 2 July 1878
Fate: Hulked at Gibraltar in November 1889
Renamed Rooke in July 1946
Broken up at Malaga in 1949[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Osprey-class screw composite sloop[1]
Displacement: 1,130 tons[2]
Length: 170 ft (52 m)[2]
Beam: 36 ft (11 m)[2]
Draught: 15 ft 9 in (4.80 m)[1]
Installed power: 951 indicated horsepower
  • Two-cylinder horizontal compound-expansion steam engine
  • Three cylindrical boilers
  • Single 13 ft (4.0 m) screw
Sail plan: Barque rigged
Speed: 11.3 kn (20.9 km/h)[1]
Range: 1,480 nmi (2,740 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h)[1]
Complement: 140
  • Two 7-inch (90cwt) muzzle-loading rifled guns
  • Four 64-pound guns
  • Four machine guns
  • One light gun

HMS Cormorant was an Osprey-class sloop launched at Chatham on 12 September 1877 and later the receiving ship at Gibraltar. She was renamed Rooke in 1946 and broken up in 1949.


The Osprey class were of composite construction, with wooden hulls over an iron frame. They were designed by the Chief Constructor, William Henry White and five were ordered. Of 1,130 tons displacement and approximately 950 indicated horsepower, they were capable of approximately 11 knots and were armed with two 7" muzzle loading rifled guns on pivoting mounts, and four 64-pound guns (two on pivoting mounts, and two broadside). They had a crew complement of approximately 140 men.


Cormorant was laid down at Chatham Royal Dockyard in 1875 and launched on 12 September 1877.[1] She was commissioned on 2 July 1878.[1]


The primary purpose of ships of the class was to maintain British naval dominance through trade protection, anti-slavery, and surveying.

In 1879 she served on the Australia Station, and in April 1886 she was on the Pacific Station.[3] On 20 July 1887 she became the first vessel to use the newly built graving dock at the Esquimalt Royal Navy Dockyard.[4]


Cormorant became a receiving ship at Gibraltar in 1889, was renamed HMS Rooke in 1946 and was scrapped in 1949, being broken up at Malaga.