HMS Miranda (1851)

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HMS Fawn (right) and HMS Miranda (left) during the Regatta of January, 1862 ("the race of the Maori war canoes")
HMS Miranda (left) and HMS Fawn (right) during the Regatta of January, 1862 ("the race of the Maori war canoes")
Career (UK) RN Ensign
Name: HMS Miranda

25 April 1847

Re-ordered 3 November 1847[1]
Builder: Royal Dockyard, Sheerness
Cost: £48,393[1]
Laid down: September 1848[1]
Launched: 18 March 1851[2]
Commissioned: 25 February 1854[3]
Fate: Sold for breaking 2 December 1869[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Improved Rattler-class screw corvette
Reclassified as a sloop in 1862
Displacement: 1,523 tons[1]
Length: 196 ft (60 m)
Beam: 34 ft (10 m)[1]
Draught: 13.5 ft (4.1 m)[1]
Installed power: Indicated 613 hp (457 kW)
Propulsion: Two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion geared steam engine driving a single screw[1]
Sail plan: Ship-rigged
Speed: 10.5 kn (19.4 km/h) under power
  • One 68-pdr (87cwt) pivot gun (added 1856)
  • Fourteen 32-pdr (42cwt) carriage guns

HMS Miranda was a 14-gun (15-gun from 1856) wooden screw sloop of the Royal Navy, launched in 1851 and sold for breaking in 1869. Two of her crew were awarded the Victoria Cross for their bravery during the Crimean War.


Ordered on 25 April 1847 as HMS Grinder, she was re-ordered on 3 November 1847 under the new name of Miranda to a design by the Admiralty under the direction of Lord John Hay. This Admiralty design was a modification of the Royal Navy's first screw sloop, Rattler. Originally classified as a sloop, she was reclassified as a corvette in 1862.


She was designed with a two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion geared steam engine developing an indicated 613 horsepower (457 kW) and driving a single screw. This was sufficient to achieve 10.75 knots (19.91 km/h) under engines alone. Her machinery was provided by Robert Napier and Sons at a cost of £14,235.

Sail Plan

The pictorial record shows Miranda with a full ship rig in 1862, which makes it likely that she carried this rig for her entire life.


Originally built with fourteen 32-pounder (42cwt) carriage guns in a broadside arrangement, a further 68-pdr (87cwt) pivot gun was added in 1856.


Miranda was laid down at Sheerness Royal Dockyard in September 1848 and launched on 18 March 1851. She commissioned at Sheerness on 25 February 1854.


During the Russian War Miranda served in the Baltic and White Sea in 1854 and in the Sea of Azov in 1855 . From 1860 until 1865 she served on the Australia Station, taking part in the New Zealand land wars.

The Russian War (1854 - 1856)

In the autumn 1854, a squadron of three British warships led by HMS Miranda left the Baltic for the White Sea, where they shelled and destroyed Kola. An attempt to storm Arkhangelsk proved abortive, as was the siege of Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka. While the Anglo-French naval squadron successfully shelled the town, a landing of 800 sailors and marines was repulsed.

On 3 June 1855 at Siege of Taganrog on Sea of Azov, Boatswain Henry Cooper and Lieutenant Cecil William Buckley of HMS Miranda landed destroying equipment and setting fire to government buildings. This despite the town being under bombardment and garrisoned by 3,000 Russian troops. For this action the pair were awarded the Victoria Cross.

She decommissioned on 21 April 1857 at Sheerness.[3]

Australia and New Zealand

Miranda recommissioned at Sheerness on 4 October 1860 for the Australia Station. During the early 1860s she took part in the New Zealand Wars, and returned to Sheernees to decommission on 3 June 1865.[3]


Miranda was sold for breaking to C Lewis on 2 December 1869.[3]

Commanding Officers

From To Captain
25 February 1854 23 June 1855 Captain Edmund Moubray Lyons (died in command)[3]
24 June 1855 21 April 1857 Captain Robert Hall[3]
21 April 1857 4 October 1860 Out of Commission (Sheerness)
4 October 1860 29 August 1861 Commander Henry Carr Glyn[3]
29 August 1861 3 June 1865 Captain Robert Jenkins[3]