HMS Miranda (1851)

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.

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")
RN EnsignUnited Kingdom
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]
Completed: 9 March 1854
Commissioned: 25 February 1854[3]
Fate: Sold for breaking 2 December 1869[1]
General characteristics
Class and type:
Displacement: 1,523 tons[1]
  • 196 ft 0.5 in (59.754 m) (gundeck)
  • 169 ft (52 m) (keel)
Beam: 34 ft (10 m)[1]
Draught: 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)[1]
Depth of hold: 20 ft 9 in (6.32 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


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 by 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, and fitted in Glasgow during 1852.[1][4]

Sail planEdit

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 Wars.

The Russian War (1854–1856)Edit

HMS Miranda bombards Kola

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

On 3 June 1855 at Siege of Taganrog on Sea of Azov, Boatswain Henry Cooper and Lieutenant Cecil William Buckley of 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. Captain Edmund Moubray Lyons of Miranda reported on 29 May 1855 that in the first four days of the squadron entering the Sea of Azov, the enemy had lost four steamers of war, 246 merchant vessels, together with corn and flour magazines to the value of at least £150,000.[5]

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

Attack on the small town of Novitska (near Kola) by the corvette HMS Brisk and Miranda, August 1854.

Australia and New ZealandEdit

Miranda recommissioned at Sheerness on 4 October 1860 for the Australia Station. During the early 1860s she took part in the New Zealand Wars; in 1863 being used to land troops at Pukorokoro, Waikato (later renamed Miranda in her honour). She returned to Sheerness to decommission on 3 June 1865.[3]


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

Commanding officersEdit

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]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Winfield, R.; Lyon, D. (2004). The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-032-6.
  2. ^ "HMS Miranda at Naval Database website". Retrieved 17 November 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "HMS Miranda at William Looney website". Retrieved 17 November 2008.
  4. ^ "Portsmouth Herald". Hampshire Advertiser & Salisbury Guardian (1501). Southampton. 29 May 1852. p. 8.
  5. ^ London Gazette Issue 21728 page 2299 dated 13 June 1855