HMS Avenger

HMS Avenger was a 10-gun wooden steam frigate originally rated first-class, later reduced to second-class. Built in Devonport she was laid down 27 August 1844 and launched on 5 August 1845.

The image below was published in The Illustrated London News shortly after launch day.

Launch of HMS Avenger

The caption below the original print was: 'Launch of "The Avenger," steam-frigate, at Devonport.

In addition to the dignitaries invited to every ship launch at Devonport there were typically thousands of residents, onlookers and well-wishers always present. As was tradition, those residents of the town with boats would take them onto the Hamoaze to celebrate and give the ship a good send off - as captured in the image.

HMS Avenger joined the Mediterranan Fleet in November 1847. One month later she ran aground on the Sorelli Rocks off the Island of Galitand and was wrecked with heavy loss of life - of 256 men aboard only nine survived. [1]

[1] Accessed 29 August 2012.