HMS Lord Warden

October 22, 2009


I am interested to know the activities of the above-named Broadside Ironclad Cruiser from 22 Dec. 1882 to 1 Oct. 1884.

Any information you can provide would be much appreciated.

My Lady-friend's Grandfather sailed onboard as a Royal Marine during this time and is interested to know a little of the history.

Thanking you in advance,
Ronald E. Elliott CD. RCN (Ret'd)


Lord Warden.
HMS Lord Warden was built at Chatham Dockyard.. and laid down on the 24th December 1863, launched on the 27th March 1865 and completed on the 30th august 1867. Lord Clyde and Lord Warden were the last Broadside ships to be built for the Royal Navy. Commission at Chatham in July 1866 she joined the Channel fleet in 1867, but after only a few months she was transferred to the Mediterranean Squadron based at Malta.  relieving HMS Caledonia as Flagship.  Took part in the demonstration of strength against the Spanish Communists at Cartagena who were using Naval ships for their Pirate purposes.  In 1875 went into reserve for three years until the Russian situation  saw HMS Lord Warden become part of the Particular Service Squadron.  In 1884 she was fitted with Torpedoes and Net Defence equipment. But finally paid off in 1885. due to her bad condition due to Rot.  Her crew were all transferred to HMS Devastation.  She was finally sold four years later in 1889.

NOTES: These Wooden Broadside ironclads were considered to be the worst capital ships in the Royal Navy for rolling at Sea.

Displacement: 7750 (Lord Clyde)  7842 Tons  (Lord Warden).  Crew 605.  Speed 13.4 knots. 

HMS Lord Warden was the second and final ship to be completed of the Lord Clyde class.

She was heavier than her sister, HMS Lord Clyde by about 360 tons; partly because she carried heavier machinery and was fitted with a poop, and partly because the wood used for the construction of Lord Clyde was, as it transpired, incompletely seasoned. The two ships differed in appearance in that Lord Warden had a clipper bow incorporating a submerged ram, while Lord Clyde had a standard ram bow.

Apart from the fact that Lord Clyde was built using incompletely seasoned wood, which became infected with fungus and caused her early sale out of the service, the major difference between the two sister-ships was in their engines. Lord Warden had a three-cylinder engine, in which the mechanical strains and reactions were balanced, giving some eighteen years of essentially trouble-free service; Lord Clyde had a two-cylinder engine, the working of which led to oscillation beyond the ability of the hull to absorb, leading in turn to the wearing-out of the machinery.

Lord Warden was regarded as being one of the worst rollers in the battle-fleet, second only to her sister, Lord Clyde.

Lord Warden was the heaviest wooden ship ever built by any nationality, largely of course due to the weight of her armour and her engines.
Service history

She was commissioned at Chatham, and after a few months service with the Channel Fleet was posted to the Mediterranean, relieving HMS Caledonia as flagship on the station in 1869. She served in this position until 1875, when she paid off for refit. She was in the First Reserve in the Forth until 1878, when she joined the Particular Service Squadron during the Russian war scare. She finally paid off in 1885, her crew being transferred en masse to HMS Devastation. Although her upper works were in an appallingly rotten condition, her sale was delayed for a further four years.

1871 census HMS Lord Warden, of Mediterranean station, at Naples '3rd rate, wood armour plated', Capt Thomas Braduth, : 55 officers, 432 seamen, 76 boys & 102 marines (+18 not on board): (Capt Thomas Braduth's biog http://www.pdavis.nl/ShowBiog.php?id=1149)


Name:  HMS Lord Warden
Builder:  Chatham Dockyard
Laid down:  24 December 1863
Launched:  27 March 1865
Completed:  30 August 1867
Fate:  Broken up, 1889
General characteristics
Class and type:  Lord Clyde-class battleship
Displacement:  7,842 long tons (7,968 t)
Length:  280 ft (85 m)
Beam:  59 ft (18 m)
Draught:  24 ft (7.3 m) light
28 ft (8.5 m) deep load
Propulsion:  Maudslay return connecting-rod
I.H.P. = 6,700
Speed:  13.4 knots (15.4 mph; 24.8 km/h) under power
10 knots (12 mph; 19 km/h) under sail
Complement:  605

As designed :
• 16 × 8 in (200 mm) muzzle-loading rifles
• 4 × 7 in (180 mm) breech-loading rifles
As completed :
• 2 × 9 in (230 mm) muzzle-loading rifles
• 14 × 8 in (200 mm) muzzle-loading rifles
• 2 × 7 in (180 mm) muzzle-loading rifles
• 2 × 20 pounder breech-loading gun
• Saluting cannon
Battery and belt: 5.5 in (140 mm) amidships, 4.5 in (110 mm) fore and aft
Backing: 31.5 in (800 mm) of oak
Conning tower: 4.5 in (110 mm)

Thats about it Ronald.


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