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Steam fleet to welcome and escort HRH Duke of Edinburgh to Hobson's bay

Date: 1867
Dimensions:
Sheet: 409 x 575 mm
Mount: 593 x 763 x 9 mm
Overall: 593 x 763 x 9 mm, 0.7 kg
Sight: 380 x 560 mm
Medium: Ink, silk
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Maps, charts and plans
Object Name: Chart
Object No: 00018995
Place Manufactured:Melbourne

User Terms

    Description
    This is a souvenir chart of orders and directions for the fleet to welcome and celebrate the arrival of the Duke of Edinburgh to Melbourne in 1867. The image shows HMS GALATEA flying the royal standard followed by HMCS VICTORIA and SS PHAROS, which are shown broadside with coloured flags. Ship outlines and dotted paths trace the movements of the two divisions (10 ships each) of the welcoming fleet. A legend sets out the sequence of action from "form line" to "close for salute" with coloured flags and their explanations.
    SignificanceThe visit of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh to the Australian colonies was a momentous occasion. This chart represents the planning and management of the events staged to celebrate his arrival.
    HistoryHMS GALATEA was a steam frigate of 3,500 tons and one of the fastest and best equipped ships in the Royal Navy. It was launched at Woolwich in 1859 and was fully-rigged in addition to its steam engines. The cruise of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (1844-1900), the second son of Queen Victoria, in GALATEA was a momentous occasion for the Australian colonies as it was the first visit of British royalty since British settlement in 1788.

    Prince Alfred entered the Royal Navy in August 1858 and travelled widely as a midshipman in the frigate EURYALUS. He was promoted lieutenant in 1863 and in 1866 became both a naval captain and Duke of Edinburgh. He commissioned his first command, HMS GALATEA, in January 1867, left for the Mediterranean in February and sailed for South America on 12 June for a state visit to the Emperor of Brazil. In late August, GALATEA left Brazil and headed for the tiny island of Tristan da Cunha in the Atlantic Ocean where the Duke was entertained by the 53 British inhabitants. On 6 September the ship headed to the Cape of Good Hope. After a few weeks in the Cape Colony, the GALATEA reached Adelaide on 31 October 1867 to commence the first royal tour of Australia.

    After three uneventful weeks in South Australia, the Duke moved on to Melbourne where a shooting incident between Orange and Catholic factions and a riot due to inept handling of a free public banquet marred the generally enthusiastic atmosphere. He then visited Tasmania and arrived in Sydney on 21 January 1868. After a month of festivities he spent a week in Brisbane and returned to Sydney.

    Despite rumours of sectarian strife, the Duke attended a picnic at Clontarf on 12 March where an Irishman, Henry James O'Farrell, succeeded in wounding him seriously. In a frenzy of outraged patriotism the New South Wales government sought unsuccessfully to uncover a conspiracy and, overruling the Duke's eminently sensible proposal to refer the sentence on O'Farrell to the Queen, refused to recommend clemency. O'Farrell was hanged on 21 April and the Duke, who had recovered completely by 26 March, left Sydney for England on 6 April via Cape Horn. The events were fully covered in the newspapers of the day, the Illustrated Sydney News providing graphic illustrations. An attempt to stir up anti-Irish feeling on the back of the event was short-lived. A Norfolk Island pine, planted to mark the place where the Duke was shot, still exists in Holmes Avenue.

    The Duke visited Australia again informally, arriving in Fremantle on 28 January 1869 and leaving Sydney on 3 April. In both Sydney and Melbourne he dedicated hospitals (Royal Prince Alfred and The Alfred respectively) commemorating his escape from death. In 1870 the Duke made a final visit to dock the GALATEA. He arrived at Sydney on 15 September, visited Melbourne for the Cup from 22 October to 19 November, and sailed early in 1871 without any ceremonies.

    HMS GALATEA was scrapped in Britain in 1882.

    HMCS VICTORIA was ordered in London by the Victorian Government in July 1854 and launched on 30 June 1855. It set sail from Plymouth in March 1856, arriving at Port Phillip Bay on 31 May. VICTORIA initially served as an Armed Police Vessel from 1856-1859 before passing to the direct control of the chief secretary of the colony. In 1860 VICTORIA was loaned to the New Zealand Governor at the outbreak of the second Anglo-Maori war. It returned to service in Victoria in March 1861. VICTORIA was retired from service in 1864, but returned to survey duties from 1865-1869 and 1873-1877. It was briefly refitted as a warship in 1878 but was decommissioned after six months and eventually retired from government service in 1882. It was broken up at Williamstown in 1895.
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