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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy of Donald Bastock


Date: c 1988
Overall: 255 x 355 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Oil on composite board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John Bastock
Object Copyright: © Donald Bastock
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00016899
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    The three-masted wooden screw corvette HMS PELORUS carries a blue pennant, hoisted on 10 March 1860 when PELORUS became flagship and Captain Seymour was promoted to Commodore. PELORUS was one of the first ships to join the newly formed Australia Station in 1859. It served there protecting British interests in shipping, trade and territories until 1862.
    SignificanceThis painting represents HMS PELORUS (1859-1862) and its role as flagship of the Royal Navy's Australia Station. In 1860 PELORUS was the second flagship of the newly formed station and active in protecting shipping and trade in Australian waters.
    HistoryHMS PELORUS was a wooden screw corvette launched at Devonport on 5 February 1857. It entered naval service as part of a five-ship squadron and was sent to India after the Sepoy mutiny. PELORUS was also active in China during the conflict over the opium trade in the 1850s. In 1859 it was commissioned to join the newly formed Australia Station of the Royal Navy and on 10 March 1860 became the station's second flagship.

    Under the command of Captain Seymour HMS PELORUS visited New Zealand during April 1860 and conducted operations in the Maori Wars, including the Battle of Puketaluere. The flagship spent its remaining years of service conducting patrols and routine operations in the waters of the Australia Station. In July 1862 PELORUS sailed back to England and was scuttled in 1868.

    During the 19th century Britain was occupied with increasing its colonial territories and maintaining the empire. At the height of its power the British Royal Navy (RN) divided the world into strategic zones or stations that were manned by a squadron of warships and responsible for cruising and protecting British territories and shipping. Until the 1850s Australasia was covered by the East India Station, a vast area that included the Indian Ocean and the waters around Australia. After pressure from the colonial governments of New Zealand and Australia the RN formed the Australia Station as a separate command in 1859.

    The station was established to patrol and guard the Australasian region from attacks on British shipping, ensuring sea routes were open and safe. In 1859 the Australia Station included the territories of New Zealand, Chatham Island, New Hebrides, Loyalty Islands, Fiji and Australia. The Royal Navy did not place their elite vessels on the Australia Station but the presence of ships including HMS PELORUS helped guard the colony from foreign attacks until the creation of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1913.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: HMS PELORUS

    Assigned title: HMS PELORUS

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