1852 - August
After repairs and a refit Trincomalee was redeployed to the RN's Pacific
Squadron based on Vancouver. Under the command of Captain Wallace Houstoun,
she patrolled the west coast of North America and the Pacific Ocean.
A disciplinarian well over six feet tall, Houstoun was much respected
by his crew, and dressed his men in stylish red shirts and caps. At this
time no formal uniforms were available for ratings, so more affluent
captains often clothed their crew from their own pocket.
to 1856 - The Crimean War
To celebrate the crowning of Tsar Nicholas I, Trincomalee visited Alaska,
at that time a part of Russia. Not long afterwards relations between
the giant Imperial state and Britain broke down, and war was declared
on 28th March 1854. While the most memorable actions were fought in the
Crimea (such as Balaklava and the Charge of the Light Brigade), Trincomalee
joined an Anglo-French Squadron of 11 ships assigned to destroy Russian
frigates in the north Pacific. As well as ships from the navy of France,
which had declared war on Russia too, amongst the squadron was Trincomalee's
sister ship HMS Amphitrite. Other operations included protecting trade
routes off the Californian coast, supporting land operations at Kamchatka,
prisoner exchanges, and involvement in the rescue of the Siberian Governor's
wife. Despite extensive searching, the combined Squadron never found
Russian ships to bring to action.
After the end of the war Trincomalee was moved to Esquimalt (Vancouver
Island) and returned to standard duties, making courtesy visits to
Pacific colonies, and undertaking hydrographic surveys. In fact,
to this day the approaches to Vancouver feature a Trincomali Channel
and Houstoun Passage. She was also anchored off the Sandwich Islands
for a time, to deter American interest in Pitcairn, Tahiti and Hawaii.
She was also used in response to attacks from a rogue band of native
Americans Indians led by one Tathlasut. Towed through the tricky
narrows by a steamboat, Trincomalee took station alongside Tathlasut's
coastal village. Intimidated by her broadside guns and the 450 men
on board, extra troops being embarked for the occasion, the tribe
quickly handed over Tathlasut for trial and, inevitably, execution.
Trincomalee receives orders to return to England, via Cape Horn and the
- 5th September
Trincomalee docks at Chatham. One week later she is attached to a rigging
hulk and demasted - it would be nearly 150 years before they would be