An Account of the Fitting out of H.M.S. "Bellerophon." — This affords a brilliant example of what can be done in the Navy, when a ship's company are commanded by officers possessing the requisite union of due seamanlike and administrative qualities, and I give it as a high standard by which all such may be measured, and as an appropriate pendant to the first section of our subject.

On March 7th, 1847, orders were unexpectedly received for the 90-gun ships "Rodney", Captain Edward Collier, C.B., and "Albion", Captain Nicholas Lockyer, C.B., to fit out, respectively, the "Bellerophon" 78, and the "Calcutta" 84, then lying up in ordinary, the former in Portsmouth, and the latter in Plymouth harbour.

These ships, in common with all the "advanced" ships in ordinary, had their lower masts, gun-carriages, chain cables, (in 12-fathom lengths), stowed in the tiers, and the lower tier of water-tanks on board; which state the "Bellerophon" was in when the "Rodney's" commenced work Monday morning, March 9th. On the same evening the topmasts were fidded, and mizen top-gallant-mast pointed. By Tuesday evening the top-gallant-masts were fidded, running gear rove, and sails bent. At half-past ten on Wednesday morning she hauled off from the jetty, and that evening saw her at Spithead with three months' provisions and stores on board, awaiting orders to proceed to sea.

The ship's company went ashore every evening, and had their full time for meals every day; and thus a line-of-battle ship was fitted out for a three months' cruise, in every way ready to engage an enemy, in thirty working hours.

H.R.H. Prince Albert having visited the ship, and expressed his admiration of the skill and energy exhibited in the accomplishment of so unexampled a result, she was dismantled and returned again into ordinary.

Alfred Henry Alston: Seamanship, and its associated duties in the Royal Navy. By Lieut A.H. Alston, R.N. Together with a treatise on Nautical Surveying, for the use in of the officers on general service. With two hundred illustration.
Routledge, Warne, & Routledge, London, 1860. pp 159-160.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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