C1877

Inside a Turret of the Cerberus: Load!"

Colonial engraving of the  HMS Cerberus with showing one of the enormous cannons on the ship. From the original edition of the Australasian Sketcher Collections: State LIbrary Victoria:  Accession no: A/S09/06/77/40 After the Crimea war the colonists decided in 1867 to purchase … Read Full Description

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S/N: AS-SHIPS-770603040–321680
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Details

Full Title:

Inside a Turret of the Cerberus: Load!”

Date:

C1877

Artist:

Unknown

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Engraving.

Image Size: 

332mm 
x 225mm
AUTHENTICITY
Inside a Turret of the Cerberus: Load!" - Antique Print from 1877

Genuine antique
dated:

1877

Description:

Colonial engraving of the  HMS Cerberus with showing one of the enormous cannons on the ship.

From the original edition of the Australasian Sketcher

Collections:
State LIbrary Victoria:  Accession no: A/S09/06/77/40

After the Crimea war the colonists decided in 1867 to purchase a powerful modern turret-ship which would remain as a guard ship in the Bay. It was to cost £125,000, of which Britain would provide £100,000. 

The new floating fortress was to be called the Cerberus after the three headed dog Cerberus which guarded the mouth of the mythological Hades of Hell of the Greeks. She was begun in 1869 at Jarrow on the Tyne, and Captain W.H. Norman, R.N., a protege of Governor Hotham, was sent to England to bring the vessel to Port Phillip. Then began a series of disasters that dogged the life of this unique ship. Firstly Captain Norman died before the vessel was ready, and another officer, Lieut. Panter, had to be rushed from Victoria to replace him. Then on the journey from Jarrow to Plymouth, the Cerberus was found to have a 6 degrees list, and it was soon apparent also that the ship did not have sufficient bunker accommodation for the coal which was necessary for the voyage to Australia. Consequently, three masts and sails were fitted. Even with the help of these, the Cerberus on the first stage of her journey, arrived in Gibraltar with less than six tons of coal to spare. Though a thirty degree roll was considered the limit of safety, she frequently developed forty degrees, and many on board believed the cumbersome ship would never reach her destination. Her merchant crew were trouble makers. Some deserted in Gibraltar, and some were imprisoned in Malta for insubordination. Altogether the six months journey from Jarrow to Melbourne was not a happy one. She was described as a 3,480 on ship with a length of 225 feet, and her twin screws gave her a speed of less than 10 knots. Eight-inch steel plating backed by teak nearly a foot in thickness protected the 3 feet breastwork. Two heavily armoured turrets, rotated by steam or by hand, protected the fighting crew who manned the two 18 ton guns in each turret. These 10 inch guns were muzzle loaders, and carried shot or shell for a distance of up to four miles. Protected by this steel plate of turret or hull, not a man was exposed during action. By flooding the watertight compartments between the outer and inner shells of the ship, the vessel could be submerged to within two feet of the water line, and only the two turrets were then visible.

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