HMS Bacchante, 1859-1869
HMS Bacchante was a Liffey class, wood construction frigate carrying fifty-one guns and 560 crew.1 Like many ships built during introduction of steam power, Bacchante was equipped with boilers and a screw, but regularly used sail as a source of propulsion. Launched at Portsmouth in 1859, decommissioned in 1864, and scrapped in 1869, the ship spent its short service life captained by Donald McLeod Mackenzie in the Royal Navy's Pacific squadron.2 Bacchante was the flagship of the squadron's commander-in-chief, Sir Thomas Maitland, from 1860 to 1862.3 The ship was frequently present at Esquimalt which had, according to an 1861 editorial in Victoria's Daily British Colonist newspaper, become the the actual naval headquarters in the Pacific, despite not being formally declared so by the Admiralty.4 When Bacchante's heavy '68-pounder' pivot gun was upgraded in 1862, its surplus weaponry was transferred to Esquimalt's defensive fortifications, reducing the number of guns carried to thirty-nine.5
Mentions of this vessel in the documents