HMS Devastation, 1841-1866
The Devastation, launched in 1841, was a steam-driven paddle-wheel sloop that measured 55 m long and 11 m wide.1 Under the command of John W. Pike, it was involved in several missions on the coast of Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia, which, among other duties, included sea-traffic checks near Nanaimo and the protection of British interests in Sitka Sound and the Stikine River region .2
In 1863, the Devastation, along with the Grappler and Forward, searched for the murderers of Frederick Marks and his daughter, Caroline Harvey, around Kuper and Saturna Islands.3
In 1864, the Devastation investigated the suspicious death of colonial agent Banfield at Barkley Sound, who was reported as drowned in October of 1862.4 According to Gough, authorities learned that Banfield had been stabbed to death by an Ohiet chief named Klatsmick, who was taken to stand trial in Victoria, but the case was dismissed for lack of solid evidence.5
The Devastation was broken up in 1866.6
  • 1. HMS Devastation, Britian's Fighting Navy Through the Ages.
  • 2. Barry M. Gough, Gunboat Frontier: British Maritime Authority and Northwest Coast Indians, 1846-1890, (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1984), 92.
  • 3. Ibid., 141-142.
  • 4. Ibid., 114.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. HMS Devastation, Britian's Fighting Navy Through the Ages.
Mentions of this vessel in the documents