RMS Trent, 1841-1865
The RMS Trent was part of the first Royal Mail fleet, and was launched on October 2, 1841; it weighed 1856 tons.1
It was hardly an efficient craft: it was once reported to have made only 119 miles on 33 tons of coal in one day.2
The Trent was involved in the “Trent Affair”, which began on November 8, 1861, when the USS San Jacinto removed two Confederate agents from the Trent on the open sea, a day's sail from Havana, Cuba.3
Douglas mentions the dramatic incident in this confidential letter. He writes that the Trent was boarded some time last month, on the high seas by an armed party from the United States Corvette Jacinto under the Command of Commodore Wilkes. Douglas recognizes the political gravity of the boarding, and warns that complications may grow out of so rash and insolent an act, Endangering our friendly relations with the United States, who were roughly seven months into their Civil War.
  • 1. T. A. Bushell, Royal Mail, 1839-1939 (London: Trade and Travel Publications Ltd., 1939), 253.
  • 2. Howard Robinson, Carrying British Mails Overseas (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1964), 228.
  • 3. Ibid., 228-30.
Mentions of this vessel in the documents