Imperieuse HMS

The full index of our ship stamp archive
Post Reply
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:12 pm

Imperieuse HMS

Post by shipstamps » Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:58 pm

H.M.S. Imperious (according to the stamp), but there has never been a ship of this name in the Royal Navy, it should be Imperieuse, the first of the name being a captured French ship, taken off Spezia on October 10, 1793. The Imperieuse on the stamp was a visitor to the island in June 1888. On this occasion, Capt. H. W. May, R.N. landed at Flying Fish Cove and formally declared Christmas Island to be part of the British Empire. Capt. May's ship was an armoured cruiser, laid down at Portsmouth Dockyard on December 18 1883 and completed in 1886. Steel hulled and copper sheathed, she had a displacement of 8,400 tons. Length was 316 ft., beam 62 ft., and draft 27 ft. 4 in. She was engined by Maudslay. Originally the Imperieuse was armed with four 24-ton; ten 6-inch; four 6-pdr. quick firing; 10 machine guns and two light guns. Later this was changed to four 9.2 in., ten 6-in., and eight 6-pdr. guns. She was renamed Sapphire II in February 1905, when she became a depot ship, but was renamed Imperieuse in June 1905. She was sold to Thos. W. Ward Ltd., of Sheffield on September 24, 1913, for breaking up at Morecambe.
Christmas Is SG45 253

Posts: 7130
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am

Re: Imperieuse HMS

Post by aukepalmhof » Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:06 am


Built like an armored cruiser by the Portsmouth Dockyard for the Royal Navy.
1881 Ordered.
10 August 1881 keel laid down.
18 December 1883 undocked under the name HMS IMPERIEUSE one sister the HMS WARSPITE.
Displacement 8.500 tons loaded. Dim. 96 x 19 x 8.3m. (draught)
Powered by 3-cyl inverted compound expansion steam engines, manufactured by Maudslay, Sons & Field, 8.000 ihp., twin screws, speed 16 knots.
Bunker capacity 1130 ton coal.
Range 7.000 miles by 10 knots.
Armament 4 – 9.2 inch, 10 – 6 inch, 4 – 6pdr QF guns, 6 – 18 inch torpedo tubes.
Crew 555.
September 1886 commissioned. The building cost £530.814.

The IMPERIEUSE and WARSPITE were the first Royal Navy ironclads built of steel.
The steel hull was sheathed with copper.
She was the last armored vessel to be completed with a full rig, as brigs. After commission, the rig was quickly removed and replaced by military masts.

After commissioned mostly stationed outside England.
1889 – 1894 As flagship on the China Station.
June 1888 under command of Capt. H.W May she landed a party at Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island, and declared the Christmas Island part of the British Empire, and the island was placed under the control of the Governor of the Straits Settlements
1896 – 1899 Flagship of the Northern Pacific Station.

February 1905 hulked as a destroyer depot ship at Portland, renamed SAPPHIRE II.
June 1909 renamed again in IMPERIEUSE.
24 September 1913 sold for breaking up to Ward, Morecambe.

All the ships named HMD IMPERIEUSE to commemorate the capture of the French ship with this name off La Spezia, Italia on 11 October 1793.

The 9c stamp of the Christmas Islands gives the name incorrectly as IMPERIOUS.
The 53c issued of 1988 shows the bow of the IMPERIEUSE, not given in Stanley Gibbons, Collect Ships on Stamps.

Source: Log Book. The Sail and Steam Navy List by Lyon & Winfield.

Post Reply