News: The modern name of Kent is derived from the Brythonic word kantos meaning "rim" or "border", or possibly from a homonymous word kanto "horn, hook"
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Author Topic: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead  (Read 12837 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bilgerat

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
  • Appreciation 265
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2018, 11:13:11 »
Restored the pictures in my post......
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline grandarog

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
  • Appreciation 104
  • RAF Halton 1957-1960
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2018, 20:48:22 »
Heres an old pic of the figurehead when it stood outside Sheerness dockyard.

Nova

  • Guest
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2013, 15:04:59 »
Many thanks for the explanation, Bilgerat.  So I can keep my romantic notion of Great-Grandad sailing off to China.  They reached Calcutta too late for the Indian Mutiny, but little did they guess what was ahead of them.

Offline Bilgerat

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
  • Appreciation 265
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2013, 14:46:14 »
The ex-USS Chesapeake wasn't replaced by the later one, the Royal Navy just had a ship built with the same name.

As for the funnel, that would have retracted down into the engine room. Ships of the period only used the steam engine when in action or operating in waters with restricted room to manoeuvre. The funnel retracted because otherwise it would just be in the way.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Nova

  • Guest
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2013, 14:18:41 »
When I first found my Great Grandfather in the 1861 census, on board HMS Chesapeake, I did wonder how a British ship came to have such an American name.  It has been fascinating unearthing the story and new information still seems to be out there.  There is a Journal 'The Young Idea', compiled by those on board Chesapeake from 1858-1861 (or thereabouts), so maybe I'll discover more by the time I have read its 117 pages! 

John38

  • Guest
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2013, 12:32:47 »
The USN Chesapeake became HMS Chesapeake after she was captured by HMS Shannon - here is a famous picture of her being taken into the British base in Nova Scotia. When they scrapped (see my posting below of her 'timbers' as part of a Hampshire Mill) they replaced her with the vessel you are interested in, Nova. I haven't seen any images of her, but if any exist then Bilgerat will produce them for you

Nova

  • Guest
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2013, 10:33:09 »
From the figurehead, now to the ship herself - and here I confirm my complete ignorance of ships.

The lovely picture of HMS Forte, is apparently an identical ship to HMS Chesapeake.  The information on the web-site of Maritimawoodcarving (who produced the most recent replica of the figurehead) says that Chesapeake was 'a 4th rate steam frigate'.  Shouldn't a 'steam frigate' have a funnel?  (I said I know nothing about ships!)  Wikipedia says she was 'screw-propelled'.  I did so want her to remain purely a sailing ship - so much more romantic for the family history.  Can somebody please educate me on this matter?  Perhaps she began life reliant completely on sail, as the HMS Forte picture appears to suggest, and was later converted to steam? 

Minsterboy

  • Guest
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2013, 05:48:50 »
Whilst still employed at Sheerness Docks prior to 2006, I seem to recall that several figureheads, including some that had been stored at the old Olau Line terminal in poor condition, were sent away somewhere to be repaired. What happened to them I don't know and the woman who was responsible for the operation has been left the port several years now.

Offline Bilgerat

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
  • Appreciation 265
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2013, 22:24:13 »
Just goes to show what can be uncovered if you keep digging. Well done Nova, I hope you can find the rest of the information you're looking for.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Nova

  • Guest
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2013, 17:58:14 »
I've just had an e-mail from Andy Peters, who has sculpted the copy of the Chesapeake Figurehead.  I don't think he would object to me quoting part of his message, which might interest others:

" Strictly speaking the figurehead is still a restoration, even though only a small percentage of the original remains.
If you would like to see it, it is currently forming part of an exhibition of my sculpture at a gallery just south of Oxford. Details of the exhibition are on my website under the heading of exhibitions http://www.maritimawoodcarving.co.uk/index.php?main_page=page&id=16  The gallery is on the estate of Waterperry Gardens there is a link on my exhibitions page. You need to look under the heading shopping which is a bit confusing,  and then scroll down to gallery to find it.  Directions are also on their site.  My workshop is also on the same estate, where I have some parts of the original figure "

The exhibition is open until 17th November, so better make a visit soon!

Nova

  • Guest
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2013, 12:14:07 »
Thanks, Bilgerat.  I had previously found your link to the restorers and the lovely photos there.  I'll get in touch with them and make further enquiries.  Will let you know if I discover its whereabouts.

John38

  • Guest
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2013, 12:04:19 »
Sorry, Bilgerat .....I forgot the roll of the drums before your entry  :)

Brilliant!

Offline Bilgerat

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
  • Appreciation 265
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2013, 11:19:55 »
If you follow the link in my post it will take you to the website of the company which made the reproduction. There are pictures on that site of the new reproduction in all it's glory. Reading between the lines, I would guess that the new one is still in their workshop because I'm not aware of it being displayed anywhere.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Nova

  • Guest
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2013, 11:10:42 »
Very many thanks.  I guess there's unlikely to be a picture of HMS Chesapeake herself, but this one is just what I was looking for.  It gives me an idea of the sort of vessel my Great Grandfather served on.  I'd found a photo of the monument, and through these pages had also found pictures of the figurehead.  Is it at Sheerness nowadays, or is this a picture taken before restoration?  It looks too good to be the sad, disintegrating model from which the new figurehead was copied.

Offline Bilgerat

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
  • Appreciation 265
Re: HMS Chesapeake Figurehead
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2013, 09:57:19 »
......who appears as if by magic :)

HMS Chesapeake was built at the Chatham Royal Dockyard and was launched on 27th September 1855. A 51 gun, wooden hulled Forte Class screw frigate, the ship saw action in the Indian Mutiny and the Opium Wars.

Here is a picture of her figurehead in place at Sheerness:



Here's a picture of the memorial at Southsea, to the men lost during the Indian Mutiny:



Here's a painting of HMS Forte by William Frederick Mitchell. HMS Chesapeake would have been identical:



As far as the current location of the reproduction of the figurehead, I don't know. Here is the page on Maritima Woodcarving's website about the figurehead:

http://www.maritimawoodcarving.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65&products_id=223

Among those who served aboard the ship during the Opium Wars was Acting-Lieutenant John 'Jackie' Fisher, later Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher, the man responsible for the introduction of the 'Dreadnought' type Battleship and the Battlecruiser and First Sea Lord from 1904 to 1910 and 1914 to 1915. He was the man who in 1908, predicted that war with Germany would break out in 1914.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

 

BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines