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Ship Name Histories - Database of histories of ship names beginning with letter B.


Name Origin: The name of a powerful family in Franconia, a descendant of which in 974 became Margrave of Austria, the eastern march or border principally iof the German empire.  His family governed in Austria until 1246.


Name Origin: Among the ancient Greeks and Romans the designation of the female’s votaries of Bacchus, the god of the generative powers of nature and of the vine.  The ship name commemorates the capture of the French Bacchante, 18, by the Emdymion, 44, Captain Hon. Ch. Paget, on June 25th 1803.

The fourth ”Bucchante” was a 16-gun screw corvette, launched at Portsmouth in 1876.  She was of 4130 tons, 5250 horsepower, and 15 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 280ft, 45ft, and 23ft.   In 1879 and 1880 the “Bucchante,” made a voyage around the world, taking with her as midshipman the two sons of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, who was later His Majesty King Edward the Seventh.  H.R.H Prince George of Wales, now his most gracious Majesty King George the Fifth, was borne on the books of this ship from July 25th, 1879, to August 31st, 1882, with the exception of the period between July 9th, 1881, and August 1st, 1881, when he was lent to the “Inconstant.”  An admirable account of the voyage will be found in The Cruise of H.M.S. “Bacchante,” 1879-82.  Compiled from the Private Journals, Letters, and notebooks of Prince Albert Victor and Prince George of Wales with additions to John N. Dalton.  In 1885 the “Bacchante,” flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Frederick Richards, took part in the third Burmese War.  The men from the ship formed part of the naval brigade, which proceeded to the front on November 20th, under Commodore Charles James Barlow.  The “Bacchante” having had to come to Burmah from Zanzibar, her men arrived very late.  In 1897 the “Bacchante” was sold, and in 1898 she was broken up.  A model of a portion of the hull was made from her timbers, and presented to H.R.H. the Duke of York, now his Majesty King George V., as a souvenir of the time when he served in the “Bacchante.”

Name Origin: Grand Duchy of Baden, one of the Federal States of the empire.  Carlsruhe is its capital.


Name Origin: In Norse mythology the god of light.  He was the gentlest and most beautiful of Odin and Frigg’s sons.  Having dreamt that his life was in danger, Frigg bound all living things except the mistletoe, which she forgot, by a solemn oath not to harm her son.  The wicked god Loki having discovered the omission, made an arrow of a mistletoe bough, and bade the blind god Holder shoot with it.  Holder shot; the arrow struck his brother Balder and killed him.

Name Origin: In Norse mythology the god of light.  He was the gentlest and most beautiful of Odin and Freya’s sons.  Having freamt that his life was in danger, Freya bound all living things except the mistletoe, which she forgot, by a solemn oath not to harm her son.  The wicked god Loki, having discovered this omission, made an arrow of a mistletoe bough, and bade the blind god Holder shoot with it.  Holder shot; the arrow struck his brother Balder and killed him.


Name Origin: Baly, an island in the Straits of Sunds, since 1849 tributary to the Netherlands.


Name Origin: Ballista or catapult, an engine of war used in ancient times, chiefly against besieged cities, for throwing stones and other missiles.


Name Origin: Lieutenant in the Navy, who fell at the capture of Hanoi in Tong King in 1874.


Name Origin: One of a nomadic tribe, which are the principal inhabitants of Baloochistan (or Beluchistan), a country situated between British India, Afghanistan, and Persia, and bordering on the Indian Ocean.  The greater part forms a British feudatory state since 1877.


Name Origin: An ancient name for one of the provinces.


Name Origin: A supernatural being in Irish and Scotch folklore, believed to warn families of the speedy death of one of the members by wailing under the windows of the house.

The second “Banshee” was a twin-screw torpedo-boat destroyer, launched at Laird’s Yard in 1894.  She was of 290 tons, 4400 horsepower, and 27 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 210ft, 19ft, and 7ft.   In 1912 the “Banshee” was sold for £1780.


Name Origin: Don Antonio Barcelo, born 1717, died 1797, a native of the Balearic Islands.  Nearly the whole of his long life, first in the Merchant Service, then in that of the King, was spent in making war upon the Moorish pirates who infested the western Mediterranean.  In 1783 he commanded an expedition against Algiers, which town was bombarded for three days, and in the following year he fought and destroyed the Dey’s fleet.


Name Origin: Commemorates the decisive victory gained by an Anglo-Dutch fleet over the French off Cape Barfleur in May 1692, more usually, but erroneously spoken of as the battle of La Hogue.  The action began on May 19th, and ended on the 24th with the destruction of the enemy’s ships in the Bay of La Hogue.  The British force under Admiral Russell, with Admirals Sir Ralph Delaval, Sir Cloudesley Shovel, Sir John Ashby, Hon. George Rooke, and Hon. Richard Carter, consisted of 63 ships of the line and 23 frigates.  The Dutch, under Admiral Allemonde with two Vice-Admirals, numbered 36 ships of the line and 14 frigates.  The total line of battle was thus 99 ships with 40,675 men and 6994 guns, besides 37 frigates and numerous fire ships.  Owing to fog and calms only a portion of this great force was actively engaged.  The French under Tourville had only 45 line of battle ships, and the defeat was overwhelming, 15 ships being subsequently destroyed on shore.  After the humiliation of Beachy Head two years before, the news that the French fleet was practically annihilated and the threatened invasion by a French force to restore James II rendered impossible, created immense enthusiasm in England.  No less than 39 different medals were struck to commemorate the event.  Owing to political reasons, five years were allowed to pass before Admiral Russell was rewarded for his services with the Earldom of Orford.

The third “Barfleur” was a 14-gun twin-screw battleship, launched at Chatham in 1892.  She was of 10,500 tons, 13,163 horsepower, and 18.5 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 360ft, 70ft, and 25ft.  In 1897 the “Barfleur,” commanded by Captain Reginald Neville Custance, was employed in the pacification of the Island of Crete, which led to the appointment of Prince Charles of Greece as High Commissioner, under the suzerainty of the Sultan of Turkey.  Captain Custance received the C.M.G. as a reward for his services.  In 1900 the “Barfleur” commanded by Captain George Warrender, and flying the flag of rear Admiral James Andrew Bruce, took part in the third china War or boxer Rebellion.  On June 9th a detachment from the “Barfleur” commanded by commander David Beatty, proceeded in a Naval Brigade nearly 2000 strong, and of mixed nationalities, under Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Seymour, to the relief of Peking.  This expedition went through some very severe fighting, and before withdrawing suffered a loss of 2 officers and 63 men killed, and 20 officers and 210 men wounded.  Commander Beatty showed conspicuous gallantry, and was twice wounded on this and subsequent occasions.  A detachment from the “Barfleur” on June 17th formed part of the naval brigade of mixed nationalities, consisting of 35 officers and 869 men under Commander Christopher Cradock of the “Alacrity,” which attacked and captured the Taku Forts.  The British lost 1 killed and 13 wounded, the slain man being an ordinary seaman of the “Barfleur.”  Commander Cradock mentioned Midshipmen Lionel Shore and Charles Dix as having distinguished themselves in this attack.  A detachment from the “Barfleur” assisted in the relief, defence, and capture of Tientsin, and lost 2 officers and 7 men killed, and 8 officers and 48 men wounded.  During these operations Midshipman Basil John Guy of the “Barfleur” coolly attended a wounded man under a very hot fire, and then helped to carry him into shelter, for which act he was subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross.  In August the “Barfleur” contributed a number of officers and men to the British Naval Brigade which advanced to the final and satisfactory relief of Peking with 20,100 troops under Lieutenant-General sir Alfred Gaselee.  In 1910 this battleship was sold at Portsmouth for £26,550.


Name Origin: Admiral Charles Middleton, Lord Barham; born 1726, died 1813.  He entered the Navy in 1740, became Lieutenant in 1745, and Captain (never Commander) in 1758.  When Captain of the Emerald in 1761, he received a sword of honour from the Assembly of Barbados for his services against privateers.  After many years of half pay, he was appointed Comptroller of the Navy in 1778, and held this post for twelve years, during which period he introduced a system of rapid mobilisation.  Created a Baronet in 1781, he was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1787, Vice-Admiral in 1793, and Admiral in 1795.  On May 1st 1805, he was created Baron Barham, and appointed to succeed Lord Melville as First Lord of the Admiralty, but only held office for nine months.  He showed great promptitude when Captain Battesworth arrived in England with the Curieux on July 7th 1805, sent on by Nelson with the important news that Villeneuve’s squadron was on its way back from the West Indies.  Lord Barham instantly sent orders to Admiral Cornwallis to raise the blockade of Rochefort and reinforce Sir. R. Calder, who was ordered to intercept Villeneuve a hundred miles west of Finisterre, and prevent the latter’s junction with, the Ferrol squadron.  These important orders were executed within eight days of the Curieux anchoring in Plymouth, disconcerting Napoleon greatly by their rapidity, and materially contributing towards the successful termination of the Trafalgar campaign.


Name Origin: “The lightning of triumph” (Arabic).


Name Origin: Name of a Brazilian Admiral who greatly distinguished himself during the war with Paraguay.

Name Origin: Basilisk, a mythical monster.  Amongst the ancients the basilisk was supposed to be a species of dragon or serpent whose breath, or even look, was said to be fatal.  The basilisk of the Middle Ages was a monster supposed to have sprung from the yolk of a cock’s egg, hatched by a toad, and was hence also called a cockatrice.  It had the body of a cock, with a serpent’s tail ending in three points, and wore a crown on its head.  Only the sight of its own reflection in a mirror could kill it.


Name Origin: A mythical monster.  Among the ancients the basilisk was supposed to be a species of dragon or serpent, whose breath of even look was said to be fatal.  The basilisk of the middle ages was a monster supposed to have sprung from the yolk of a cock’s egg, hatched by a toad, and was hence also called a cockatrice.  It had the body of a cock, with a serpent’s tall ending in three points, and wore a crown on its head.  Only the sight of its own reflection in a mirror could kill it.


The eighth “Basilisk” was an 8-gun twin-screw sloop, launched at Sheerness in 1889.  She was of 1170 tons, 200 horsepower, and 14 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 208ft, 30ft, and 13ft.  In 1905 the “Basilisk” was sold


Name Origin: Bassorah,  a port in the Persian Gulf.


The first Bat was a Star class destroyer, launched 1896 and scrapped 1919.


Name Origin : Captain William Bathurst, an Englishman who took service in the Navy of the Republic and distinguished himself greatly in command of the 22-gun brig Independencia in the war with Brazil in 1827-28.

The first Bathurst was a Buchardo Class Torpedo Boat launched 1890 and discarded in the early 1920s.The second Bathurst was an ex-German M27 Class minesweeper, acquired in 1922. The name was changed from M1 to M48 on acquisition, but was later changed to Bathurst in 1936. The ship was stricken 16th Decdember 1946 and scrapped in 1951.


Name Origin: (Victoria)-John Batman, one of the founders of the present colony of Victoria.  In 1835 he formed an association in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) for colonising Port Philip, where he landed on May 29th of that year, and, having acquired 600,000 acres of land from the natives, formed a settlement there.


Name Origin: Batak, a Malay race inhabiting the central parts of the island of Sumatra, between Acheen and Menang Kabo.  The Bataks are partly independent, partly Dutch subjects.


Name Origin: Bard.

Name Origin: Kingdom of Bavaria, one of the Federal States of the Empire.  Munich is its capital.


Name Origin: Admiral Henry W Bayfield entered the Royal Navy in 1796, and commanded a gunboat on the Canadian Lakes in 1814 during the war with the United States.  From 1817 to 1856, when he became Rear Admiral, he was employed in surveying the Canadian lakes, the St Lawrence River, and the Canadian seacoast.


Name Origin: Vigilant.


Name Origin: A midland county of England.

The fifth “Bedford” was a 14-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Govan in 1901.  She was of 9800 tons, 22,457 horsepower, and 23 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 440 ft, 66ft, and 24ft. On August 21st, 1910, this ship while commanded by Captain Edward S. Fitzherbert ran ashore on Quelpart Island on the china Station, and became a total wreck, 18 lives being lost through the sudden flooding of the stokeholds.  The wreck was sold soon afterwards for £3000.


Name Origin: Battering ram, an engine of war of ancient times, employed against walls and gates.


Name Origin: In Greek mythology the son of the Corinthian king Glaucus.  Originally called Hipponos, he received the name of Bellerophontes after his murder of Bellerus.  Antea, the wife of King Proetus of Argos, with whom Bellerophon took refuge after the murder, falsely accused him of making love to her, whereupon he was despatched by Proetus to Jacobates, king of Lycia, Antea’s father, with a letter requisitioning the king to make away with the bearer.  Jacobates induced Bellerophon to fight the dreaded monster Chimaera, hoping he would thus meet with his death, but the hero, with the assistance of the goddess Pallas (Minerva), who equipped him with the winged steed Pegasus, succeeded enterprise Jacobates gave him his daughter in marriage and shared the throne of Argos with him.  Bellerophon’s last exploit was to attempt to reach Olympus on the back of Pegasus; the incensed gods sent a gadfly to madden the steed, which threw him off, and he fell to earth blinded and maimed.

The third “Bellerophon” was a 15-gun broadside battleship, launched at Chatham in 1865.  She was of 7550 tons, 6520 horsepower, and 14-knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 300ft, 56ft, and 27ft.  At a subsequent date this vessel’s name was changed to “Indus” and she served as a workshop at Devonport.

The fourth “Bellerophon” is a 26-gun turbine battleship, launched at Portsmouth in 1907.  She is of 18,6000 tons, 23,000 horsepower, and 21 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 490ft, 82ft, and 27ft.


The sixteenth “Bellona” was a 6-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Hepburn in 1890.  She was 1830 tons, 4700 horsepower, and 19 knots speed.  Her length, beam , and draught were 280ft, 35ft, and 13ft. In 1906 the “Bellona” was sold.

The Seventeenth “Bellona” is a 12-gun turbine cruiser, launched at Pembroke in 1909.  She is of 3350 tons, 18,000 horsepower and 25 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 385ft, 41ft, and 13ft.  During the 1912 Naval Manoeuvres the ship rolled her mainmast overboard.


Name Origin: The Roman goddess of war.


Name Origin: Vice Admiral John Benbow; born 1653, died 1702.  He joined the Navy as Master’s Mate in 1678, but soon left for the Merchant Service, and in 1686, as Captain of a ship, fought a gallant action with the Salee rovers.  Re-entering the Royal Navy as Lieutenant in 1689, he rose to Captain the same year.  He acted as Master of the Fleet under the Earl of Tourrington in the action off Beachy Head in 1690, and under Admiral Russell at the battle of Barfleur (La Hogue) in 1692.  He then commanded a squadron employed against the French seaports 1693-1694, and became Rear Admiral in 1696.  In 1698 he commanded a squadron in the Channel, and another in the West Indies the following year.  Promoted to Vice Admiral in 1700, he was sent a second time to take the command in the West Indies, and on August 24th 1702, he fell in with a French squadron under Commodore du Casse, with which he kept up a running flight for four days.  Deserted by several of his captains, Benbow sustained the flight almost alone, until mortally wounded on the fourth day, when he hauled off.  After his death, on November 4th, several of his captains were brought to trial and two of them shot for cowardice.

The second “Benbow” was a 12-gun twin-screw battleship, launched at Blackwall in 1885.  She was of 10,600 tons, 11,500 horsepower, and carried a crew of 525 men.  She was of 17.5 knots speed, and her length, beam, and draft were 330ft, 68 ½ ft, and 28ft.  She was a noteworthy ship, in that although of the “Admiral” class, she differed to them by carrying two 16.25” III-ton guns.  In 1909, after some year’s service at port guard ship at Greenock, this battleship was sold for £21,200.

Benedetto Brin

Name Origin: A distinguished naval engineer and architect, who designed the battleships Duilio, Dandolo, Lepantom and Italia.  He several times held the office of Minister of Marine, and died during the last years of the nineteenth century.

Bersagliere- A corps of riflemen, raised in 1836 by General A. Lamarmora as a unit of the Piedmontese Army.  They are famous for the distances they can cover at the double, their habitual pace.  The name is derived from bersaglio, target.

Benjamin Constant

Name Origin: Minister of War and of Public Instruction on the first Republican Government.

Bento Goncales

Name Origin: Name of a Brazilian General who greatly distinguished himself at Rio Grande do Sul

Name Origin: The hero of an Anglo-Saxon saga.  The young Beowulf, hearing that a terrible water kelpie, named Grendel, nightly the hall of King Hrodgar, killing and devouring his bravest followers, determined to slay the monster.  His offers to service were gladly accepted, and Beowulf, watching in the hall, boldly assailed Grendel, wounding him mortally and putting him to flight.  To the people’s horror, however, Grendel’s mother, a worse monster than he, next night took his place.  The hero followed her down into her haunt beneath the sea, slew her, and brought back Grendel’s head as a trophy.  After this he became the wise and peaceful ruler of his own tribe.  In his old age, however, a dragon began to devastate the land, and Beowulf, remembering his former prowess, attacked the brute in his lair.  In the terrible fight that ensued he was once more victorious, but at the price of his own life.


Name Origin: Prosperity, fertility (Arabic).


Name Origin: “The lightning of impetuosity” (Arabic-Persian).


Name Origin: An island in the Black Sea off Odessa.


Name Origin: “Thunder scatterer” (Arabic-Persian).

Name Origin: The capital of the German empire and of the kingdom of Prussia.


Name Origin : Name of a river in the Argentine Republic.


Name Origin: A Tagus pilot, who sold to King Manuaek one of the three caravels used by Vasco da Gama on his voyage inn 1497.


Name Origin: A corps of riflemen, raised in 1836 by General A. Lamarmora as a unit of the Piedmontese Army.  They are famous for the distances they can cover at the double, their habitual pace.  The name is derived from bersaglio, target.

Name Origin: In old Norse language one who is only clothed in a sark or shirt.  This designation was applied to a warrior who went mad with the lust of fight, and in that state performed, almost unconsciously, the most daring deeds, casting off all his protective armour and clothing before the flight.


Name Origin: A maritime and border county in the southeast of Scotland.

The eighth “Berwick” is a 14-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Beardmore’s Yard in 1902.  She is of 9800 tons, 22,000 horsepower, and 23 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 440ft, 66ft, and 24ft.  On April 2nd, 1908, the “Berwick” commanded by Captain W.C.M. Nicholson, collided with and sank the destroyer “Tiger” off the Isle of Wight, during night manoeuvres.  Unhappily the lives of Lieutenant and Commander Middleton, and thirty-four others, were lost in this unfortunate accident.


Name Origin: Protector.


Name Origin: Beaver.


Name Origin: “Joy of the world” (Arabic.)


Name Origin: Merciless


Name Origin: Noiseless.


Name Origin: Fearless.


Name Origin: Chief trading town in Upper Burma, at the junction of the Irrawaddy and Taping Rivers.

Name Origin: Bee.


Name Origin: An affluent of the river Sereth, flowing through Romania.


The fourth “Bittern” commanded by Commander the Hon. Archibald St. Clair, undertook active operations against the piratical natives of Corisco and Elobey Islands, and succeeded in capturing Coomba, the Chief of the Corsican tribe, which had pillaged the wrecked mail steamer “McGregor Laird.”  In March 1872 the “Bittern” was engaged in the mouth of the Congo River in protecting the Banana Creek Factories from native attack.   In 1873 the “Bittern” commanded by commander Prescot William Stephans, took part in the Ahantee war.  In October 1873, 34 men from the “Bittern” formed part of a Naval Brigade 300 strong which, under Captain the Hon. Edmund Fremantle, advanced towards Assayboo with the object of breaking up an Ashantee force which was believed to be assembling there, but the Naval Brigade took little part in the fighting on this occasion.   In November the Naval Brigade marched inland to the relief of Abrakrampa, which was sorely pressed by the Ashantees.  The enemy got into a panic and retired hastily, abandoning almost all their stores.  In 1882 the “Bittern” commanded by Commander the Hon. Thomas Brand, was engaged in the bombardment of Alexandria in a fleet of 14 ships commanded by Admiral Sir Beauchamp Seymour, with his flag in “Alexandra."   At 7 a.m. on July 11th the “Alexandra” fired the first shot of the bombardment.  Owing to the flag ship’s draught of water the Commander-in-Chief temporarily hoisted his flag in “Invincible.”  All ships were cleared for action with topgallant masts struck and bowsprits rigged in.  By 7.10 a.m. all ships were engaged, and such forts that could bring their guns to bear replied with vigour.  By 5 p.m. all guns ashore had been silenced, and the fleet ceased bombarding at 5.30 p.m.  The British casualties were 5 killed and 28 wounded.  The Egyptian loss has never been properly ascertained, but it is believed to have been about 150 killed and 400 wounded, out of two thousand men engaged in working the forts.  During the operations a party of men from the “Bittern” among other ships, landed through the swell and breaking surf, spiked six smooth bores and disabled two 10-inch guns without casualty except the loss of the “Bittern’s” dinghy.  The “Bittern” also assisted the “Condor” in the attack on fort Marabout, anchoring so close in that the enemy’s guns could not be sufficiently depressed to reach her.  The “Bittern” was sequent seint in with Flag-Lieutenant the Hon. Hedworth Lambton to receive the surrender of the town, and although the governor refused to give in, the town was abandoned on the following day.  On July 13th the “Bitern” and other ships steamed into the harbour, and contributed to a brigade of 150 seamen and 450 marines which, under the command of Captain Lord Charles Beresford, policed Alexandria and kept the turbulent mixed population in order.   In 1887 the “Bittern” was sold.

Name Origin: Bear.  This was a favourite name among old Norsemen.

Black Prince

Name Origin: Edward, Prince of Wales, Duke of Aquitaine, eldest son of the King Edward III; born 1330, died 1376.  He was surnamed the “Black Prince,” from the colour of the armour he habitually wore.  In 1346, as a lad of sixteen, he greatly distinguished himself in the battle of Crecy (or Cressy), when his father defeated the French; in 1356 he defeated them himself in the battle of Poitiers, in which King John of France was taken prisoner and the blind king of Bohemia was killed.  The Black Prince adopted the latter’s crest of three ostrich plumes, and his motto, Ich dien, as his own.  When, in 1362, his father gave him the duchy of Aquitaine, he held court at Bordeaux, and assisted Pedro the Cruel of Castille to regain his throne, from which he had been driven by Henry of Trastamare, defeating the latter in 1367 at the battle of Najara.  He was celebrated for his chivalry and courtesy, especially in his treatment of the captive king of France.

The eighth “Prince” was a 28-gun screw frigate “Black Prince” launched at Glasgow in 1861.  She was 9210 tons, 5770 horsepower, and 13.6 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 380ft, 58ft, and 27ft.  In 1878 the “Black Prince” commanded by Captain His Royal Highness the duke of Edinburgh, K.G. was one of a squadron of seven ships which occupied the island if Cyprus under Vice-Admiral Lord John Hay, with his flag in “Minotaur.”   In 1900 this vessel proceeded to Queenstown and became the training ship for Irish boys.   In 1903 her name was changed to “Emerald.”   She eventually became “Impregnable III.,” and acted as part of the boys Training Establishment at Devonport.


Name Origin: River in Essex.  It rises in the northwest of the county, where it is known as Pant.  Near Maldon it forms an estuary, which opens into the North Sea.


Name Origin: Robert Blake, “Admiral and General at Sea”; born 1599, died 1657.  After graduating at Oxford, he was engaged in commercial pursuits till the outbreak of the Civil War.  He was elected into the Long Parliament in 1645, and distinguished himself in the Parliamentary army, defending Lyme and later Taunton.  On the establishment of the Commonwealth, Blake and two others were appointed “Generals at Sea.”  In November 1650 he destroyed Prince Rupert’s ships at Carthagena, and reduced the Scilly Islands and Jersey in the following year.  He commanded the fleet against the Dutch in 1652-1654 with great distinction, and was severely wounded in the battle off Portland, February 18th 1653.  He reduced the pirates of Tunis and Algiers in 1655, destroyed a large Spanish convoy from America at Teneriffe in April 1657, and died on August 7th of that year onboard his flagship, as he was entering Plymouth on his return.  He was buried in Westminster Abbey, but after the Restoration his body was dug up and flung into the common hole in the churchyard of St. Margaret’s.

The third “Blake” is a 12-gun twin screw cruiser, launched at Chatham in 1889.  She is of 1900 tons, 20,000 horsepower, and 22 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 375ft, 65ft, and 25ft.  In 1889 the “Blake” commanded by Captain Alfred Leigh Winsloe, proceeded to Sierra Leone, and assumed the duties of senior naval officer during the suppression of the Sierra Leone Rebellion.  Six separate columns of troops crushed the rising, and the navy had a little share in the operations.  But had the Navy not been ready at hand, and extremely active at the beginning of the disorders, terrible atrocities might have resulted.  The “Blake” was eventually converted into a seagoing depot for torpedo-boat destroyers.


The eighth “Blanche” was a 6-gun screw sloop, launched at Chatham in 1867.  She was of 1755 tons, 2158 horsepower, and 13.5 knots speed.  Hr length, beam and draught were 212ft, 36ft, and 16ft.  In September 1868 the “Blanche” Captain john E. Montgomerie, shelled one or two villages as a punitive measure at Rodora Bay, in the Solomon Islands.  In 1886 this vessel was sold for £3600.

The ninth “Blanche” was a 6-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Pembroke in 1889.  She was of 1580 tons, 3000 horsepower, and 17 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 220ft, 35ft,, and 14ft.  In August 1893 the “Blanche” commanded by Captain George R Lindley, with the “Swallow “ and “Sparrow” in company, proceeded to the Inkonumbi Estuary, and contributed to a Naval Brigade, which, accompanied by 70 native troops, marched into the densely wooded country, led by Captain G.R. Lindley.  She proceeded to punish Fumo Omari, the new sultan of Witu, who had been committing outrages.  After some brisk fighting, Pumwani was taken on August 7th and Jongeni on august 13th, both places being destroyed.  The British loss was 1 stoker killed, and Lieutenant Maurice S. Fitzmaurice, of the “Blanche” and one other officer wounded.  Captain G.R. Lindley was given the C.B. for his services.  In August 1893 the “Blanche” temporarily commanded by Lieutenant Price V. Lewes, arrived at Kismayu from Zanzibar on account of the mutiny of some local levies who had murdered one of their officers, and seized Turkey Hill Fort, on the right bank of the Juba River.  Captain Lindley had been left at Zanzibar in hospital, and lieutenant john de M. Hutchison, the first lieutenant, was laid up on board; but Lieutenant Lewes landed with forty volunteers from the cruiser and, joined by a body of fifty loyal Keribotos, made a night march and recaptured Turkey Hill fort by surprise.  The expedition then proceeded up the River Juba, accomplished the relief of two Englishmen in the British East African s.s. “Kenia” who wee supposed to be in the greatest danger, and repairing the boiler under fire, they steamed up the river, and shelled and destroyed the hostile town of Magerada.  They then landed, captured Hajualli after an hour’s fighting, and crossing the stream, and subsequently captured the village of Hajowen.  This small force carried out its work in the face of 150 riflemen and 600 spearmen, and Lieutenant Lewes received the D.S.O. for his services.  In October 1893 the “Blanche” in company with the “Racoon” and “Swallow” contributed to a small Naval Brigade, which took part in the Lamu forest expedition.  Fumo Omari, sultan of Witu, had grown restless and dangerous, and as he had re-fortified Pumwani in defiance of his engagements, the expedition marched inland, and captured and destroyed that town.  In 1901 the “Blanche” commanded by Commander Murray Thomas Parkes, played a minor part in the second Boer war.   In 1905 the “blanche” was sold.

The tenth “Blanche” is a 10-gun turbine cruiser, launched at Pembroke’s in 1910.  She is of 3350 tons, 18,000 horsepower, and 27 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught are 390ft, 41ft, and 13ft. 

Blanco Encalada

Name Origin: Born towards the end of the eighteenth century in Buenos Aires, he was sent to Spain at the age of sixteen and entered the Navy, taking part in the various actions with the French fleet.  In 1813 he left the Spanish navy and joined that of Chile, in which he fought with distinction at Maipo and other battles.  In 1818 he received the supreme command of the first national fleet, with which he soon after captured the Spanish frigate Maria Isabel and five transports in the Bay of Talcahuano.  He rose to the rank of Vice-Admiral, acted as Commander in chief of the army, which liberated Peru, served as Minister Plenipotentiary at the court of France and then, for a short time, was President of the Republic.  He served his country with so much disinterestedness and so little personal ambition, that when Lord Cochrane came to Chile, he ceded him the post of commander in chief of the fleet; ready to serve as his Second in Command.


The fifth Blazer was an Albacore class gunboat, launched 1868 and sold 1877.

The sixth Blazer was an Ant class gunboat, launched 1870 and scrapped 1919.

The seventh Blazer is an Archer class patrol craft, launched 1986.

Name Origin: One of the heroes who served Harald Hildestand, the old heathen King of Denmark and Norway.


Name Origin: Commemorates the decisive victory of the 2/13 of August 1704 over the French during the war of the Spanish Successions.  The battle was fought midway between Blindheim (of which “Blenheim” is a corruption) and Hochstadt in Bavaria.  The British under the Duke of Marlborough, and the Imperial forces under Prince Eugene of Savoy, numbered 52,000 opposed to 56,000 French and Bavarians under Marshal Tallard and the Elector of Bavaria.  The victors lost 12,000 men, and their opponent’s 28,000 men, the French Marshal being among the prisoners.

The fourth “Blenheim” is a 12-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Blackwall in 1890.  She is of 9000 tons, 21,400 horsepower, and 22 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 375ft, 65ft, and 26ft.  In 1896 the “Blenheim,” commanded by Captain Edmund S. Poe, brought home to England from the Canary Islands the body of the late colonel His Royal Highness Prince Henry Maurice of Battenberg, K.G,. Who died while on active service.  Her Majesty Queen Victoria appointed Captain Poe to the fourth Class of the Royal Victorian Order as a specal mark of appreciation for this service. For some years the “Blenheim” has acted as seagoing depot ship for torpedo-boat destroyers.

Name Origin: Glimpse.
Name Origin: Lightning


Name Origin: Lightning

Name Origin: Lightning.


The tenth “Blonde” was a 6-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Pembroke in 1889.  She was of 1580 tons, 3000 horsepower, and 16 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 220ft, 35ft, and 14ft.  In August 1895 the “blonde” commanded by Commander Henry M. Festing , was one of a squadron of five ships under Rear-Admiral H.H. Rawson, with his flag in “St George,” which took part in the punitive expedition against M’Buruk bin Rashid, Chief of M’Wele, who had failed to comply with an ultimatum on the subject of obedience.  On august 12th a Naval Brigade, 400 strong, started inland from Mombassa, accompanied by about 1000 porters and Soudanese troops, and commanded by the Rear Admiral in person.  After some resistance the British force rushed the British stockades, and though M’Buruk escaped, two of his sons were killed.  The British lost 3 killed and 11 wounded.  In 1896 the “Blonde” commanded by commander Peyton Hoskyns, brought from Cape Coast Castle to the Canary Islands the body of Colonel his Royal Highness Prince Henry Maurice of Battenberg, K.G., who had died while on active service.  Her Majesty Queen Victoria appointed Commander Hoskyns to the fourth class of the Royal Victorian Order as a special mark of appreciation for this service.  In 1898 the “Blonde” commanded by Commander Hoskyns took part in the suppressing the Sierra Leone Rebellion.  The “Blonde” proceeded to the Sherboro River to keep in check the rebels that were located in the neighbourhood of Bouthe and Imperri.  She performed most useful service, and saved and district of Sherboro from being over whelmed by the Mendi natives.  Boat expeditions destroyed Gambia on the Bum Kittam, and on May 4th pushed up the Jong River as far as Bogo, where dreadful massacres had been committed.  The rising was finally crushed by the troops, but in the later operations the Navy had little share.  Commander Hoskyns was rewarded with the C.M.G. and was promoted to Captain for his services.  In 1905 the “Blonde” was sold. 


The third Bloodhound was an Ant class gunboat, launched 1871 and sold 1921.

The fourth Bloodhound was a Motor Torpedo Boat, launched 1937 and wrecked in 1943.

Name Origin: Field Marshal Gebhard Lebrecht von Blucher, created Prince of Wahlstadt in 1814; born 1742, died 1819.  He entered the Prussian Army in 1760, but left it in 1772, disgusted with his slow promotion.  In 1787 he re-entered as Major, and fought with distinction in the various campaigns against the French, rising quickly to the highest rank.  When, after Napoelon I’s disastrous campaign in Russia 1812, Prussia rose to shake off the French yoke, Blucher was placed at the head of her army, and commanded it with consummate skill in the subsequent campaigns of 1813, 1814 and 1815.  At the battle of Waterloo, or Belle Alliance, July 18th 1815, blucher’s timely co-operation with the Duke of Wellington secured the great victory over napoleon.  His impetuosity and determination earned him the nickname of “Marshal Forward.”


Name Origin: Boa constrictor


Name Origin: Queen of the Iceni, a British tribe inhabiting the present Norfolk and Suffolk.  On the death of her husband, the Romans seize her territory, and cruelly ill-treated her and her daughters.  A revolt against the Romans breaking out soon afterwards, 60 A.D., Boadicea raised a large force and placed herself at the head of it.  She took Londinium (London), and many other Roman settlements, and destroyed all their inhabitants.  Defeated at last by Suetonius Paulinus, the Roman Governor of Britain, she poisoned herself in despair.

The third “Boadicea” was a 16-gun screw corvette, launched at Portsmouth in 1875.  She was of 4140 tons, 5290 horsepower and 14.9 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 280ft, 45ft, and 24ft. In 1879 the “Boadicea,” flying the broad pennant of Commodore Frederick W. Richards, proceeded to Cape Town to take part in the Zulu War.  In March the “Boadicea” supplemented the Naval Brigade already at the front by 16 officers and 378 men under commodore Francis Romilly.  The naval brigade fought in the battle of Ginginhlovo, rendering excellent service with the guns, and holding the corners of the British Square, and it contributed greatly to the relief of Ekowe.  The conduct of the Naval Brigade was eulogised by Sir Garnet Wolseley, and the “Boadiceas” were the last to re-embark on July 31st. In 1881 the “Broadicea” flying the broad pennant of Commodore Frederick Richards, assisted in the first Boer war by the landing of the Naval Brigade.  On January 6th 128 officer and men, two machine guns, and a couple of rocket tubes proceeded to the front under Commodore Francis Romilly.  The Naval Brigade took part in the battle of Laing’s Nek, and the disaster at Majuba on February 27th.  In this latter affair the “Boadicea” lost 1 officer and 10 men killed, Commander Romilly and 5 men mortally wounded and 10 severely wounded.  The Dido’s Naval Brigade lost in addition 3 killed and 3 wounded.  Surgeon Mahon displayed magnificent devotion and gallantry, and was specially promoted.  A peace was concluded soon afterwards, and the Naval Brigade returned to their ships.  In 1888 the “Boadicea,” commanded by Captain the Hon. Assheton Curzon Howe, and flying the flag of Rear Admiral the Hon. Edmund Fremantle, was at the head of a fleet of seven English vessels and one German ship took part in the blockade of the Zanzibar Littoral.  This was undertaken in the interests of the suppression of slavery, and partly in consequence of the revolt of several of the coast towns against German authority.  The blockade was of an uninteresting nature.   On November 6th the “Boadicea’s” pinnace, commanded by Lieutenant Walter Clifton Slater, captured a large slave dhow off Pemba, after a exciting chase of six hours.  The dhow had 41 slaves on board, and was not brought to until shots had been shot on both sides.   In September 1890 nine German traders were murdered in Vitu, a small state about 230 miles north of Zanzibar.  On October 24th the boats of the “Boadicea” Captain the Hon. Assheton Curzon Howe, and those of two other ships, proceeded to Baltia and burnt the village.  On October 26th a Naval Brigade of 700 seamen and marines were landed under the personal command of Vice-Admiral the Hon. Edmund Femantle.  Meeting with some brisk resistance en route, the expedition captured the town of Vitu on October 27th, Gunner George Alfred Jenning, of the “Boadicea” blowing up the town gate with gun cotton.  The town and the Sultan’s house were burned, and the brigade returned to their ships, having lost 12 men wounded and developed several cases of sunstroke.  Captain the Hon. Assheton Curzon Howe was made a C.B. for this service.  In 1905 the “Boadicea” was  broken up.


Name Origin: Beaver.


Name Origin: Valiant.


Name Origin: River in North-eastern Hungary, from which one of the old Hungarian komitats (counties) took its name.


Name Origin: Ancient name for warrior or athlete.


Name Origin: Hardy.


Name Origin: Bomb ketch or mortar boat.


Name Origin: Bomb.


Name Origin: “Good venture.”  The Elizabeth Bonadventure carried Drake to the West Indies in 1585.

The eighteenth “Bonaventure” is a 10-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Devonport in 1892.  She is of 4360 tons, 9000 horsepower, and 19 knots speed.  Her length, speed, and draught were 320ft, 50ft, and 21ft.  In 1900 the “Bonaventure” commanded by Captain Robert A Montgomerie, played a minor part in the third China war or “Boxer Rising.” She was subsequently converted into a sea-going submarine depot.


Name Origin: A fish. (or Bonito).


Name Origin: Bonito (fish).


Name Origin: Jean Charles de Borda, born 1733, died 1799.  He entered the Navy in 1755, having previously served in the Army.  In 1776 he surveyed the Canaries.  He served during the war in America 1777-1778, as Staff Officer of Marines.  On his return in 1782 he was captured by the English, but liberated on parole.  He subsequently served at the Admiralty, and was a member of the National Institute of Sciences.  He founded the School of French Naval Constructors, did much to improve nautical instruments, and was the author of various nautical works.


Name Origin: Boreas, north wind.


Name Origin: Boreas, the north winds.


Name Origin: The largest of the East India Islands, three fourths of which belong to the Dutch.  Discovered by the Portuguese in 1521, the Dutch annexed it in 1598.


Name Origin: Louis Antoine de Bougainville, born 1729, died 1811.  He began life as a lawyer, and was Secretary of the French Embassy in London in 1755.  In 1752 he had been elected a member of the Royal Society for a treatise on the integral calculus.  He acted as General Montcalm’s aide-de-camp in the campaign in Canada in 1756.  By order of his Government he founded a French colony in the Falkland Islands in 1763.  He commanded the first French expedition that circumnavigated the globe 1766-1768, and discovered various islands in the Pacific.  During the War of Independence in North America he commanded the French squadron sent to the assistance of the States, was made a Vice-Admiral in 1791, and a Senator under Napoleon I.


Name Origin: Squall.


Name Origin: (1) Francois Joseph, Baron Bouvet; born 1753, died 1832.  He commanded the second division of the French fleet under Villaret Joyeuse in the battle of the 1st June 1794 against the English, under Lord Howe, and commanded the unsuccessful expedition against Ireland in 1796.

             (2) Auguste T. B. Bouvet de Cresse, born 1772, died 1839.  He entered the Navy at the outbreak of the French Revolution, and distinguished himself at the battle of the 1st of June 1794, when he was instrumental in saving Villaret Joyeuse’s flagship by heading a party of boarders, which swept the decks of the Queen charlotte, her English assailant.  He soon after retired from the Navy and took up the profession of literature.


Name Origin: Village in the Edpartment du Nord, where in 1214 King Phillip Augustus of France defeated the Emperor Otho IV, and where in 1794 the French defeated the Austrians.


The sixth Boxer was a Beacon class composite screw gunvessel, launched 1868 and sold 1887.

The seventh Boxer was a Daring class destroyer, launched 1894, and sunk in collision with SS St Patrick, 8th February 1918.

The eighth Boxer was a tank landing ship launched 1942 and sold 1958.

The ninth Boxer was a Type 22 Broadsword (Boxer) class frigate, launched January 1984, sunk as target September 2004.


Name Origin: Warlike.


Name Origin: Irish river rising in the Bog of Allen, near Carbury, and flowing into the Irish Sea a few miles below Drogheda.  The “Battle of the Boyne,” in which the forces of William III. Decisively defeated those of James II, was fought near Drogheda on July 1st 1690.

Name Origin: a.k.a Braga. In Norse mythology one of the sons of Odin, the god of poetry, song, and eloquence.


Name Origin: In Norse mythology one of the sons of Odin, the god of poetry, eloquence, and song.


The sixth “Bramble” was a 6-gun screw gunboat, launched at Belfast in 1886. She was of 715 tons, 1000 horsepower, and 13 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 165ft, 29ft, and 13ft. This vessel’s name was changed to Cockatrice” in 1896, and she served on the Danube for some years in accordance with the terms of the treaty of Berlin.  She was sold at Chatham in 1906 for £3800.

Name Origin: Fire.
Name Origin: A province of the kingdom of Prussia and the cradle of the Prussian monarchy.  The Counts of Hohenzollern became Electors of Brandenburg in 1415.


Name Origin: Branlebas de combat is the equivalent term of “Beating to quarters” or “Clear for action,” and come from an ancient French word for hammock, branle.  Combined with bas (low) it means, literally, “down hammocks,” which of course was the prelude to a night action.

Name Origin: The Duchy of Brunswick, one of the Federal States of the Empire.


Name Origin: Brave, bold.


The sixth Brazen was a Brazen class destroyer launched 1896 and scrapped 1919.

The seventh Brazen was a B class destroyer launched 1930, sunk 20th July 1940.

The eighth Brazen was a Type 22 Broadsword class frigate, launched 1982, sold to Brazil 1996.

Name Origin: One of the three free (sovereign) “Hanseatic” cities of the German Empire, and next to Hamburg the largest German seaport town.  It is situated on the river Weser near its entrance into the North Sea.
Name Origin: Gadfly.


Name Origin: Chief of the Gauls, who about 390 B.C. invaded Italy, defeated the Romans, and sacked Rome.


The fifth Brilliant was an Aeolus class cruiser, launched 1891, sunk as a blockship at Ostend, 23rd April 1918.

The sixth Brilliant was a B class destroyer, launched 1930 and scrapped in 1947.

The seventh Brilliant was a Type 22 Broadsword class frigate, launched 1981 and sold to Brazil 1996.

Name Origin: Breeze.


Name Origin: The name applied by the Romans to the Island of Great Britain, which they occupied from 43 B.C. to 410 A.D.


Name Origin: The legendary daughter of King Ryence of Wales, the impersonation of saintly chastity and purity of mind.

The fifth “Britomart” was a 2-gun screw gunboat, launched at Newcastle in 1860.  She was of 330tons, 200 horsepower, 8 knots speed, and carried a crew of 40 men.  Her length, beam, and draught were 120ft, 22ft, and 8ft.  In 1865-67 the “Britomart” commanded by Lieutenant Arthur H. Alington, was one of 13 ships under Captain Algeron de Horsey, in the “Aurora,” which were employed in Canadian waters during the Fenian rising.  The issue of a medal in 1899, or over thirty years rewarded their services, which were principally of a preventive nature, afterwards.    In 1892 the “Britomart” was sold, and is illustrated herein as being broken up.


Name Origin: Brontes (thunder), one of the Cyclopes, a race of giants, sons of Coelus and Terra, whose chief was Polyphemus.  According to homer’s Odyssey they inhabited the western portion of the island of Trinacria (Sicily).


Name Origin: Eustache Bruix, born 1759, died 1805.  One of the many naval officers who were forced to leave the service on the outbreak of the French Revolution.  He re-entered it under the ministry of Turguet, and served under Villaret Joyeuse.  Having risen to the rank of Rear-Admiral, he became Minister of Marine, and whilst in this position took the French fleet safely out of Brest, then blockaded by the English April 1799, and went to the assistance of Massena at Genoa, after which he carried the fleet safely back to Brest.  Napoleon gave him the command of the flotilla preparing at Boulogne for the invasion of England, but he was obliged to resign it from ill health and died soon after.


The third Bruizer was a Britomart class gunboat, launched 1867, scrapped 1886.

The fourth Bruizer was a Daring class destroyer, launched 1895 and scrapped in 1914.


Name Origin: Month of Fogs.  The second month of the New Calendar instituted by the First French Republic on September 22nd 1792, and which continued in use until Napoleon reintroduced the Gregorian calendar on January 1st 1806.


Name Origin : Captain Hipolito Buchardo commanded the Argentina, frigate, on a cruise around the world.  He started from Buenos Aries on July 7th 1817, and returned in December 1819.  During the voyage he fought several actions with Spanish ships in the Indian Ocean, and on the coasts of Mexico, California, Pacific, Madagascar etc.  He commanded the America at the battle of San Nicolas in 1811, and captured the only flag that was taken from the Spaniards in the land battle of San Lorenzo, February 3rd 1813.  He took a leading part all through the wars against Spain and Brazil, and continually distinguished himself.

The Buchardo was a Buchardo Class Torpedo Boat launched 1890 and discarded in the early 1920s.


Name Origin: The capital of the kingdom of Hungary.  Buda and Pest, which lie on either bank of the Danube, were formerly separate towns, but were united in 1873.

Buenos Aries

Name Origin : 'Good Air', the capital of the Argentine Republic

The first Buenos Aries was a cruiser launched 10th May 1895 and stricken 17th May 1932.  The next Buenos Aries was a Buenos Aries Class destroyer launched 21st September 1937 and discarded in 1971.


Name Origin: A fish found in the Black Sea.


Name Origin: a.k.a Bylgja- The billow.  In Norse mythology a goddess of the waves, one of the nine daughters of the sea god Aegir and his wife Ran.


The second Bullfinch was a Plover class gun vessel, launched 1868, sold 1885.

The third Bullfinch was a Bullfinch class destroyer, launched 1898, scrapped 1919.

The fourth Bullfinch was a cable ship, from 1940 - 1980.


The fourth Bulwark was a London class battleship, launched 1899 and sunk by accidental explosion, 26th November 1914.

The fifth Bulwark was a Hermes class aircraft carrier, launched 1948 and scrapped in 1981.

The sixth Bulwark is an Albion class assault ship, launched 2001.


Name Origin: Inhabitant of the Steppes in South Siberia.


Name Origin: Tempestuous.

Name Origin: Buzzard


Name Origin: Buzzard


The fourth Bustard was an Ant class gunboat, launched 1871 and sold 1923.


Name Origin: White sturgeon.


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Everything we obtain for this site is shown on the site, we do not have any more photos, crew lists or further information on any of the ships.


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