Published Resources Details Journal Article

The British Navy Under The Present Administration
The Engineer
vol. 74, 1 July 1892, p. 2

Accession No.2490


In 1892 no department of the State had progressed more than the Royal Navy. In 1886, when Lord Salisbury took office, the conditions of affairs at the Admiralty were deplorable. Britain had battleships resting on the stocks that had remained incomplete for years. Others had been completed so far as hulls went, but lying useless in the great fitting basins of Britain's dockyards because there were no guns to put into them. Britain had scarcely a fast cruiser; and the majority of her vessels were armed with obsolete muzzle-loading weapons; reserves of powder, ammunition, and equipment of all kinds had to be drawn upon to furnish such ships as were actually required to be put in commission. In 1892 not only all of the work in arrears had been brought up to date, but a very considerable number of the earlier ironclads, which had been put aside for years, and rusted hopelessly at their moorings up dockyard creeks, had been re-engined, re-masted, re-fitted, and partially re-armed, forming a valuable adjunct to the more modern line-of-battle ships; whilst ten entirely new vessels, embodying all of the most recent improvements in steel-faced armour, large calibre quick-firing guns, steel-casemated secondary batteries between decks and possessing a higher rate of speed than any battleships actually afloat had been put in hand, and all - excepting the Centurion - were to have been launched before August 1892.