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HMS Blenheim (1890)

For other ships of the same name, see HMS Blenheim.

HMS Blenheim
Class and type: Blake class protected cruiser
Name: HMS Blenheim
Builder: Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding Company, Leamouth, London
Laid down: October 1888
Launched: 5 July 1890
Reclassified: Depot ship 1907
Fate: Sold for breaking up 13 July 1926
General characteristics
Displacement: 9,150 tons
Length: 375 ft (114 m)
Beam: 65 ft (20 m)
Propulsion: 2 propellers
20,000 ihp (14,914 kW)
Speed: 22 knots (41 km/h)

2 × BL 9.2 inch Mk VI guns (234 mm)[1]
10 x QF 6 inch Mk I–III guns (152 mm)[1]
16 x 3-pounder guns[1]

4 x 14 inch torpedo tubes[1]

HMS Blenheim was a Blake class first class protected cruiser that served in the Royal Navy from 1890–1926.

She was built by Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding Company at Leamouth, London. The ship was named after the Battle of Blenheim.

Launched 5 July 1890, she displaced 9,150 tons and her steel hull measured 375 feet (length) and 65 feet (beam) with 20,000 indicated horsepower (15,000 kW) turning 2 propellers giving a top speed of 22 knots (41 km/h). Her main armament was two BL 9.2 inch Mk VI guns (234 mm) and six QF 6 inch guns (152 mm) on the upper deck,[1] and four QF 6 inch guns in 150 mm compound armoured casemates on the main deck.[1] She also carried sixteen 3-pounders,[1] and four 14 inch torpedo tubes (two submerged and two above water).[1]

She was commissioned at Chatham 1 January 1901, under command of Captain F. H. Henderson, to serve at the China station to support the British position during the Boxer Rebellion.[2][3]

She served as a cruiser with the Channel Squadron until May 1908 when she joined the Mediterranean Fleet as a destroyer depot ship. She was sent to Mudros in March 1915 in support of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force at the Battle of Gallipoli. She was scrapped in 1926 at Pembroke Dock.

Blenheim served in the repatriation of the remains of three dignitaries during her career:

  • Sitting Canadian Prime Minister Sir John Thompson died in England, just after being named to HM Queen Victoria's Privy Council in 1894 and was repatriated to Halifax, Nova Scotia by Blenheim, which was painted black for the occasion.[4]
  • Former Canadian Prime Minister Sir Charles Tupper died in England in 1915 and was repatriated to Halifax by Blenheim.

Whilst being used as a depot ship, future Rear-Admiral and VC winner Eric Gascoigne Robinson served aboard her.


  • Roger Chesneau and Eugene M. Kolesnik, ed., Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships, 1860–1905, (Conway Maritime Press, London, 1979), ISBN 0-85177-133-5


  • Transcription of ship's logbooks and weather information

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