HMS Anson (1886)

Anson, c.1897. Original photo believed to be in the public domain.

Ship Class
Laid Down
1883
Launched
1886
Commissioned
1889
Decommissioned
1904
AD/BC
AD
History

HMS Anson was the last of the Admiral-class battleships, laid down in the mid-1880s. Anson was delivered incomplete in March, 1887, and slowly completed while waiting two years for her guns to be finished. Anson finally commissioned on 28 May, 1889, as flagship of the Channel Fleet's Rear Admiral. On 17 March, 1891, Anson was minding her own business at anchor in the Bay of Gibraltar, when the passenger steamer SS Utopia blustered into her. While Anson was unscathed and suffered no casualties, Utopia sank in twenty minutes, with the loss of 562 passengers and crew, out of 880. Anson was transferred to the Mediterranean in September, 1893, and continued to serve there until January, 1900. While in the Mediterranean, she underwent refit at Malta in 1896, and paid off a year after returning to England. Anson was not out of commission very long, recommissioning to join the new Home Fleet in March, 1901. Anson was paid off again and placed in reserve in May, 1904, and was subsequently sold for scrap 13 July, 1909.