1856 - Grand Peace Fleet Review
23rd April. Grand Peace Review of the Fleet by Queen Victoria at Spithead, after its return from the Baltic.
There totalled 254 ships of all classes manned by over 50,000 men and carrying 1,132 guns. They comprised 22 line-of-battle ships, 16 screw frigates and sloops, 26 paddle frigates and sloops, 8 Royal Yachts and tenders, 7 screw mortar vessels and floating batteries, 6 troopships, 7 sailing vessels and 188 gunboats. The whole fleet was extended in two squadrons forming two parallel lines. The Queen steamed through the two lines, anchoring at the far end of the review lines. On a given signal the two squadrons steamed past the Queen and as each ship turned past the Royal Yacht, their sides were manned and the crews gave three cheers. It was said at the time “the town, which was thronged with visitors, gave itself up to the patriotic enjoyment of the occasion”.