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Virginia Water
Launch Of The Frigate 'Adelaide'

Windsor Express 17th May 1834
With thanks to Richard J Heaton
Genealogy Pages

It being publicly announced that the Adelaide miniature frigate would be launched on the Lake at Virginia Water, on Tuesday, the town of Windsor present an unusual degree of bustle and gaiety, except on such occasions as Ascot Races. Every king of equipage was engaged for the conveyance of spectators to Virginia Water, and at an early hour the company began to move towards this beautiful spot, the road to it being completely lined with carriages, horses, and pedestrians. By three o'clock the banks of the Lake on the opposite to where the launch was to take place was completely crowded with spectators, His Majesty having expressed his wish that all persons should be admitted on this side of the Lake on foot; there were several thousand persons present, and among them a great number of the young gentlemen of Eton College, His Majesty having instructed Dr.Keate his wish that they might be permitted to witness the launch. The ground was kept by parties of the Life and Foot Guards; the band of the former being in a boat moored exactly opposite the Fishing Temple. At half-past three o'clock precisely Their Majesties arrival was announced by the firing a royal salute from Fort Belvidere, and the King and Queen presenting themselves on the balcony of the Fishing Temple, the band commenced playing "God save the King." Their Majesties then, attended by their visitors and suite, who rode to the ground in ten carriages, embarked on board the royal barge, (the band playing "Rule Britannia," and another salute from the Belvidere), and after being rowed round the Superb, (the favourite fishing boat of George IV., ) which was moored in a favourable situation for witnessing the launch, landed in the building-yard, and were conducted round the frigate by Mr.Tinmouth (the naval officer in charge of the establishment at Virginia Water), when his Majesty named the ship; which being done another salute by the larger guns (6 pounders) was fired from the Belvidere. The Royal party again embarked in the barge and were rowed to the Superb, where they remained to witness the launch. Every thing now being ready for that purpose Mr.Tinmouth intimated the same to his Majesty, and immediately the dogshores were knocked down and the vessel glided majestically into the Lake, everyone exclaiming, that a more beautiful launch could not have been witnessed. The water being very low occasioned the vessel to plunge deeper into it than it otherwise would have done, but this, in our opinion, added to the grandeur of the sight rather than diminished it. As soon as the ship was swung round in her proper position she fired a royal salute. The Royal party were now rowed to the ship. and as soon as they had got on board the royal standard was hoisted at the mast head, and the Belvidere, a royal salute was fired from both. The ceremony now being at an end the Royal party were rowed to the Fishing Temple, and immediately they were landed they entered the carriages and took their departure under a final salute from the ship and the Belvidere. The appearance of the six watermen who rowed the Royal Barge in their scarlet dresses, and the splendid appearance of the barge itself graced by the Royal party, had a most magnificent appearance. Their Majesties were repeatedly cheered by the assembled multitude, who appeared generally to be highly delighted with the spectacle, and only regretting the unfavourable state of the weather at the close of the ceremony.
  The timbers of the frigate were cut out at Sheerness Dockyard and put together at Virginia Water. She has been built as a yacht for their Majesties; and is a beautiful model upon Captain Symond's (of the R.N.) construction, and is strictly the proportions of a frigate he is building at Plymouth called the Pique. Her dimensions are 50 feet length on the deck, 15 feet breadth, and 50 tuns burden. She was fully rigged, her sails bent, and her ballast and furniture on board. The vessel has all the outward appearance of a 46 gun frigate, and has 22 brass guns mounted. The cabin is fitted up in the most tasteful and convenient manner with highly polished oak, and beautiful gilt cornices, &c.; the dimensions are 16 feet long, 14 broad, and 7 feet in height: and, indeed, a more beautiful vessel could not be built.
  The Military Officers on duty at Virginia Water, together with Mr.Tinmouth, and Mr.Fincham, the builder of the vessel, had the honour of dining with Their Majesties, at the Castle, in the evening.

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