LIST OF CAPTAINS
17 Mar. 1836 Hon. D.P. Bouverie
25 Jan. 1837 Sir Thomas Fellowes
2 Apr. 1840 Sir David Dunn
4 Feb. 1845 George W. Willes
6 Nov. 1847 George F. Rich
The sixth Vanguard, built in Pembroke in 1835,was one of the first big ships to be designed by Captain Sir William Symonds. Until this officer launched out on his own ten years earlier, progress in naval architecture had become a matter of repeating past designs with improvements largely copied from the best prizes taken from the enemy. Symonds first designed a corvette on original lines and it was such a success that he was entrusted with the design of several larger ships: they were faster, more stable, and broader and loftier between decks than the orthodox design, yet were of very staunch construction. It has been said that in them the sailing ship in the Royal Navy reached its highest development; this is as might be expected, for they were soon to be rendered obsolete by the introduction of the steamship.
This Vanguard was a Second Rate of 2609 tons and 80 guns. It is interesting to note that, in spite of the freshness of her design, the ratio of her length to beam was 190 : 57, which was little different from that of the first Vanguard (108 : 82) built 250 years earlier.
Her life was largely a peaceful one, though she was on the fringe of war-like operations in 1840. In the preceding years, Mahomet Ali, the Sultan of Turkey's viceroy in Egypt, having overrun Palestine and Syria, put his son in power in those countries; the Great Powers became anxious about the situation thus created and, in 1840, a combined Anglo-Austrian squadron was sent to the Levant to assist the Sultan to restore order in his empire. Active operations lasted from August to November, during which period some ships saw fighting at the capture of Acre and of Beirut, but the Vanguard was in a squadron that cruised off Alexandria, blockading the Egyptian fleet and a Turkish squadron which had gone over to Mahomet Ali. She remained there until the incident was ended.
She took no part in the Crimean War and in I 867 was renamed Ajax, as the name Vanguard was wanted for one of a class of steam-driven ironclads about to be built.