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HMS Terror: The Floating Arsenal

HMS Terror: The Floating Arsenal
1860 marked the launch of HMS Terror, the first vessel built at the Howdon yard, which was acquired by Palmers in 1859 on the north bank of the Tyne. This yard constructed many more ships, as illustrated in the accompanying picture of early wooden shipbuilding yards along the River Tyne and Simon Temple Junior’s Yard on the north side of the Tyne, which later became Palmer Shipbuilders yard.

Palmer And Other Shipyards Along The Banks Of The Tyne

The outbreak of the Crimean War (1853-1856) provided the company an opportunity for the company to market wares by supplying armor-plated battleships to the Admiralty. One notable order was for HMS Terror, a specialized vessel that could better be described as a floating arsenal. Commissioned to battle the Russians and neutralize their base at Kronstadt in the Baltic, this ship helped establish Palmer’s reputation with the Admiralty. However, HMS Terror never saw action as the war was nearly over by the time it could be delivered. However, Palmer’s company’s reputation was solidified, leading to further orders from the Admiralty.

In 1862, HMS Defence was completed. Between 1872 and 1885, the coastal defense ships HMS Cerberus and HMS Gorgon were launched. Both vessels were followed by two fast dispatch ships for the Navy, HMS Surprise and HMS Alacrity. In total, Palmer’s shipyard built 100 warships for the Royal Navy.

The company continued to produce a variety of ships, including cruisers, gunboats, merchant vessels, tramp steamers, oil tankers, sailing ships, and steam colliers. Notably, Sir Charles Mark Palmer, in addition to running a reputable shipyard and steel industry, established Jarrow’s first accident and emergency hospital.

Sir Charles Mark Palmer, who ran a well-respected Shipyard/Steel Industry and established Jarrow’s first accident and emergency hospital, was married three times. His first wife was Jane Robson, daughter of Ebenezer Robson from Newcastle Upon Tyne. They had four children, two of whom passed away – one in infancy and the other in his late 40s. The surviving sons were named George Robson and Alfred Molyneux Palmer.