History of the school ship HMS Conway

archive photo of a large ship by a bridge

The second HMS Conway at Saltash, Cornwall, where she ended her life as the reform ship Mount Edgcumbe. Archive reference PF1822-1

In April 1858 a committee was formed by the Mercantile Marine Service Association to establish a training ship on the Mersey to train boys to become officers in the Merchant Navy. The Admiralty offered the use of the frigate Conway, a coastguard ship at Devonport.

The first Conway proved such a success that a larger ship was needed to accommodate the growing number of cadets, so the Admiralty loaned the 51-gun frigate HMS Winchester in 1861. The two ships exchanged names so HMS Winchester became the second HMS Conway.