HMS Alceste and Lyra

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The HMS Alceste and Lyra were a pair of British Royal Navy vessels which carried a diplomatic mission led by Lord Amherst to China in 1816, as well as a mission to survey the East China Sea region (including Korea and Ryûkyû) that same year. The Alceste was captained by Murray Maxwell, while the Lyra was captained by Basil Hall.


The Alceste was originally built in France in 1805, as the frigate Minerva. It was captured by the British the following year, and was incorporated into the Royal Navy as HMS Alceste in 1807.

During or after the mission to China in 1816, the Alceste was fired upon by the Chinese at Humen, and was driven off. The ship then hit rocks while trying to navigate the Gaspar Strait through the Indonesian islands, and was ultimately sunk by Malaysian pirates.


The Lyra was a brig sloop built in 1808. Captained by Basil Hall in 1816, it was sold off by the Navy two years later.


  • Gallery labels, exhibition "Basil Hall rairyû 200 shûnen kinen, Uranda ga yatte kita!," バジル・ホール来琉200周年記念 ウランダーがやってきた!, Naha City Museum of History, October 2016.