While searching through the Glasgow Herald we found a short article of interest.  At midnight on the night of 08 October 1873 the crew of the HMS Black Prince practised firing its heavy guns between Ardrossan and Pladda, disturbing the sleep of people along the coastlines of Ayrshire and Arran.

Built by Robert Napier and Sons of Govan, the Black Prince was launched on 27 February 1861, as the world’s second ocean-going, iron hulled armoured warship and for a short time was one of the most powerful warships in the world.  She was commissioned into the Royal Navy in May 1862 and served with the Channel fleet until 1866.  However, with advances in shipbuilding she quickly became obsolete. 

After being overhauled and rearmed in 1867-1868 she was deployed as a Guardship defending the Clyde from the threat of French invasion.  In 1874-1875 she was refitted and again joined the Channel Fleet until 1878.  From 1878 to 1896 she served with the Fleet Reserve, being mostly used for annual manoeuvres.  In 1899 she was moved to Queenstown where she was used as a training ship and renamed ‘Emerald’ in 1903.  In 1910 she was returned to Plymouth as the ‘Impregnable III’ where she was used as a training ship until she was scrapped in 1923.