HMS Encounter

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The HMS Encounter was a British Royal Navy vessel which came to Japan several times in the 1850s-1860s.

Captained by George O'Callaghan, the Encounter was one of several ships which accompanied Sir James Stirling (aboard his flagship, the HMS Winchester) to Japan in 1854-1855, at first seeking to secure access to Japanese ports for British ships - and not for Russian ships - amidst the circumstances of the Crimean War. The Anglo-Japanese Convention of 1854 ensured the former but not the latter.

During this time, the Encounter accompanied the Winchester, Styx, Barracouta, and/or Tartar at times to ports including Nagasaki and Hakodate.

The Encounter returned to Japan in 1861 amidst the Tsushima Incident of that year, alongside the HMS Ringdove, sailing to Tsushima in an attempt to help the Tokugawa shogunate pressure or intimidate the Russians to leave the island.[1]


  • Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 632.
  • Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 2 (1937), 65.
  1. Robert Hellyer, Defining Engagement, Harvard University Press (2009), 209-213.
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