The Pelorus class cruiser was a class of 11 light cruiser ships designed by Sir William White (Director of Naval Construction from 1885 till 1902), built for the Royal Navy. The first, HMS Pelorus, was commissioned in 1896. In an era of naval innovation, the class was almost outdated before it even hit the water, most were sold into scrap by the early 1920s.
The Pelorus class ships displaced 2135 tons and had a top speed of 20 knots (axp. 17.4 MPH). They had reciprocating triple expansion engines and Normand water-tube boilers which could give 7,000 horsepower for limited periods of time with forced draught, and 5,000 horsepower under natural draught. They carried a crew compliment of 224 and were armed with eight 4 inch (25 pound) guns, eight 3 pound guns, 3 machine guns, and two 18 inch torpedo tubes.
HMS Pelorus was the first of the Pelorus class cruisers, laid down at Sheerness dockyard in 1896. Finished and commissioned in the Royal Navy on December 15th of the same year, it was designed by Sir William White. The ship was well armed for its size, but was primarily a workhorse for the overseas fleet.