The newly-built paddle steamer H.M.S. Salamander operated on the Spanish coast during the First Carlist War. Early paddle steamers were used as gunboats, despatch vessels, troop and transports or, as in this case, towing sailing ships seawards to find the wind. In this view off la Torre de Hercules, Coruña, H.M.S. Salamander is towing a British frigate, while the frigate, which is flying the flag of the Governor of the port, is firing a salute to starboard as she is towed to sea.