H.M.S. Eurydice was one of those 26-gun sixth rates affectionately nicknamed the 'Jackass Frigates' which were built towards the end of the age of sail. Laid down at Portsmouth in April 1842 and launched on 16th May 1843, Eurydice was measured at 911 tons and carried a crew of 190 officers and men.
After eighteen years of naval service, which included anti-slavery operations off West Africa and patrolling the White Sea during the Crimean War, she was withdrawn from the fleet in 1861 to become a harbour training ship. Sixteen years later she was refitted for sail-training and put to sea on 13th November 1877, bound for the West Indies. On 6th March 1878, she left Bermuda with an estimated 368 persons aboard and on the afternoon of 24th March was sighted off Bonchurch, Isle of Wight. The weather had been good but, just before 4 o'clock, a sudden change of wind and a blinding snowstorm appeared as if from nowhere and Eurydice foundered within sight of Ventnor. A passing schooner, the Emma, picked up the only five survivors - three of whom died soon afterwards - and only two men escaped the wreck to tell what had occurred. They stated that their ship had been struck by the freak wind and, with her yards already top-heavy with snow, she had capsized very quickly whilst most of those aboard were still below decks. It was one of the greatest peacetime tragedies in the history of the Royal Navy, the more so as so many of those who died were young cadets or boy sailors, and the whole nation felt the loss keenly judging by the contemporary newspaper reports.
An operation to salvage the wreck was begun immediately and, once raised, it was towed into Portsmouth on 1st September  where it was broken up shortly afterwards.