"Dolphin" was launched in 1882 as H.M.S. "Dolphin" and saw active service for the Royal Navy until 1906 when she became the Depot Ship for the submarine service based at Portsmouth. In 1912 she became the flagship for the Flag Officer Commanding submarines at Fort Blockhouse.
The Admiralty sold "Dolphin" in 1924 to Sir Donald Pollock and Lt. Comdr. J.M. Robertson. She left Portsmouth under tow for her voyage to Leith but encountered very bad weather in the Firth of Forth and was beached near Musselburgh only seven miles from her destination. Five months later she was salvaged and by 1928 had been re-fitted including panelling from the officers' quarters of H.M.S. King George V which was being scrapped by Sir Donald Pollock’s company Metal Industries. From 1928 "Dolphin" was used as a boys' club until 1944 when she was acquired by Leith Nautical College as its training ship. She was berthed in West Old Dock and latterly in East Old Dock.
T.S. "Dolphin" gave vital service to the Merchant Navy for 33 years until 1977 when she was demolished at Bo'ness.