SPARTAN was built in 1881 by J & G Thompson & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3487grt, a length of 364ft 6in, a beam of 42ft 7in and a service speed of 12 knots.
Sister of the Trojan she was completed for the mail run in 1881 but transferred to the Intermediate service in 1889.
In November 1899 she was used as a troopship during the Boer War.
Surplus to requirements when Union-Castle was formed in 1900 she was sold to A. Fragala of Catania, Sicily and renamed Fume.
After a further two years service she was broken up in Italy in April 1902.