Diana was constructed at Messrs Kyds & Co Dockyard in Kidderpore near Calcutta. Launched on 12 July 1823, it was the first steamer to be built in India and the first steamer to be used to ferry passengers there. As it was assembled right after the invention of steam navigation, it was also among the first steamers to be used for warfare by the British. Diana was involved in the Anglo-Burmese War (1824-26) during which it was sent to the Irrawaddy River in 1825. It arrived in Singapore on March 1837. The history of Diana is also closely linked to its shipmaster, Captain Samuel Congalton who was instrumental in the fight against rampant piracy around the waters in Singapore during the 1830s.