HMS Endeavour, 1764-1778: A Short but Interesting Life

Mon 24 January, 2022 @ 10:30 – 11:30
Teatro des Actos at La Senieta
Speaker: Peter Atkinson

The ship we think of as Endeavour had three identities.  First, she was built in Whitby as The Earl of Pembroke and spent four years carrying coal from the Tyne to London.  She was then plucked from obscurity by the Royal Navy and refitted as Endeavour to circle the globe on a three-year voyage of discovery under James Cook (1768-1771).

Captain James Cook(1728-1779). Nathaniel Dance. BHC2628

Following that period of celebrity, she returned to obscurity: three years as a naval supply ship to the Falkland Islands.

She was sold to a private buyer in 1775 and became the Lord Sandwich.  Leased back to the navy the following year, she carried troops across the Atlantic to fight for the British in the American War of Independence, later serving as an appalling prison ship.  In 1778, she came to an ignominious end: scuttled by the British to prevent the French navy, American allies, from entering the harbour at Newport, Rhode Island.  However, some form of resurrection may be at hand; marine archaeologists believe they have found her.