Lecturer: Peter Atkinsons
HMS Endeavour, 1764-1778: carrying coal from Newcastle to London, sailing the Pacific with Captain Cook, adventures in the Atlantic, an undignified end and, possibly, a partial resurrection.
Built in Whitby in 1764, as the Earl of Pembroke she joined a rapidly growing fleet carrying coal from Newcastle to London. In 1768 she was bought by the Royal Navy, renamed Endeavour, and refitted for James Cook’s round-the-world voyage, in part scientific and in part a search for new British territory. After rounding Cape Horn, the expedition visited Tahiti and New Zealand, “discovered” Australia, and returned home via Jakarta and Cape Town.
In 1771, Cook and Endeavour parted company; we shall stay with the ship. She made three voyages to the Falklands as a transport before being sold and renamed Lord Sandwich in 1775. The following year, she was chartered by the navy to carry troops to fight the rebellious colonists in the American War of Independence. She became a prison ship at Newport, Rhode Island and in 1778, along with others, was scuttled there to prevent the French from entering the harbour in support of the Americans.
Marine archaeologists from Rhode Island and Australia believe they have found her remains. Further exploration and testing are being conducted in a search for confirmation, which may have been found by the time this lecture is given.