HMS Chatham (1788)

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career Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom, svg
Builder: King, Dover
Launch: 1788
Fate: Sold 1830
General data
Classification: brig
Displacement: 133 tons
Length: 24.40 m / 80 ft
Width: 6.70 m / 22 ft
Drive: sail
Crew: 45 men
Armament: 4 cannons (three pounders)
6 rotating guns

The HMS Chatham was a survey ship of the Royal Navy , which the HMS Discovery during the expedition of George Vancouver accompanied in the years 1791-1795. She was built as a merchant ship at the King Shipyard in Dover , bought by the Navy and put into service on February 12, 1788.

The Vancouver Expedition

The first significant voyage took HMS Chatham to the South Seas and the Pacific Northwest coast of America. She accompanied the Vancouver expedition on their 5-year journey. The captain was Lieutenant William Robert Broughton .

The journey went via Cape Town to the south coast of Australia , via New Zealand , Tahiti and Hawaii (formerly: Sandwich Islands) to the northwest coast of North America up to Alaska . The winter was alternately in Southern California and Hawaii. In 1795 they returned via Cape Horn .

While exploring the South Pacific in November 1791, the crew discovered a group of islands which they named after their ship - the Chatham Islands . In the fall of 1792, the ship was busy exploring the Columbia River , which it followed to the Columbia River Gorge .

In November 1792, Captain Broughton was sent back to England with letters and to get new instructions for the expedition. The new captain was Lieutenant Peter Puget , who owes the discovery of the Puget Sound and who later made a remarkable career.

In 1797 the ship was repaired at Deptford, repairing the damage that had occurred during its long voyage. The HMS Chatham remained in service until 1830 and was eventually sold in Jamaica .

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