The HMS Endeavor is yet another ship that is sought more for its historical significance rather than for treasure. The HMS Endeavor was the ship that carried James Cook as he sailed around the globe from 1768 to 1771. The ship made history by being the first European ship to reach the east coast of Australia and circumnavigate New Zealand. During her voyage the ship grounded on the Great Barrier Reef in June of 1770. Cook ordered that the ship be lightened to get her to float off the reef which led to all but four of the ship’s cannons being thrown overboard. The ship was badly damaged but the crew managed to keep the ship afloat with makeshift repairs and pumping out the water. They made port and underwent full repairs before completing their journey and rounding the Cape of Good Hope on March 13, 1771. After it’s epic three year voyage HMS Endeavor was resigned to spend three years sailing to and from the Falkland Islands.
Then in 1775 it was sold into private hands and suffered the indignity of being renamed Lord Sandwich. After which she was hired as a British troop transport ship during the American War Of Independence. In 1778 it was scuttled in a blockade at Narrangansett Bay, Rhode Island. It was one of 13 ships that were deliberately sunk to try and stop the approaching French fleet. Despite knowing the relative location of the ship, it has yet to be definitively identified. The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project and the Australia National Maritime Museum have spent years mapping out and searching the silty waters around Newport. They believe they have found the location of the scuttle and that the Endeavor may be one ship in a cluster of five that have been discovered. Yet the ship was not positively identified and the search continues. The abandoned cannons were recovered and are now displayed in museums around the world.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading