HMS Chatham (1788)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Career (Great Britain) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Chatham
Builder: King, Dover
Launched: 1788
Acquired: 12 February 1788
Fate: Sold in 1830
General characteristics
Class and type: 4-gun survey brig
Tons burthen: 133 long tons (135.1 t)
Length: 80 ft (24.4 m)
Beam: 22 ft (6.7 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Brig
Complement: 45
Armament: Four 3-pdr guns
6 swivels

HMS Chatham was a Royal Navy survey brig that accompanied HMS Discovery on George Vancouver's exploration of the west coast of North America in his 1791-1795 expedition.[1] Chatham was built by King, of Dover and launched in early 1788. She was purchased for navy service on 12 February 1788.

The Vancouver Expedition

Chatham's first significant voyage was Vancouver's five-year mission to the South Seas and Pacific Northwest coast of America. Her commander was Lieutenant William Robert Broughton, with 2nd Lieutenant James Hanson.[2]

In November 1791, while exploring the South Pacific, Broughton's crew were the first Europeans to sight the Chatham Islands, which they named after their ship. Among the other achievements of Chatham's crew was the exploration of the Columbia River as far as the Columbia River Gorge, reaching today's eastern Multnomah County east of Portland and north west of Mount Hood. A plaque erected by the State of Oregon along Interstate 84 commemorates the spot where Broughton landed in 1792.

In November 1792 Chatham's commander was sent back to England with dispatches; Peter Puget was her commander through her return to England on 17 October 1794. Chatham suffered severe wear on her long voyage, and was repaired at Deptford in 1797. She continued in Royal Navy service until 1830, when she was sold in Jamaica.


  1. Naish, John (1996). The Interwoven Lives of George Vancouver, Archibald Menzies, Joseph Whidbey and Peter Puget: The Vancouver Voyage of 1791-1795. The Edward Mellen Press, Ltd.. ISBN 0-7734-8857-X. 
  2. "Muster Table of His Majesties Sloop The Discovery". Admiralty Records in the Public Record Office, U.K.. 1791. Retrieved 15 December 2006. 

External links