HMS Enterprise (1848)

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The Devils Thumb, Ships Boring and Warping in the Pack, Dedicated by special permission to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty By their Lordships most obedient Servant W H Browne, Lieut R N
HMS Enterprise (left) and HMS Investigator (right)
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Enterprise
Builder: Money Wigram and Sons, Blackwall[1]
Cost: £24,545[1]
Launched: 5 April 1848
Acquired: Purchased February 1848 on stocks[1]
Fate: Coal depot 1860
Lent to the Board of Trade
Sold 15 September 1903[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Arctic Discovery Ship
Tonnage: 741 tons (Builder's Measure)
Length: 125.6 ft (38.3 m)[1]
Beam: 28.8 ft (8.8 m)[1]
Depth of hold: 20 ft (6.1 m)[1]
Sail plan: Barque-rigged

HMS Enterprise was an Arctic discovery ship laid down as a merchant vessel and purchased in 1848 before launch to search for Sir John Franklin's lost expedition. She made two Arctic voyages before becoming a coal depot, and was finally sold in 1903. She was the tenth Enterprise (or Enterprize) to serve in the Royal Navy.


She was laid down as a merchant vessel at the Blackwall yard of Money Wigram and Sons, but purchased by the Admiralty in February 1848 and fitted for Arctic exploration. She was launched on 5 April 1848.


Enterprise made two voyages to the Arctic, the first via the Atlantic in 1848-1849 under James Clark Ross, then in 1850-1854 via the Pacific and the Bering Strait in an expedition led by Richard Collinson.[2]

From 1860 she was lent to the Commissioners of Northern Lights for use as a coal hulk at Oban, and from 1889 she was lent to the Board of Trade. She was sold in 1903.


  • Arctic Hell-Ship : the voyage of HMS Enterprise, 1850-1855 by William Barr, University of Alberta Press, USA, 2007, ISBN 0888644825


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Winfield, Rif; Lyon, David (2003). The Sail and Steam Navy List, 1815-1889. Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1861760326. 
  2. "HMS Enterprise at William Looney website". Retrieved 2008-11-29. 

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