HMS Discovery was a Royal Navy ship launched in 1789 and best known as the lead ship in George Vancouver’s exploration of the west coast of North America in his famous 1791-1795 expedition. She was converted to a bomb vessel in 1798 and participated in the Battle of Copenhagen. Thereafter she served as a hospital ship and later as a convict ship until 1831. She was broken up in 1834.
Discovery was launched in 1789 and purchased for the Navy in 1790. She was named after the previous HMS Discovery, one of the ships on James Cook’s third voyage to the Pacific Ocean. The earlier Discovery was the ship on which Vancouver had served as a midshipman.
Discovery was a full-rigged ship with a standard crew complement of 100 including a widow’s man. She had been designed and built for a voyage of exploration to the Southern whale fisheries.
Discovery’s first captain was Henry Roberts, with Vancouver as his first lieutenant. But when the Nootka Crisis began in 1789, Roberts and Vancouver were posted elsewhere. The ship then became a depot (hulk) for processing sailors brought in by press gangs in Chatham. Vancouver then returned and was given full command of Discovery to assist with the Nootka Sound Conventions.
|Builder:||Randall, Gray & Brent, Rotherhithe|
|In service:||7 December 1789|
|Honours and awards:||Copenhagen 1801|
|Fate:||Broken up by 15 February 1834|
|Class and type:||10-gun survey ship|
|Tons burthen:||330 65⁄98 bm|
|Beam:||28 ft 3 1⁄4 in (8.617 m)|
|Depth of hold:||12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)|
|Sail plan:||Full-rigged ship|