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The HMS Beagle was a Cherokee-Class 10-gun brig-sloop that served with the Royal Navy. The Beagle was later adapted as a survey barque and conducted three expeditions. Her second expedition made her one of the most famous ships in history as she carried a young Charles Darwin, who later penned the Origin of Species. 


I think she would make a great ship for use of explorers to survey coastlines, and send expeditions to unknown lands.


Class and type: Cherokee class brig-sloop

Tons burthen: 235 bm

Length: 90.3 ft (27.5 m)

Beam: 24.5 ft (7.5 m)

Draught: 12.5 ft (3.8 m)

Sail Plan: Brig (Barque from 1825)

Complement: 120 as a ship-of-war, 65 plus 9 supernumeraries on second voyage

Armament: 10 guns, reduced to 6 guns on first survey voyage, 7 guns on second survey voyage






HMS Beagle 1:1 Replica hull



Edited by DeceptingDecoy
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Potted History of the Beagle.





Beagle, 1820 
Type: Survey vessel ; late Brig-sloop ; Armament 10 
Launched : 11 May 1820 ; Disposal date or year : May 1870 
Disposal Details : Sold by auction to Murray and Trainer
BM: 237 tons 

1825 Survey vessel. 

Portsmouth 17 Dec 1825 Is expected shortly from the river to fit out for survey duties in the Straits of Magellan, Le Maire, and a part of the coast of Patagonia.

May 1826 Capt. P. Stokes, departed England with the Adventure (Capt. P. P. King), to survey the waters off Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, Chiloe, and Peru. Capt. P. Stokes subsequently died and he was replaced, temporarily by Lieutenant Skyring (later died on the coast of Africa), and permanently by Commander Fitzroy.

20 Jun 1827 ready to depart Rio de Janeiro for Magellan's Straits to continue survey.

Late 1830 returned to England to be refitted in order to continue the survey of the coast of South Africa.

21 Jul 1831 in Hamoaze.

1831 Devonport, fitted with permanent lightning conductors in her masts.

Late 1831 departed Plymouth for South American waters with Mr. Charles Darwin on board, Commander R Fitzroy, in command.

20 Nov 1831 in Barnpool.

10 Dec 1831 departed Plymouth, for South America, but not being able to get down Channel, presumably due to contrary weather conditions, put back into Barnpool.

25 Feb 1832 off Bahia. She was due to refit at Rio de Janeiro and then proceed around the Horn to Otaheite, the Sandwich Isles, and New South Wales.

28 Apr 1832 at Rio de Janeiro.

3 Jun 1832 arrived at Rio from Bahia.

4 Jul 1832 remained at Rio when the Lightning departed for England, but was shortly due to depart for the Rio de la Plata, aka La Plata River.

1 Oct 1832 at Monte Video.

15 Sep 1833 reported to be at Maldonado.

1 Jan 1834 surveying on the South America Station.

8 Jul 1836 arrived St Helena from Simon's Bay, and sailed for Ascension, the West Indies and England.

8 Oct 1836 has reportedly been on a cruise with the Experimental Squadron.

22 Oct 1836 arrived Portsmouth Thursday from Plymouth and sailed today for Woolwich to be paid off.

29 May 1840 was in Cambridge Gulf, latitude 14, longitude 128, on the 9th of January, surveying a portion of the coast of New Holland, which runs east and west, immediately to the west of the Gulf of Carpentaria. They had been fortunate enough to discover two navigable rivers ; one named Adelaide, in latitude 12, longitude 131 E., which extended 120 miles inland, and which doubtlessly went much further ; but the boats wanting previsions, were obliged to give up further progress. The other was in the same vicinity up which the boats went 80 miles, but, finding nothing but Salt water, were compelled to return, the thermometer standing then in the shade at 105. We regret to find that on the eve of a material survey Lieutenant Stokes was seriously wounded by a native, a party of whom were lying in ambush ; the varlet threw a spear a distance of 40 yards from a height, which passed through Lieutenant Stakes' arm, pierced his breast, and wounded the lungs; the sufferer, however, was fast recovering.

1 Dec 1840, was at Port Adelaide, South Australia, on her way to Sydney, where she arrived on the 23rd.

1 Apr 1841, at Sydney.

28 Sep 1841, anchored in Gage's Roads having comenced the survey of the New South Wales coast, having completed the north and northwest coast of New Holland, and visited Timor.

13 Nov 1841, Mate B. F. Helpman (1834), of the Beagle, promoted to Lieutenant.

1844 struck by Lightning on more than one occasion whilst on the Coast of South Australia.

4 May 1844 Letter to the United Services Gazette regarding her 6 years of survey work.

1846 Customs Watch Vessel

20 Dec 1848 Customs Watch Vessel at Southend

1860 Watch Vessel, Southend

1863 Renamed Watch Vessel 7

1870 Sold by auction for £525. Comments : Launched in 1820 from the Woolwich Royal Dockyard on the Thames the 235-tonne vessel was refitted three years later as a hydrographic survey vessel. It then embarked on its famous career as a survey and scientific exploration ship, circumnavigating the globe twice. 

The 90-foot sloop was eventually laid up at Woolwich in 1840. It was later used by the coastguard service for anti-smuggling duties along the south-east coast of England until it was auctioned for £525 in 1870. Further comments on the thought of her being broken up.

Edited by Sir Cloudsley-Shovell
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