History of HMS BEAGLES

HMS Beagle ship was started  on 11 May 1820. It was designed by Henry Peake in 1807. It was started from the river Thames on the Woolwich dockyard. This whole ship cost almost $7,803. It measured just 27 metres in length and width was nearly 7 metres, it weighed 235 tons.This ship is famous as during the second voyage the famous Charles Darwin boarded this ship and so his works made it more popular in the history of ships. It is said that this ship was the first ship that sailed completely under the London Bridge. It was a ship of 10 gun brig sloops.

Its first voyage was from 1826 to 1830 and was off exploring South America and surveying Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.

The second one was started on 1831 and finished on 1836. It was done to explore South America and then around the world. This time, Beagle became famous as Charles Darwin was on this ship. This voyage became one of the most famous journeys ever made.

The third and the last one was started on 1837 and continued till 1843, which was to survey large parts of the Australian coast.


During the first trip, Captain Pringle Stokes was appointed. On 1825, the ship was there at the surveying section of the Hydrographic office. Beagle’s guns were reduced from 10 to 6 cannon. It set sail from Plymouth on 1826, and the mission was to be with the larger ship HMS Adventure on a hydrographic survey and the command of Stokes. But being not able to face the difficult parts of the survey the captain locked himself in the cabin and went into depression for a short time. As he shot himself again on 2 August 1828 with more ideas for the next cruise but eventually his condition deteriorated, and he died on 12 August.

The next captain was Parker King after the death of Stokes. During this complete survey Beagle channel was identified and it was named after the ship.


Beagle left Plymouth for her second voyage dated 27 December 1831. The captain was Robert Fitzroy at that time. There were 3 Fuegians on the ship along with Charles Darwin. This voyage was for completing the work that was left and not done on the previous journey that was to survey the southern coasts of South America, also to record the latitudes and longitudes of each port. For recording all this, there were 22 chronometers on board. Charles Darwin had sailed approx. 40,000 miles around the world. He had explored over 2000 miles inland, and that made him collect more than 5000 specimens. This he had done before Beagle returning to England in October 1836. He was called as the ship’s naturalist. His knowledge provided intellectual companionship for the captains. By the end of this voyage, he became a famous geologist and a fossil collector, which helped him to make his theory of evolution.


The third one was in 1837, and it was set to survey large parts of Australian coasts. The captain at that time was Commander John Clements. So after all voyages Beagle returned to England on 1843 exploring Northern and North West Australia.

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