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HMS Beagle.

HMS Beagle.
HMS Beagle.
© National Maritime Museum, London
Repro ID: PU8969
Description: The 235-ton HMS 'Beagle' was launched at the Royal Dockyard, Woolwich on 11 May 1820. She measured just 27 metres (90’4’’) in length, with a breadth of 7 metres (24’6’’). Specially commissioned for the new surveying programme, her career began in 1826 with voyages to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego under the command of Captain Parker King, returning to Plymouth in 1830. At the end of 1831, she again sailed for South America under the command of Captain Fitzroy. Charles Darwin joined the ship on this voyage as a naturalist. He developed his theories of evolution, culminating in his book 'The Origin of Species', during his time on board. The ship's captain, Robert Fitzroy, was an expert meteorologist who later established the Meteorological Office. The ship suffered a great deal of damage but was extensively refitted and improved throughout her life on the seas, often at great expense to her captain. For example, a mizzenmast was added to make her more manoeuvrable in the shallow coastal waters. In 1845, the ship was left as a watch vessel, and sold to Murray and Trainer in 1870 to be broken up.
Creator: Captain Stanley Owen
Date: c. 1835
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
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