PortCities London
You are here:  PortCities London home > The working Thames > London's docks and shipping
Text Only About this Site Feedback
Explore this site
About maritime London
Early port
Tudor and Stuart port
18th-century port
19th-century port
20th-century port
People and places
Port communities
Crime and punishment
Leisure, health and housing
Thames art, literature and architecture
The working Thames
London's docks and shipping
Trades, industries and institutions
Port of science and discovery
Historical events
Ceremony and catastrophe
London in war and conflict
Fun and games
Things to do
Timeline games
Matching games
Send an e-card
   Back to Poplar Hospital - the first hospital for dockers

The Discovery convict ship at Deptford, by EW Cooke.

The Discovery convict ship at Deptford, by EW Cooke.
The Discovery convict ship at Deptford.
© National Maritime Museum, London
Repro ID: PU6034
Description: While under construction as a merchant ship in a Thames yard, the 'Discovery' was purchased in November 1789 by the Admiralty, which was looking for a ship suitable 'for surveying in Remote Parts'. Launched and named in December, she was moved to Deptford Dockyard for outfitting. HMS 'Discovery' was commanded by Captain Vancouver on his great voyage to the northwest coast of America in 1791-95. She was 29 metres long and had a displacement of 337 tons. After her epic voyage of exploration, the 'Discovery' returned to the Thames in October 1795. Until early in 1798 she lay idle at Deptford. She was then moved to the yard that had built her for conversion into a bomb ship. In April 1801 she was part of the force under Nelson that attacked Copenhagen. Thereafter she was laid up much of the time, and she was finally paid off at Sheerness in December 1805. In 1808 the dockyard there reduced her to the service of a convict hulk. In this capacity she served for 10 years at Sheerness and a further 15 years at Woolwich. Thence she was moved once more to Deptford, where she was broken up. Demolition was completed in February 1834.
Creator: William Edward Cooke
Date: 1829-02
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
Legal & CopyrightPartner sites:BristolHartlepoolLiverpoolSouthamptonAbout this SiteFeedbackText Only