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The Skeleton Closet

Ships in S.A. before 1830

These are the ships known to have been in South Australian waters prior to 1830.

The Explorers

Gulden Zeepard a ship of 200 lats built in 1626 and commanded by Francois Thijsen, first sighted land at the Head of the Bight on 26 January.

La Recherche a ship of 350 tons coomanded by Antoine Raymond Joseph Bruni d'Entrecastreuax visited the Head of the Bight in 1792-93.

L'Esperance a ship of 350 ton commanded by Huon de Kermadec sailed in company with La Recherche in 1792-93.

Lady Nelson a brig of 60 tons under Lieutenant James Grant of the Royal Navy, Cape Northumberland, December 1800.

Unknown ship this may have been the Elligood - a piece of copper was found at King George Sound some years later which read "August 27, 1800. Chr. Dixon - ship 'Elligood'", and later still an engraving was found in a tree on Kangaroo Island "This is the place for fat meat, 1800".

Britania a ship of 301 ton om under the command of Robert Turnbull and working as a southern whaler in 1801 visited Sydney with tales of having seen an unknown island somewhere south west of Cape Banks.

HMS Investigator a sloop of 334 ton and commanded by Captain Matthew Flinders of the Royal Navy visited South Australia extensively and charted the coast of the state and Kangaroo Island in 1802.

Le Geographe a French owned corvette captained by Nicholas Baudin met the Investigator in Encounter Bay on 8 April 1802. Captain Baudin was back again in early 1803 visiting Streaky Bay.

Albion a ship of 362 tons om commanded by Eber Bunker observed and island south west of Cape Banks in 1802.

Le Casuarina a schooner of 30 tons commanded by Louis de Freycinet visited the newlynamed St Vincet and Spencer Gulfs in January 1802 and accompanied Le Georgraphe in early 1803.

Other visitors before 1836

Union 1803 commander Isaac Pendleton

Independence 1803-1804 commander Daniel Wright and Owen Folger Smith.

Union 1804 commander Isaac Pendelton

Murrell's whaleboat continuosly between 1805 and 1809 commander Joseph Murrell.

FLy 1808 commander William Stewart

Eliza 1808-1809 commander unknown.

Endeavour - of Sydney - 1810 commander Richard Siddons

Endeavour of Norfolk Island - 1810 commander Joseph Murrell. She returned again continuously between 1816-1818 under the command of Thomas Hammant.

Elizabeth and Mary 1811-1812 commander Joseph Murrell

Campbell Macquarie 1812 commander Richard Siddons

Fly 1815 commander William Stewart

Baring 1815 commander John Lamb

Governeor Hunter 1815-1816 commander Joseph Murrell

Spring 1814-1815 commander William Bunster. The Spring returned again in 1815-1816 under the same commander.

Rosetta 1816 commander William Rook. She returned again in 1818 under the same comander.

Brothers 1816 commander William Hovell

Henrietta Packet 1816-1817 commander Charles Feen.

Jupiter 1818 commander William Bunster. She returned again later in 1818-1819 under commander BH Ainsworth.

Governor Macquarie 1819 under commander George Sutherland

Daphne 1819 under commander John Howard

Little Mary 1819-1820 commander Josiah James

Sophia 1820 commander Lawrence Read. She returned again later in 1820-1821 under the same commander.

General Gates 1822 commander Abimeleck Riggs.

Newcastle 1822-1823 commander William Rook

Minerva 1823-1824 commander Duncan Forbes

Perseverence 1823-1824 commander James Craig. She returned again later in 1824-1825 under the same commander

Nereus 1824 commander Thomas Swindells

Samuel 1824-1825 commander Andrew Drysdale

LIberty 1824-1825 unknown commander

Eclipse 1824-1825 commander James Haydock Reiby

Alligator 1825 commander Thomas Farley

Governor Brisbane 1825-1826 commander Peter Davidson

Sesostris 1826 commander John Jeffery Drake

Brisbane 1826 commander Thomas Smith

Snapper 1827-1828 commander George Goold

Speedwell 1828 commander unknown

Resolution 1828 commander Thomas Young

Jackass 1828 commander George Goold

Madeira Packet 1828-1829 commander William McMeekan

Princeof Denmark 1829 commander Duncan Forbes

Henry 1829 commander John Griffiths.

Sturt's whaleboat 1829-1830 commanded by Captain Charles Sturt and used to navigate the length of the River Murray.

Ships in South Australia after 1830 are covered in the SA Ships section of these pages.