1768(Langton Small Merchant)
(Constructed by Hugh Thomas)
- Class: Cat-bark (3m)
- Displacement: 369 tons
- Dimensions: 97.6 x 29.3 x 11.3 ft
- Armament: 6 x 4pdr, 8 swivels
- Complement: 85-94
- Built: Fishburn, Whitby, England
- Completed: 1764
- Purchased: 1768
- Service: Launched as the "cat-built bark" Earl of Pembroke, for the North Sea coal trade. Acquired by the Royal Navy for a scientific expedition to the South Seas under the command of Lt. James Cook. One purpose was to observe the transit of Venus on 3 June 1769 for "the improvement of astronomy, on which navigation so much depends" while observations were also to be made by other teams at other locations. Second, the voyage was to determine whether there was an undiscovered great southern continent, or Terra Australis. The vessel was renamed Endeavour and rerigged as a ship, although she was referred to as "H. M. Bark". She sailed from Plymouth 25 August 1768 with a compliment including naturalists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander. She sailed via Cape Horn and arrived at Tahiti 13 April 1769. After successfully observing the transit, they proceeded on the exploration part of the voyage, visiting the Society Islands and circumnavigating both the North and South Islands of New Zealand (and naming Cook Strait between them). Beginning the return voyage 31 March 1770, they sailed west and reached the east coast of New Holland on 19 April; coasting north, they anchored at Botany Bay, named "for the great quantity of New Plants & ca." Further north they grounded on the Great Barrier Reef 10 June and only saved the ship by fothering a sail under the hull to temporarily stop the leak. Landing on the coast nine days later, they were able to effect repairs over a period of six weeks. They then sailed west through Torres Strait to the Dutch colony at Batavia. While further repairs to the hull were being made, many of the crew became sick with fever and dysentery, with seven dead by the time the ship departed 26 December 1770. Twenty-three more died of the sickness on the voyage across the Indian Ocean. They anchored at Cape Town from 15 March to 14 April 1771, and reached England on 12 July 1771. Cook was promoted Commander and departed on the second of his three Pacific expeditions in July 1772.
Endeavour made three voyages to the Falkland Islands before being paid off in Sep 1774. One story is that she returned to the North Sea colliery for fifteen years and was then sold to French interests in 1790 for the whale trade and renamed La Liberté; in 1793 she ran aground off Newport, Rhode Island and was later broken up. Another story is that she was renamed Lord Sandwich in merchant service, but then returned to naval service in 1776 as a troop transport during the American Revolutionary War; she delivered a contingent of Hessian soldiers to Rhode Island and was later scuttled at Newport as a block ship in 1778.