Samuel Enderby & Sons

Samuel Enderby & Sons was a whaling and sealing company based in London, England, founded circa 1775 by Samuel Enderby (1717–1797).[1] The company encouraged their captains to combine exploration with their business activities, and sponsored several of the earliest expeditions to the subantarctic, Southern Ocean and Antarctica itself.

History of the company: 1773–1800

Enderby had acquired at least one ship, Almsbury, c. 1768, renamed Rockingham, that he used as a trader. In 1773 Enderby began the Southern Fishery, a whaling firm with ships registered in London and Boston. All of the captains and harpooners were American loyalists. The vessels transported finished goods to the American colonies, and brought whale oil ′from New England to England. Some of Enderby's ships were reportedly chartered for the tea cargoes that were ultimately dumped into Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea Party incident.

An embargo was placed on whale oil exports from New England in 1775, as a result of the American War of Independence. Enderby therefore elected to pursue the whaling trade in the South Atlantic. Rockingham embarked on her first whale fishing voyage on 11 November 1775 when Captain Elihu L. Clark sailed her from Britain for the Brazil Banks.

Samuel Enderby founded the Samuel Enderby & Sons company the following year. He and his business associates Alexander Champion and John St Barbe assembled a fleet of twelve whaling vessels on the Greenwich Peninsula, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.[2][3]

By 1785, Samuel Enderby & Sons controlled seventeen ships engaged in this business. All were commanded by American Loyalists. That year, whales in the South Atlantic had become nearly extinct due to pressure from the whaling industry. The Enderby family therefore shifted its focus to the seas around New Zealand, with the Bay of Islands as its main base of operations.

In early 1786, the Enderby family lobbied the government for the right to go into the South Pacific (an area in which the East India Company had historically enjoyed a monopoly).[4] The lobbying efforts were eventually successful, and on 1 September 1788, the 270 ton whaling vessel Amelia, owned by Samuel Enderby & Sons and commanded by Captain James Shields, departed London. The ship went west around Cape Horn into the Pacific Ocean to become the first ship of any nation to conduct whaling operations in the Southern Ocean. A crewman, Archelus Hammond of Nantucket, killed the first sperm whale there off the coast of Chile on 3 March 1789. Amelia returned to London on 12 March 1790 with a cargo of 139 tons of sperm oil.[5] The Amelia voyage marked the beginning of a new era for the company—one in which many great voyages of oceanographic and geographic exploration were accomplished, but which would ultimately prove to be a drain on company profits.

By 1791, the company owned or leased 68 whaling ships operating in the subantarctic region and the Southern Ocean.[2] Whaling vessels owned by Samuel Enderby & Sons were part of the Third Fleet taking convicts to New South Wales in 1791. These vessels included Britannia, William and Ann, Mary Ann, Matilda, and Active . Captain Eber Bunker, the enterprising American captain of William and Ann, not wanting to return to England with an empty vessel, became the first to hunt whales in New Zealand waters in December 1791. From this time forward, Enderby's ships Speedy, Britannia, and Ocean made frequent whaling voyages from Port Jackson.

Over the next decade the area became more attractive as the East India Company’s monopoly on fishing in South Pacific waters was progressively lifted, and Governor Phillip Parker King of New South Wales worked to attract the whaling industry.

From January 1793 to November 1794, Enderby sent the Rattler to survey whaling grounds in the southeastern Pacific, under the command of Lieutenant James Colnett, Royal Navy. Colnett surveyed the Galapagos Islands on this expedition.

Samuel Enderby died in 1797, leaving the company to his three sons Charles, Samuel, and George.[2]

History of the company: 1800–1854

By 1801, Governor Phillip King of New South Wales reported six ships engaging in the whaling industry off the northeast coast of New Zealand, and in 1802 he declared that whaling was established in that area.

On 18 August 1806, Captain Abraham Bristow, commander of Ocean, a whaling ship owned by Samuel Enderby & Sons, discovered the Auckland Islands archipelago in the Southern Ocean, south of New Zealand. Finding them uninhabited, he named them "Lord Auckland's" after his father's friend William Eden, 1st Baron Auckland.[6] Bristow returned on Sarah in 1807 in order to claim the archipelago for England.

On 3 August 1819, the whaling vessel Syren, owned by Samuel Enderby & Sons and commanded by Captain Frederick Coffin of Nantucket, Massachusetts, visited the whaling grounds off Japan. The ship returned to London on 21 April 1822 with a cargo of 346 tons of sperm oil.[5][7]

In 1830, after the death of their father, Samuel Enderby Junior (1756–1829), Samuel Enderby's grandsons, Charles and George Enderby, bought a site on the Thames River which became known as Enderby's Wharf. This site became the new headquarters of the Messrs Enderby company. There they built a ropewalk and a factory, known as Enderby's Hemp Rope Works, for the production of sail canvas and rope from hemp and flax.[2]

From 1830-1833, Samuel Enderby & Sons sponsored the Southern Ocean Expedition as part of an effort to locate new sealing grounds in the Southern Ocean. This expedition, involved two company-owned vessels: the whaling brig Tula, and the cutter Lively. The expedition, led by Captain John Biscoe of the Tula, was the third ever to circumnavigate the Antarctic continent. (Captain James Cook being the first, and Fabian von Bellingshausen being the second.) The expedition discovered and charted a large coastal land mass in East Antarctica which Biscoe named Enderby Land. Biscoe also charted many other terrain features, including Cape Ann, Mount Biscoe, Adelaide Island, the Biscoe Islands, and Graham Land.[8] Despite the loss of several men to scurvy and the wreck of the Lively at the Falkland Islands in July 1832, the expedition successfully returned to London in early 1833.

From 1838-1839, Captain John Balleny led another expedition to the Southern Ocean. Commanding the Eliza Scott, another whaling schooner, this expedition led to the discovery of the Balleny Islands.

In 1846, Samuel Enderby's grandson Charles Enderby founded the Southern Whale Fishery Company in England. In December 1849, he established the Enderby Settlement in Erebus Cove, Port Ross, at the north-eastern end of Auckland Island, close to Enderby Island.[9][10] This was the beginning of the community named Hardwicke. The Hardwicke settlement was based on agriculture, resupply and minor repair of ships, and whaling. Ultimately unsuccessful, the colony was abandoned in August 1852.[9]

Charles Enderby returned to London in 1853. The ill-fated Enderby Settlement finally bankrupted the Enderby family business, which was liquidated in 1854.[11] Charles Enderby died in poverty in London on 31 August 1876.

Terrain features named after the Enderby family

Terrain features named after the Enderby family include:

Fictional References

  • In Chapter 100 of the novel Moby-Dick, the Pequod of Nantucket meets a whaling ship of London named the Samuel Enderby,[15] which has also encountered the White Whale. Samuel Enderby was a real ship and was in fact among the three Enderby company ships (the other two were the Fancy and the Brisk) from England that arrived at Port Ross in 1849 carrying the 150 colonists for the new Enderby Settlement.[10] Chapter 101 of Moby Dick discusses Samuel Enderby & Sons whaling company in further detail.[15]
  • In the novel The Far Side of the World (chapter 3) by Patrick O'Brian a character describes the voyages of Shields in the Amelia and Colnett in the Rattler.

See also


  1. ^ K.M. Dallas, 'Enderby, Samuel (1756-1829)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, Melbourne University Press, 1966, p. 357.
  2. ^ a b c d Green A, 150 Years Of Industry & Enterprise At Enderby's Wharf
  3. ^ Jackson, Gordon (1978, page 92. The British Whaling Trade. Archon. ISBN 0-208-01757-7.
  4. ^ Dan Byrnes, Outlooks for England's South Whale Fishery, 1784-1800, and the Great Botany Debate
  5. ^ a b The Quarterly Review, Volume 63, London:John Murray, 1839, page 321.
  6. ^ F.B. McLaren, The Auckland Islands: Their Eventful History, Wellington:A.H and A.W Reed, 1948
  7. ^ Granville Mawar, Ahab's Trade: The Saga of South Seas Whaling, New York:St. Martin's Press, 1999, page 126. ISBN 0-312-22809-0
  8. ^ "Antarctic History,". Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  9. ^ a b Historical Timeline of the Auckland Islands Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ a b Paul Dingwall & Kevin Jones, Archaeological reconstruction of a mid-19th century colonial settlement at the Auckland Islands, Wellington:Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai [1]
  11. ^ Charles Enderby
  12. ^ USGS GNIS: Enderby Land
  13. ^ USGS GNIS: Enderby Island
  14. ^ USGS GNIS: Enderby Plain
  15. ^ a b Herman Melville, 'Moby-Dick', Harper & Brothers, New York, 1851, Chapters 100 & 101

External links

Alexander Champion (businessman)

Alexander Champion (jnr) (11 Nov 1751 - 6 Apr 1809) was a London-based merchant and was active as a whaler in the late 18th century. His father was especially significant in the history of whaling in the United Kingdom. The Champion family was from Berkshire and moved to London in the early 18th century.

Baroness Longueville (1804 ship)

Baroness Longueville was a ship built in New York in 1804. She may have been a prize (under another name), but from 1806 on she sailed first as a merchantman, and then as a whaler for Samuel Enderby & Sons. She made at least four whaling voyages. She is last listed in Lloyd's Register in 1825.

Britannia (1783 whaler)

Britannia was a 301 burthen ton full rigged whaler built in 1783 in Bridport, England, and owned by the whaling firm Samuel Enderby & Sons. She also performed two voyages transporting convicts to Port Jackson. She was wrecked off the New South Wales Coast in 1806.

Charles Enderby

Charles Enderby (1798–1876) was one of three sons of Samuel Enderby Junior (1756–1829). He was the grandson of Samuel Enderby (1717–1797), who founded the Samuel Enderby & Sons company in 1775. Samuel Enderby & Sons was one of the most prominent English sealing and whaling firms, active in both the Arctic and Southern Oceans. Charles and his two brothers, Henry and George, inherited Samuel Enderby & Sons when their father Samuel Junior died in 1829. They moved the company headquarters in 1830 from Paul's Wharf to Great St. Helens in London.

Enderby (surname)

Enderby is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Samuel Enderby (1717–1797), founder of the whaling company Samuel Enderby & Sons

Samuel Enderby Junior (1756–1829), son of the founder of the whaling company Samuel Enderby & Sons

Charles Enderby (1798–1876), grandson of the founder of the whaling company Samuel Enderby & Sons

Kep Enderby (1926–2015), Australian Esperantist and former politician

Pamela Enderby (born 1949), British speech therapist and academic

Essex Junior

The sloop Essex Junior was French prize that the British whaling firm of Samuel Enderby and Sons purchased and used as a whaler under the name Atlantic. In 1813, on her second whaling voyage, the frigate USS Essex captured her off the Galapagos Islands. The Americans named her Essex Junior. The British recaptured her on 28 March 1814 when they captured Essex. They then sent Essex Junior to New York as a cartel. There the Americans seized her and sold her.

Georgiana (1802 ship)

Georgiana was built in Mexico in 1800, captured in 1801, and became a whaler for Samuel Enderby & Sons. She made three whale fishing voyages for them. She then became a merchantman, trading with Curaçao, and later, Argentina. She was last listed in 1821.

Hardwicke, New Zealand

Hardwicke was the name of an agricultural and whaling community set up at Port Ross, a natural harbour on Auckland Island in the Auckland Islands Group in the Southern Ocean south of New Zealand. Although a short-lived settlement was established, it was abandoned within three years.

Hughes Bay

Hughes Bay is a bay lying between Cape Sterneck and Cape Murray along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. It is 42 kilometres (26 mi) wide and lies south of Chavdar Peninsula and north of Pefaur (Ventimiglia) Peninsula, indenting the Danco Coast on the west side of Graham Land for 20 kilometres (12 mi).

The name has appeared on maps for over 100 years, and commemorates Edward Hughes, master of the Sprightly, a sealing vessel owned by the London whaling company Samuel Enderby & Sons, which explored in this area in 1824–25.Hughes Bay may have been site of the first landing on the Antarctic mainland, by sealers from the US sealing vessel Cecilia under Captain John Davis on February 7, 1821.

John Balleny

John Balleny (died 1857) was the English captain of a whaling schooner, the Eliza Scott, who led an exploration cruise for the English whaling firm Samuel Enderby & Sons to the Antarctic in 1838-1839.

During this expedition, Balleny, sailing in company with Thomas Freeman and the Sabrina, sailed into the Southern Ocean along a corridor of longitude centering on the line of 175°E., south of New Zealand.

The Balleny squadron logged a partial break in the pack ice surrounding the southern continent, discovered the Balleny Islands in 1839, and caught a brief sight of Antarctica itself at 64°58'S., 121°08'E. This patch of icy land is today called the Sabrina Coast.

The Balleny corridor through the Southern Ocean would be used by future explorers such as Robert Scott, Ernest Shackleton, Roald Amundsen, and Richard Byrd, and is used today by surface vessels resupplying McMurdo and other scientific bases located in and around the Ross Sea sector of Antarctica.

John Biscoe

John Biscoe (28 June 1794 – 1843) was an English mariner and explorer who commanded the first expedition known to have sighted the areas named Enderby Land and Graham Land along the coast of Antarctica. The expedition also found a number of islands in the vicinity of Graham Land, including the Biscoe Islands that were named after him.

Matilda (1790 ship)

Matilda was a ship built in France and launched in 1779. She became a whaling ship for the British company Camden, Calvert and King, making a whaling voyage while under the command of Matthew Weatherhead to New South Wales and the Pacific in 1790.She enters Lloyd's Register in 1791 with Weatherhead as master, Calvert & Co., as owners, and trade London—Botany Bay. That year, either owned or leased by Samuel Enderby & Sons, she transported convicts from England to Australia as part of the third fleet.

She departed Portsmouth on 27 March 1791 and arrived on 1 August in Port Jackson, New South Wales. She embarked 250 male convicts, 25 of whom died during the voyage. Nineteen officers and men of the New South Wales Corps provided the guards. On her arrival at Port Jackson the ship required repairs.

After he had delivered his convicts, Weatherhead took Matilda whaling in the New South Wales fishery or off Van Diemen's Land.New South Wales records show Matilda as leaving for India in November. She apparently sailed via the Marquesas Islands. Other records have Matilda leaving Port Jackson on 28 December, bound for Peru.

Minerva (1805 whaler)

Minerva was the French letter of marque Minerve, a former privateer from Bordeaux, that the Royal Navy captured in September 1804. Samuel Enderby & Sons purchased her c.1805 for use as a whaler. She was taken off the coast of Peru circa August 1805 after a crewman had killed her captain and her crew had mutinied.

Ocean (ship)

A number of sailing ships have been named Ocean.

Ocean was a ship of 243 tons (bm) built in France in 1793 that the British captured in 1799. She became a whaler for Samuel Enderby & Sons and made some 11 whaling voyages to the Southern Whale Fishery between 1800 and 1824. In 1806 Captain Abraham Bristow discovered the Auckland Islands.

Ocean (1794 ship) was built at South Shields, England. She performed two voyages as an "extra" ship for the British East India Company (EIC). Ocean continued to sail as a London-based transport until 1823.Two ships named Ocean sailed to the East Indies under a license from the EIC. After the EIC lost its monopoly on trade with India in 1813, it licensed vessels belonging to private owners to trade with India.

Ocean (1802 ship) was launched at Quebec. She made five voyages under charter to the British East India Company (EIC) between 1804 and 1814. Her owners then sold her and she continued to sail between Britain and India under a license issued by the EIC. In 1815–1816 she made one voyage transporting convicts to Australia. She was last listed in 1825.

Ocean (1808 ship), a 437-ton (bm) merchant ship built at Whitby that transported convicts to Port Jackson in 1818 and 1823.

Rockingham (ship)

Several vessels have borne the name Rockingham:

Rockingham (1767 ship) was launched in America in 1767, and was of 189, or 200 tons (bm). Samuel Enderby & Sons, the whaling company, purchased her perhaps as early as 1767 or 1768; she made eight whaling voyages for them between 1775 and 1782. In 1782 she underwent a good repair and Enderbys renamed her Swift. She then performed whaling voyages on the Brazil Banks and off Africa until 1793. She was still listed in Lloyd's Register as whaling until at least 1795.

Rockingham (1785 EIC ship) was launched in 1785 at Deptford. She made seven voyages for the British East India Company (EIC) before she was sold in 1802 for breaking up.

Rockingham (1818 ship), of 427​10⁄94 tons (bm), was launched in 1818 at Sunderland by James Laing. In 1823 she made one voyage for the EIC. She continued trading until 1830 when she was surveyed and then condemned for breaking up.

Samuel Enderby

Samuel Enderby (17 January 1719 – 19 September 1797) was an English whale oil merchant. In the 18th century, he founded Samuel Enderby & Sons, a prominent shipping, whaling, and sealing company.The Enderby family had been tanners at Bermondsey, and supported Oliver Cromwell. Daniel Enderby I raised money for the army in the Long Parliament, as recorded in Hansard. The family was granted forfeited estates at Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland, which were sold in 1660. After that time, the family was active in the 'oil and Russia trade' and traded with the New England colonies.On 2 June 1752, Samuel Enderby II married Mary Buxton, a daughter of his business partner, at St Paul's Wharf in London. Enderby died in 1797, leaving the company to his three sons Charles, Samuel III, and George.Samuel Enderby III (1755-1829) owned Britannia, the ship that made the first successful whale catch off Australia (10 November 1791). He was the grandfather of Major-General Charles George Gordon.

Samuel Enderby Junior

Samuel Enderby Junior (1755–1829) was a British whaling merchant, significant in the history of whaling in Australia.

Southern Whale Fishery Company

The Southern Whale Fishery Company was established by the granting of a Royal Charter in 1846 to Charles Enderby, for the purpose of operating a permanent whaling station on the Auckland Islands. Charles Enderby was the grandson of Samuel Enderby, founder of the prominent sealing and whaling firm, Samuel Enderby & Sons.

The Enderby family business had been in decline following losses made by several ambitious expeditions to the Southern Ocean, and especially since 1845, when Enderby's Hemp Rope Works, its rope-making factory on the Greenwich Peninsula in the London Borough of Greenwich was destroyed by fire. Looking for a way to save the family business, Charles Enderby successfully petitioned for government backing to establish a settlement on the Auckland Islands 'for the purpose of the whale fishery, as a station at which to discharge the cargoes and refit vessels'.

Swan (ship)

Several ships have been named Swan for the swan:

Swan (1800 ship) was launched at Greenock in 1800. She traded widely until in 1805 she became a slave ship. She was lost in 1806 while delivering her slaves.

Swan (1808 ship) was launched at Flensburg in 1806. By 1808 Samuel Enderby & Sons had acquired her. Between 1808 and 1810 she made one whaling voyage during which she rediscovered Bouvet Island. Enderby's sold her and from 1811 on she traded widely. Then in 1823 Enderbys repurchased her and she made two more whaling voyages for them. She then became a West Indiaman and was last listed in 1833.

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