Saturday, May 22, 2010
1826 – HMS Beagle departed May 22
1826 – HMS Beagle departed on its first voyage from Plymouth for a hydrographic survey of the Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego regions of South America.
HMS Beagle was a Cherokee class 10-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 11 May 1820 from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames, at a cost of £7,803. In July of that year she took part in a fleet review celebrating the coronation of King George IV of the United Kingdom in which she was the first ship to sail under the new London Bridge. After that there was no immediate need for Beagle so she was "lay in ordinary", moored afloat but without masts or rigging. She was then adapted as a survey barque and took part in three expeditions. On the second survey voyage the young naturalist Charles Darwin was on board, and his work would eventually make the Beagle one of the most famous ships in history.