Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Duff

Built in 1794 by Peter Everitt Mestaer, King and Queen Dock, Rotherhithe, for J. Carbine.

03 March 1794 launched under the name DUFF.

Tonnage 267 ton (bm). Draught 14ft. Armament 10 - 6pdrs. guns.

Lloyds Register of 1795 gives, that she was bound for Gibraltar under command of Captain P.Gordon, underneath the destination port Gibraltar is marked, as being bound for Port Jackson, Australia. I could not find her in the arrivals of Sydney, that most probably she did not make this voyage.

When the Pacific discoveries of Captain Cook made the people of England more aware of the pagan population of Polynesia. As a result of this awareness a number of meeting were held by those concerned with the propagation of Christianity and the London Missionary Society (MSL) was founded.

1796 The Duff got a charter for a cargo of tea from the East India Company, so the ship could be self supporting for the voyage with missionaries to the Pacific, and after the missionaries were disembarked on the Pacific Islands, the DUFF would sail to China for a cargo of tea. Of she was chartered by the London Missionary Society or bought is not clear, her owner is given during this voyage as J. Cox & Co.

The DUFF was under command of Captain James Wilson a retired East India Company Captain, he offered his service to the London Missionary Society (LSM), and he was appointed captain of the DUFF. First the Duff sailed from the Thames on 10 August 1796 with on board 14 ministers, 22 men skilled in various crafts, a surgeon, and a gentleman’s man servant.

23 September 1796 sailed from Portsmouth for the South Sea, and via the Cape Verde Islands arrived at Rio de Janeiro on 13 November for fresh provision, water and firewood for the galley stove.

Already on 04 March 1797 she sighted the high land of Tahiti and they arrived at Matavai Bay the next day. When she arrived the DUFF had on board 37 missionaries and artisans and their families, who had to be resettled in the South Pacific on the islands of Tahiti, Tonga and the Marquesas.

07 March the missionaries went on shore, and were met by King Pomare and his Queen on the beach. After the missionaries were settled, the DUFF sailed away on 26 March for the Friendly Islands (Tonga) were he landed 10 missionaries at Tongatabu.

See the above page for the full story.

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