Discovery (1602 ship)

Discovery was a 20-ton
Tonnage is a measure of the size or cargo carrying capacity of a ship. The term derives from the taxation paid on tuns or casks of wine, and was later used in reference to the weight of a ship's cargo; however, in modern maritime usage, "tonnage" specifically refers to a calculation of the volume...

 "fly-boat" of the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

, launched before 1602.

Discovery was the smallest of three ships that were led by Captain Christopher Newport
Christopher Newport
Christopher Newport was an English seaman and privateer. He is best known as the captain of the Susan Constant, the largest of three ships which carried settlers for the Virginia Company in 1607 on the way to find the settlement at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, which became the first permanent...

 on the voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

 in the new Colony of Virginia in 1607. When Captain Newport returned to London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, he left the Discovery behind for the use of the colonists.

She took part in six expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage
Northwest Passage
The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways amidst the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans...

. During the 1610-1611 expedition in the Canadian arctic, the crew of the Discovery mutinied
Mutiny is a conspiracy among members of a group of similarly situated individuals to openly oppose, change or overthrow an authority to which they are subject...

, and set their captain Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson was an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. Hudson made two attempts on behalf of English merchants to find a prospective Northeast Passage to Cathay via a route above the Arctic Circle...

 adrift in a small boat; he was not seen again, and the crew returned to England.


Replicas of the Discovery and her sisters, the larger Susan Constant
Susan Constant
Susan Constant, captained by Christopher Newport, was the largest of three ships of the English Virginia Company on the 1606-1607 voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia.-History:Susan Constant was rated at 120 tons. Her keel length is estimated at 55.2 feet...

and Godspeed
Godspeed (ship)
Godspeed, under Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, was one of the three ships on the 1606-1607 voyage to the New World for the English Virginia Company of London. The journey resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia.-History:All 39 passengers and 13 sailors she carried on that...

, are docked in the James River
James River (Virginia)
The James River is a river in the U.S. state of Virginia. It is long, extending to if one includes the Jackson River, the longer of its two source tributaries. The James River drains a catchment comprising . The watershed includes about 4% open water and an area with a population of 2.5 million...

 at Jamestown Settlement (formerly Jamestown Festival Park), adjacent to the Jamestown National Historic Site
National Historic Sites (United States)
National Historic Sites are protected areas of national historic significance in the United States. A National Historic Site usually contains a single historical feature directly associated with its subject...

. A new Discovery, built in Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

, was launched in September 2006.

The previous replica, built in 1984 in Jamestown, was shipped to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 for a tour of the UK as part of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Virginia's founding. After its tour, which finished in September 2007, the ship was laid up in Ipswich Marina awaiting a move to a more permanent home. On 19 December 2008, 402 years to the day it left London Docks bound for Virginia, it was officially handed to Westenhanger Castle
Westenhanger Castle
Westenhanger Castle is a fortified manor house once owned by royalty, located next to Westenhanger railway station and the grandstand of Folkestone Racecourse in Kent. The castle has endured a period of steady decline to near ruination in recent years, but the current owners have engaged a...

 by the Jamestown UK Foundation, who had brought the replica vessel to the UK. The ship is now on permanent display at the castle and will live out the remainder of its life there.

Modern depictions

In May 2007, the United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 issued the first 41 cent denomination first class stamp. The stamp had an image of the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery.

The Discovery was also depicted on Virginia's coin of the 50 State Quarters
50 State Quarters
The 50 State Quarters program is the release of a series of circulating commemorative coins by the United States Mint. Between 1999 and 2008, it featured each of the 50 U.S. states on unique designs for the reverse of the quarter....

, in celebration of the quadricentennial of Jamestown.

External links

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