HMS Pandora (1833)
HMS Pandora (1833)

Royal NavyVessels

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NamePandora (1833)Explanation
TypePacket brig   
Launched14 July 1833
Builders measure319 tons
Ships book
Note1857 Coastguard watch vessel
Snippets concerning this vessels career
5 May 1836Commanded by Lieutenant Robert Wintle Innes, Falmouth
(January 1843)Out of commission at Plymouth
9 February 1845
- 1848
Commanded by Lieutenant James Wood, Pacific, conducting (together with Herald, Henry Kellett) a preliminary survey of the British Columbia coast following the Oregon boundary dispute with the United States
20 December 1850
- 5 June 1856
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth until paying off at Plymouth) by Commander Byron Drury, Australia, surveying
Extracts from the Times newspaper
Th 7 November 1850The frigate Calliope and brigs Pandora and Britomart are ordered to be commissioned forthwith.
Sa 22 February 1851

Plymouth, Friday.

The Pandora surveying vessel, Commander Drury, sailed yesterday afternoon for service in New Zealand.
Ma 31 March 1851The Fantome, 12 Commander Gennys, and the Calliope, 26, Captain Sir Everard Home, arrived at Madeira on the 11th inst., and the Pandora, 6, on the 15th.
Sa 16 August 1851

Portsmouth, Friday.

The Vulcan screw steam-ship, Master Commander Penn, arrived at Spithead this evening from the Cape of Good Hope, whither she conveyed the 74th Regiment. She left Simon's Bay on Sunday, June 1, taking in tow Her Majesty's brig Pandora to give her an offing for New Zealand, leaving the Commodore's frigate, Castor, 36, and the Dee steam-troop-ship in the bay.
Ma 17 November 1851By letters from New Zealand we learn that the Calliope, 26, Captain Sir J.E. Home, C.B., arrived at Sydney on the 20th of July, and, the Fantome, 12, Commander Gennys, on the 25th of the same month, from Hobart Town and England. The Pandora, 6, Commander Drury, arrived at Sydney on the 21st of July from the Cape of Good Hope. All remained quiet at Sidney on the 14th of August. The Acheron steam sloop, Captain John Lort Stokes, has been paid off on station, and Captain Stokes and Commander Richards ae coming home passengers in the Havannah; the Acheron having served four years on the station. The engineers have been left in her until further orders from the Admiralty, until the receipt of which by the Commodore she would act as a tender to the Governor of New Zealand. The Fly, 14, Commander Oliver, was daily expected from the New Zealand station at Rio, on her way to England, on the 15th ult. The Havannah, 26, Captain Erskine, is bringing home a freight of about 4,000l. in gold from the Bathurst diggings on Government account, and a very rare bird, called the "kiwi," for Professor Owen,[presumably Richard OwenExternal link] intended, we believe, for the Zoological Society. This bird will be the first of its species ever brought to England alive, should success attend its transmigration; and it is probable Captain Stokes may bring home in the Havannah some very extraordinary specimens of parrots, which he has obtained in New Zealand, called the "kakapo." The Bishop of Lyttelton tried this summer to bring one of this species to England alive for the Zoological Society but failed. Should Captain Stokes succeed, it is hoped he will present one to the Society.
Fr 23 January 1852

(From the Sydney Herald.)

Although the service performed during the last four years by Captain J.L. Stokes and the officers in the Acheron has been principally on other shores than those of this continent, yet, connected as we consider this colony to be with New Zealand, politically and commercially, and at the same time much interested in her prosperity, it will not be considered that we devote too much space in our columns if we sum up briefly an abstract of the results of the voyage which has just been completed, and from the labours of which the captain, officers, and crew have been relieved by Captain Drury, in Her Majesty’s brig Pandora, which has been sent out for the purpose of completing the survey.
The Acheron's officers have been sent home passengers in the Havannah, and the Acheron remains laid up at her anchorage near Garden Island. We do not profess to be sufficiently acquainted with naval economy to understand the propriety of the measure; but it does seem strange that a vessel like the Acheron, which, from her efficiency, character, and steam power, is so well adapted to the survey of a coast, particularly like that of the Middle Island of New Zealand, on the southern and south-western coast of which no sailing vessel can prudently approach, and certainly not without running much risk, should be laid up in idleness, and a new ship commissioned to complete the few remaining portions of a coast that has been already so nearly brought to a finish; unless it be that the Admiralty have calculated upon the probability that the work to be performed is more extensive than could reasonably be expected to be completed during the period usually allotted to a ship in commission.
In consequence of the numerous applications of the authorities in New Zealand to the Admiralty to have the coast surveyed — for the coasts were but very indistinctly traced on the chart, and the ports almost unknown — Captain Stokes was appointed to the service, with instructions to make a detailed survey of the coasts and plans of the harbours and roadsteads, and to procure all possible information as to the character of the interior and the productions of the Middle and Southern Islands, which, although occupied, by stragging settlers, were but little known even to the neighbouring colonies. This service has been all but performed, and, had the Acheron remained in employment for six months longer, the whole of the coast would have been planned and charted. Indeed, all that now remain to be done, as we are informed, are the following portions of the North Island, containing about 500 miles of coast:- The north extreme, from the Bay of Islands and the west coast to Cape Egmont, at the northern entrance of Cook's Straits, and a portion of the north-east coast between Tauranga and East Cape, with the ports of Wangarooa, Okiahangtea, and False Okiahanga, Kiapara, and the entrance of Port Manukao. Cook’s Straits require a little detail on the south shore, about Pelorus River, and other portions of minor consequence; but all to the south is complete. Sufficient, however, remains to make the Pandora's voyage one of much interest. We wish Captain Drury and his officers every success, and a more agreeable termination of their voyage than has been the fate of their predecessors.
It may, however, be useful to enumerate the principal features that have been effected by the Acheron's officers. Large and detailed plans have been made of the Gulf of Shouraka, including Waimate, Waikeke, and the River Thames, Mercury Bay, Poverty Bay, Hawke Bay, all the ports and anchorages in Cook’s Straits, excepting the Pelorus River, Port Cooper, Akaroa, Otago, Molineux Harbour, on the east coast of the Middle Island; and the numerous and deep sounds on its south-west part, viz. — Preservation Harbour, Chalky Bay, Dusky Bay, Doubtful Harbour, and that most remarkable feature of the coast, Milford Haven, which has been already described. Indeed, all the sounds in that part are of the most extraordinary character, running for 20 miles into the land, bounded by perpendicular masses of rock scarcely half a mile wide, the space between being unfathomable. The mountains of Milford Haven were found to rise almost perpendicularly from their base to a height of 4,000 feet, of which we have seen some remarkable and most interesting drawings. Stewart Island, with its numerous and beautiful harbours, has also been examined and planned with great care and detail, and the position of the "traps" and "snares" ascertained with precision.
The Acheron arrived in Sydney on the 22d of May, to await the arrival of Her Majesty’s ship Calliope, to meet the orders from the Admiralty, reported to have been sent out for her recall. In the meantime, at the suggestion of the Government, and by order of the senior officer (Captain Erskine), Captain Stokes employed his vacant time in a survey of the coast from Port Stephens to Cape Howe, and in completing a plan on a large scale of Newcastle, with others of the entrance of Broken Bay, Port Hacking, Bateman Bay, and Cape Howe; and, in connexion with the last, to report upon the best position for the erection of the lighthouse, which it is understood he has performed with great advantage to the colony, and merited the approbation of the Government.
The importance of this coast survey may not be generally known; the only chart that exists of that part of the coast that exists between Port Jackson and Cape Howe was made by Captain (then Lieutenant) Flinders, and Mr. Bass, the discoverer of Bass's Strait, in the year 1798, in an open whaleboat; indeed, the part between Illawarra and Svdney was performed by Flinders and a boy, in the Tom Thumb, a small boat 12 feet long. The coast was necessarily very incorrectly laid down, and an increasing error of longitude between Sydney and Cape Howe of upwards of 10 minutes was the consequence. That this error so close to Sydney should have remained so long, is a matter of surprise; but its collection has been contemplated by the hydrographer to the Admiralty for many years, and only unavoidably omitted from its being always left to the last. Had the late Captain Stanley lived it was to have been made, but his unfortunate and lamented death stopped it and had not Captain Stokes, at some considerable inconvenience and interruption to his preparations, for giving up his ship, willingly met the wishes of the Government, it might have remained incomplete for many years.
It should, however, be observed that all the materials for a chart were already in existence, being the tracings by chain made under the order of Sir Thomas Mitchell, Surveyor-General; but, his map being drawn on a stereographic projection, it was not available for mariners; nor did it contain the soundings and other particulars necessary for the navigator's use. Now that this survey has been effected, it is to be hoped that the erection of the lighthouse on Cape Howe may be proceeded with without delay. And from an intimate knowledge of the necessities of Newcastle, we think that a lighthouse ought to be erected on Nobby, the trade of the port being sufficiently large to meet the expense, towards which the small traders, by whom the chief benefit will for some time be derived, ought to pay a moderate quota.
Ma 14 June 1852

Portsmouth, Sunday, June 13.

Yesterday evening the merchant ship Vimiera, Captain Neatby, passed this port for London from Sydney, an sent in mails by a pilot boat to the 10th of March and passengers. … Her Majesty's ships Calliope, Captain Sir James E. Home, C.B.; Fantome, 16, Commander Gennys; and Pandora, 4, Commander Drury, were at New Zealand on the 10th of March; the Bramble, tender to the Calliope, at Hobart Town; and the Acheron steam sloop was laid up at Sydney.
Tu 27 May 1856

Plymouth, Monday

The new ship Hogue, Captain Neatby, belonging to messrs. Dunbar and Sons, which left Sydney March 4, was off this port to-day, and has landed mail. … Her Majesty's brig Pandora was to leave New Zealand early in March, calling at the Falkland Islands for water on the passage home.
Fr 30 May 1856

PLYMOUTH, Thursday, May 29.

The surveying vessel Pandora, 4, Commander Drury, arrived to-day. She left New Zealand February 18, rounded Cape Horn March 27, called at the Falkland Islands March 31, left April 4, and crossed the line on the 30th.
Colonel Gore Brown, Governor of New Zealand, having completed an official tour through the southern provinces, returned to Falkland just before the Pandora's departure.
The General Assembly was to meet early in April. The colony is in a flourishing condition. No ships of war on the station.
The Governor of the Falkland Islands, Captain Moore, is highly popular; he is encouraging agriculture and the breeding of cattle, and making the settlement useful to shipping.
The Patagonian missionary yacht was at Stanley.
The Pandora has not lost one man during an absence of five years and a-half. She has gone over a course of 70,000 miles, and her officers have completed the survey for which they were sent out. Spoke south of the Line the Vallasnera, from Plymouth, for the Cape of Good Hope, all well.
Ma 2 June 1856The crew of the surveying vessel Pandora, 4, Commander Byron Drury, will be paid off at Plymouth on Wednesday.
Th 5 June 1856The crew of the surveying ship Pandora, 4, Commander Byron Drury, are ordered to be paid off at Plymouth this day (Thursday).

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