Ambassador (clipper)

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Coordinates: 52°34′03″S 70°04′07″W / 52.5675294°S 70.0685374°W / -52.5675294; -70.0685374

StateLibQld 1 125739 British Ambassador (ship).jpg
Career (UK)
Name: Ambassador
Owner: W. Lund & Co
Builder: William Walker, Lavender Dry Dock, London
Launched: 1869
Out of service: 1896
Status: Condemned 1895;
beached & abandoned hulk[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Composite clipper
Tonnage: 692 GRT[1]
Length: 176.0 ft (53.6 m)[1]
Beam: 31.3 ft (9.5 m)[1]
Depth: 19.1 ft (5.8 m)[1]
Sail plan: fully rigged ship (from 1869)
barque(from 1874)[1]

Ambassador is an United Kingdom tea clipper built in 1869. She was a composite clipper, built with wooden planking over an iron skeleton and was W. Lund & Co's first tea clipper. She is now a beached wreck in southern Chile.


William Walker built Ambassador at Lavender Dry Dock in London.

Though considered a fast ship, Ambassador was said to be "very cranky and overmasted".[2] Her first passage to the UK from Foochow came during the Tea Race of 1870 under Captain Duggan and took 115 days, a mediocre performance; that same year the fastest tea passage, also from Foochow, was made by the clipper Lahloo (clipper) in just 98 days. Ambassador‍ '​s fastest passage between China and England was 108 days, in 1872.[2]

Ambassador has been beached at Estancia San Gregorio, Chile since 1895. In 1973 Chile declared her a historic monument.[3]

The wreck is now reduced to a skeletal frame.[4][5] It is an example of a dwindling number of composite ship constructions. Better preserved examples include:


  1. ^ a b c d e f MacGregor, David R. (1983). The Tea Clippers, Their History and Development 1833–1875. Conway Maritime Press Limited. p. 194. ISBN 0-85177-256-0. 
  2. ^ a b Lubbock, Basil (1984). The China Clippers. Newton Abbott: David & Charles. p. 302. ISBN 0712603417. 
  3. ^ Seidel, Guido. "Last port: Ultimo Puerto de Amarre – Ambassador" (in Spanish). Histarmar – Historia y Arqueologia Marítima. Retrieved 23 February 2010 (including pictures) 
  4. ^ "Chile – Magellan Strait – wreck of clipper Ambassador near Estancia San Gergorio". Flickr. 1 February 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Ambassador – Estancia San Gregorio, XII Región, Chile". Panoramio. 11 February 2009.