Antelope (1781 EIC packet ship)
|British East India Company|
|Owner||British East India Company|
|Launched||31 December 1781 (measured 1781)|
|General characteristics |
|Tons burthen||270, or 170 (bm)|
|Beam||25 ft 7+1⁄2 in (7.8 m)|
|Depth of hold||12 ft 0 in (3.7 m)|
|Armament||8 × 6-pounder guns + swivel guns|
Antelope was a packet ship built for the British East India Company (EIC) in 1781. She made one voyage for the company that ended when she was wrecked on 10 August 1783 off Ulong, near Koror Island in Palau. This resulted in the first sustained European contact with those islands.
Captain Henry Wilson left the Downs on 6 February 1781 to carry despatches to China via the Pacific route. However, Antelope did not leave Falmouth until 2 September.[Note 1] On 16 December she was off Cape San Diego, Argentina, and then on 2 January 1782 she was off Cape Horn. She reached the Sulu Sea on 23 April, Cageyan Sulu on 30 April, Balambangan on 14 May, and arrived at Macao on 4 June. On 16 September 1782 Antelope left Calcutta.
She left Macao on 20 July 1783 and wrecked on 10 August on the reef near the Pelew Islands.[Note 2] They then spent some time on Oroolong Island (today Ulong Island) before natives from other Palau islands found them (Oroolong being little used). With the assistance of the natives, Wilson and his crew used boards from Antelope, and new materials, to built a boat, which they called the Oroolong. They left the island on 12 November and arrived on 30 November back at Macao.
One contemporary report gave the location of the wreck at about 's reckoning appears to have been off by some 26 miles.. However, this is east of Palau, and Ulong is west of Palau at about . Antelope
The painter Arthur William Devis was a passenger on Antelope when she wrecked.
Antelope's compass, which Capt. Henry Wilson had given to one of the local chiefs , was later handed over to a crew member of Mentor. A violent storm in 1832 had wrecked Mentor on Lord North's Island.
Notes, citations, and references
- British Library: Antelope (4).
- Hackman (2001), p. 60.
- "Palau: Airai -- Visitors: Explorers". Archived from the original on 9 November 2007. Retrieved 25 December 2007.
- "Palau". Archived from the original on 26 December 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2007.
- Hardy (1811), p. 97.
- Contemporary account of the event.
- Keate (1796), p. 331.
- Hackman, Rowan (2001). Ships of the East India Company. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-96-7.
- Hardy, Horatio Charles (1811). A register of ships, employed in the service of the Honorable the United East India Company, from the year 1760 to 1810: with an appendix, containing a variety of particulars, and useful information interesting to those concerned with East India commerce. Black, Parry, and Kingsbury.
- Keate, George (1796). A narrative of the shipwreck of the Antelope ... commanded by Captain H. Wilson, which was lost ... on the Pelew Islands ... To which is added Captain M'Cluer's voyage thither ... composed from the journals of the captains and officers ...