Earl Spencer (1799 ship)

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Great Britaini
Name: Earl Spencer
Namesake: George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer
Owner: John Hill, Paradise Row
Builder: Brazil
Acquired: 1799
Fate: Lost c. end-1801
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 509,[1][2] 520,[3][4] or 600[5] (bm)
Propulsion: Sail
Complement: 35[1]
  • 1799:20 × 6-pounder guns + 6 swivel guns[1]
  • 1802:14 × 12-pounder + 6 × 6-pounder guns[3]

Earl Spencer was a Brazilian-built ship,[4] that entered Lloyd's Register in 1799 as foreign built,[5] with later editions specifying "Brazil". She made two seal-hunting voyages to South Georgia between 1799 and 1802, being wrecked there on the second.

Captain William Beacon received a letter of marque for Earl Spencer on 3 August 1799.[1] She was listed on the Protection List in 1799 and 1800;[4] the lists protected the crews of certain vessels, such as whalers, from impressment, at least on the outbound leg of a voyage.

Earl Spencer sailed in 1800 to South Georgia on her first sealing voyage.[2][6] At the time of her visit she was the largest vessel to have visited to that date.[7] She returned to Britain on 3 February 1801.[2]

Earl Spencer sailed a second time for South Georgia on 15 May 1801 under the command of Captain William Beacon (or Bacon, or Beyton).[2] She was lost there towards the end of 1801 or early 1802 when she drifted from her anchors and was wrecked.[Note 1] However, the crew was saved. She was valued at £8,000.[4]

The Register of Shipping for 1802 gave the name of her master as W. Beaton, and had the notation "LOST" against her name.[3] Earl Spencer was last listed in Lloyd's Register for 1803 (published in 1802).[9]

Notes, citations and references[edit]


  1. ^ Lloyd's List (LL) reported the loss on 16 February 1802.[8] Contra some accounts, it did not occur on that day.


  1. ^ a b c d "Letter of Marque, p.60 - accessed 25 July 2017" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d [1] BSWF Database – voyages: Earl Spencer.]
  3. ^ a b c Register of shipping (1802), Seq. №E48.
  4. ^ a b c d Clayton (2014), p. 107.
  5. ^ a b Lloyd's Register (1799), №E470.
  6. ^ Headland (1990), p. 89.
  7. ^ Jones (1950), p. 361.
  8. ^ LL №4230.
  9. ^ Lloyd's Register (1803), Seq. №E48.


  • Clayton, Jane M. (2014) Ships employed in the South Sea Whale Fishery from Britain: 1775-1815: An alphabetical list of ships. (Berforts Group). ISBN 978-1908616524
  • Headland, R.K. (1990) Chronological List of Antarctic Expeditions and Related Historical Events. (Cambridge University Press). ISBN 9780521309035
  • Jones, A.G.E. (1950) Polar portraits: collected papers. (Caedmon of Whitby).