The Society Annual Lecture 1986: Surveying Ships of the Royal Navy from Cook to the Computer Age
The lecture began with an explanation of the reasons for the necessary limitations put on the material covered. Only ships actually engaged in hydrographic surveying were included, and the period began with Charles II’s appointment of Captain Grenville Collins, who was charged with surveying the coasts and waters of the Kingdom. Edmund Halley’s voyages resulted in a chart of the English Channel. In th 18th century the Dolphin circumnavigated the world twice, leaving charts of Tahiti amongst many others. James Cook’s Grenville was used for Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. The lecture continued to list the ships used, explaining the practice of taking up merchant vessels until Investigator was designed and built by the Navy for surveying. The survey coninued with the last Endevour, launched in 1912, the disruption caused by the two wars, and ended with the Roebuck, designed to work at the edge of UK’s continental shelf.