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Built by:Howrah, Calcutta.
Yard No.
Tonnage:423 tons
Length:117 feet 4 inches
Breadth:28 feet 5 inches
Depth:13 feet 7 inches
Built of:Wooden - Teak
Type:Discovery vessel - Barque rigged
Off Number:
Built for:
Work Done:17th February 1850 to 2nd April 1850
Other info:Armament 2 guns.
Crew 60 men
History:16th January 1845. Sailed from Liverpool for Calcutta.
3rd March 1846. From Liverpool for Bombay in lat.4N., long 22W.
1st April 1847. At Gravesend from Canton.
13th May 1847. Cleared outward with cargo for Sydney.
22nd September 1847. For Sydney in lat 39.S. long 64 E.
26th June 1848. Arrived at Gravesend from China.
25th August 1848. Sailed from Plymouth for Adelaide.
1850. Purchased from Mr. Kincade for £8,520.
16th February 1850. Has arrived at Woolwich from Southampton, and has been taken into dock to be got ready without delay for the Arctic expedition. She made an excellent passage, having left Southampton at half-past one, p.m., and arrived here at three o’clock, p.m., the following day. She is said to be a good sailer as well as steamer.
17th February 1850. Entered Wigram’s Yard and was inspected by Capt. Austin, assisted by Mr. Hall, supernumerary master of the ‘Fisgard’. She is 12 or 14 years old, and has been in the emigrant service. A host of men are engaged in strengthening her, under the superintendence of Mr. Rice.
22nd February 1850. Due to have her name changed to ‘Succour’.
28th February 1850. Captain Erasmus Ommanney hoisted his pendant on board.
1st March 1850. To be named ‘Assistance’, not ‘Succour’.
2nd April 1850. Was taken out of Wigram’s Yard.
6th April 1850. Towed down the river by the ‘Advice’ to Charlton Pier where she will have her rigging completed and the requisite stores taken on board.
12th April 1850. Alongside the wharf wall of the basin at Greenhithe, for the convenience of working on both sides at the same time, the stores from the dockyard being put on board from the wharf wall, and the provisions and other stores from Deptford from lighters lying alongside the vessel in the river.
25th April 1850. Left her moorings a few minutes after 12 o’clock, towed by the ‘Advice’.
29th April 1850. Left Greenhithe on their progress to the Arctic regions. She has three year’s provisions on board, besides supplies for the missing expedition, and also supplied with Mr. Shepherd’s balloons.
3rd May 1850. The crew were paid six months’ wages in advance previously to leaving the river. Double pay commences from the time of the sailing of the expedition. 18th May 1850. Left Long Hope of the Orkney Islands, the officers and men in the highest spirits.
30th August 1851. Arctic Exploration. A party of men from the ship found the broken blade of an oar at Cape Hotham having the word “Friendship” cut on it, and having, apparently, belonged to a whale fishing-vessel of that name. They also found large staves of casks that had evidently contained oil. On the Carey Islands they found two cairns, but although they dug five feet under one of them they could not find any written or printed documents. They found on one of the cairns a small piece of board, the initials of what may have been intended for three persons, and the date 1827.
8th October 1851. Taken into Woolwich Dock.
13th February 1852. At Woolwich.
17th April 1852. Had here compasses adjusted at Woolwich.
19th April 1852. Sailed on her second Arctic Expedition.
28th April 1852. The steam-tug ‘African’ returned to port having when near Yarmouth parted with the ships of the Arctic Expedition under the command of Sir E. Belcher. When she left them the ‘North Star’ was under canvas, the ‘Resolute’ and ‘Assistance’ in tow of the ‘Lightning’ and ‘Desperate’, steamers.
1852. With the ‘Pioneer’ went up the Wellington Channel as far as Northumberland Sound.
14th July 1853. Wintered in the Sound.
1st September 1853. Both ships were frozen in. Efforts were made to free the ships by blasting the ice with gunpowder, but after expending seven or eight hundredweight, only half a mile of way was made.
25th August 1854. The ship was battened down and abandoned in the ice at Bathurst Island, Arctic. She was in an unsafe position among heavy ice. It was possible, but not probable, that she could have got out in the summer, and she might have remained during the winter in safety. She had one year’s salt provisions, but no preserved meats. The crews would have been endangered by another winter in the ice.
28th September 1854. Arrived at Cork Her Majesty’s ship ‘Phoenix’ bringing captains of the ‘Investigator’, ‘Assistance’, and ‘Resolute’; and part of crews of ‘Assistance’ and ‘Resolute’. The ‘North Star’ and ‘Talbot’ convoy the remainder of the crews of the ‘Assistance’, ‘Resolute’, ‘Investigator’, and tenders.

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