New publication marks 30th anniversary of the replica Endeavour

Australian National Maritime Museum

Saturday December 9 2023, marks 30 years since the Endeavour replica was launched in Fremantle, Western Australia.

To mark this occasion, the Australian National Maritime Museum has developed a new publication that covers the history of two vessels, one successively known as the Earl of Pembroke, HMB Endeavour and finally Lord Sandwich and then an extraordinary replica built over 200 years later.

Endeavour: Encounters, stories and objects of the ship that changed the world is the story of a modest ship, whose scientific, cultural and political legacies span Europe, North and South America, Polynesia, Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, and still shapes discussions today.

The construction of our replica is itself a remarkable story. Built in Fremantle, a determined, passionate, and dedicated team of craftspeople, boatbuilders, philanthropists and historians re-created the vessel in such detail that it is recognised internationally for the incredible skill in its construction.

The replica also played a significant role in the identification of the original Endeavour found off Rhode Island, USA. The techniques used to construct the replica mirrored those of the original to such an exact extent that when it came to identifying the wreck off Rhode Island, the ‘new’ Endeavour proved an invaluable resource.

Endeavour has been the subject of 174 books in the past six decades — including ten books or reports published by the museum— mostly about the ship, James Cook, and botanist on the 1768-1771 voyage, Joseph Banks.

Daryl Karp, Director and CEO of the museum said, ‘So much has been written about this most storied of historical ships. But history is neither static nor one-dimensional, and always open to re-interpretation. We hope our new book will add to that knowledge, telling the living story of an amazing vessel both original and replica, here at the Australian National Maritime Museum, the home of the replica since 2005.

‘In 2020, in what was the 250th anniversary of Endeavour’s arrival in Kamay/ Botany Bay, many opportunities for truth-telling were dulled, or even silenced, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Voices from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descendants living along the eastern coast of Australia were denied the opportunity to be heard. Fortunately, artworks and interviews by visual artists and community representatives who chose to tell their stories are represented in the collections of the museum. Some are included in this book.

‘The 30th anniversary of the replica also provides an opportunity for us to look at the extraordinary skill of Western Australian craftsmen and the vision of so many notable Australians have provided the public with a replica which is renown around the world for its accuracy and artistry.

‘We wanted to ensure that the story of the replica took its place next to that of the Cook as well as the museum’s search for the resting place of the original – all are combined in this new publication.’

The book includes work by Nigel Erskine, Gemma Cronin, Bill Leonard, Professor John Maynard, Dr Peter Hobbins, Matt Poll, Anthony Longhurst, Kieran Hosty and Dr James Hunter – all experts in various aspects of the Endeavour story.

Published by Hardie Grant, Endeavour: Encounters, stories and objects of the ship that changed the world is available at the museum store prior to nationwide distribution in 2024 for $19.95.

/Public Release.