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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy of Donald Bastock

HMS PEARL

Date: c 1988
Dimensions:
Overall: 255 x 353 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Oil on composite board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John Bastock
Object Copyright: © Donald Bastock
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00016904
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    Description
    This painting depicts HMS PEARL on the Australia Station with the broad pennant of Commodore Second Class James G Goodenough CB CMG. Goodenough was killed in Santa Cruz during an altercation with the local population whilst commanding PEARL.
    SignificanceThis modern depiction of the Australia Station flagship HMS PEARL (1873-1875) represents naval power provided by British ships in Australian waters during the 19th century. PEARL played a significant role in the British acquisition of the colony of Fiji in 1874.
    HistoryHMS PEARL was a wooden screw corvette launched at Woolwich on 13 September 1855. PEARL undertook service in the Pacific Station (1856-1857), East Indies Station (1857-1873) and finally the Australia Station (1873-1875). During its service in the East Indies PEARL was involved in extensive naval action including the China War and operations against the Japanese.

    PEARL sailed for the Australia Station in 1873 and replaced HMS CLIO as flagship. Visits were made to Launceston, Melbourne and Fiji where it assisted in the process of acquiring the Fiji Islands as a colony of Britain in 1874. On 12 August 1875 at Carlisle Bay, Santa Cruz Islands PEARL's crew was attacked by local indigenous people, resulting in the deaths of Commodore Goodenough and two sailors. PEARL served its remaining years mainly in the Pacific and was broken up in 1884.

    During the 19th century Britain was preoccupied with increasing its colonial territories and maintaining the empire. The British Royal Navy (RN) at the height of its power divided the world into strategic zones or stations that were manned by a squadron of warships responsible for cruising and protecting British territories and shipping. Until the 1850s Australasia was covered by the East India Station, a vast area that included the Indian Ocean and the waters around Australia. After pressure from the colonial governments of New Zealand and Australia the RN formed the Australia Station as a separate command in 1859.

    The station was established to guard British shipping and trade in the Australasian region and ensure sea routes were open and safe. In 1859 the Australia Station included the territories of New Zealand, Chatham Island, New Hebrides, Loyalty Islands, Fiji and Australia.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: HMS PEARL

    Web title: HMS PEARL

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