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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

21 March, 1768. —

21 March, 1768.


Having taken into our consideration your letter of this date, representing that you are of opinion that his Majesty's ship the Rose may be a proper ship to be employed on the service, the Tryal was proposed to be fitted for, except that you doubt of her being able to stow the quantity of provisions required on such an occasion, but that if we are inclined to make use of a cat-built* vessel for the said service, which in their kind are roomly, and will afford the advantage of stowing and carrying a large quantity of provisions so necessary on such voyages, and in this page 45 respect preferable to a ship-of-war, a vessel of this sort of about three hundred and fifty tons may, you apprehend, be now purchased in the river Thames, if wanted. We do hereby signify to you our approval of the employing a cat-built vessel instead of a ship-of-war on the aforesaid service, and desire and direct you to purchase such a vessel for the said service accordingly.

We are, &c.


C. Townshend.

Py. Brett.

C. Spencer.

* These vessels were distinguished for their great carrying capacity and comparatively small draught. They were largely used in the Baltic, and in the coal trade on the north-eastern coast of England. Cook admitted that it was in consequence of having a vessel of this class—such as the Endeavour was—that he was able “to traverse a far greater space of sea, till then unnavigated, to discover greater tracks of country in high and low south latitudes, and to persevere longer in exploring and surveying more correctly the extensive coasts of those newly-discovered countries, than any former navigator, perhaps, had done during one voyage.”— Voyage towards the South Pole, vol. i, p. xxvi.