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Discovery (1602 ship)


Discovery (1602 ship)

Discovery on Stained glass window in St Sepulchre-without-Newgate
Discovery on Stained glass window in St Sepulchre-without-Newgate.
Name: Discovery's Son
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 20 tons
Length: 38 ft (12 m) on deck
Propulsion: Sails

Discovery or Discoverie was a small 20-ton, 38 foot (12 m) long "fly-boat" of the British East India Company, launched before 1602. The ship was one of three that participated in the voyage that led to the founding of Jamestown, Virginia.


  • History 1
  • Replicas 2
  • Modern depictions 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5


Discovery was the smallest of three ships that were led by Captain Christopher Newport on the voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia in 1607. When Captain Newport returned to London, England, he left Discovery behind for the use of the colonists.

She took part in six expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage. During the 1610-1611 expedition in the Canadian arctic, the crew of Discovery mutinied, and set their captain Henry Hudson adrift in a small boat; he was not seen again, and the crew returned to England.


Replicas of Discovery and her sisters, the larger Susan Constant and Godspeed, are docked in the James River at Jamestown Settlement (formerly Jamestown Festival Park), adjacent to the Jamestown National Historic Site. A new Discovery, built in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, was launched in September 2006.

The previous replica, built in 1984 in Jamestown, was shipped to the United Kingdom for a tour of the UK as part of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Virginia's founding. After its tour, which finished in September 2007, the ship was laid up in Ipswich Marina awaiting a move to a more permanent home. On 19 December 2008, 402 years to the day she left London Docks bound for Virginia, she was officially handed to Westenhanger Castle by the Jamestown UK Foundation, who had brought the replica vessel to the UK. The ship is now on permanent display at the castle.

Modern depictions

In May 2007, the United States Postal Service issued the first 41 cent denomination first class stamp. The stamp had an image of Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery.

Discovery was also depicted on Virginia's coin of the 50 State Quarters, in celebration of the quadricentennial of Jamestown.

See also

External links

  • Discovery replica at Museum in Docklands, London
  • Jamestown settlement ships
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