First launched from England on the 11th of May 1820, HMS Beagle was tasked with surveying the waters of the Southern Hemisphere including South America, Australia and Africa. The ship was a Cherokee Class 1-gun brig-sloop, weighing 235 tonnes.

Its second voyage included the famed circumnavigation of the world, with botanist Charles Darwin documenting the exploration and botany of the trip in his book, Journal & Remarks.

During HMS Beagle’s third voyage, the northern waters of Australia were explored and Commander Wickham named The Beagle Gulf after the ship and the Port of Darwin, in memory of his friend Charles Darwin.

The HMS Beagle was decommissioned in 1845 and retired to the English Coastguard.