The collection comprises of correspondence by George regarding the history of the Enderby family. This correspondence was written for members of his family.
George Enderby collection
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- ReferenceGB 15 George Enderby
- Dates of Creation1874
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical DescriptionCorrespondence (1 microfilm)
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
George Enderby was the grandson of Samuel Enderby (1720-1797), founder of Enderby & Sons, a sealing and whaling firm active in both the Arctic and Southern Ocean. On the death of his father, Samuel Enderby Jnr. (1756-1829), George and his brothers Henry and Charles took over, moving the firm in 1830 from Paul's Wharf to Great St Helens in the City of London.
The firm encouraged masters of Enderby vessels to report geographical discoveries and had notable successes with John Biscoe and John Balleny, who between them discovered Enderby Land, Graham Land, the Balleny Islands and the Sabrina Coast. An Enderby captain, Abraham Bristow, had discovered the Auckland Islands in 1806, naming one of the islands Enderby Island. However, by the mid-nineteenth century, the firm's profits were in decline following losses made by the exploring expeditions, and the destruction of the firm's Greenwich rope-making factory by fire in 1845. Whaling vessels, too, required expensive strengthening in order to withstand impact by ice in the Southern Ocean.
Looking for a way to revive the firm's fortunes, Charles Enderby sought government backing to establish a whaling station on the Auckland Islands. In 1849, the Southern Whale Fishery Company was established to manage the enterprise and Charles was appointed lieutenant governor of the islands. However, the colony and whaling station proved financially unsuccessful and the Enderby Settlement was dismantled and closed in 1852. This was the final straw for Messrs Enderby, the firm being liquidated in 1854.
The correspondence is arranged chronologically.
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Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7) and Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (1877) volume 47 cliii and BBC and The Enderby Settlement by Barbara Ludlow and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034
Other Finding Aids
Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.
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