This is a special little known story about the ship Providence which made a scientific discovery voyage in the North Pacific Ocean and moored during this voyage in the harbor of Pusan in 1797. The captain was William Robert Broughton (1762-1821).
By the eighteenth century, voyages in the interest of science became more prevalent, particularly as they related to hydrographic surveying.
Lieutenant William Robert saw much service along the coasts of Northwest America and Northeast Asia, and in the East Indies. In 1790 he was appointed to accompany Vancouver on his famous voyage, and surveyed the Columbia River and the adjacent coast.
Broughton was commander of the Chatham, the companion vessel to Vancouver's own ship. Broughton was born in 1763 in Cheshire. He joined the Navy and served as a Midshipman under Captain Knight in the American Revolutionary War in 1776. He served again with Knight on HMS Victory in 1790.
He was unknown to Vancouver when appointed to the Chatham shortly before the voyage. In late 1792, Broughton took the Chatham into the mouth of the Columbia River, the boundary between present day Oregon and Washington. He proceeded up the river, charting its course to a point above Portland. After rejoining Vancouver and sailing to Monterey, Vancouver sent Broughton back to Britain with news of the negotiations he had held with the Spanish at Nootka and asking for further instructions. Broughton reached London in July 1793.
Broughton was promoted and given command of HMS Providence in October 1793 and instructed to rejoin Vancouver. He was still in Britain in October 1794 and was delayed further until February 1795 when he finally sailed from Plymouth. He was too late to meet Vancouver, who was already in the Atlantic on his way home and reached Nootka in March 1796. Broughton decided to cross the Pacific and undertook a survey of the Yellow Sea and parts of Korea and Japan.
He arrived on Jan. 1, 1796 at Hawaii and departed at Feb.. 20, 1796 on his way to the east coast of Asia.
In 1797 the ship headed into Naha Harbor later the ship wrecked off the coast of the Miyako- Tarama Islands and the crew was helped by the local population. Broughton however had taken the precaution of securing a second ship, the Prince William Henry in Macao, in which he completed the voyage. Broughton published his log book in 1804 in the form of a book. Here you can find part of the logbook and the Korean documents about the encounter.
This is the first official encounter between a British ship and the Korean government. Only the has been replaced with a normal s to make it easier to read. Look for instance at (part of a sentence) is rewritten as: ast sid
Since I didn't want to ruin the lay-out of the pages, just hit the "back" button of your browser to go back to this page. Another possibility is: I made under the title of every page, a navigation bar, point your mouse here to see how it works, so you can navigate in that way as well, the last possiblity is to click on the page numbers to go to the next page.
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Courtesy British embassy Seoul
Mr. Christopher Robbins.
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