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Antelope (1781 EIC packet ship)

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Name  Antelope
Fate  Wrecked 1783
Builder  Barnard
Tons burthen  270, or 170 (bm)
Antelope (1781 EIC packet ship) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Owner  British East India Company
Launched  31 December 1781 (measured 1781)

Antelope was a packet ship built for the British East India Company (EIC) in 1781. She made one voyage for the company that ended when she was wrecked on 10 August 1783 off Ulong, near Koror Island in Palau. This resulted in the first sustained European contact with those islands.

Captain Henry Wilson left the Downs on 6 February 1781 to carry despatches to China via the Pacific route. However, Antelope did not leave Falmouth until 2 September. On 16 December she was off Cape San Diego, Argentina, and then on 2 January 1782 she was off Cape Horn. She reached the Sulu Sea on 23 April, Cageyan Sulu on 30 April, Balambangan on 14 May, and arrived at Macao on 4 June. On 16 September 1782 Antelope left Calcutta.

She left Macao on 20 July 1783 and wrecked on 10 August on the reef near the Pelew Islands. They then spent some time on Oroolong Island (today Ulong Island) before natives from other Palau islands found them (Oroolong being little used). With the assistance of the natives, Wilson and his crew used boards from Antelope, and new materials, to built a boat, which they called the Oroolong. They left the island on 12 November and arrived on 30 November back at Macao.

One contemporary report gave the location of the wreck at about 7°19′N 134°40′E. However, this is east of Palau, and Ulong is west of Palau at about 7.283274°N 134.282627°E / 7.283274; 134.282627. Antelope's reckoning appears to have been off by some 26 miles.

Wilson brought with him Prince Lee Boo, and left behind Madan Blanchard, a seaman who chose not to leave. Blanchard died in an engagement with locals sometime before 1790.

The painter Arthur William Devis was a passenger on Antelope when she wrecked.


Antelope (1781 EIC packet ship) Wikipedia

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