Imperial Eagle
The Imperial Eagle, originally the East India Company ship Loudoun, was a 20-gun vessel of 406 tonnes.1 Captain William Barkley commanded the Imperial Eagle in 1787, under the Austrian flag, in order to avoid an East India Company trading license, which was required of all British ships.2
In June of 1787 the Imperial Eagle reached Nootka Sound; Barkley was fortunate to find John Mackay, who shared with Barkley his geographic knowledge of Vancouver Island, as well as his knowledge of the Nuu-chah-nulth people, with whom Barkley wished to trade.3 Barkley traded successfully, particularly in Nootka Sound, Clayoquot Sound, and Barkley Sound, which Barkley named after himself.4
Barkley then re-discovered what is now Juan de Fuca Strait.5 Captain Cook had previously claimed the strait did not exist.6 Eventually, the Imperial Eagle arrived in China, in December of 1787, where its cargo was sold.7
  • 1. J. Walbran, British Columbia Coast Names (Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 1971), 33.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Andrew Scott, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2009), 59.
  • 4. Barry M. Gough, Barkley, Charles William Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
  • 5. Scott, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, 295.
  • 6. Barry M. Gough, Barkley, Charles William Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
  • 7. J. Walbran, British Columbia Coast Names, 33-34.
Mentions of this vessel in the documents
The Colonial Despatches Team. Imperial Eagle. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/imperial_eagle.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)