HMS Plumper, 1848-1865
This 43-metre vessel was common enough on the coast to have at least ten geographical features bear its name.1 Plumper was launched at Portsmouth in 1848, as a barque-rigged steam sloop, and its name was not a reference to the rotund, but, in the naval parlance of the times, to a sudden shot or heavy blow.2
The boat certainly made an impression on the coast, in more ways than name, as it appears in use, in a variety of capacities, in dozens of despatches.
When Plumper first arrived in Victoria, it anchored in Esquimalt Harbour.3 Captain George Henry Richards was in command, and tasked with surveying the coast in greater detail, with particular scrutiny to be spent on the waterways pertinent to the maritime boundary question—largely, regions between the Haro and Rosario straits.4 Richards, apparently, grew tired of Douglas's other requirements for the vessel, such as policing and transport.5
  • 1. Andrew Scott, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2009), 464.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. G. P. V. Akrigg and H. B. Akrigg, British Columbia Chronicle, 1847-1871 (Victoria: Discovery Press, 1977), 101.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Ibid., 102.
Mentions of this vessel in the documents