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On 19 October 1843 Governor Moody reported “The Colony is divided into numerous Islands indented in every direction by deep arms of the seas; all conveyance will be by water, and the settlers will be nautical in their habits, they are so at present and it is natural they should always continue to be so though following pastoral pursuits in addition to sea going avocations.”

Not only were vessels needed for those who made their living by sealing and whaling around the Falkland Islands but with the isolation and inaccessibility of the Islands locally based vessels were essential to reach the outlying settlements and islands and also to maintain contact with the outside world. They were also vital for coming to the aid of the many disabled and sinking vessels which fell victim to the violent weather and seas of the South Atlantic.

These local vessels, which consisted of schooners, ketches, cutters and the like, were a mixture of condemned vessels and whale boats that had been fixed up or converted for the local interinsular and coasting trade, locally built cutters, ketches and schooners, ready-built second-hand overseas purchases and custom-builds.

Shipping information available in Volume E2, which is available under Government - Laws and Ordinances, includes the Charters of the Despatch (pg 45-54), Manney (pg 58-61), Page (pg 217-218) and Vigilante (pg 219 and 274); Protests of the Galen, Mary Gray, Christiana, Alonzo, and Strathisla.

These files are not a complete representation of the working vessels of the Falkland Islands but are some of those partly or fully researched by the Archives and will be added to from time to time.  For those local vessels which were eventually wrecked refer to Shipping - Casualties and Wrecks.

Also included in these files are visiting vessels.



pdfE9 - Vice Admiralty Court Minute Book Dec 1866 to Feb 1882.pdf(7.02 MB)


Local Vessels

pdfNimrod, previously the Ernest, 1858 to 1950.pdf419.89 KB

pdfPlym - 1903 to 1945.pdf(501.61 KB)


Visiting Vessels

pdfHelena 1852.pdf112.32 KB

pdfTynemouth 1862.pdf(4.2 MB)


Government Files

pdfSHI-VES-13-1. Call of ss Port Adelaide at Stanley.pdf576.47 KB

pdfSHI-VES-13-2. W Levins - mv Port Dunedin. Discharged at Stanley for treatment in Hospital.pdf337.86 KB

pdfSHI-VES-13-3. SS Port Richard. Requisitioning of for War Service renamed HMCS Afterglow.pdf2.47 MB

pdfSHI-VES-13-4. Stranding of schooner Porvenir on Kidney Island - near Lively Island.pdf179.56 KB

pdfSHI-VES-13-5. Disposal of mfv Protector III.pdf1.66 MB

pdfSHI-VES-13-6. Clearance of Protector III to Montevideo.pdf645.5 KB

pdfSHI-VES-13-7. Harbour Department mv Protector III. Also Landing by Philomel on Jason Elephant Is Maintenance of Philomel Philomel cathodic protection ML Alert correspondence.pdf2.48 MB


Lighthouses and Beacons

pdfCape Pembroke Lighthouse - principal lighthouse keepers.pdf(1.17 MB)



While every effort has been taken to ensure accuracy the Jane Cameron National Archives does not accept responsibility for any omissions or errors in these records.

Copyright guide

Copies of government records may be used freely for private research and educational purposes.  If material is to be used for commercial publication, exhibition or broadcast the written permission of the Jane Cameron National Archives must first be obtained. Whenever material from the Jane Cameron National Archives is reproduced in any form or in any medium, the user must acknowledge the Jane Cameron National Archives as the source and give all document references.  For non-government records it is your responsibility as the user to ensure that copyright is not infringed and any infringement that does occur is your responsibility.