List of all ships known to have visited or sighted the Tristan da Cunha archipelago or Gough Island before 1800.

Table of Early Ship Visits

Compiled by Albert J. Beintema, 7th July 2022

Adapted from The Remotest Island (New Generation Publishers, 2022)

The table below lists all ships and/or their captains that are thought to have visited the Tristan da Cunha islands or Gough Island before 1800. Wherever possible, I have checked the original accounts, including Portuguese and Dutch ships' logs. Consquently, some reports turned out to be mistaken or incorrect.

Pictures from 16th century Portuguese pilot books showing Tristão da Cunha's ships and the loss of the Sam João at Tristan.
Click on the images for larger versions.

The struck through entries below are for ships & captains that have been listed by various authors as having visited Tristan, but which to my best judgment either never saw the islands or did not even exist (e.g. Capitão Mor and Vlaming).

Year Ship(s) Captain From To Sources
1503 L'Espoir De Gonneville France Tristan? Perrone-Moisés (1992)
1505 [Unnamed ship] Gonçalo Alvares Portugal Gough Headland (1992)
1506 Espirito Santo Tristão da Cunha Portugal Tristan Brander (1940, 1952), Gray Birch (1875)
1506 Flor de la Mar Afonso de Albuquerque Portugal Tristan Brander (1940, 1952), Gray Birch (1875)
1506 Capitão Mor   Portugal Tristan? Mackay (1963)
1508 Sam João Jorge de Aguiar (shipwrecked!) Portugal Tristan Soeiro de Brito et al (1992).
1520 Sam Rafael Rui Vaz Pereira Portugal Tristan? Faustini (undated),
1535 Espera Fernão Peres de Andrade Portugal Tristan Malhão Pereira (2001)
1537 [Unnamed ship] André Vaz Portugal Tristan? Malhão Pereira (2001)
1557 Santa Maria da Craça Luis Fernandes Vasconcelos Portugal Tristan? Faustini (undated),
1583 [Unnamed fleet]   Portugal Tristan? Smith (1991)
1598   Van Neck Netherlands Tristan? Faustini (undated),
1601 Bruinvis Willem van Westzanen Netherlands Tristan Brander (1940, 1952)
1610 Globe   Britain Tristan?  
1618 (1619)   Bontekoe Netherlands Tristan? Brander (1940, 1952)
1620 Montmorancy, Esperance, and Hermitage Beaulieu France Tristan Faustini (undated),
1626 Dutch fleet   Netherlands Tristan? Smith (1991)
1629 Hollandia, Der Goes, Westzaenen, and Oostzaenen Jacob Speckx Netherlands Tristan Coolhaas (1964)
1630 Deventer, Middelburg, and Hof van Holland Artus Gijsels Netherlands Tristan Coolhaas (1964)
1643 Heemstede Claes Gerritsz. Bierenbroodspot Netherlands Tristan Brander (1940, 1952)
1646 Witte Olifant Klass Bot Netherlands Tristan? Bruijn et al. (1979)
1646 Koning David Reiner Egbertz Netherlands Tristan? Bruijn et al. (1979)
1646 Witte Paard   Netherlands Tristan? Bruijn et al. (1979)
1656 't Nachtglas Jan Jacobsz Netherlands Tristan Brander (1940, 1952)
1657 Orangie Rijklof van Goens Netherlands Gough Stapel (1927)
1658 Elburg Pereboom Netherlands Tristan? Bruijn et al. (1979)
1659 Graveland   Netherlands Tristan Brander (1940, 1952)
1666 [Unnamed ship] Marquis de Mondevergne France Tristan Faustini (undated),
1669 Grundel Gerritz. Riddermuis Netherlands Tristan Brander (1940, 1952)
1675 [Unnamed ship] Antoine de la Roche Britain Gough? Headland (1992)
1676 Vautour   France Tristan Headland (1992)
1681 Ternate Jan Gerritz Netherlands Tristan Bruijn et al. (1979)
1684 Tonquin Merchant Knox Britain Tristan? Faustini (undated),
1685 Welfare, Kent, Rainbow   Britain Tristan Headland (1992)
1690 Hirondelle Valleau, François Leguat Netherlands Tristan Headland (1992), Oliver (1891)
1696 Geelvinck, Nijptang, and t'Wezeltje Willem de Vlaming Netherlands Tristan Brander (1940, 1952)
1697 Vlaming Francis Cheyne Britain Tristan? Schaffer (2010)
1700 Paramore Edmund Halley Britain Tristan Headland (1992)
1708 St. Louis   France Tristan? Headland (1992)
1711 l'Adelaide, l'Eclatant, and le Fendant Housfaije, le Chevalier France Tristan D'Après de Mannevillette (1775)
1732 Richmond Gough Britain Gough Headland (1992)
1755 Le Rouillé Joran France Tristan D'Après de Mannevillette (1775), Faustini (undated),
1758 Osterly Vincent Britain Gough Headland (1992)
1760 [Unnamed ship] Gamiel Nightingale Britain Tristan Brander (1940, 1952)
1767 Etoile du Matin, and l'Heure du Berger d'Etchevery, Sieur Donat France Tristan Brander (1940, 1952)
1775 Joseph et Thérèse Bolts Austria Tristan Brander (1940, 1952)
1775   D'Après de Mannevillette France Tristan? Mackay (1963)
1777 Cormorant, Rippon Vernon Britain Tristan Headland (1992)
1790 Betsy Colquhoun United States of America Tristan Milner & Brierly (1869)
1790 Industry Patten United States of America Tristan Brander (1940, 1952)
1791 Philadelphia Cahoone United States of America Tristan Headland (1992)
1791 Warren Smith United States of America Tristan Headland (1992)
1792 Grand Turk Hodges United States of America Tristan Headland (1992)
1792 Lion, Hindostan, and Jackal Gower Britain Tristan Brander (1940, 1952), Headland (1992)
1792 General Elliott   Britain Tristan Smith (1991)
1793 Le Courier Le Gars France Tristan Brander (1940, 1952), Headland (1992)
1794 Essex   Britain Tristan Smith (1991)
1795 Providence Broughton Britain? Tristan Purdy (1816)
1799 Sally Péron France Tristan Headland (1992)