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A portrait of the famous British whaling ship, the Samuel Enderby, leaving Coews Roads for London, September 1834. The Samuel Enderby was among the three Enderby company ships (the other two were the Fancy and the Brisk). In Chapter 100 Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick, the Pequod of Nantucket meets a whaling ship of London named the Samuel Enderby, which has also encountered the white whale. Chapter 101 of Moby- Dick discusses the Samuel Enderby & Sons whaling company in further detail:
"Ere the English ship fades from sight be it set down here, that she hailed from London, and was named after the late Samuel Enderby, merchant of that city, the original of the famous whaling house of Enderby & Sons; a house which in my poor whaleman's opinion, comes not far behind the united royal houses of the Tudors and Bourbons, in point of real historical interest."
Samuel Enderby (1719–1797) was a successful whale oil merchant. In the 18th century, he founded Samuel Enderby & Sons, a prominent shipping and whaling and sealing company. The Enderby family had been tanners at Bermondsey, and supported Oliver Cromwell. The family later was active in trade with Russia and New England colonies. In the mid 19th Century, Enderby company ships transported colonists from England to the new Enderby Settlement in Port Ross. Port Ross is a natural harbor in the Auckland Islands Group, a subantarctic chain of the New Zealand Outlying Islands. In 1752, Samuel Enderby II married Mary Buxton, a daughter of his business partner. He died in 1797, leaving the company to his three sons Charles, Samuel III, and George.
Full Publication Line: Painted by W. J. Huggins, Marine Painter to His Majesty & Published by him at 105 Leadenhall Street, June 12th 1835.