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Philip Carteret
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Philip Carteret
Philippe Carteret

23 January 1733
Died 21 July 1796
Southhampton, England
Employer Royal Navy
Title Vice Admiral
Spouse(s) Mary Rachel Silvester

Philip Carteret (22 January 1733 – 21 July 1796) was an English officer in the Royal Navy. He sailed as a lieutenant on John Byron's circumnavigation (sailing around) of the world in 1764. He went around the world again as part of the Royal Navy's exploration in 1766.

Early life

Carteret joined the Royal Navy in 1747 at the age of 14. He first served on the Salisbury. He sailed with John Byron from 1751 to 1755. As Lieutenant on HMS Doplhin, he went with Byron on the round world trip from 1764—1766.


As soon as he had returned from his first trip, Carteret was put in charge of HMS Swallow to go on a second circumnavigation with Samuel Wallis who sailed in the HMS Dolphin. The two ships were separated sailing around Cape Horn, so Carteret continued on alone. He discovered Pitcairn Island on 2 July 1767. He did not land on the island. He also discovered the Carteret Islands, Mururoa, and the Duke of Gloucester Islands. He got back to England in 1769. The Swallow was in bad condition and the success of the long trip shows Carteret's courage and skill.

Carteret's health was ruined by his voyage of exploration. He was put on half pay, and in 1773, he wrote the story of the voyage as part of a book about the voyages of Byron, Wallis, Carteret and Cook. The book's editor John Hawkesworth, made changes to the story, so Carteret wrote his own book which was not printed until 1965. In 1779 he took the ship HMS Endymion to the West Indies. This was his last trip. He was promoted to Vice-Admiral and he retired to Southhampton in 1794. His personal papers are kept in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England.

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