Philip Carteret, Seigneur of Trinity (January 22, 1733, Trinity Manor, Jersey – July 21, 1796, Southampton) was a British naval officer and explorer who participated in the Royal Navy's circumnavigation expedition of 1766.
In 1766 he was made a captain and given the command of the Swallow to circumnavigate the world, as consort to the under the command of Samuel Wallis. The two ships were parted shortly after sailing through the Strait of Magellan, Carteret discovering Pitcairn Island and the Carteret Islands, which were subsequently named after him. In 1767, he also discovered a new archipelago inside Saint George's Channel between New Ireland and New Britain Islands (Papua New Guinea) and named it Duke of York Islands , as well as rediscovered the Solomon Islands first sighted by the Spaniard Álvaro de Mendaña in 1568 . He arrived back in England, at Spithead, on 20 March 1769.
The following year he returned to Jersey as seigneur of Trinity and took part in Jersey politics. However, he was in London on 5 May 1772, when he married Mary Rachel Silvester (1741 - 1815), a doctor's daughter. Four of their five children survived to adulthood, including:
Carteret's health was ruined by his voyage of exploration, and (unlike John Byron and the crew of Byron's ship , which had carried out a circumnavigation via the Falkland Islands between 1764 and 1766 on which Carteret had served as lieutenant) he received little reward from the Admiralty. He did not have the patrons which were necessary for naval promotion at this time, and this and his complaints before the voyage on the Swallow's ill-suitedness to the voyage ensured that his requests for a new ship in 1769 fell on deaf ears. Put on half pay, the petition for increasing half-pay which he got together helped many officers but not Carteret himself. In the meantime, in 1773, he published an account of the voyage as part of An Account of the Voyages undertaken by Byron, Wallis, Carteret and Cook, but that volume's editor John Hawkesworth made changes to his account and so Carteret produced a version of his own (which, however, only got published in 1965, by the Hakluyt Society.
His new ship, the 44 gun , at last came on 1 August 1779 and despite problems in the Channel, off Senegal and off the Leeward Islands (at the last of which Carteret was nearly killed in a hurricane) he arrived in the West Indies as instructed. Despite having a share in 4 prize ships, he was paid off and the Endymion transferred to another captain. All his petitions for a new ship were unsuccessful and he suffered a stroke in 1792, retiring to Southampton in 1794 with the rank of rear-admiral. He died there two years later and was buried in the catacombs of All Saints' Church, Southampton.
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