The Endeavour was originally a merchant collier launched in June 1764 from the coal and whaling port of Whitby in North Yorkshire.
She was ship-rigged and sturdily built with a broad, flat bow, a square stern and a long box-like body with a deep hold.
Her length was 32.3 metres with a beam of 8.9 m. Her tonnage was 94 tons. As the collier Earl of Pembroke, she was purchased by the Navy in 1768 for a scientific mission to the Pacific Ocean, and to explore the seas for the postulated Terra Australis Incognita or "unknown southern land".
She was renamed and commissioned as His Majesty's HMS Bark Endeavour.