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Record 11 of 16
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Extracts from secret instructions to Captain James Cook, 1768 July 30 [manuscript]
Bib ID 6101813
Format ManuscriptManuscript
Author
Great Britain. Admiralty
 
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1768] 
1 item (4 p.) 
Summary

MS 1636 comprises a typewritten transcript of extracts from secret instructions issued by the Admiralty to Lieutenant James Cook, commander of HMB "Endeavour", concerning observation of the transit of Venus followed by additional instructions relating to the discovery and exploration of a southern continent, dated 30 July, 1768 (4 p.).

Biography/History

James Cook was born in Yorkshire in 1728. Apprenticed to a coal shipper in Whitby he began to learn the skills of sound navigation and accurate charting. In 1755 he joined the Royal Navy and steadily advanced. In North America he took part in the siege of Quebec City, and began coastal surveys of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. In 1768 Cook was promoted commander of Endeavour Bark and sent to Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus. The Admiralty in "secret instructions" asked Cook to find the mythical southern continent.

In 1769 Cook circumnavigated New Zealand, charted its coast and took formal possession for England. On 19 April 1770 Cook sighted another coastline. Sailing north Cook landed at Botany Bay and charted 5000 miles of coastline with great accuracy. He took formal possession of New South Wales for England. In 1772 Cook led a second expedition confirming that a great southern continent did not exist. In 1777 Cook's third voyage explored the Pacific coasts of North America and Siberia. Cook was killed on 14 February 1779 in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii).

Notes

Manuscript reference no.: MS 1636.

Title from caption of p. 1.

Subjects Cook, James, 1728-1779 -- Correspondence.  |  Great Britain. Royal Navy -- Officers -- Correspondence.  |  Endeavour (Ship)  |  Explorers -- Great Britain -- Correspondence.  |  Discoveries in geography -- English.  |  Voyages around the world.
Time Coverage 1768 
Occupation Naval officers.  |  Explorers.  |  Cartographers.

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