Open Collections

The Chung Collection

Chung Logo

The Chung Collection

A narrative of the voyages round the world, performed by Captain James Cook : with an account of his… Kippis, Andrew, 1725-1795 1878

Item Metadata


JSON: chungpub-1.0114664.json
JSON-LD: chungpub-1.0114664-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): chungpub-1.0114664-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: chungpub-1.0114664-rdf.json
Turtle: chungpub-1.0114664-turtle.txt
N-Triples: chungpub-1.0114664-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: chungpub-1.0114664-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Array    PJ.HwTt^i ^T^ST^S
Sr i.WI.WnwiHBKeLliHiHfflfHll5     A    NARRATIVE    OF    THE
BY A.  KIPPIS,  D.D.,  F.R.S., and  S.A.
1878.  TO  THE  KING.
IR,—I esteem myself highly honoured in being
permitted to dedicate and present my Narrative
of the Life and Actions of Captain James Cook to
your Majesty. It was owing to your Majesty's
royal patronage and bounty that this illustrious
navigator was enabled to execute those vast undertakings, and
to make those extraordinary discoveries which have contributed
so much to the reputation of the British Empire, and have
reflected such peculiar glory on your Majesty's reign. Without
your Majesty's munificence and encouragement the world would
have remained destitute of that immense light which has been
thrown on geography, navigation, and the most important
sciences. To your Majesty, therefore, a work like the present
is with particular propriety addressed.
It is impossible on this occasion to avoid extending my
thoughts to the other noble instances in which your Majesty's
liberal protection of science and literature has been displayed.
Your Majesty began your reign in a career so glorious to princes,
and wonderful has been the increase of knowledge and taste in
this country. The improvements in philosophical^science, and
particularly in astronomy, the exertions of experimental and
chemical inquiry, the advancement of natural history, the progress and perfection of the polite arts, and the valuable compositions that have been produced in every department of learning, have corresponded with your Majesty's gracious wishes and
encouragement, and have rendered the name of Britain famous
in every quarter of the globe. If there be any persons who, in
these respects, would depreciate the present times in compari- VI
son with those which have preceded them, it may safely be
asserted that such persons have not duly attended to the history
of literature. The course of my studies has enabled me to
speak with some confidence on the subject, and to say that
your Majesty's reign is eminently distinguished by one of the
greatest glories that can belong to a monarch.
Knowledge and virtue constitute the chief happiness of a
nation, and it is devoutly to be wished that the virtue of this
country were equal to its knowledge. If it be not so, this does
not arise from the want of an illustrious example in the person
of your Majesty and that of your royal Consort. The pattern
which is set by the King and Queen of Great Britain of those
qualities which are the truest ornaments and felicities of life,
affords a strong incitement to the imitation of the same excellences, and cannot fail of contributing to the more extensive prevalence of that moral conduct on which the welfare of society
so greatly depends.
That your Majesty may possess every felicity in your royal
person and family, and enjoy a long and prosperous reign over
an enlightened, a free, and a happy people, is the sincere and
ardent prayer of,
Your Majesty's most faithful,
and most obedient,
subject and servant,
Andrew Kippis.
London, June 13, 1788.
LTHOUGH I have often appeared before the
public as a writer, I never did it with so much
diffidence and anxiety as on the present occasion.
This arises from the peculiar nature of the work
in which I am now engaged. A narrative of the
Life and Actions of Captain Cook must principally consist of
the voyages and discoveries he made, and the difficulties and
dangers to which he was exposed. The private incidents concerning him, though collected with the utmost diligence, can
never compare, either in number or importance, with his public
transactions. His public transactions are the things that mark
the man, that display his mind and his character, and therefore
they are the grand objects to which the attention of his
biographer must be directed. However, the right conduct of
this business is a point of no small difficulty and embarrassment. The question will frequently arise, How far the detail
should be extended ? There is a danger, on the one hand, of
being carried to an undue length, and of enlarging more than
is needful on facts which may be thought already sufficiently
known; and, on the other hand, of giving such a jejune account, and such a slight enumeration of important events, as
shall disappoint the wishes and expectations of the reader. Of
the two extremes the last seems to be that which should most
be avoided; for, unless what Captain Cook performed and
what he encountered be related somewhat at large, his Life and
Actions would be imperfectly represented to the world. The
proper medium appears to be  to bring forward the things in Vlll
which he was personally concerned, and to pass slightly over
other matters. Even here it is scarcely possible, nor would it
be desirable, to avoid the introduction of some of the most
striking circumstances which relate to the new countries and inhabitants that were visited by our great navigator; since these
constitute a part of the knowledge and benefit derived from his
undertakings. Whether I have been so happy as to preserve
the due medium, I presume not to determine. I have been
anxious to do it, without always being able fully to satisfy my
own mind that I have succeeded; on which account I shall not
be surprised if different opinions should be formed on the subject. In that case, all that I can offer in my own defence will
be, that I have acted to the best of my judgment. At any
rate, I flatter myself with the hope of having presented to the
public a work not wholly uninteresting or unentertaining.
Those who are best acquainted with Captain Cook's expeditions may be pleased with reviewing them in a more compendious form, and with having his actions placed in a closer point
of view, in consequence of their being divested of the minute
nautical and other details which were essentially necessary in
the voyages at large. As to those persons, if there be any, who
have hitherto obtained but an imperfect knowledge of what
was done and discovered by this illustrious man, they will not
be offended with the length of the following narrative.
In various respects, new information will be found in the
present performance, and other things, which were less perfectly known before, are set in a clearer and fuller light. This,
I trust, will appear in the first, third, fifth, and seventh chapters.
It may be observed, likewise, that the fresh matter now communicated is of the most authentic kind, and derived from the
most respectable sources. My obligations of this nature are,
indeed, very great, and call for my warmest gratitude. The
dates and facts relative to Captain Cook's different promotions
are taken from the books of the Admiralty, by the direction of
the noble lord who is at the head of that Board and the favour
of Mr. Stephens. I embrace with pleasure this opportunity of
mentioning that in the course of my life I have experienced in
several instances Lord Howe's condescending and favourable PREFACE.
attention. To Mr. Stephens I am indebted for other communications besides those which concern the times of Captain
Cook's preferments, and for his general readiness in forwarding
the design of the present work. The Earl of Sandwich, the
great patron of our navigator and the principal mover in his
mighty undertakings, has honoured me with some important
information concerning him, especially with regard to the cir*
cumstances which preceded his last voyage. To Sir Hugh
Palliser's zeal for the .memory of his friend I stand particularly
obliged. From a large communication with which he was so
good as to favour me, I have derived very material intelligence,
as will appear in the course of the narrative, and especially in
the first chapter. In the same chapter are some facts which I
received from Admiral Graves, through the hands of the Rev.
Dr. Douglas, now Bishop of Carlisle (whose admirable Introduction to the Voyage to the Pacific Ocean must be of the
most essential service to every writer of the Life of Captain
Cook). The Captain's amiable and worthy Widow, who is
held in just esteem by all his friends, has given me an
account of several domestic circumstances. I should be deficient in gratitude were I here to omit the name of Mr. Sam-
well ; for, though what is inserted from him in this work has already been laid before the public, it should be remembered
that, through the interposition of our common friend the Rev.
Mr. Gregory, it was originally written for my use, and freely
consigned to my disposal; and that it was at my particular instance and request that it was separately printed. My obligations to other gentlemen will be mentioned in their proper
But my acknowledgments are, above all, duetto Sir Joseph
Banks, President of the Royal Society, for the interest he has
taken in the present publication. It was in consequence of his
advice that it was given to the world in the form which it now
bears; and his assistance has been invariable through every
part of the undertaking. To him the inspection of the whole
has been submitted, and to him it is owing that the work is, in
many respects, far more complete than it would otherwise have
been.    The exertions of zeal and friendship I have been so  CONTENTS.
CCOUNT of Captain Cook previous to his First Voyage
Round the World        ......        I
Narrative of Captain Cook's First Voyage Round the
World in the years 1768, 1769, 1770, and 1771     ....        9
Account of Captain Cook during the Period between his First and
Second Voyage    ..........    131
Narrative of Captain Cook's Second Voyage Round the World in the
years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775 137
Account of Captain Cook during the Period between his Second and
Third Voyage      ..........    226
Narrative of Captain Cook's Third Voyage in the years 1776, 1777,
1778, and 1779, to the Period of his Death 241
Character of Captain Cook.—Effects of his Voyages.—Testimonies of
Applause.—Commemorations of his Services.—Regard paid to his
Family.—Conclusion   .........    349
Appendix 377  LIST  OF PLATES.
HE Death of Captain Cook     .       Frontispiece
A Hippah, or Village, in New Zealand
A War Canoe of New Zealanders
The Endeavour in Harbour for Repairs
A View of Huaheine
A View of Anamocka
Christmas Harbour .
A Night Dance in Hapaee
Human Sacrifices in Otaheite
A Native of Nootka Sound   .
Shooting Sea Horses
A View of Karakakooa .  COOK'S   VOYAGES.
account of captain cook, previous to his first voyage
round the world.
APTAIN JAMES COOK had no claim to distinction on account of the lustre of his birth, or the
dignity of his ancestors. His father, James Cook,
who from his dialect is supposed to have been a
Northumbrian, was in the humble station of a
servant in husbandry, and married a woman of the same rank
with himself, whose christian name was Grace. Both of them
were noted in their neighbourhood for their honesty, sobriety,
and diligence. They first lived at a village called Morton, and
then removed to Marton, another village in the North-riding of
Yorkshire, situated in the high road from Gisboroii^h, in Cleveland, to Stockton-upon-Tees, in the county of Durham, at the
distance of six miles from each of these towns. At Morton,
Captain Cook was born, on the 27th of October, 1728;l and,
agreeably to the custom of the vicar of the parish, whose practice it was to baptize infants soon after their birth, he was
baptized on the 3rd of November following.   He was one of nine
1 The mud house in which Captain Cook drew his first breath is pulled
down, and no vestiges of it are now remaining.
children, all of whom are now dead, excepting a daughter, who
married a fisherman at Redcar. The first rudiments of young
Cook's educatidn were received by him at Marton, where he
was taught to read by dame Walker, the schoolmistress of the
village. When he was eight years of age, his father, in consequence of the character he had obtained for industry, frugality,
and skill in husbandry, had a little promotion bestowed upon
him, which was that of being appointed head-servant, or hind,1
to a farm belonging to the late Thomas Skottow, Esq., called
Airy Holme, near Great Ay ton. To this place, therefore, he
removed with his family;2 and his son James, at Mr. Skottow's
expense, was put to a day-school in. Ayton, where he was
instructed in writing, and in a few of the first rules of arithmetic.
Before he was thirteen years of age, he was bound an apprentice to Mr. William Sanderson, a haberdasher, or shopkeeper,
at Straiths, a considerable fishing town, about ten miles north
of Whitby. This employment, however, was very unsuitable
to young Cook's disposition. The sea was the object of his
inclination; and his passion for it could not avoid being
strengthened by the situation of the town in which he was
placed, and the manner of life of the persons with whom he
must frequently converse. Some disagreement having happened between him and his master, he obtained his discharge,
and soon after bound himself for seven years to Messrs. John
and Henry Walker, of Whitby, Quakers by religious profession,
and principal owners of the ship Freelove, and of another
vessel, both of which were constantly employed in the coal
trade. The greatest part of his apprenticeship was spent on
board the Freelove. After he was out of his time, he continued to serve in the coal and other branches of trade (though
chiefly in the former) in the capacity of a common sailor; till,
at length, he was raised to be mate of one of Mr. John Walker's
ships.   During this period it is not recollected that he exhibited
1 This is the name which, in that part of the country, is given to the head-
servant, or bailiff, of a farm.
2 Mr. Cook, senior, spent the close of his life with his daughter, at Red-
car, and is supposed to have been about eighty-five years of age when he
anything very peculiar, either in his abilities or his conduct;
though there can be no doubt but that he had gained a considerable degree of knowledge in the practical part of navigation, and that his attentive and sagacious mind was laying up a
store of observations which would be useful to him in future life.
In the spring of the year 1755, when hostilities broke out
between England and France, and there was a hot press for seamen, Mr. Cook happened to be in the river Thames with the
ship to which he belonged. At first he concealed himself,
to avoid being pressed; but reflecting that it might be difficult,
notwithstanding all his vigilance, to elude discovery or escape
pursuit, he determined, upon farther consideration, to enter
voluntarily into his majesty's service, and to take his future
fortune in the royal navy. Perhaps he had some presage in
his own mind, that by his activity and exertions he might rise
considerably above his present situation. Accordingly, he went
to a rendezvous at Wapping, and entered with an officer of the
Eagle man-of-war, a ship of sixty guns, at that time commanded
by Captain Hamer. To this ship Captain (afterwards Sir Hugh)
Palliser was appointed, in the month of October, 1755; and
when he took the command, found in her James Cook, whom
he soon distinguished to be an able, active, and diligent seaman.
All the officers spoke highly in his favour, and the Captain was
so well pleased with his behaviour, that he gave him every
encouragement which lay in his power.
In the course of some time, Captain Palliser received a letter
from Mr. Osbaldeston, then member of Parliament for Scarborough, acquainting him that several neighbours of his had
solicited him to write in favour of one Cook, on board the captain's ship. They had heard that Captain Palliser had taken
notice of him, and they requested, if he thought Cook deserving
of it, that he would point out in what manner Mr. Osbaldeston
might best contribute his assistance towards forwarding the
young man's promotion. The captain, in his reply, did justice
to Cook's merit; but, as he had been only a short time in the
navy, informed Mr. Osbaldeston that he could not be promoted
as a commission officer. A master's warrant, Captain Palliser
added, might perhaps be procured for Mr. Cook, by which he VI
would be raised to a station that he was well qualified to discharge with ability and credit.
Such a warrant he obtained on the ioth of May, 1759, for the
Grampus sloop; but the proper master having unexpectedly
returned to her, the appointment did not take place. Four
days after he was made master of the Garland jj when, upon
inquiry, it was found that he could not join her, as the ship
had already sailed. On the next day, the 15th of May, he was
appointed to the Mercury. These quick and successive appointments show that his interest was strong, and that the intention
to serve him was real and effectual.
The destination of the Mercury was to North America, where
she joined the fleet under the command of Sir Charles Saunders,
which, in conjunction with the land forces under General Wolfe,
was engaged in the famous siege of Quebec. During that siege
a difficult and dangerous service was necessary to be performed.
This was to take the soundings in the channel of the river St.
Lawrence, between the island of Orleans and the north shore,
directly in the front of the French fortified camp at Montmorency
and Beauport, in order to enable the admiral to place ships
against the enemy's batteries, and to cover our army on a
general attack which the heroic Wolfe intended to make on the
camp. Captain Palliser, in consequence of his acquaintance
with Mr. Cook's sagacity and resolution, recommended
him to the service; and he performed it in the most complete
manner. In this business he was employed during the nighttime for several nights together. At length he was discovered
by the enemy, who collected a great number of Indians and
canoes in a wood near the waterside, which were launched in the
night, for the purpose of surrounding him, and cutting him off.
On this occasion he had a very narrow escape. He was obliged
to run for it, and pushed on shore on the island of Orleans,
near the guard of the English hospital. Some of the Indians
entered at the stern of the boat as Mr. Cook leaped out at the
bow; and the boat, which was a barge belonging to one of the
ships of war, was carried away in triumph. However, he furnished the admiral with as correct and complete a draught of
the channel and soundings as could have been made after our COOK'S  VOYAGES.
countrymen were in possession of Quebec. Sir Hugh Palliser
had good reason to believe that before this time Mr. Cook had
scarcely ever used a pencil, and that he knew nothing of drawing.
But such was his capacity, that he speedily made himself master
of every object to which he applied his attention.
Another important service was performed by Mr. Cook while
the fleet continued in the river of St. Lawrence. The navigation
of that river is exceedingly difficult and hazardous. It was particularly so to the English, who were then in a great measure
strangers to this part of North America, and who had no chart,
on the correctness of which they could depend. It was therefore ordered by the admiral that Mr. Cook should be employed
to survey those parts of the river, below Quebec, which navigators had experienced to be attended with peculiar difficulty
and danger; and he executed the business with the same
diligence and skill of which he had already afforded so happy
a specimen. When he had finished the undertaking', his chart
of the river St. Lawrence was published, with soundings, and
directions for sailing in that river. Of the accuracy and utility
of this chart, it is sufficient to say that it hath never since been
found necessary to publish any other. One which has appeared
in France is only a copy of our author's, on a reduced scale.
After the expedition at Quebec Mr. Cook, by warrant from
Lord Colvill, was appointed, on the 22nd of September, 1759,
master of the Northumberland man-of-war, the ship in which
his lordship staid, in the following winter, as commodore, with
the command of a squadron at Halifax. In this station Mr.
Cook's behaviour did not fail to gain him the esteem and friendship of his commander. During the leisure which the season
of winter afforded him he employed his time in the acquisition
of such knowledge as eminently qualified him for future service.
It was at Halifax that he first read Euclid, and applied himself
to the study of astronomy and other branches of science. The
books of which he had the assistance ,were few in number: but
his industry enabled him to supply many defects, and to make
a progress far superior to what could be expected from the advantages he enjoyed.
While Mr. Cook was master of the Northumberland, under COOK'S  VOYAGES.
Lord Colvill, that ship came to Newfoundland, in September,
1762, to assist in the recapture of the island from the French,
by the forces under the command of Lieutenant-colonel Amherst.
When the island was recovered, the English fleet staid some
days at Placentia, in order to put it in a more complete state of
defence. During this time Mr. Cook manifested a diligence in
surveying the harbour and heights of the place, which arrested
the notice of Captain (now Admiral) Graves, commander of the
Antelope, and governor of Newfoundland. The governor" was
hence induced to ask Cook a variety of questions, from the answers to which he was led to entertain a very favourable opinion
of his abilities. This opinion was increased the more he saw
of Mr. Cook's conduct; who, wherever they went, continued to
display the most unremitting attention to every object that
related to the knowledge of the coast, and was calculated to
facilitate the practice of navigation. The esteem which Captain
Graves had conceived for him was confirmed by the testimonies to his character that were given by all the officers under
whom he served.
In the latter end of 1762 Mr. Cook returned to England;
and, on the 21st of December, in the same year, married, at
Barking, in Essex, Miss Elizabeth Batts, an amiable and deserving woman, who was justly entitled to, and enjoyed, his tender-
est regard and affection. But his station in life, and the high
duties to which he was called, did not permit him to partake of
matrimonial felicity without many and very long interruptions.
Early in the year 1763, after the peace with France and Spain
was concluded, it was determined that Captain Graves should
go out again as governor of Newfoundland. As the country
was very valuable in a commercial view, and had been an object
of great contention between the English and the French, the captain obtained an establishment for the survey of its coasts; which,
however, he procured with some difficulty, because the matter
was not sufficiently understood by government at home. In
considering the execution of the plan, Mr. Cook appeared to
Captain Graves to be a proper person for the purpose; and
proposals were made to him, to which, notwithstanding his recent marriage, he readily and prudently acceded.    Accordingly, COOK'S  VOYAGES.
he went out with the Captain as surveyor; and was first employed to survey Miquelon and St. Pierre, which had been ceded
by the treaty to the French, who, by order of administration,
were to take possession of them at a certain period, even though
the English commander should not happen to- be arrived in the
country. When Captain Graves had reached that part of the
world, he found there the governor who had been sent from
France (Mons. D'Anjac), with all the settlers and his own family, on board a frigate and some transports. It was contrived,
however, to keep them in that disagreeable situation for a whole
month, which was the time taken by Mr. Cook to complete his
survey. When the business was finished, the French were put
into possession of the two islands, and left in the quiet enjoyment
of them, with every profession of civility.
At the end of the season Mr. Cook returned to England, but
did not long continue at home. In the beginning of the year
1764, his old and constant friend and patron, Sir Hugh Palliser,
was appointed governor and commodore of Newfoundland and
Labradore; upon which occasion he was glad to take Mr. Cook
with him, in the same capacity that he had sustained under Captain Graves. Indeed, no man could have been found who was
better qualified for finishing the design which had been begun
in the preceding year. The charts of the coasts, in that part of
North America, were very erroneous; and it was highly necessary
to the trade and navigation of his majesty's subjects that new
ones should be formed, which would be more correct and useful.
Accordingly, under the orders of Commodore Palliser, Mr. Cook
was appointed, on the 18th of April, 1764, marine surveyor of
Newfoundland and Labradore ; and he had a vessel, the Gren-
ville schooner, to attend him for that purpose. How well he
executed his commission is known to every man acquainted with
navigation. The charts which he afterwards published of the
different surveys he had made reflected great credit on his abilities and character; and the utility of them is universally acknowledged. It is understood that, so far as Newfoundland is concerned, they were of considerable service to the king's ministers
in settling the terms of the last peace. Mr. Cook explored the
inland parts of this island in a much completer manner than had COOK'S   VOYAGES.
ever been done before.    By penetrating further into the middle
of the country than any man had hitherto attempted, he discovered several large lakes, which are indicated upon the general
chart.    In these services Mr. Cook appears to have been em-;
ployed, with the intervals of occasionally returning to England
for the winter season, till the year 1767, which was the last time
that he went out upon his station of marine surveyor of Newfoundland.    It must not be omitted that while he occupied this
post he had an opportunity of exhibiting to the Royal Society a
proof of his progress in the study of astronomy.    A short paper
was written by him, and inserted in the fifty-seventh volume of
the Philosophical Transactions, entitled, " An Observation of an
Eclipse of the Sun at the Island of Newfoundland, August 5,
1766, with the Longitude of the place of Observation deduced
from it."   The observation was made at one of the Burgeo
islands, near Cape Ray, in latitude 470 36' 19", on the southwest  extremity of Newfoundland.    Mr.   Cook's paper having
been communicated by Dr. Bevis to Mr. Witchell, the latter
gentleman compared it with an observation at Oxford, by the
Rev. Mr. Hornsby, on the same eclipse, and thence computed
the difference of longitude respecting the places of observation,
making due allowance for the effect of parallax, and the prolate
spheroidal figure of the earth.    It appears from the Transactions
that our navigator had already obtained the character of being
an able mathematician. narrative of captain cook s first voyage round the world.
HERE is scarcely anything from which the natural
curiosity of man receives a higher gratification
than from the accounts of distant countries and
nations. Nor is it curiosity only that is gratified
by such accounts; for the sphere of human knowledge is hereby enlarged, and various objects are brought into
view, an acquaintance with which greatly contributes to the improvement of life and the benefit of the world. With regard to
information of this kind, the moderns have eminently the advantage over the ancients. The ancients could neither pursue their
inquiries with the same accuracy, nor carry them on to the same
extent. Travelling by land was much more inconvenient and
dangerous than it hath been in later times; and, as navigation
was principally confined to coasting, it must necessarily have been
circumscribed within very narrow limits.
The invention of the compass, seconded by the ardent and
enterprising spirit of several able men, was followed by wonderful discoveries. Vasco di Gama doubled the Cape of Good
Hope ; and a new way being thus found out to the East Indies,
the countries in that part of the earth became more accurately
and extensively known. Another world was discovered by Columbus ; and, at length, Magalhaens accomplished the arduous
and hitherto unattempted task of sailing round the globe. At
different periods he was succeeded by other circumnavigators,
of whom it is no part of the present narrative to give an account.
The spirit of discovery which was so vigorous  during the 10
latter end of the fifteenth and through the whole of the sixteenth
century, began soon after the commencement of the seventeenth
century to decline. Great navigations were only occasionally
undertaken, and more from the immediate views of avarice or
war than from any noble and generous principles. But of late
years they have been revived, with the enlarged and benevolent
design of promoting the happiness of the human species.
A beginning of this kind was made in the reign of George the
Second, during which two voyages were performed: the first
under the command of Captain Middleton, and the next under
the direction of Captains Smith and More, in order to discover
a north-west passage through Hudson's Bay. It was reserved,
however, for the glory of the present reign to carry the spirit of
discovery to its height, and to conduct it on the noblest principles ; not for the purposes of covetousness or ambition; not
to plunder or destroy the inhabitants of newly explored countries;
but to improve their condition, to instruct them in the arts of
life, and to extend the boundaries of science.
No sooner was peace restored, in 1763, than these laudable
designs engaged his majesty's patronage; and two voyages round'
the world had been undertaken before Mr. Cook set out on his
first command. The conductors of these voyages were the Captains Byron, Wallis, and Carteret,1 by whom several discoveries
were made, which contributed, in no small degree, to increase
the knowledge of geography and navigation. Nevertheless, as
the purpose for which they were sent out appears to have had a
principal reference to a particular object in the South Atlantic,
the direct track they were obliged to hold, on their way homeward by the East Indies, prevented them from doing so much as
might otherwise have been expected towards giving the world a
complete view of that immense expanse of ocean which the
South Pacific comprehends.
Before Captain Wallis and Captain Carteret had returned to
Great Britain, another voyage was resolved upon, for which the
1 The Captains Wallis and Carteret went out together upon the same
expedition; but the vessels they commanded having accidentally parted
company, they proceeded and returned by a different route. Hence their
voyages are distinctly related by Dr. Hawkesworth. COOK'S  VOYAGES.
improvement of astronomical science afforded the immediate
occasion. It having been calculated by astronomers that a
transit of Venus over the sun's disk would happen in 1769, it
was judged that the best place for observing it would be in some
part of the South Sea, either at the Marquesas, or at one of those
islands which Tasman had called Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and
Middleburg, and which are now better known under the appellation of the Friendly Islands.    This being a matter of eminent
consequence in astronomy, and which excited the attention of
foreign nations as well as of our own, the affair was taken up by
the Royal Society, with the zeal which has always been displayed
by that learned body for the advancement of every branch of
philosophical science. Accordingly, a long memorial was addressed to his majesty, dated the 15th of February, 1768, representing the great importance of the object, together with the regard which had been paid to it by the principal courts of Europe;
and entreating, among other things, that a vessel might be
ordered, at the expense of government, for the conveyance of
suitable persons, to make the observation of the transit of Venus,
at one of the places before mentioned. This memorial having
been laid before the king by the Earl of Shelburne (now the
Marquess of Lansdown), one of the principal secretaries of state,
his majesty graciously signified his pleasure to the lords commissioners of the Admiralty, that they should provide a ship for
carrying over such observers as the Royal Society should judge
proper to send to the South Seas ; and, on the 3rd of April, Mr.
Stephens informed the society that a bark had been taken up for
the purpose.
The gentleman who had originally been fixed upon to take
the direction of the expedition was Alexander Dalrymple, Esq.,
an eminent member of the Royal Society, and who, besides
possessing an accurate knowledge of astronomy, had distinguished himself by his inquiries into the geography of the
Southern Oceans, the collection he had published of
several voyages to those parts of the world. Mr. Dalrymple
being sensible of the difficulty, or rather of the impossibility, of
carrying a ship through unknown seas, the crew of which were
not subject to the military discipline of his majesty's navy, he 12
made it the condition of his going, that he should have a brevet
commission, as captain of the vessel, in the same manner as
such a commission had been granted to Dr. Halley, in his
voyage of discovery. To this demand Sir Edward Hawke,
who was then at the head of the Admiralty, and who possessed
more of the spirit of his profession than either of education or
science, absolutely refused to accede. He said, at the board,
that his conscience would not allow him to trust any ship of
his majesty's to a person who had not regularly been bred a
seaman. On being further pressed upon the subject, Sir
Edward declared that he would suffer his right hand to be cut
off before he would sign any suc