- Letter Writer
- History - pre-Federation, Letter to the Editor
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- December 1992 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Lt Cook is a tall, impressive man with an agreeable modesty. His conversation is lively and intelligent, and in spite of his air of austerity he is a well-liked and respected by his men.
He has been commended to the Admiralty as a genius, well qualified for great undertakings.
12 HM Marines assigned to protect crew from savages
In his fortieth year, Lt Cook received his Commission on the 26th May, and the following day went on board the Endeavour, hoisted the pendant, and took charge of his Ship, which then lay at anchor in the basin in Deptford yard.
He brought Endeavour to Plymouth only last week.
Endeavour is a three-masted Whitby collier, chosen after much deliberation by,the Lords of the Admiralty. In the manner of coal-boats, she is exceptionally strongly built with ample space for stowage of stores.
Much in alterations and repairs has been done to her, and the Admiralty must be commended for spending with generosity.
Endeavour has light armament consisting of twelve swivel and ten carriage guns, and will carry twelve of HIS MAJESTY’S marines to protect the Ship’s Complement from attack by savages.
The Ship’s Company has been chosen most carefully. It includes Lt Zachary Hicks, First Lieutenant, who is an experienced seaman; Lt John Gore who has survived already two circumnavigations of the World, including the Voyage under Captain Wallis in the Dolphin which returned from Tahiti last year; Mr Robert Molineaux, the master, and his two mates, Mr Richard Pickersgill and Mr Charles Clarke – all three having served under Captain Wallis; Mr Monkhouse, the surgeon; Mr John Satterly, carpenter; Mr Stephen Forward, gunner and Mr Richard Orton, clerk.
The remainder of the crew consists of a cook, a steward, two quartermasters, an armourer, sailmaker and three midshipmen, forty-one able seamen, nine servants and twelve marines.
The Royal Society has appointed its own representative body of Scientists and Naturalists, and also the expenses of his assistants and servants.
His second-in-command is Dr Daniel Solander, a knowledgeable student of natural history. Mr Alexander Buchan and Mr Sidney Parkinson have been engaged to sketch views and plants.
The Royal Society has been so impressed with the splendid work Lt Cook has already done that it has appointed him as one of their Observers during the Transit of Venus. The other observer is Mr Charles Green, assistant to the Astronomer Royal.
The Voyage to Tahiti has been made possible by the most gracious gift of 4,000 pounds to the Royal Society by HIS MAJESTY.
It is hoped that with winds prevailing, Endeavour will reach her destination in Tahiti next Spring, allowing thus ample time to prepare for Observations of the Celestial Phenomenon on the 3rd June.
During past few days the crew has been busily engaged in loading on board a good Store of Ammunition and Stores of all kinds.
Among them will be Lt Cook’s Portable Broth, which he states will prevent the crew from falling foul to the cursed disease of scurvy.
This truly remarkable concoction is understood to contain a mixture of scurvy grass, marmalade of carrots, syrup of lemons, and other vegetables.
Also on board will be a plentiful supply of pigs and cattle.
It may be interesting for the Reader to note that milk will be supplied to Officer from a goat which is the very same animal which was carried for that purpose of HIS MAJESTY’S Ship Dolphin.
It is proposed to replenish supplies with fish at sea, and fruit and animal life at various landfalls.
The entire voyage, if it is to include an Expedition to Terra Australis, will undoubtedly take some years,
We are confident that all Englishmen will join with us in wishing Lt Cook and his men Favourable Winds and Good Fortune.