Hugh Palliser, Governor of Newfoundland, wrote to the Admiralty in early April 1764 with recommendations that would improve the operation of Grenville. A proper complement of men needed to be appointed to the schooner as time was wasted crewing her before surveying could begin. Also, the vessel should cross the Atlantic at the end of the season for repairs and refitting, which would be handled better in Britain.
One suspects that Cook was responsible for much of the content of Palliser’s letter, and would have been pleased that the Admiralty agreed to all of Palliser’s recommendations. A proper complement for the schooner, comprising master, master's mate, master's servant and seven seamen was set. The pay rates for the master and master's mate were agreed as if for a Sixth Rate—that is £4 and £2-2s-0d a month, respectively. A few days later Cook received his warrant from the Navy Board. He was now taking on all the responsibilities of command, whereby he would be charged with the provisions and stores supplied to the schooner and would need to keep regular accounts as well as sailing the vessel and conducting a survey.
Philip Stephens, the Admiralty Secretary, informed Cook, “I am Commanded to acquaint you that Directions are Given to the Navy Board for the Said Purpose. And that the Captain of the Lark is Directed to Carry you & servant as well as the men to St. John’s”.1
Cook together with several seamen (James MacKenzie, Peter Flower, John Alder and Thomas Gerring) duly joined Lark, which sailed from Portsmouth on 7 May, 1764, for Newfoundland. Flower had sailed with Cook the previous year while Gerring was to be Cook’s servant. After an uneventful crossing, Cook and his men arrived in St. John’s on 13 June, and immediately repaired on board Grenville.
To assist Cook make up his numbers in Grenville, the Admiralty issued instructions that ships on the Newfoundland station would each loan the schooner two men for the surveying season. The captains of Pearl, Tweed, Lark, Zephyr and Spy duly complied.2
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