On 1 October, 1771, James Cook held the rank of Commander in the sloop Scorpion. She was at Deptford Dockyard, and he never went to sea in her. Several of the men from Endeavour were with him. Their appointment to her ensured they were on full pay.
Cook was replaced as captain of Scorpion by Christopher Atkins, who noted in his first journal entry on 7 December, 1771, “came onboard & took Command as per Commission Dated the 3rd inst... lashed alongside the Brilliant at Deptford”.
On 1 October, the will was proved of Daniel Preston, a marine in Endeavour who had died on 15 February, 1771, having written his will seven days earlier. He left everything to his brother William.
On 6 October, John Hawkesworth wrote to Dr Charles Burney from Bromley, Kent, “I have all the journals of the Dolphin the Swallow & the Endeavour in my possession” and added “that the Government will give me the Cutts & that the property of the work will be my own”.
On 8 October, the will was proved of Thomas Dunster a marine in Endeavour who had died on 25 January, 1771, having written his will the day before. He left some items to his “Mess Mate Samuel Gibson”, another marine, and the rest to his father Robert Dunster.
On 12 October, Charles Clerke and John Gore were witnesses at the wedding of Thomas Whips to Mary Turner. The wedding was held in St Mary Magdalene Church at Wethersfield, Essex, where Clerke had been born and grew up. Clerke and Gore had both sailed in Endeavour, and had known each other since they sailed together in Bellona, a third-rate ship, in the 1760s.
On 18 October, the British Museum recorded in its “Book of Presents” the arrival of many objects brought back by Captain Cook, and sent by him to the Admiralty the previous August. The objects received were not listed.
Richard Pickersgill’s Trip North
On 23 October, Richard Pickersgill arrived at the house of Ralph Jackson in Normanby, North Yorkshire. Pickersgill, who had begun the Endeavour voyage as a master’s mate and ended it as Master, had been appointed a lieutenant in August, and assigned to Scorpion. Jackson was a country squire with a wide circle of friends and interests. The next day, Jackson wrote in his diary, “Mr. Pickersgill (who lately sailed round the world with Capt. Jas. Cook, Messrs. Banks, Solander etc...) & I went out with our Guns, spent the afternoon at home”. Over the next week, Jackson and Pickersgill “breakfasted at Mr. Turner’s”, “went a shooting before dinner”, “walked to the Banks of the River” Tees, “went to Gisbro” (Guisborough), went to Great “Ayton, dined there, & he and I returned in the evening”.
On 25 October, “Mr. Pickersgill & I dined at Mr. Smith’s at Marsk[e], who, with Mr. Wardell returned with us in the evening”. A week later, “Pickersgill & I dined at Mr. Wilson’s at Ayton”. Commodore William Wilson and his wife Rachel lived at Ayton Hall. She was the sister of Ralph Jackson. Two days later Jackson dined at Guisborough and slept at his sister Esther’s house at Ayton. The next day “Mr. Pickersgill came to me at Ayton, attended Mr. Skottow’s Sale & went home to Normanby in the evening”. Thomas Skottowe had been lord of the manor of Great Ayton until his death on 10 February, 1771. He had been living at Ayton Hall when the young James Cook lived at Aireyholme Farm.
It was not until 20 November that “Mr. Pickersgill went away (for London) on board of a Sloop in the River” Tees. We do not know how Pickersgill and Jackson knew each other. Nor do we know whether they visited Captain Cook’s father James at Great Ayton.
A Marriage and Another Will
On 29 October, Charles Praval married Catherine Tobin at St. George’s Church, Hanover Square, London. He was a Frenchman who had joined Endeavour at Batavia. She was possibly from Ireland. Nothing is known of their early lives, how they met, nor why they married.
On 30 October, Elizabeth Hayhurst confirmed that Sidney Parkinson’s will, dated 10 July, 1768, had been written by him. In doing so she described herself as “one of the Dissenters from the Church of England commonly called Quakers, that I well know and was acquainted with Sidney Parkinson, late belonging to his Majesty’s Bark Endeavour”. She declared she had “saw him write and subscribe his Name and thereby became well acquainted with his manner and Character of Hand Writing” so that she could “declare and affirm that I verily and in my Conscience believe the whole Body and Contents of the said Will and the Name Sidney Parkinson thereto subscribed, to be all of the said deceased’s Hand Writing”. Administration of the will was granted to Stanfield Parkinson “the natural and lawful Brother of the said deceased” because Sidney had omitted to name an executor, and “Elizabeth Parkinson, the natural and lawful Mother and next of Kin of the said deceased” had already renounced her entitlement.
A Letter from Johann Reinhold Forster
On 30 October, Johann Reinhold Forster wrote to Johann David Michaelis, professor of philosophy in Göttingen, Germany.
Pennant is my friend, and also Dr Solander and Mr Banks, the only great naturalists. Banks, a wealthy man, has sailed around the world in the ship Endeavour, with Captain Cooke. In George Island, or Utahitti [Tahiti], Green observed the transit of Venus; Banks and Solander for their part the plants and animals, of which they have discovered very many new ones. Banks had some painters with him, and thus has brought back drawings of 930 new plants, plus some 200 which were already in Linnaeus but had not been properly drawn and described... Next March Captain Cooke, Mr Banks, and Dr Solander will go to the South Seas again: meanwhile the Admiralty will publish the account of this [Endeavour] voyage, having passed the records to Dr Hawkesworth. Mr Banks will publish the drawings of views, customs, clothes, implements, buildings, etc.; the sailors will publish their maps. But only when Mr Banks and Dr Solander return, when the great work with the plants and animals will appear, which will certainly contain a few thousand engravings”.
On 7 November, Forster was nominated for Fellowship of the Royal Society by Banks, Solander, and others. Forster attended a meeting of the Royal Society on 21 November, when Cook presented four papers about the Endeavour voyage, three of which were printed the following year in Philosophical Transactions. We do not know whether George Forster also attended this meeting, but his presence is recorded in the Royal Society Journal Book for 19 December.
Two Vessels Purchased for the New Voyage
The search for two vessels “of about 400 tons for service in remote parts” that had begun in September was successful. On 15 November, the Navy Board wrote to the Admiralty that “in accordance with [your] order of 25 September, two barks have been purchased: Marquis of Granby 450 tons, Marquis of Rockingham 336 tons. Orders have been given for fitting them”.
The two barks were built in Whitby by Thomas Fishburn (who had built Endeavour) for William Hammond of Hull and his partner John Wilkinson. The barks were launched in 1769 (Rockingham) and 1770 (Granby). Hammond was a successful sea captain, ship owner and merchant in Hull, who decided on their names. Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquis of Rockingham, had been Prime Minister in 1765-1766, and became High Steward of Hull in 1766. John Manners, Marquis of Granby, was Master-General of the Ordnance in 1763-1770, and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, 1766-1769.
Writer and Engraver
On 19 November, Hawkesworth wrote to Lord Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, “to acknowledge the Receipt of the first Volume of Mr. Banks’s Journal, and to assure your Lordship that as it is my highest Interest, it is also my earnest Desire to get my M.S. ready in time enough to have the Sanction of Mr Banks and Capt Cook to what I shall relate after them... I promise your Lordship that not an hour shall be bestowed upon any other Object, till the Account is finished, either of Business or Pleasure”.
On 20 November, Thomas Jefferys died. He had been an engraver producing several important maps of the Americas, including James Cook’s twelve-sheet A new chart of the River St. Laurence, 1760.
Naming the Vessels for the New Voyage
On 27 November, the Navy Board wrote to the Admiralty proposing the number and nature of the guns, and complement of men as follows. For Marquis of Granby, 12 6-pounder carriage guns, 12 swivels and 110 men. For Marquis of Rockingham, 10 4-pounder carriage guns, 8 swivels and 80 men. Instructions were requested for fitting the ships, sheathing and filling their bottoms, and for the names to be used for registration.
Later that day the Admiralty recorded in its Minutes the two barks bought by Navy Board for service in remote parts to be entered as sloops under the names Drake and Raleigh. The following appointments were also made. Cook to command Drake, with Robert Pallisser Cooper and Charles Clerke as First and Second Lieutenants, and James Wallace as carpenter. Tobias Furneaux to command Raleigh., with Joseph Shank as First Lieutenant and James Adcock as carpenter.
According to Cook’s Journal, the next day he
received a commission to command His Majestys sloop Drake at this time in Dock at Deptford... at the same time Captain Tobias Furneaux was appointed to command of the Raleigh at Woolwich... The Admiralty gave orders that they should be fitted in the best manner possible, the Earl of Sandwich at this time first Lord [of the Admiralty] instructed himself very much in the Equipment and he was well seconded by Mr [Hugh] Palliser and Sr Jno Williams, the one Comptroller and the other Surveyor of the Navy, the Victualling Board was also very attentive in procuring the very best of every kind of Provisions in short every department seem’d to vie with each other in equiping these two Sloops: every standing Rule and order in the Navy was dispenced with, every alteration, every necessary and useful article was granted as soon as ask’d for.
This extract from his journal includes comments about events that must have occurred after November and, probably, after December.
Honours for Banks and Solander
On 21 November Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander were at Oxford University, where Banks had once studied in Christ Church College. Each of them received the honorary Doctorate of Civil Law. The ceremony was held at the Sheldonian Theatre.
In December, Banks received the freedom of the Borough of Boston, Lincolnshire. His family estate was at Revesby, a few miles north of this port.
Also in December, Benjamin West, an artist from Pennsylvania, started painting a full-length portrait of Joseph Banks. It was probably commissioned by Robert Banks-Hodgkinson, uncle and former guardian of Joseph.
Astronomers Required for New Voyage
A meeting of the Board of Longitude was held on 28 November. Members present included Lord Sandwich, Nevil Maskelyne (Astronomer Royal), Philip Stephens and Hugh Palliser. The Board resolved that
sending out... persons... in the two ships intended to make discoveries in remote parts & furnishing them, as well as the Officers of those ships, with astronomical Instruments to make Observations will render the... Expedition more serviceable to the improvement of Geography and Navigation. That one Observer be therefore sent out in each ship & the Expences attending the same defrayed by this Board. That the Astronomer Royal & the rest of the Professors present be desired to look out for two persons properly qualified & willing to go... That the Watch made by Mr. [Larcum] Kendall... now in the possession of the Astronomer Royal be sent out for Trial in one of the above ships... Mr [John] Arnold who was attending being sent for in, and, upon being asked, informing the Board that he should be able to make four watches by the end of January next, he was directed to take care to have them completed by that time.
Kendall’s chronometer, commonly known today as K1, was a copy of John Harrison’s chronometer nowadays called H4.
In early December, Daniel Solander wrote to James Lind, a Scottish physician—not the James Lind who wrote about scurvy.
Government has resolved to send out two Ships upon Discoveries into the South Seas. Mr Banks and myself have got leave to go in one of them. No expense whatsoever is to be Spared. Every thing is to be made as agreable as possible to them that go. Capt. Cook (who commanded the Endeavour) is to have the command of the Drake which is the ship we propose to go in & Captn Furneaux to command the Raleigh. Most all the officers that were upon the former expedition go again; and many of the common Men—a sign that our fatigues were well paid with the pleasure we had in making acquaintance with the generous people we met with, and from the many new things we found. From not knowing how to properly equip ourselves we were not half so well provided last voyage as we now shall be... The Board of Longitude have resolved to send out two Astronomers and wish very much, that one of them at least, should be a Philosopher at the same time; They are willing to be very liberal in their reward... Will you my Dear Doctor give us leave to propose you, to the Board of Longitude, as willing to go out as an Astronomer... The Reason for this haste is: the Meeting of the Board of Longitude, Saturday Decr the 14th, when proper Persons are to be proposed... Both Mr Banks & Myself... shall do our utmost to make life agreable during the Voyage, which will probably be a three year one... It is proposed that we shall leave England in March” 1772.
Lind accepted the offer. In another letter to Lind a few days later, Solander wrote “I live now with Jos Banks Esq. in New Burlington Street, Saville Row”.
The Board of Longitude’s next meeting was held on 14 December.
Mr William Bayly & Mr William Wales were proposed by the Astronomer Royal & the other Professors as Persons well qualified & willing to go out in the ships fitting out for a Voyage to remote parts in order to make Observations... Mr Wales, who was attending, was called in... Mr Wales further desiring that his wife may be paid some part of his proposed allowance during his absence for the subsistence of himself & family... Mr Wales then withdrew [from the meeting]. A Report from the Astronomer Royal & the other Professors was then read containing a list of Instruments and heads of Instructions which they judge proper for the above mentioned Observers with a Memorandum annexed signed by Dr Morton, Secretary of the Royal Society, representing that the whole thereof had been approved by the Council of the R. Society who had agreed to lend [some of the] instruments.
Bayly had observed the transit of Venus at the North Cape, and was now assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Wales had observed the same transit at Hudson Bay, and had been appointed by the Board of Longitude to “be one of the persons to instruct the Masters of His Majesty’s Ships in and about London in the use of the Nautical Almanac”. Wales was also the brother-in-law of Charles Green, astronomer in Endeavour.
The Manning of Drake
Cook wrote in his journal, “Two days after I received my Commission I hoisted the Pendant and took charge of the Sloop accordingly and began to enter Seamen, the Vestal Frigate at this time in ordnary, was appoint[ed] to receive them untill the sloop came out of Dock”.
A vessel in Ordinary was one that was laid-up in a dockyard, or one of the adjacent harbours. Vestal was a fifth-rate ship launched at Harwich in 1757. She had been at Deptford since being paid off in 1763, surveyed in 1764, but never repaired.
On 2 December, Cook sent to the Admiralty Secretary a list of petty officers and other men belonging to Scorpion, asking that they may be discharged into Drake. According to the musters of the vessels, four people were transferred from Endeavour to Scorpion to Drake.
- Richard Pickersgill as Lieutenant
- John Marra as Gunner’s mate
- John Ramsay as Cook
- William Dawson as Clerk
Thirty other men who had joined Scorpion also transferred to Drake.
- James Colnett and William Harvey as Midshipmen
- Isaac Smith as Master’s mate
- William Ewin as Boatswain’s mate
- Timothy Manning as Yeoman of the powder room
- John Cave as Quartermaster
- As ABs: Andrew Horn, David Jones, Elick Folgstrom, James Burney, James Strong, Jean Joachim, John Cavannah, John Mann, John Onwin, John Pinchers, John Stalker, John Thomas, John Whitehouse, John Wybrow, Joseph Price, Nathaniel Morris, Richard Collett, Robert Anderson, Robert Goulding, Simon Belton, Thomas Shaw, William Collett, William Cook,
Thomas Hardman, who had transferred from Endeavour to Scorpion, was unwell, so Cook wrote to the Admiralty Secretary, also on 2 December. “Permit me, Sir, to recommend to their Lordships Thos Hardman, who has Saild with me sence the beginning of the year 1767, in the stations of Boatswain Mate and Sail-maker. He is well quallified to be boatswain of any of his Majestys Sloops in ordinary or Home Service. His constitution at present is not Sufficient to stand such a Voyage as I am going, otherwise I should have applied for him to have been appointed my Boatswain”.
Cook made two other requests in the same letter. “Mr James Grey, who was with me in the Endeavour Bark and at Present Boatswain of the Cruizer Sloop, has signified his desire to go out again with me. I pray you will be pleased to move my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to appoint him Boatswain of His Majestys Sloop Drake... I shall recommend Robt Anderson, who was also with me in the Endeavour, to be appointed gunner of the Drake provide[d] he qualifies himself for the Station”.
By the end of December, several more men had been appointed to the ship from elsewhere. They included
- Peter Reynolds as Carpenter’s mate
- James Seamer (Seymour) as Carpenter’s crew
- James Patten as Surgeon, joining from Senegal
- William Anderson as Surgeon’s mate, joining from Barfleur
It is unclear how these men were chosen, and how they and their previous captains were informed. However, on 16 December, the Navy Board minuted that “Captain King of Asia is to be acquainted that we have removed his master to Drake”.
Cruizer was commissioned in 1753 as a sloop for coastal waters around southern Britain. Senegal was commissioned in 1761 as a sloop, and paid off in 1767. After a repair she was recommissioned, and sailed for North Carolina. Barfleur was commissioned in 1770 as a second-rate ship of 90 guns. She was a guard ship at Portsmouth. Asia was launched in 1764 as a third-rate of 64 guns. In 1771 she was commissioned as a guard ship at Portsmouth. Her captain was Richard King. Her master was Joseph Gilbert, who joined Drake on 7 January, 1772.
The Manning of Raleigh
Tobias Furneaux was born in Swilly, outside Plymouth, Devon, on 21 August, 1735, so was seven years younger than Cook, but had been in the Navy longer. He sailed around the world as 2nd lieutenant in Dolphin under Captain Samuel Wallis from 1766 to 1768. In December 1770, he was appointed to the newly commissioned third-rate ship Trident. However, he was soon transferred to the third-rate Torbay, captained by Samuel Wallis.
Trident was commissioned in October 1770 as a third-rate ship with 74 guns, in case she needed to be sent to the Falkland Islands. Torbay was commissioned in 1730 as a second-rate ship with 90 guns under the name Neptune. In 1749 she was re-rated as a third-rate ship with 74 guns, and renamed Torbay in 1750. She was paid off in 1763 at Plymouth. After a large repair she was recommissioned in November 1770, under Wallis, in case she needed to be sent to the Falkland Islands. She was refitted as a guard ship in 1771.
On 28 November, 1771, Furneaux wrote in his journal, “This day I was commissioned for His Majestys Sloop the Raleigh and hoisted my Pendant aboard her... in Woolwich Dock”. Like Cook he was promoted from Lieutenant to Commander.
Several men who had been in Dolphin transferred to Raleigh in November and December.
- Robert Moody as Quartermaster
- John Rogers as AB
- Edward Johns as Boatswain
- Andrew Gloag as Gunner
- Francis Murphy as Quartermaster
John Rowe, who had been in Torbay, transferred to Raleigh as Master’s mate. Alexander Dewar, who had served in both Dolphin and Torbay, joined Raleigh as clerk.
By the end of December, several more men had been appointed to the ship from elsewhere. They included
- James Swilley as Captain’s servant
- Thomas Woodhouse as Midshipman
- Peter Fannin as Master, joining from Flora
- Robert Barber as Quartermaster
- James Gibbs as Boatswain’s mate
Flora was originally the French ship La Vestale, built in 1756 at Le Havre with 32 guns. She was captured by Unicorn in 1761 near Brest, France. She was recommissioned for Channel service, and was in Deptford Dockyard in December 1771.
Letters from Banks, Forster, Rochford and Solander
In December, Joseph Banks wrote a long letter to Louis-Léon-Félicité de Brancas, Comte de Lauraguais, a wealthy French aristocrat with a great interest in science, who, in 1771, was living in Kensington, London. Banks began, “The abstract of my Voyage which I have so long Promis’d you, I at last begin to write: the multiplicity of employments in wch I am engaged will I know, with you plead my excuse for having so long delay’d it”.
In writing about Tahiti, Banks implies he has read Bougainville’s account of his own voyage to the Pacific, published in Paris earlier in 1771. “The inhabitants of this Island during our whole Stay of 3 months behav’d to us wth great affability: Mr Bougainville’s account of them is as good as cou’d be expected from a man who staid among them only 9 Days; & never (tho’ a native went away with him) made himself master of their Language, (This, not only myself, but several of our Company did)”.
Banks ends his account of the voyage with the words “we arriv’d in the Downs on ye 13th of July 1771 so well satisfy’d with the discoveries which we had made in ye three Kingdoms of nature, that we resolv’d to solicit the Government to furnish Ships for an other undertaking of ye same Nature which they have accordingly done: & in the Month of March 1772 we hope to enter upon our new undertaking”.
He then summarises what has been collected. “The Number of Natural productions discover’d in this Voyage is incredible: about 1000 Species of Plants that have not been at all describ’d by any Botanical author; 500 fish, as many Birds, & insects Sea and Land innumerable”.
We get a glimpse of his thoughts about the future. “Thus my dear Count I have Given you an abstract account of my last Voyage the narrative of which will appear (I hope) some time next Winter: as I have put all the Papers relative to ye adventure of it into ye hands of Dr Hawkersworth who I Doubt not will do justice to ye work which ye shortness of my Stay in England would not permit myself to attempt, in march Next we shall sail upon a new undertaking of ye same kind in which we shall attempt the Souther[n] Polar Regions, O how Glorious would it be to set my heel upon ye Pole! & turn myself round 360 degrees in a second”.
In an undated letter towards the end of the year, Forster wrote again to Michaelis.
The two ships in which Mr Banks and Dr Solander will sail next March on the new expedition with Captain Cooke and Furneaux have already been purchased and are being fitted out; the larger one is called Drake and the smaller Raleigh, in honor of two great English mariners. Mr [Johann] Zoffany, one of the greatest painters and member of the Royal Academy, three artists to draw plants, and two astronomers will also be going, so that we may expect something great to emerge from this expedition... In a few weeks, a short account of the journey of Mr Banks and Dr Solander will be published [in German] which, if I am not mistaken, was written by the surgeon of the ship Endeavour [William Perry]. Everything in it is authentic, but far from complete, without maps and drawings, which will not appear until Dr Hawkesworth’s publication.
The German book, published in 1772, was a translation of an anonymous, unauthorized narrative of the Endeavour voyage that had been published in London in September 1771. Perry was one of several men suspected at the time of being its author. He had transferred to Scorpion as surgeon along with Cook and many other men from Endeavour. However, he did not transfer to Drake along with the others. The book A Journal of a Voyage Round the World in His Majesty’s Ship Endeavour... is nowadays attributed to James Maria Matra (or Magra).
On 17 December, the Admiralty Office wrote to William Henry Nassau de Zuylestein, 4th Earl of Rochford, Secretary of State for the Southern Department. Enclosed was a copy of a letter from Captain Stott about the refusal of the Viceroy at Rio de Janeiro to accept drafts on the Navy and Victualling Boards for provisions supplied, but only ready cash. As “His Majesty’s Sloops the Drake & Raleigh commanded by Captains Cook and Furneaux fitting out in order to make discoveries in remote Parts, may have occasion to put into that Port which is extremely convenient not only for obtaining fresh Provisions but for refitting or careening in case of necessity, We submit to His Majesty’s consideration whether application should not be made to the Court of Portugal to cause the Captains of the aforementioned Two Sloops to be furnished with recommendatory letters of introduction to the Governor of Rio Janeiro”.
Rochford reacted by writing with this request on 25 December, to Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, chief minister to King Joseph I of Portugal.
On 23 December, Solander wrote to William Forsyth, gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden, “Mr Banks set out yesterday for Lincolnshire and I happen’d to sprain my ankle last Saturday, so I am in some measure confined”.
James Cook’s Trip North
On 14 December, Cook wrote to the Admiralty Secretary, “Having some business to transact down in Yorkshire as well as to see an Aged Father, please to move my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to grant me three Weeks leave of absaance for that purpose”. Cook’s father was 76 years old. One wonders if this request was the result of the information Cook received from Richard Pickersgill, who had been in Great Ayton in November. Leave was granted by the Admiralty in a letter dated two days later. Elizabeth Cook was pregnant. Although she had borne four children, only two were still alive: James and Nathaniel. The children did not go to Yorkshire.
We do not know when Cook left to travel north, but we do know when he arrived in Great Ayton. Ralph Jackson at Normanby Hall wrote in his diary on 24 December, “I went to Ayton before dinner, to stay a few days”. The next day “being Christmas-Day I went to Ayton Church in the forenoon”. The following day “spent all day at Ayton; this afternoon came Capt. Jas. Cook (& his Wife) whose Father lives in that Town, this Gentleman lately Comanded the King’s Bark, the Endeavour on her voyage round the World & made many discoverys in the South Seas & in high Southern Latitudes... he and his Wife layed at Bror Wilson’s” at Ayton Hall.
On the last day of 1771, Cook rode over to Whitby to meet John Walker.
The Renaming of the Sloops
On 20 December, Lord Rochford wrote to Lord Sandwich, “I, as well as many others, have been struck with your naming the two ships that are going out the Raleigh and the Drake; for be assured, though a mere trifle, it will give great offence to the Spaniards. They hold in detestation those two names, and will believe we do it on purpose to insult them. I had some conversation with the King upon this subject to-day, and he wished I would write you a private letter upon it that you might consider it. What do you think of the Aurora and the Hisperus which two names are just come into my head? But after all, you will do just as you please, but I thought it right to give you this hint”.
New names were quickly chosen, and five days later, the Admiralty wrote to the Navy Board that the two barks lately bought are “to be registered under names of Resolution and Adventure and not as formerly stated Drake and Raleigh”.
The following day, 26 December, the Admiralty Secretary wrote to Cook advising him of the name change and of the corresponding change of the commissions and warrants for the officers in his ship. This letter is a reminder that in the eighteenth century officers were appointed to a particular rank on a particular ship.
Cook’s entry in his journal recording the name change is dated 25 December. As he was in Great Ayton at the time, the entry was probably written by him upon his return to his sloop in the New Year.
On 31 December, the Navy Board wrote to the Victualling Board that “their Lordships have directed that Drake and Raleigh shall be registered by the names of Resolution and Adventure”.
Preparing the Sloops for the Voyage Ahead
On 29 November, the Admiralty wrote to the Navy Board that the sloops were to be sheathed, filled and fitted out for voyage to remote parts, established with complements according to the scheme, and victualled to 12 months of all provisions. The next day the Admiralty wrote to Cook “You are hereby required & directed to use the utmost dispatch in getting her ready for the Sea accordingly, & then falling down to Galleons Reach take in her Guns & Gunners Stores at that place & thence proceed to the Nore for further order”. With the voyage due to begin in March, there was not much time. Here are some of the things that took place during the rest of 1771.
On 6 December, the Victualling Board minuted that Drake is to be supplied with the following tanks: 200 butts, 220 puncheons, 60 hogsheads, 80 barrels, 60 half hogsheads, 20 twenty-gallon casks and 20 barricoes (kegs). Five days later the Board minuted that Raleigh is to be supplied with 160 butts, 160 puncheons, 60 hogsheads, 20 barrels, 60 half hogsheads, 20 twenty-gallon casks and 20 barricoes.
On 13 December, the Navy Board minuted that the two sloops were to be fitted with the same number of blocks as would be provided for ships of 28 guns. Blocks are pulleys for ropes. They come in different types and sizes, including single and double ones, some that swivel and others used to draw up anchors.
On 23 December, the Victualling Board minuted that 140 quarters of the newest and best wheat was to be purchased, to be kiln dried at Red House, then sent to mills at Rotherhithe to be ground and dressed into flour (though the same sort of cloth as fine households) and packed into tight barrels and half hogsheads for Drake and Raleigh.
On 15 November, the Victualling Board wrote to the Admiralty that Cook had informed it that salted cabbage keeps at sea, and is as effective as sour krout in preventing scurvy. As he had asked for four tons of casks to be filled with it for the new voyage, approval was sought from the Admiralty. The Admiralty responded on 30 November with their approval.
Frames for Creating Vessels for Coastal Work
On 6 December, the Navy Board wrote to the Admiralty proposing that Drake and Raleigh be furnished with the frames of two vessels of 20 and 17 tons for exploring and surveying any coasts where they may touch. Approval was given six days later, the frames to be packed in cases for the purpose.
On 16 December, Cook wrote to the Victualling Board, “the sugar which the Endeavour Bark was supply’d with on her late Voyage was bad in the very utmost sence of the word, I hope care will be taken, that what the Drake & Raleigh Sloops are Supply’d with will be of a better sort”.
On 5 December, the Admiralty Secretary wrote to Cook that he should apply to the Victualling Board for a supply of portable soup, which was to be used whenever fresh provisions could no be obtained. He did so 11 days later, writing “I take the liberty to acquaint you that her Crew will not consist of less than 120 persons, & that the Voyage will (very probably) be upwards of three Years, during which time I cannot fore see that more then two Months Provisions can be got. I hope that proper Attention will be paid to the quality of this most valuable Article”.
Charles Irving’s Hearth and Distilled Water
On 9 October, the Admiralty Secretary wrote to the Navy Board to examine a new fire hearth. Charles Irving was a Scottish naval surgeon and inventor. The Board ordered two hearths to be made by Messrs. Crowley & Co. under Irving’s inspection. The Board wrote to Cook on 17 December to try Irving’s hearth in his ship. Cook did so, and in February 1772 reported to the Board that he considered it unequal to those hearths already in use in His Majesty’s ships.
On 5 December, the Admiralty wrote to the Navy Board for a copper oven to be supplied and coppers to be fitted with Irving’s apparatus, which allowed sea water to be distilled while cooking food. This equipment was installed on both ships before the ships departed in 1772.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 23, volume 44, number 4 (2021).