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11 October, 1770


On 11 October, 1770, James Cook wrote “At 5 oClock in the PM I was interduced to the Governor General who Recieved me very politly and told me that I should have every thing I wanted, and that in the Morning my Requist should be laid before the Councel where I was desired to attend. About 9 oClock in the Evening we had much Rain with some very heavy Claps of Thunder, one of which carried away a Dutch India-man's Main Mast by the Deck and split it, the Mn Topmt & Topgt mast all to shivers, she had had a Iron spindle at the Main Topgallant Mast head which had first Attracted the Lightning. This Ship lay about two Cables lengths from us and we were struck with the Thunder at the same time and in all probabillity we should have shared the same fate as the Dutchman had it not been for the Electrical Chain which we had but just before got up  this carr[i]ed the Lightning or Electrical matter over the side Clear of the Ship, the Shock was so great as to shake the whole ship very sencibly. This instance alone is sufficient to recommend these Chains to all ships whatever, and that of the Dutchman ought to caution people from this a having Iron spindles at their Masts heads”. 


Joseph Banks wrote “After breakfast this morning we all went ashore in the Pinnace and immediately went to the house of Mr Leigth, the only English man of any Credit Resident in Batavia. We found him  very Young Man, under twenty, who had lately arrivd here and succeeded his uncle Mr Burnet in his Business which was pretty considerable, more so we were told than our New Comer had either money or credit to manage.

He soon gave us to understand that he could be of very little service to us either in introductions, as the Duch people he said were not fond of him, or in Money affairs as he had began trade too lately to have any more than what was employd in getting more. He however after having kept us to dine with him offerd his assistance in shewing us the method of living in Batavia and Assisting us in setling in such a manner as we should think fit. In order to this here were two alternatives; either to go to the Hotel, a kind of Inn kept by order of goverment where it seems all Merchant strangers are obligd to reside, Paying ½ PC. for warehouseroom for their Goods which the master of the house is Obligd to find for them: we however having come in a Kings Ship were free from that Obligation and might live where ever we pleas’d after having ask’d leave of the Council which was never refus’d. We might therefore if we chose it take a house in any part of the town and bringing our own servants ashore keep it, which would be much Cheaper than living at the Hotel provided we had any body on whoom we could depend to buy in our provisions; but this not being the Case as we had none with us who understood the Malay Language we concluded that the Hotel would be the best for us, certainly the least troublesome and may be not vastly the most expensive. Accordingly we went there, bespoke beds and slept there at night.

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