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17 April, 1769

 

On 17 April, 1769, James Cook wrote “At 2 oClock this Morning departed this Life Mr Alex Buchan Landscip Draftsman to Mr Banks, a Gentlemen well skill’d in his profession and one that will be greatly miss’d in the course of this Voyage, he had long been the subject to a disorder in his Bowels which had more than once brought him to the Very point of death and was at the same time subject to fits of one of which he was taken on Saturday morning, this brought on his former disorder which put a period to his life.  Mr Banks thought it not so adviseable to Enterr [inter] the body a shore in a place where we was utter strangers to the Customs of the Natives on such Occations, it was therefore se[n]t out to Sea and commited to that Element with all the decencey the circumstance of the place would admit of”.

Joseph Banks wrote “At two this morn Mr Buchan died, about nine every thing was ready for his interment he being already so much changd that it would not be practicable to keep him even till night.  Dr Solander Mr Sporing Mr Parkinson and some of the officers of the ship attended his funeral”.

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