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19 August, 1768

 

On 19 August, 1768, James Cook wrote in his journal, “Read the Articles of War & Act of Parlt to the Ship’s Company”.
Captains were required to read the Articles of War to the Ship’s Company once a month, so that sailors could not claim that they were unaware of the rules and regulations whilst at sea.

Also that day, James Cook wrote to Captain Molineux Shuldham, Senior Officer at Plymouth, “The increasing of the complement of His Majesty's Bark Endeavour under my command hath occasioned the bearing of one more Widows Man and by receiving on board twelve marines at this place have one man over the complement.  Please to order the man named in the margin to be discharged into any of His Majesty's ships at this port that he may obtain his pay for the time he hath served”.
Widow’s men were an early form of life insurance for seamen.  They were fictitious people, but the pay they accrued would be distributed to the families of seamen who died during the voyage”.

The same day, Shuldham replied to Cook “Robert Brown to be discharged into His Majesty's ship Cornwall”.  This third-rate ship, built in 1761, had 550 men.  She was serving as a guard ship at Plymouth under Captain Molyneaux Shuldham, who became Governor of Newfoundland in 1772.

Also that day, the naturalist John Ellis wrote to Carl Linnaeus, “No people ever went to sea better fitted out for the purpose of Natural History, nor more elegantly. They have got a fine library of Natural History; they have all sorts of machines for catching and preserving insects; all kinds of nets, trawls, drags and hooks for coral fishing; they have even a curious contrivance of a telescope, by which, put into the water, you can see the bottom to a great depth, where it is clear. They have many cases of bottles with ground stoppers, of several sizes, to preserve animals in spirits. They have the several sorts of salts to surround the seeds; and wax, both beeswax and that of the Myrica; besides there are many people whose sole business it is to attend them for this very purpose. They have two painters and draughtsmen, several volunteers who have a tolerable notion of Natural History; in short Solander assured me this expedition would cost Mr Banks ten thousand pounds”.

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By Richard Wilson McKelvey Jr on 8/21/2018 8:31:13 PM Like:0 DisLike:0

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