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January - March 1772


© John Robson

On 1 January, 1772, Resolution and Adventure were in the dockyards at Deptford and Woolwich, respectively, being made ready for sea. 

That day, the Admiralty Secretary wrote to Commander Tobias Furneaux, Adventure, granting him three weeks leave for private affairs.  It is not recorded where he went; probably to his relations in Swilly, outside Plymouth, Devon.  Two days later, Arthur Kempe was appointed 2nd Lieutenant of Adventure, but did not join her until 1 February.

Commander James Cook, Resolution, was on his leave in Yorkshire.  On 3 January, he wrote from Great Ayton, where he was visiting his father, to Captain William Hammond of Hull, “I am sorry to acquaint you that it is now out of my power to meet you at Whitby nor will it be convenient to return [to London] by way of Hull as I had resolved upon but three days ago Mrs Cook being but a bad traveler I was prevailed upon to lay that rout aside on account of the reported badness of the roads and therefore took horse on Tuesday Morng and road over to Whitby and returned yesterday...  I set out for London to morrow morning, shall only stop a day or two at York”. 

Confusion in the Newspapers

 There was some confusion over the purpose of the forthcoming voyage.  According to the Kentish Gazette newspaper on 1 January

They are to have two men of war, three frigates, and seveal transports, for carrying over some families and stores, in order to make a settlement at Port Egmont [Falkland Islands].  Dr. Solander and Banks are to set out on their voyage the latter end of next month.

On 13 January, the Northampton Mercury told its readers

Dr. Solander and Mr. Banks have a particular Commission, strictly enjoining them (in their next Voyage) to make all the Discoveries they possibly can on the Coasts of New-Holland and Zealand, and to the North East of Cape-Horn.  These Gentlemen are not to sail so soon as was expected, as the Ministry have the Scheme of making a Settlement on Falk­land’s Island very much at Heart.

Joseph Banks spent New Year at Revesby, returning to London in time to sit for a portrait being painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds.  Further sittings took place in February and March, but the painting but not completed until 1773, due to Banks’s absence from the country.

© John Robson


Applications to Join Banks’s Voyage

The publicity about the voyage encouraged people to write to Joseph Banks asking to join him.  Here are some examples.  Most were sent to his London address of 14 New Burlington Street.

From George Robertson, Banff in Banffshire, 1 January.

I congratulate you on your safe return from your long Voyage round the World, and I am heartily glad to hear that you and your Companion Doctor Sollander, are both in a good State of health...

I am heartely sorry, that it is not in my power at present, to afoard my self the pleasure of seeing you, to hear a part of your History from your own mouth, I dare say you would make no more Scruple to relate a part of it to me, nor I did with you Capt Camble & Doctor Sollander, when we dined at the King’s Yard in Deptfoord,  At that time I was Master of the Dolphin, and drawed all the plans of that Voyage, which I hope you and Capt Cook found tolerable exact, at least what part you had occasion to try, if there was any considerable error I hope you will let me know, Mr. Mollineux and Mr. Pickersgill who was both in my Watch, I dare say has often tould you what oportunitys I had to make my observations...  Soon after you saild I was made Lieutt of the Peggy Sloop of War, and the 19th Dec. 1770 had the Misfortun to be cast away in her, where I had a very nearrow escape for my Life, and lost all my Cloaths  Books and Instruments. 

Soon after that Lord Sandwich was so good as to give me the Command of the Prince George Cutter, but a few Weeks after twenty of the Cutters was orderd to be paid off, unfortunate for me the Prince George was one of the Number, which made my losses still the greater, and hurt me greatly in my Circumstance.

At present I am on half pay, but Lord Sandwich has promised me the Commd of the first Cutter that becomes Vacant, but if you are going another Voyage on Discovery as the publich peapers Informs us I should mutch rather take the Command of a small Vessel on that Expedition, as my Curiosity is not yet fully Satisfied -

If it be true that you are going on that Voyage, as I cannot rely on the publick peapers, I shall take it as a singular favour, if you will advise me in Course, that I may apply in time, If I am allowed proper Instruments with time and oportunity, I can Survey and plan any place with the greatest Exactness, and I can take any observation by Sun Moon or Mars, that is yet thought necessary -

From Edward Turrell “oN Board his Magestes ship Barfleur”, 8 January.

I shall be very Glad if your honnour Will be pleased to grant me this small Request and I hope your honnour will Escques me for making so bold as to wrie to your Honnour but that I hear your honnour and mr sillander is a going out upon Discovers and shold be very glad of having the Pleasure of going with your honnour for I am on Board of the Barfleur.  I was a going out in the Endeavour But was taken sick and was sent on shore to the hospitall But thank the almighty god I heave got the Better of my Eleness sir I shall Take it as great favour and shall be Bound to Pray for your honnour all the Days of my Life so No More at Present from your humble servent to Command.

From Joseph Scothern and William Wortley, Boston, Lincolnshire, 11 January.

and able to work any Case in Navigation and work an Observation and the Other Likewise Can Play on the Violin, & Bassoon &c &c. and understands the Theory of Navigation in all its Branches and the use of Maps and Globes and all the Practical Parts of Mathematick Such as Plain & Spherical Trigonometry and Astronomy allgebra and most part of Fluxions & have Books and Instruments Proper for the purpose and as we Doubt not but your Salary will be a Competency for Ourselves and Familys Should be Glad to Engage with you for the Next Voige if you think us Properly Qualify’d.  We when at your Country Seat at Reasby was inform’d by one of your Servants that you Intended taking with you; your next Voige a Band of Musick & that if they understand Navigation that they would be the Better appov’d of we two Parishoners of Boston that Playd at your Ordinanarys and to the Steward & Tennants at Night at the time of your Banqueting at Reasby are (we flatter Ourselves Properly Qualifyd in Both Respects as one of us can Perform on most of the modern Musical Instrument in use Such as the Violin, Hautboy, Guitar, Violincelo, Basson, Jarman­flute, Taber & Pipe: &c:

From William Cooke, Legsby, Lincolnshire, 13 January.

The Which I should be Glad to Serve You in helping to conduct the ship or any other Business that you should think proper and capable to be intrusted with that is preformed by the Act of the Mathematicks or (Philosophy) with these proposials.  Although I know and Understand the Theoreti­cal, as well as the, Practical Part of Most Mathematical Learning, Particular Navigation The Which I have made it my Principal Studdy.  And Since I have taken Upon me to Speak my mind In these few Lines, hoping you would not think it Presumtious in my Prodigality, to tell You that I am Qualified for the sea.  If not, I Should Take it as a Very Great favour to Make My Case known to Some East Indian or Other.  If You should Think Me worth your acceptance.  For I have A Great Inclination for the Sea Especially to go along with You.  But finding my self frusterated in my Case, or dissign, by finding You was not at home I was like to make my Case known to Some of the Servants, Especially to that Servant thats to Go Along with You; But I was Sorry to here him say that he Believed that You had Got all that you Intended to Take Along with You.  Having heared of Your going Abroad, I having a Great Desire to Go Along with You, Which to Effect the Case of my own behalf, by Applying to You at Your house at Reasby.

From James Farquharson, 14 January.

My character will bear the Strictest enquiries.  My Profession is Watch and Clock making by which I make a decent livelihood, however as I am Single and my inclination and Ambition are much bent on the Voyages, it would add greatly to my Happiness if I could be any ways assisting, and I flatter myself that you would find me of some Use, in making alterations or repairing the Mechanick Pieces if occasion required.  My ernest Desire, and the pleasure I would enjoy in being near A Person so justly esteemed for His Merit, Engages me to offer myself, Should you think that I would prove of any Service in your intended Voyages.

Joseph Banks was almost overwhelmed by all of his activities.  On 7 January whilst at Brampton, Lincolnshire, he wrote to the classical scholar Thomas Falconer saying he was busy trying “To Collect together all the nescessaries for so long a voyage to Enlist artists, to prepare myself & answer the Calls of an acquantance from my present circumstances swelld to a preposterous Size is a large undertaking but to that is added the overlooking the publication of our voyage which is to Come from the Admiralty... the Steps necessary to be taken in order to render the observations made in the Last Voyage usefull to the world even in Case we should perish”. 

On the same day the Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser reported

It was in vain Mr. Banks pleaded his inno­cence; he would certainly have been committed, but that his company missing him, had gone in search of him, and found him in the situation abovementioned.  During his search, two fellows seized him, charged him with robbery, and took him before a justice of the peace.  Mr. Banks (Dr. Solanders’ companion) was lately on a visit at a gentleman’s seat in the country, and after dinner retired into the fields, in search of herbs.

Men for Resolution and Adventure

 Alexander Dewar joined Adventure from HMS Torbay on 1 January, as Furneaux’s clerk.

On 2 January 1772, Benjamin Drawwater was assessed by the Royal College of Surgeons as a Surgeon’s 1st mate for a 1st rate ship.  On 7 January, he joined Resolution as Surgeon’s 2nd mate.

On 7 January James Burney, an AB in Resolution was awarded his lieutenant’s certificate.  He did not receive his commission until November.  The same day, Richard Grindall joined Resolution as an AB, despite having passed his lieutenant’s examination in November 1769.  Indeed, it was not until 29 November 1776 that he received his commission.

George Vancouver joined Resolution on 22 January.  He was nominally an able seaman (AB) but, in reality, sailed as one of the midshipmen.  To gain the position for George, his father John Jasper Vancouver probably used his friendship with the musicologist Charles Burney (and father of James Burney), who had connections with the Earl of Sandwich. 

That day, Cook wrote to the Navy Board recommending Richard Rollett as sailmaker.  He was duly appointed the same day.

On 25 January, the Admiralty Secretary wrote to Colonel Bell, Commander of the Marines at Plymouth, ordering a recruit who played bagpipes, and a drummer who played violin be held in readiness to embark on one of the ships.  The same day, Colonel Hector Boisond, who commanded the Portsmouth Division of marines, was ordered to arrange for Lieutenant Edgcumbe of Royal Oak to transfer to Resolution, which he joined  in April.  John Edgcumbe had been sergeant of the marines in Endeavour.  Royal Oak as a 74-gun third rate ship acting as a guard ship. 

On 27 January, the Admiralty Secretary wrote to Colonel Smith, Commander of the Marines at Chatham, “In return to your Letter of the 21st instant acquainting me that Thomas McDonald a Recruit of Capt Bunits now at Berwick plays extremely well upon the Bagpipe, I am to desire you will please to order him immediately to repair to Chatham there to hold himself in readiness to embark on board one of the ships fitting out for making Discoveries; and that upon his arrival at Chatham he is to apply to colonel Smith Commanding Officer at that Division who will give him the necessary Instructions how he is to proceed”.

Also that day, Cook wrote to the Admiralty Secretary, “the Complement of men to His Majestys Sloop Resolution being compleat, and more are coming daily to enter, some of whom, maty be better than those already born; and as it will be necessary to have choise pick’d men, which I am of opinion may easy be got, was I impower’d to discharge such men, as upon trial are found any ways defective, and to enter others in their room.  If this method is approved of please to move my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to give orders accordingly”.

Provisions for Resolution and Adventure

 Henry Pelham, Secretary to the Commissioners of Victualling, had been carrying out experiments to help prevent scurvy.  On 8 January, he sent samples of inspissated juice of malt and his experiments to the Admiralty.  The Admiralty was sufficiently im­pressed to send on 16 January the following orders to the Victualling Board.

To cause quantity of inspissated juce of malt, as recommended by Pelham, to be prepared for trial on Resolution and Adventure, sufficient for 200 men for 6 weeks, of the two kinds of juice, i.e.  1. Juice impreg­nated with the virtue of hops.  2. Juice impregnated with the virtue of hops and fermented, in order to avoid the inconvenience of sending hops to sea and difficulty of always having yeast.

Four days later, the Victualling Board minutes show that it had no means for preparing such a quantity, so ordered a Mr Jackson, a chemist, to do so using wort and beer from Mr Raymond the Master Brewer.

Heinrich Wilhelm Muzell von Stosch had recommended that carrot marmalade should be used.  On 13 January, the Victualling Board asked the Admiralty Board for the quantity to be made of Baron Storsch’s proposal.  The answer came on 16 January, “a proper quantity made for 200 men for 6 weeks [so] experiment may be made of its efficacy”.

On 20 January, Cook wrote to the Navy Board with “an Account of the Additional Stores which I judge will or may be wanting for His Majestys Sloop the Resolution under my command in the Course of her intended Voyage... I earnestly request that the Seins may be both larger and of a superior quallity to those usualy supply’d the Navy, they being made of soft loose twine soon decay and have not Strength to hold large fish, which we too Sencibly experienced in my last Voyage”. 

On 27 January, the Victualling Board realised that Resolution and Adventure would need “2,700 gals brandy in lieu of some of their beer”, so wrote to the Admiralty Secretary proposing they be obtained from Guernsey. 

Astronomical and Other Arrangements

 A meeting of the Board of Longitude was held on 25 January.  Members present included Lord Sandwich, Nevil Maskelyne (Astronomer Royal), and Philip Stephens (Secretary to the Admiralty).  Maskelyne said that “the Watch Machine made by Mr Kendal” (K1, a copy of John Harrison’s H4) while undergoing trial at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, had “stopt going in the Evening of the 10th Instant tho it had been regularly wound up the preceding noon”.  The Board resolved that “the said Watch Machine be sent to Mr Kendal’s house, who is to take the same to pieces & examine into the defect, in the presence of the Astronomer Royal & such other person as he [Larcum Kendall] shall appoint; And that [he] do afterwards make good the defect, whatever it may be, with all the dispatch possible”.

Kendall took it to pieces, checking all the parts for signs of injury or wear.  He then reassembled the mechanism and handed it back for recommencement of trials at Greenwich. 

William Bayly and William Wales attended this meeting of the Board of Longitude.  A draft of their instructions was read to them.  They then “desired that orders may be given for their being supplied wth candles and some other necessaries whilst on ship board & that they may be each furnished with a moveable Observatory which will be of infinite use to them wherever they may have occasion to make observations on shore and wch Mr Bayly represented he could get made for about £25 each.  They were directed to deliver to the Secretary a List of the necessaries with wch they wish to be supplied; and to furnish themselves wth moveable Observatories proper for their use; the charge of wch should be defrayed by the Board”.

Johann Reinhold Forster’s Publication

Some time in January, J.R. Forster’s translation into English of Louis de Bougainville’s journal around the world was published.  The public had been alerted to its impending arrival in November 1771 when, for example, the Newcastle Chronicle advised its readers

In the Press, and speedily will be published, In One Volume Quarto, Price 15s in Boards, A Voyage round the World: Performed by Order of his Most Christian Majesty, in the Years 1766, 1767, 1768, and 1769.  By M. de Bougainville.  Translated from the French, By John Reynold Forster, F. A. S.  With Notes by the Translator.

The Scots Magazine in its pages announced on 1 January, 1772
M. de Bougainville’s charts are given on loose and disjointed parts; but Mr Forster has con­nected the whole track from the South Seas to Batavia, in such a manner, that the reader will find his ease and convenience consulted by an arrangement equally useful and agreeable.  Mr Forster’s judi­cious annotations, with the exactness and elegance of the charts render this translation superior to the original.  Translated from the French by John Reinhold Forster, F. A. S...  .L’Etoile, and the storeship La BoudeuseBy Lewis de Bougainville, Colonel of foot, and Commodore of the expedition, in the French frigate   A voyage round the world.

Extracts from the book appeared in The Gentleman’s Magazine in February and March.

Alterations to Resolution and Adventure

 Both ships needed some adaptation from their former role as colliers to their new role of overseas exploration.   Resolution required additional changes because, as Cook wrote in his journal

Banks alone.rthe Navy Board was prevailed upon... to raise her upper Works about a foot, to lay a spar deck upon her from the quarter deck to the forecastle... and to build a round house of couch for my accommodations so that the great Cabbin might be appropriated to the use of M  The addition of these... persons intirely altered the plan of accommodations and it was found difficult to find room for the whole and at the same time to leave room for her officers and crew and stowage...  and to have large and separate apartments...Resolution Banks, all these gentlemen except one Astronomer were to embark in the r Zoffani the famous portrait painter was one of those who had engaged to accompany MrM  ...a Banks intend to take with him several Draughtsmen &crM

The alterations were “about finished” by 6 February, and the day afterwards Resolution was “hauld out of the dry into the Wet Dock, and began to taken in Ballast, stores and to Rigg the masts &ca”.  On 19 February, “the Carpenters having nearly finish[ed] the different appartments of the Sloop, we hauld out of the Dock into the River and began to take in Provisions and the remainder of our stores &ca”.

Meantime, in Adventure, on 1 February, Furneaux wrote in his journal, “the Sloop came out of Dock, hauled alongside of the Sheer Hulk”, which was Guernsey, a 4th rate ship launched in 1740.  Two days later Furneaux “transported the Sloop alongside of the Nightingale”, a 6th rate purchased in 1746.

Banks and Solander Prepare for the Voyage

 On 7 February, Thomas Falconer wrote a long letter to Banks, including
Concerned as I am that our Country must lose you for another 3 years, I applaud yr spirit for the advancement of science... A voyage like your unattempted before will doubtless embrace every possible object, & as the knowledge of Longitude is a necessary adjunct to Geography: I should think Mr Harrison’s clock should be part of your equipage...  If it is really the case that there is a ballance of land [between the northern and southern hemispheres] we must probably find it in the South seas.  Consider our hemispheres in a map: In one you find Europe Asia & a large part of Africa... In the opposite... you have only part of South America.  Navigators hitherto have gone near the [equator] & by that means have left unobserved a space sufficient for a large continent.  Your discovery of N. Zealands being an Island within this space is a most valuable addition to Geography & reduces the supposed continent to narrower limits.

Thomas Martyn, Professor of Botany at Cam­bridge University, wrote to Richard Pulteney, a botanist and physician, in February saying he had “spent a morning with Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, to turn out 3,000 specimens of plants, 1,000 of them new species, and coloured drawings of 700, all elegantly and accurately done upon the spot”.

On 22 February, the Oxford Journal announced
Yesterday Dr. Solander, Mr. Banks, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and several other eminent Artists, attended his Majesty at St. James’s and had the Honour of a Conference.

On 24 February, Banks was invoiced by Robt Sparling, Razor maker & Cutler, at the Case of Knives in St. James’s Hay Market, the corner of Norris Street, London, for “5 pairs of new Insect Catchers” and “6 pairs of old ons mendd & repaird”.

The same day Banks was also invoiced by John Hallett, Weaver, N. 42. Bow Lane, for “29½ yds wt. nett”, which Banks noted were for “Butterfly netts”.

On 27 February, Dr Samuel Johnson wrote to Banks after a discussion there had been about the goat that had sailed around the world in Dolphin with Captain Samuel Wallis, and then in Endeavour.  “I return thanks to you and Dr. Solander for the plea­sure which I received in yesterday’s conversation.  I could not recollect a motto for your Goat, but have given her a distich”.  The note included two lines in Latin about the goat.  “Perpetui, ambitâ bis terrâ, prajmia lactis Hæc habet, altrici Capra secunda Jovis.  Capræ Emeritæ Prytanæum”.  James Boswell offers an English translation in quartet form, further emphasizing the mock-heroic mode

In fame scarce second to the nurse of Jove,
This Goat, who twice the world had traversed round,
Deserving both her master’s care and love,
Ease and perpetual pasture now has found.

Astronomical and Other Arrangements

On 5th February Cook wrote from “Mile end” to Maskelyne, the Astronomer Royal, “I here send you the few observations I made on the Tides in the South Sea”.

The next day, Cook wrote a long letter to Earl Sandwich, saying “I beg leave to lay before your Lordship a Map of the Southern Hemisphere S[h]ewing the Discoveries that have been made up to 1770, to which is subjoined my opinion respecting the rout to be pursued by the Resolution and Adventure”.  His opinion was
The principle thing to be attended to is the proper Seasons of Year, for Winter is by no means favourable for discoveries in these Latitudes; for which reason it is humbly proposed that the Ships may not leave the Cape of Good Hope before the latter end of September or beginning of October, when having the whole summer before them may safely Steer to the Southward and make their way to New Zealand, between the parallels of 45° and 60° or in as high a Latitude as the weather and other circumstances will admit. If no land is discoveried in this rout the Ships will be obliged to touch at New Zealand   Therefore to make new discoveries the Navigator must Traverse or Circumnavigate the Globe in a higher parallel than has hitherto been done, and this will be best accomplished by an Easterly Course on account of the prevailing westerly winds in all high Latitudes.  Upon due consideration of the discoveries that have been made in the Southern Ocean, and the tracks of the Ships which have made these discoveries; it appears that no Southern lands of great extent can extend to the Northward of40° of Latitude, except about the Meridian of 140° West, every other part of the Southern Ocean have at different times been explored to the northward of the above parallel.

From New Zealand the same rout must be continued to Cape Horn, but before this can be accomplished they will be overtaken by Winter, and must seek Shelter in the more Hospitable Latitudes, for which purpose Otahieta will probably be found to be the most convenient, at, and in its Neighbourhood the Winter Months may be spent, after which they must steer to the Southward and continue their rout for Cape Horn in the Neighbourhood of which they may again recrute their water, and after- wards proceed for the Cape of Good Hope.

Cook accompanied this memorandum with a map, on which he had drawn the tracks of Tasman, Wallis, Bougainville and himself, and those of the East Indiamen on their usual voyages, together with a broad yellow line round the Pole, weaving in and out of the sixtieth parallel. 

The Yellow line on the Map shews the track I would propose the Ships to make, Supposeing no land to intervene, for if land is discovered the track will be altered according to the directing of the land, but the general rout must be pursued otherwise some part of the Southern Ocean will remain unexplored.

A meeting of the Board of Longitude was held on 8 February.  Members present included Sandwich, Maskelyne, Stephens and Hugh Palliser (Comptroller of the Navy).  They received a note from the Royal Society that “Unanimously to recommend to the Board of Longitude James Lind Junr M. D. Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh as a person who will be extremely useful in the intended Voyage for discoveries in remote parts; on account of his skill & experience in his profession & from his great knowledge in Mineralogy, Chemistry, Mechanics & various Branches of natural Philosophy”.  The Board recorded that they “concurred in Opinion with the Royal Society”.  However, nothing further was done as they had already appointed Wales and Bayly.

Three days later, Cook wrote to the Navy Board “Dr Knights azimuth Compasses now in use are (I beleive) universally allowed to be defective at Sea, on acct of their very quick Motion when the Ship is the least agitated, this has caused Mr Gregory Compass maker in Leaden Hall Street, to add some very engenious contrivence to the Drs Compasses, which in my opinion will in part, if not Wholy, remedy the defect, & which I have heard asserted by Several Captns of India Men, who have used them, as the assertaining the variation of the Compass in remote Parts of the world must be of use to Navigation, I pray you will be pleased to order His Majestys Sloop Resolution under my Command to be Supplyed with one of Mr Gregorys Azimuth Compass’s of an improved construction”.

The Navy Board authorised the supplying of these compasses to both ships.

Men for Resolution and Adventure

On 4 February, William Peckover joined Resolution as gunner’s mate.  He had previously sailed in Endeavour.

On 11 February, Furneaux wrote to the Navy Board recommending a sailmaker.  The Board agreed, and the next day Ambrose Hill joined Adventure.  He had previously sailed in Tweed, a 32-gun fifth rate launched in 1759.  She had taken Cook in 1763 from Newfoundland to the island of St Pierre so he could survey it and the island of Miquelon.

On 15 February, Cook wrote to the Admiralty Secretary, “Edward Terrel Seaman who Saild with me in the Endeavour Bark and now belongs to his Ship Barfleur, hath appl’d by letter to Sail with me again and his friends have likewise made application in his behalf”  Edward was the seaman who had written to Banks on 8 January.  He joined Resolution on 2 March.

On 27 February, Cook wrote to the Admiralty Secretary, “Men that are Maters of the two Profes­sions of Ship-wright and Caulker, will be Very much wanting to His Majestys Sloop the Resolution and Adventure in the Course of their present intended Voyage, and as I find thse men are not to be got without more than common incouragement, I beg you will be pleased to move my Lords Commis­sioners of the Admiralty to order two additional Carpenters Mates to the Resolution, and one to the Adventure”. 

The request was approved the next day.

Provisions for Resolution and Adventure

On 14 February, the Victualling Board wrote to Cook that there was no wine in store locally and insufficient wine for the ships, and asked if he would take what was available, or wait until he reached Portsmouth for the 1,000 gallons of wine and 2,700 gallons of spirits due.  He replied it would be better to wait until they reached Portsmouth.

On 21 February, the Victualling Board reported to the Admiralty Secretary there was no French brandy at Guernsey, and asked if Spanish brandy was to be bought, or wine supplied instead?  The decision was to purchase Spanish brandy.

On 25 February, Cook wrote to the Admiralty Secretary “Long Musquettoons, Swive[l]’d, will be of infinate use on many occasions to His Majestys Sloops the Resolution and Adventure in the Course of their present intended Voyage, I beg you will be pleased to move my Lord Comissrs of the Admiralty to order the former to be Supply’d with Twelve and the latter with eight and the Resolution to be supply’d the Armourers Tools mentioned in the Inclosed list¾in addition to those already order’d”.  The Admiralty agreed two days later.

The same day Cook wrote also to the Navy Board “I beg you will be pleased to order the great Cabbins of His Majestys Sloop Resolution under my Command to be fitted with Brass Furniture in stead of Iron, that she may be supply’d with a Top Lanthorn [lantern] and Green Base [baize floor cloth] in stead of Red”. 

Charles Burney and Johann Reinhold Forster

In later life, Charles Burney, the musicologist and father of James Burney, recalled that in February

I had the honour of receiving the illustrious Captain Cook to dine with me in Queen’s Square [London] previously to his second voyage round the world. Observing upon a table, Bougainville’s Voyage Autour du Monde,   , he turned it over, and made some curious remarks on the illiberal conduct of that circumnavigator towards himself when they met and crossed each other; which made me desirous to know, in examining the chart of M. de Bougainville, the several tracks of the two navigators, and exactly where they had crossed or approached each other.Voyage Autour du MondeObserving upon a table, Bougainville’s   I had the honour of receiving the illustrious Captain Cook to dine with me in Queen’s Square [London] previously to his second voyage round the world.

The pencil marks, having been fixed by skim milk, will always be visible.  Captain Cook instantly took a pencil from his pocket book and said he would trace the route; which he did in so clear and scientific a manner that I would not take fifty pounds for my book.

On 27th February, J.R. Forster was elected Fellow of the Royal Society.  His references included Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, who testified that he was well known for his learned communications and “very valuable” publications in natural history.  Forster was also a frequent visitor to the New Burlington Street home of Banks and Solander.  He was given some Tahitian cloth by Banks, and in March, Banks and Solander visited Forster and his son George. 

Reporting in the Newspapers

On 6 March, the Derby Mercury reported
A Board of Admiralty was held on Friday, at which Lord Sandwich presided; it was pretty full, and some interesting Business was executed; an Order was issued for getting ready the Ships ordered for Dr. Solander and Mr. Banks with all possible Dispatch; the above Gentlemen attended, and after the Board broke up, had a long Conference with Lord Sandwich.

On 7 March, the Kentish Gazette announced
Dr. Lind is to be appointed one of the physicians to the army, with a salary of 400l [i.e. £400] a year during the voyage, and 200l a year for life at his return.  We hear that the ingenious Dr. James Lind, physician here, is to make the voyage to the South Seas with Messrs. Banks and Solander.  Edinburgh, March 3.

Astronomical and Other Arrangements

 A meeting of the Board of Longitude was held on 7 March.  Members present included Sandwich, Maskelyne, Stephens and Palliser.  The Secretary was ordered
That he do pay Messrs Wales & Bayly the Amount of the... candles & also of the moveable Observa­tories which they have been directed to provide, and of any expences they may be put to for carriage & porterage of the Instruments with which they are to be supplied or for any thing else relative to the said instruments; And,

That he do also pay Mr Arnold’s... Bill, and likewise (as far as the money in his hands will suffice) the Instrument Makers’ bills for the Instruments which the Astronomer Royal may have bespoke of them for the use of the abovementioned Messrs Wales & Bayly

The Instructions for the sd Messrs Wales & Bayly were now signed and Copies were ordered to be sent to the Rt Honble the Lords Commissioners of the Admty with a desire that their Lordship will please to give orders for Mr Wales, with his Instruments & Necessaries to be received on board the Resolution Sloop & Mr Bayly wth his instruments & Necessaries on board the Adventure Sloop, in order that they may proceed in them on the present intended Voyage for the purpose of making the observations wch are mentioned in the said Instructions; And that their Lordships will please to give the Commdrs of those Sloops directions to assist & support the said persons upon all occasions where they may stand in need of it to enable them to carry those Instructions into execution.

Banks and Solander Prepare for the Voyage

Some of the invoices kept by Banks are quite revealing.  On 5 March there was one from Andw  Dury for 115 sheets of large charts bound into three volumes.  Another from the same person on 30 March includes a collection of sea charts.

On 19 March, Banks was invoiced by Wm Ellyett for “10 Yards long 9 Inch Wide Wire Work for Sparrows... 20 Yards Long 16 Inch Wide Wire Work for Blackbirds... 10 Yards Long 2 Feet Wide Wire Work for Parrotts”.  Banks noted the wires were for “Bird Cages”. 

The next day, Banks was invoiced by John Hallett, Weaver, N. 42 Bow Lane, for “24½ yds wt. nett”, which Banks noted were for “Insects”.

On 24 March, Banks was invoiced by Geo Risdon, N97 Billingsgate, for “a Bed & Pillow, 2 Pr. Sheets, 3 Blanketts, 1 Cover lid, 1 Hamock, 7 Beddings Do., 14 Dutch Caps”.  Banks noted they were for “Servants Bedding”. 

The same day, Banks was invoiced by Wm Cock for “two french Horns”.

On 26 March, Solander was invoiced by George & Ernst Wolff  for “Sundries procured from Copen­hagen & Amsterdam”.  The items from Copenhagen comprised “One Barrell qr. 50 lb of dryed Hips, one Do. qr. 150 lb dryed Cherries, one Cagg qr. 50 lb  Juniper Syrup, one Box qr. 12 Bundles of dryed flounders, one Bundle qr. 103 lb dry’d & Salted codd” to which was added “Commission at Copen­hagen, freight at Elsingoe & Shipg, Duty & Charges of the above at Newcastle being inspected at that place on accot of the ships stoping there for a Cargo of Coal to bring to London, Landing here, waterage, Wharfage & Cartage”.  The items from Amsterdam included “One Cask of Dry’d Pears” and “one Do. Apples qr. 100 lb” to which was added the cost of “freight, Duty, landing & Shiping”. 

Banks decided he should once again take items for bartering for food and other items when they arrived at various islands, and as gifts.  An invoice dated 27 March, from Eleanor Gyles, Brass Founder, No.9, Shoe Lane, Fleet Street, gives an insight into one type of gift.  It was for 40 “Patawanes”.  Someone has written on it “Patapatoes for New Zealand in imitation of their stone weapons”.  Banks had bought a “patoo patto” from a Māori on 11 October, 1769, describing it as a “short weapon... intended doubtless for fighting hand to hand”.

Amongst the items ordered by Banks was a supply of medals struck to commemorate the voyage.  These medals are nowadays referred to by the name Resolution and Adventure medals, as these ships are depicted on one side, along with the expected date of sailing, March 1772.  Although we do not know of any letters from Banks ordering the medals, we do know that Matthew Boulton (who produced the medals in Birmingham) wrote to Lord Kerry about them.  In 1772, Francis Thomas Fitzmaurice, 3rd Earl of Kerry, Ireland, was furnishing his house at Portman Square, London.  On 8 March, Boulton wrote to him there.
Having just a small parcel to send to Banks Esqr in New Burlington Street, the forwarding of which cou’d not be delay’d any longer, we have taken the liberty of enclosing it in one of your Lordship’s Boxes desiring you would be so kind as to order it to be delivered to the person Banks Esqr will send for it, and to pardon the trouble we occasion thereby.

On 10 March, Boulton wrote to Solander, who was living at Banks’s house in New Burlington Street, London, that one of the dies for the medals had cracked.
May the God of all things preserve your Body that I may once more have the happiness of Saluting you, farewell, remember me who am &c.  They with every thing else shall be at Mr. Banks on Saturday evening next per Coach.  I have also got the Ear drop done which appear’d to me in so rough a Style that I have ventured to put you to the expence of grinding one half of ‘em which suppose will make ‘em more profitable to you.  The Bead I was forced to Manu­facture myself there being no such thing made in Birmingham.  all the purposes intended.rI was very unfortunate in ye Cracking of one of the Medal Dyes, but hope nevertheless that they will Ans  so much more learned in every branch of natural knowledge but such presumption is more excuseable than not fullfilling my promise.nI cannot but consider it as somewhat presuming in myself to write to a Gent  I here send you Such part of a Letter (I some time ago wrote to a certain Southern Voyager) as relates to the Distinguishing of Minerals.

The next day, Boulton wrote to Banks about the despatch of some glass beads.
you will receive them on Thursday pr coach & at the same time you shall receive all the Medals.  I durst not strike any Silver ones as the dye for the reverse provd unsound & crackd in a very ugly manner the very first blow.  As I am this evening sending several Boxes pr Coach to Lord Kerry in Portman Square I have inclosed 2 Doz of Medals that you may see their faults, they are sealed up & I beg you will send some body on Wednesday mornr for them.

Banks received a delivery of 2,000 base metal medals on 14 March 1772.  Eleven days later Boulton wrote
Above you have Invoice of the Gold & Silver Medals... We have been obliged to make Use of fine Gold for fear of the Medals being too hard for the dyes, and as the shortness of the time wou’d not admit of our getting proper Shagreen Cases made for them, we leave it to you to buy such Cases as you will think most suitable to the purpose.

On 29 March, Boulton wrote
We are extreamly glad to observe by your kind favour of 25 inst, that your departure is delay’d for a fortnight longer as it affords us the satisfaction to know that we have sent you the Gold and Silver Medalls yet in time and struck out of the new dye.

Provisions for Resolution and Adventure

On 2 March, Cook wrote to the Navy Board about his previous request for “Brass Furniture to the Great Cabbins of His Majestys Sloop Resolution”.  “I find you have been pleased to order Brass Locks to the Doors of the Great Cabbin only, whereas I meant to apply, not only for Locks, but Hinges, Turnbuckles and every other article that is usualy fitted with Iron, to be of Brass both to the Great Cabbin & Round House”.  This request was turned down.

As a result, Cook wrote to Banks on 9 March, “If you approve of a Green Base floor Cloth for the great Cabbin I will demand as much Cloth from ye Yard as will make one as you mean to furnish the Cabbin well, I think you should have Brass Locks & Hinges to the Doors &ca; this however will be a private affair of your own as nothing of this kind is allow’d, the Round House will be fitted in this manner at my Expense”. 

On 4 March, the Victualling Board wrote to Cook that four barrels of experimentally cured beef will be sent to him, and he is to report back about them.  He responded five days later, “I think it will be necessary to examine every Cask of Beef and Pork after it is stow’d in its place, on board the Resolution under my Command, and to fill such up with Pickle as are found the least diff[i]cient and this to be repeated as often as the Casks can conveniently be come at, for which purpose I beg you will be pleased to ord[er] her to be Supply’d with Two Hogsheads of Strong Pickle”.  This request was granted.

On 10 March, Cook wrote to the Navy Board, “Machines for Warping Ships in unfathomable depths, may be of great use to His Majestys Sloops  Resolution and Adventure in the course of their present intended Voyage; I beg you will be pleased to order each of them to be supply’d with two.  The construction of these machines are very simple and known to Mr Cosway Master Atendant of Deptford Yard—Also Ice Anchors and Hatchets, such as used by Greenland Ships, may possibly be wanting on some Occasions, I think it would not be a miss for each of them to have tow of each”.  The Board wrote back asking for more information about the machines, ice anchors and hatchets.  Cook had seen the machines being used on 22 May, 1770, when Endeavour was sailing home with a fleet of East Indian under the protection of Portland.  It was not until 17 March that the request was approved, and the Board ordered Deptford Yard to make all of these items “under his inspection”.

Also on 10 March, Cook wrote to the Navy Board, “When the Endeavour was fited out to go on her late Voyage, she was supply’d from the Sick and Hurt Office with a quantity of Rob of Oranges and Lemons, which we found of great use in preventing the Scurvey... I therefore pray you will... order His Majestys Sloops the Resolution and Adventure to be supply’d with a quantity”.  The next day, the Admiralty Secretary wrote to the Sick and Hurt Office asking how much Rob was in store.  The reply two days later was to say there was none, and it would take a fortnight to procure some.

On 12 March, the Admiralty Secretary wrote to Cook that a supply of Baron Storsch’s marmalade of carrots will be sent to the ship, and he is to report back at the end of the voyage how good it is at preventing scurvy.

On 20 March, the Sick and Hurt Office wrote to Cook and Furneaux that they would be sent 3,000 lb and 2,000 lb, respectively, of portable soup for the use of the well men and for the sick men when fresh provisions could not be obtained. 

Alterations to Resolution and Adventure

 On 18 March, Cook wrote to the Navy Board, “Mr Banks informs me that Dr Lynd goes out in his Majestys Sloop Resolution under my command, and at the same time desired me to apply to your Board to have another Standing Cabbin built for the Dr or one of his people, I therefore pray you will be pleased to order a Cabbin to be built on the lower Deck on the Starboard side abaft the Pump Deal”.  Appropriate orders were given to Deptford Yard.

On 21 March, Furneaux wrote in his journal, “Transported the Sloop alongside the Hussar”, a 6th rate launched in 1763.

On 25 March, Cook wrote to the Navy Board, “As His Majestys Sloop Adventure does not take out the yawl that was built for her at Woolwich, I beg you will be pleased to order His Majestys Sloop the Resolution under my command, to be supply’d with it in the room of the one intended for her at Deptford, as I think she will answer much better”. 

A Notable Death

 On 28 March, the goat that had sailed around the world in Dolphin with Captain Samuel Wallis, and then in Endeavour died, 


 Ian Boreham

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 49, volume 45, number 1 (2022).

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