Home > Letter By Cook Discovered In 2002 Withdrawn from Auction

Letter By Cook Discovered In 2002 Withdrawn from Auction


Bonhams Auction House of London was to auction on Tuesday, 17th December 2002 a recently discovered letter written by Cook in 1771. The estimate was GBP15,000-20,000. It was withdrawn before it appeared in the catalogue, and its future is uncertain.

A letter written by Captain James Cook informing the Admiralty of his safe return from his epic first voyage to Australia has been discovered by Bonhams auctioneers while cataloguing the contents of a Norfolk house. The previously unrecorded letter, which is of considerable significance to Cook scholars, was written aboard his ship, the Bark Endeavour in sight of the Kent coast. It is believed to be the first communication from Cook to the Admiralty from English waters after his three-year voyage.
With it is a second document, also written in painstaking copperplate handwriting, which is a bill to the Treasury for supplies purchased by Cook at the Cape of Good Hope (now Cape Town) for the sloops during his second voyage in 1776. It is estimated at £3,000-4,000.
The documents were discovered by Bonhams specialist James Glennie while he was cataloguing the contents of Brancaster Hall, on the north Norfolk coast.
It is not known how the documents came to be at Brancaster Hall but James Glennie said: "The Simms-Adams family, who own Brancaster Hall, had connections with Yorkshire and Whitby."
Sort by:
profile photo
I'm just reading you log on a signiture of James cook ,well I think I have one to from 1751 ,when he was a merchant seaman ,working on the coastal waters
Also in the ships log on the first page it makes reference to John Newton ,it is bound in vellum or pig skin ,and it has detailed accounts on what was on the ships and dates , I believe cook signed the bottom of page 3 , I haven't had it looked at of yet but this is a good starting point ,I'm happy to show you pictures or communicate by phone , look forwards to hearing from your organisation
Kind regards

Adam Burman 07786996338 I am based in the uk
By Adam Burman on 4/29/2016 7:58:48 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
profile photo
Freeman, the Captain Cook Society only holds an image of part of the letter, as shown in the above illustration. The entire letter can be seen on-line as it was subsequently sold by Sothebys (London) in December 2006, Lot 11 of that sale can be seen at
By Cliff Thornton on 8/9/2015 8:54:04 PM Like:0 DisLike:1
profile photo
Can I please have an image of the letter? Thanks.
By Freeman Smith on 8/6/2015 11:05:17 AM Like:1 DisLike:0

Unsolicited e-mail warning

It has come to our attention that spam mailers (senders of bulk unsolicited e-mail) have been forging their mail with this domain as the point of origin. As a matter of policy, we do not send out e-mail from our domain name. If you have received an email that appears to be from "@CaptainCookSociety.com" it was forged and sent without our consent, knowledge, or the use of our servers.