Home > Muster records for the Royal Navy ships of James Cook, 1763-1780

Muster records for the Royal Navy ships of James Cook, 1763-1780


This group of musters covers those ships in which James Cook was the senior officer.  Coverage is from his time in the schooner Grenville in Newfoundland in 1764 (a few entries have been included for 1763 although no muster survives for that year) to 1780 when his two ships, Resolution and Discovery, returned to Britain after his death in Hawai`i.


Ships covered: (click on ship’s name for muster information)

HM Schooner/ Brig Grenville

Cook commanded from 1763 to 1768, mainly in Newfoundland waters.

HMS Dolphin

Several members of the crew from Wallis’s voyage (1766-1768) later sailed with Cook

HMB Endeavour

Cook’s ship on the first voyage to the Pacific (1768-1771)

HMS Scorpion

Cook commanded briefly in the River Thames in late 1771 between voyages.

HMS Resolution

Cook’s ship on the second voyage to the Pacific (1772-1775)

HMS Adventure

Cook’s companion ship on the second voyage to the Pacific (1772-1774)

HMS Resolution

Cook’s ship on the third voyage to the Pacific (1776-1780)

HMS Discovery

Cook’s companion ship on the third voyage to the Pacific (1776-1780)


Cook was appointed to HMS Scorpion between his first and second Pacific voyages.  Many of the men appointed to Scorpion in 1771 followed Cook in December to HMS Drake, later renamed Resolution.  The muster for Scorpion has, therefore, been included.  As several men who served with Cook had previously sailed with Samuel Wallis to the Pacific on HMS Dolphin, the muster for that ship has also been included.


Various extra lists have been developed detailing men who ran or were discharged before ships sailed. Other lists show men who sailed on more than one voyage.


Transfers between ships on the second and third voyages have been recorded together with promotions / demotions during the voyages.  Punishments and other incidents have not been included.


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Dear Cook devotees....I am currently in NZ following Endeavour as part of Tuia 250. Last weekend while I was at Whitianga Library Mercury Bay I had the opportunity to read a book called Nicholas Young by Harold Williams published 1999 in Gisborne NZ. Was wondering who else may have read this piece of Historical Non Fiction about the life of Young Nick. The book follows the line of history which suggests that Young Nick was the illeg son of King George lll. After joining the Endeavour in Tahiti and completing the first voyage with Cook...Nicholas sailed with Banks to Iceland. Can anyone help me with more information about Nicholas Young after 1772 and does anyone have his family tree or a will if indeed he had a will. The book was very very thoroughly researched and I could not put it down....reading it cover to cover in a couple of hours. Thank you.
By Debbie Gibson on 10/24/2019 8:10:44 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Richard, thank you for your interesting question. I am not aware that the muster for Byron's voyage has been preserved, and is available. I will make some enquiries and let you know what I find. And if they are available, I agree that it would be nice to see that data added to the above list of ships.
By Cliff Thornton on 7/14/2019 9:56:38 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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I wonder if the muster rolls for HMS Dolphin during John Byron's 1764-66 voyage have been preserved? If they are, could they too be digitized to this page?
By Richard Alleson on 7/6/2019 8:13:55 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Mike, the muster for Vancouver's ship HMS Discovery, shows that George Vancouver had several servants during the course of the voyage; William Wooderson was the first, b.1771 in Hampshire, he was followed by Benjamin Reeve b.1764 in Warwickshire, and finally John Campbell b. in America in 1770. If Vancouver had a cabin boy, then he would have been too young to record on the formal muster of the ship. The youngest person on board the ship was Robert Pigot, a midshipman who was aged 17 years when the ship left England.
By Cliff Thornton on 4/17/2018 5:50:03 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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What was the name of Captain George Vancouver's cabin boy on the discovery from 1791-95?
By Mike Hansen on 4/16/2018 3:38:14 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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You are correct in stating that cabin boys were not mustered. We know this from Nicholas Young, who was added to the muster role in April 1769, when the ship was off the east coast of Australia.
There is no mention of Peter Hibbs in any of the contemporary records for the Endeavour voyage. I note that he claimed to have been the second person to step ashore at Botany Bay, after Joseph Banks. But records indicate that the young Isaac Smith was the first to step ashore and not Banks.
By Cliff Thornton on 7/17/2016 9:01:20 AM Like:0 DisLike:2
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I am searching for a reference to a Peter Hibbs who family history believes as being a "cabin boy" on the Endeavour with Capt Cook on his first voyage. It appears that "cabin boys" were not included on Ship's muster. His name may have appeared in one of Cook's journals. Hibbs is recorded as an Able Seaman on the Sirius on the 1st Fleet to Sydney in 1788. Any assistance would be most appreciated. cheers
By C S Appleby on 7/16/2016 2:50:42 PM Like:1 DisLike:1
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The reason that your distant relative does not appear on the list of crew serving under Captain Cook on Resolution is because he was serving on a different ship in the Royal Navy which was also named HMS Resolution. This vessel had been launched in 1770 and was therefore named before Cook's ship was given the same name.
HMS Resolution
By Cliff Thornton on 7/20/2013 9:11:52 PM Like:0 DisLike:1
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Hello, I have a will of a distant relative, dated 23/4/1779 in which he describes himself as a mariner, 'late of HMS Resolution'. I can find no trace of him in the list of personnel, yet at the date of the will the Resolution was on the third voyage '76-80' according to all records. Can anyone help with a possible explanation for his absence on the list?
Question re third voyage
By S. Hill on 6/25/2013 11:26:08 PM Like:0 DisLike:1
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Thank you John for the intergrated muster lists and all you contribute to our Cook world. Robert Taylor appears only on the Endeavour list so Cook must have asked the Admiralty for him as armourer because of personal connection not as former shipmates.
New Comment
By Josie Taylor CCS on 3/26/2013 8:11:54 AM Like:1 DisLike:1

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