Captain Cook's Endeavour. Marquardt, Karl Heinz. 1995.

Captain Cook's Endeavour. Marquardt, Karl Heinz. 1995.

Marquardt, Karl Heinz.
Captain Cook's Endeavour.

This book, published in a series called "Anatomy of the Ship", contains 100 pages of drawings of every aspect of the Endeavour imaginable, including the ship's wheel - elevation and plan. The author, a ship modeller and draughtsman, precedes the drawings with a detailed description of the hull, fittings and rig. He quotes from Beaglehole's book of the First Voyage the parts that you and I would easily miss, for example in identifying how many spare anchors were carried.

One piece that caught my eye is the discussion as to whether there were four or five windows on the stern. Marquardt says that Sydney Parkinson's sketch of the ship "finally lays to rest the false assertion that the Endeavour had five stern windows, a myth which has haunted all models and paintings of the ship. The central window was a dummy, added for purely aesthetic reasons. Arguments about the number of actual windows should never have arisen, since the size of the helmport in the lower counter and the quarterdeck shows that the rudder stock passed up through the cabin enclosed in a rudder-trunk, a solid wooden protective casing, which took up the whole space between the two centre counter- timbers and thus the space behind the so-called 'centre-window' and no shipwright would give a window to a rudder-trunk. Its bogus nature is further confirmed by Parkinson's sketch, which shows shutters on only the outer four windows, the dummy centre window not having them as it did not need them." The Australian replica has four windows, but the one at Stockton has five!

Ian Boreham

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 1273, volume 26, number 1 (2003).

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