HM Bark Endeavour. The Ship. The Replicas. Whitworth, Alan. 2002

HM Bark Endeavour. The Ship. The Replicas. Whitworth, Alan. 2002

Whitworth, Alan. 
HM Bark Endeavour. The Ship. The Replicas.
Culva House Publications.
ISBN 1 871150 19 1.

A 50-page booklet by Alan Whitworth, a local historian who lives near Whitby, UK. It was produced as a celebration of the two visits by the Australian Endeavour replica in 1997 and 2002.

The frontispiece is a colour photograph of the Cook statue on the West Cliff, Whitby taken some time ago – it doesn't show the current paving representing the compass points but the previous low fence encompassing a small garden.

Curiously for a local author, the story breezes through Cook's early life, covering his first 18 years in the first paragraph and his stay at Whitby in the second. Several pages are devoted, however, to Cook's early years in the Navy (only later was it called the Royal Navy). It is a pity that Cook's second ship, the Solebay is mis-spelt as the Solebury, and that he is described "as surveyor aboard the Antelope", implying he was in command when he was just a passenger on his way to take charge of the Tweed. These ships so rarely get a mention in any piece on Cook.

Whitworth excels at describing the Earl of Pembroke and its transformation into the Endeavour. He discusses its design, the terms bark and cat, which are so frequently used by us but so often misunderstood, the meaning of ship-rigged and snow. Even the development of the ship-building industry on the North-East coast, taking over from those in Suffolk (where I live), is covered. The ship was modified twice at Deptford on the river Thames, and the reasons and effects on the ship and its "94 persons including Officers Seamen Gentlemen and their servants" explained step by step.

Several pages are given to explaining the stores taken on board. For example, "The vessel also carried large oars, called sweeps, which were used on 16 August 10 to guide the Endeavour through an opening in a reef off New Zealand into the calmer waters beyond".

The voyage of the Endeavour is dealt with in one paragraph, and the author moves on to the Australian replica, which gets three pages, starting with the concept in 1970 and the attempts from 1981 to get it built in Whitby.

The mini-replica recently built at Whitby1 is mentioned, but there is surprisingly nothing about the replicas at Stockton2 and Stondon3. Instead there is a description of the Cook statue at Whitby and the monument on Easyby Moor near Great Ayton.

Given the booklet's title, it is a curious mix of expected information (such as an appendix of the Endeavour's crew), interesting information (an appendix of Cook's service in Whitby ships from the muster rolls) and the irrelevant (e.g. an appendix about the Coat of Arms granted to him posthumously).

Ian Boreham

1. See Cook's Log, page 194 vol. 25, no. 2 (2002)
2. See page 1342, vol. 19, no 4 (1996)
3. See page 1530, vol. 21, no 3 (1998)

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 2000, volume 25, number 4 (2002).

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