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Captain Cook's Endeavour

Series 1, Episode 1

Captain Cook's Endeavour

Captain James Cook is one of the greatest maritime navigators in history. Born in 1728 to a Scottish father and English mother, Cook grew up in Yorkshire and soon developed a great fascination with the sea and exploration.

In 1746 Cook joined the merchant shipping industry when he moved to the nearby port town of Whitby. He remained working on trading ships for a few years and soon progressed through the ranks.

Having already proven himself an able sailor, Cook joined the Royal Navy in 1855. He fought in the Seven Years War, during which he first showed his skill for practical surveying when he produced the first large-scale accurate map of the coasts of Newfoundland. His maps were so accurate that they remained used into the twentieth century.

On 26 August 1768 Captain James Cook set out on the first of his three voyages of exploration with the task of commanding a scientific voyage of the Pacific Ocean and search for signs of the postulated southern continent ‘Terra Australis.’

His flagship was HMS Endeavour, a former merchant collier constructed in Whitby – a key reason why Cook desired this ship for his expedition. It served Cook throughout his first voyage, traversing the Pacific and reaching far-flung lands such as Australia and New Zealand. Cook later remarked that HMS Endeavour was the best ship he had ever sailed in.

In this Original History Hit TV production, historian Helen Carr visits Whitby and learns the history of this charming port town and the important role it played in the life and career of local lad James Cook. She explores a replica of HMS Endeavour and discovers what it would have been like to serve under Cook during his expeditions. The documentary was produced by Helen Carrie.

 Read more Read less Duration: 30 Min