Published on August 2nd, 2018 | by Sarah Jubb
The 250th Anniversary Of Captain Cook And The Endeavour Voyage
2018 is officially the 250th anniversary of the Endeavour Voyage, undertaken by one of Britain’s most well-known explorers, Captain Cook. The three-year voyage, which saw the first European contact with Eastern Australia, mapped the country of New Zealand and even observed the transit of Venus, was an incredibly success.
To celebrate this monumental anniversary, Royal Mail have released a series of 6 special stamps. The six stamps outline some of these important events along with some of the people who joined him; Joseph Banks, a naturalist, and Sydney Parkinson, a natural history artist.
The Humble Beginnings Of James Cook
Important historical figures often came from educated or upper-class families, but Captain Cook, born James Cook,had his origins with an agricultural farm labouring family. Born in the village of Marton in East Yorkshire on 7 November 1728, he eventually moved to a fishing village in Staithes at 16. At 18, he travelled to Whitby and became a merchant navy apprentice.
In 1755, he volunteered to join the Royal Navy and was assigned to the ship the HMS Eagle. He served on various Navy vessels during the Seven Years’ War and in 1766 he was ordered to commandeer a scientific voyage in the Pacific Ocean.
The Voyage of HMS Endeavour
Cook took three voyages of exploration on board the HMS Endeavour, with the first departing in 1768. The observations of the Venus Transit were made in 1769 when they arrived in Tahiti. He then proceeded to New Zealand and mapped the entire coastline.
Along with him was Tupaia, a Tahitian priest and navigator, who provided them with translation and acted a pilot for them. During this time, he proved to be invaluable when they came across the Maori of New Zealand.
During his return to England, Cook sailed along the east coast of Australia with the Endeavour almost suffering serious calamities on the Great Barrier Reef. Once the ship was repaired, it then sailed through the Torres Strait where unfortunately 30 men including Tupaia and Sydney Parkinson died. The Endeavour and Cook arrived back in England in 1771, his voyage deemed a success.
Celebrate The Endeavour Voyage
The release of six special stamps by Royal Mail to celebrate this historic event are perfect for any stamp collector or lover of history. With a Presentation Pack available that includes all six stamps in a beautifully presented pack, along with a miniature sheet containing four unique stamps that focus on navigation, charting and some of the mapping breakthroughs.