On this day: Captain James Cook sets sail for Australia

Mrs Morgan’s Florilegium, transit of Venus, Natalie Waddell,

Okay, so it was yesterday, but I’ve only just had time to post this.

On 26 August 1768, The HMB Endeavour set sail from England’s Plymouth Harbour, under the command of Captain James Cook with the naturalist Joseph Banks also onboard. The ship’s company of 94 men were instructed to make for Tahiti, where they would observe and record the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun.

However, Cook also carried secret instructions from the Admiralty ordering him to explore the Southern Ocean in search of Terra Australis incognita – the unknown southern land.

Sadly, 283 years after Cook was born, the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in Middlesbrough is under threat of closure. A 10-year-old local boy has started a petition to try and save the history site.

It’s not the only historic birthplace museum dedicated to a pioneering 18th century figure that’s under threat. The Hunter House Museum in East Kilbride, where pioneering brother surgeons William and John Hunter were born, also faces closure.

Via australiangeographic.com.au

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