Captain James Cook Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1728 – 1779 *** Full Name: James Cook *** Date of Birth (Birthday): He was born on October 27, 1728 *** Place of Birth: Captain James Cook was born in Marton, Yorkshire, England *** Family background: His father was a farmer called James Cook *** Early life and childhood: James Cook grew up and spent the majority of his life in Yorkshire, England *** Education: James Cook began his education at a local school in Great Ayton, Yorkshire *** Captain James Cook was killed on February 14, 1779 ***
Captain James Cook Fact 1: Captain James Cook was born in Marton, Yorkshire, England on October 27, 1728.
Captain James Cook Fact 2: James Cook was a famous English explorer and navigator who made very important discoveries during sea voyages to North America and the Pacific Ocean. He became the first European on record to visit the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first to circumnavigate New Zealand.
Captain James Cook Fact 3: He was the second eldest of his seven brothers and sisters. His father worked on a farm and his name was also James Cook. His mother's name was Grace Pace.
Captain James Cook Fact 4: His father began working for Thomas Skottowe in 1736 on his farm in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire. Thomas Skottowe paid for James Cook's education at a local school which he attended for five years.
Captain James Cook Fact 5: Following his school education, James Cook worked for his father on Thomas Skottowe's farm. He remained on the farm until 1745 when he moved to Staithes to become an apprentice to William Sanderson, a grocer and haberdasher.
Captain James Cook Fact 6: James Cook met ship-owners John and Henry Walker around 1747. They were well known Quakers in the local area who worked in the coal trade. The Walkers employed James Cook as a merchant navy apprentice. He spent most of his apprenticeship onboard the collier Freelove sailing between London and the Tyne.
Captain James Cook Fact 7: During his three year apprenticeship, James Cook studied various subjects such as trigonometry, geometry, algebra, navigation and astronomy which would become very important during his future expeditions.
Captain James Cook Fact 8: Following completion of his apprenticeship, he worked his way through the merchant navy ranks. The outbreak of the Seven Years' War gave him an opportunity to volunteer for service in the Royal Navy. His Royal Navy career began on June 17, 1755.
Captain James Cook Fact 9: He served in North America during the Seven Years' War. He was master of HMS Pembroke. James Cook took part in the capture of the Fortress of Louisbourg from the French, the siege of Quebec City, and the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.
Captain James Cook Fact 10: During his Royal Navy career, it became clear that Captain James Cook had a strong talent for surveying and cartography. During the 1760s, whilst aboard HMS Grenville, he mapped the coastline of Newfoundland.
Captain James Cook Fact 11: He produced the first large scale maps of the coastline of Newfoundland. The maps proved accurate and gave precise triangulation to obtain land outlines. His maps were used by sailors for 200 years, into the 20th century!.
Captain James Cook Fact 12: He married Elizabeth Batts on December 21, 1762 in Essex at Saint Margaret's Church. They had six children together; their names were James, Nathaniel, Elizabeth, Joseph, George and Hugh.
Captain James Cook Fact 13: James Cook was a successful and talented navigator who was determined to discover as much of the world as possible, after his discoveries in Newfoundland, he wrote that he wished to venture 'farther than any man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for a man to go.'
Captain James Cook Fact 14: He set off on his first expedition to the Pacific Ocean on August 26, 1768 aboard HMS Endeavour. During the first part of his voyage, James Cook observed the Venus Transit across the Sun to try to determine longitude. The task was inconclusive as it didn't provide the accuracy he'd required.
Captain James Cook Fact 15: The second part of his voyage to the Pacific Ocean was more successful. The Admiralty had requested that James Cook searched the south Pacific for the continent of Terra Australis. During this expedition, he mapped out the entire coastline of New Zealand and he became the first recorded European to make contact with the eastern coastline of Australia. He reached the south-east coast of Australia on April 19, 1770.
Captain James Cook Fact 16: During his first voyage to the Pacific Ocean, James Cook witnessed indigenous Australians, he met an aboriginal tribe called Gweagel, he discovered Botany Bay (now known as the Kurnell Peninsual), he encountered the Great Barrier Reef, he landed on Possession Island and claimed it as British territory.Captain James Cook Fact 17: His second scientific expedition to the Pacific Ocean took place from 1772 to 1775 aboard HMS Resolution. He led the voyage in hope of finding the hypothetical Terra Australis which was believed to lie south of the area he'd navigated during his first voyage.
Captain James Cook Fact 18: The third voyage of James Cook took place from 1776 to 1779 aboard HMS Discovery in an attempt to find the Northwest Passage; a sea route linking the northern Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. He wasn't successful in sighting the Northwest Passage but he made many other discoveries. It was during this voyage that he became the first European to make contact with the Hawaiian Islands.
Captain James Cook Fact 19: The foremast on the HMS Resolution broke, meaning that Captain James Cook and his crew had to stay in Kealakekua Bay whist the ship was repaired. They ran into trouble with the Hawaiians and Captain James Cook died on February 14, 1779 when he was stabbed to death following an attempt to kidnap he King of Hawaiʻi, Kalaniʻōpuʻu.
Captain James Cook Fact 20: Captain Cook's Cottage, as it is now known, belonged to James Cook's parents. It was located in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire. It was purchased by an Australian man called Russell Grimwade in 1933. The cottage was deconstructed and shipped to Australia where it was reconstructed in the Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.
Influence and Legacy of James Cook: Captain James Cook was a famous English navigator and explorer who is credited for numerous discoveries as well as mapping out various countries including New Zealand, the south east coast of Australia, and the coastline of Newfoundland. James Cook produced the first large scale scientific maps of the Pacific.
Short Facts about Captain James Cook for Kids:
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