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History
THE THREE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN COOK
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THE LATEST PROGRAMME
Begins Monday 23 September 2002, 11.02-11.30
James Cook rose to become the leader of the first voyage of discovery, sponsored by the Admiralty and the Royal Society.


PROGRAMME 1: 'FURTHER THAN ANY OTHER MAN'.

Born in 1728, son of a farm labourer in Yorkshire, it's extraordinary that James Cook rose to become the leader of the first voyage of discovery, sponsored by the Admiralty and the Royal Society in 1768. This became a three year voyage that led to the charting of unknown territory - the whole of what we now know of as New Zealand, and the eastern coast of Australia.


Captain James Cook. This portrait is courtesy of The National Maritime Museum ..>>

The involvement of the Admiralty and Royal Society indicated that this was a voyage in which discovery and science played equal parts. It was very much an Enlightenment mission, to claim new territories for the British crown, but also to map and quantify, to literally push the boundaries of the known world. Dr Nigel Rigby of the National Maritime Museum considers Cook's personal qualities that made him - above all others - the man for this singular job.

In large part it was due to his prowess as a surveyor, skills at which Cook excelled, at a time when wealth and patronage were what counted. It's ironic perhaps, that HM Bark Endeavour, Cook's ship on the first voyage was no sleek ship of the line, but a Whitby collier - in other words a floating coal scuttle.

This round-bottomed vessel, faithfully reproduced today in the shape of the Replica Endeavour - she made the 5 month crossing from Australia earlier this summer, and is currently visiting British ports - would've been familiar to the Captain from his apprentice days at the Yorkshire port.

Nigel Rigby visits Whitby to learn more of Cook's nautical training there, and hears an interesting argument that the values of the Quaker ship owner with whom he served his apprenticeship may have contributed to Cook's own Enlightenment values of tolerance and scepticism, attributes that served him well when encountering the cultures of the South Pacific, in Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia. Probably the world's leading expert on Cook, Professor Glyn Williams also gives his assessment of the man and his considerable achievements.

Producer: Mark Smalley
Reader: Bill Wallis
Music composed and performed by: John Metcalfe.

FURTHER READING
The Journals of Captain Cook, Phillip Edwards, Penguin Books.
Voyages of Captain Cook, Captain James Cook, et al Wordsworth Editions Ltd.
Captain James Cook, Richard Hough, Coronet.
Listen Live
Audio Help
CAPTAIN COOK PAGES
Go to 1 - Further Than Any Man homepage
Go to 2 - Terra Australis Incognito
Go to 3 - This Melancholy Affair
DON'T MISS
In Our Time
Thursday 9.00-9.45am, rpt 9.30-10.00pm. Melvyn Bragg explores the history of ideas. Listen again online or download the latest programme as an mp3 file.
RELATED PROGRAMMES
The Ship ..>>
This Sceptred Isle ..>>
USEFUL LINKS
National Maritime Museum ..>>
Captain Cook Memorial Museum ..>>
Captain Cook Society ..>>
In the Words Of Capt Cook and his Crew ..>>
The Pacific Before Cook, article by Dr Nigel Rigby ..>>
www.bbc.co.uk/history ..>>
Virtual Endeavour ..>>

Navigation Animation ..>>
PRESENTER
DR NIGEL RIGBY

Nigel Rigby is Head of Research at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. He joined the Museum in 1996 as a research fellow on the Wolfson Gallery of Trade and Empire. Between 1991 and 1994 he did a PhD at the University of Kent on European writing about the Pacific.

Together with Pieter van der Merwe, a colleague at the Museum, he has written Captain Cook in the Pacific, which will be published at the end of October 2002. He has also co-edited Modernism and Empire (Manchester, 2000) and The Worlds of the East India Company (Woodbridge, 2002).

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