Captain Cook Memorial Museum




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   Captain James Cook (image)

The Museum is in the 17th century house in Grape Lane on Whitby's harbour where the young James Cook lodged as apprentice.  It was here Captain Cook trained as a seaman, leading to his epic voyages of discovery. Whitby has a long tradition of seafaring dating back hundreds of years. His association with the town and his later feats of discovery are relived in the original house in which he lived.

He was born on 27 October 1728 at Marton-in-Cleveland.  His father, originally from Scotland, was also called James and married Grace Pace from Cleveland. They had eight children, though several died young. When James was still a child, his father moved to Great Ayton, a few miles away near the Cleveland Hills, and became the foreman at Aireyholme Farm. .

In 1755 he joined the Royal Navy, and within two years passed his master's examination to qualify for the navigation and handling of a royal ship.  He gained surveying experience in North American waters during the Seven Years War - as Britain and France fought for supremacy in North America - and spent the first years of peace between 1763 and 1767 charting the fog-shrouded coastline of Newfoundland.

Cook charted many areas and recorded several islands and coastlines on European maps for the first time. His achievements can be attributed to a combination of seamanship , superior surveying and cartographic skills, courage in exploring dangerous locations to confirm the facts (for example dipping into the Antarctic circle repeatedly and exploring around the Great Barrier Reef ), an ability to lead men in adverse conditions, and boldness both with regard to the extent of his explorations and his willingness to exceed the instructions given to him by the Admiralty

Some Of Captain James Cook's achievments are chartered below:


Explored and charted the east coast


Charted St Laurence estuary and Newfoundland .
Explored west coast during the 3rd Voyage


Along with France 's great explorers, Bougainville and La Perouse, explored the Pacific islands. France, at war with Britain during the 3rd Voyage, ordered her navy not to attack Cook.


The home of Johann Reinhold and Georg Forster, botanists on the 2nd Voyage.


Built on the work of many Dutch sailors who found Australia , especially Tasman who first sighted Tasmania and New Zealand .

New Zealand

Circumnavigated and charted New Zealand .


Third Voyage visited Kamchatka and Chukotka. Two of Cook's officers later served in the Russian navy. St. Petersburg holds extensive Cook collections.


The home of Dr Daniel Solander, Swedish botanist who sailed on the 1st Voyage, and Anders Sparrman on the 2nd Voyage.


The artist Webber came from a Swiss family and trained in Paris and Berne .


The island where Cook observed the Transit of Venus.


Explored Alaska , the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Strait on the third voyage, and died in Hawaii .

Visit the Captain Cook Memorial Museum website.

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