Ian Stubbs – Endeavour to see history

Local historian Ian Stubbs looks at one of the most iconic vessels in living memory...  

Ageing Better Middlesbrough member and local historian Ian Stubbs is back, and this time he is telling us about one of the most iconic vessels in living memory…

If you’re a born and bred Teessider, you’ll no doubt know about Captain James Cook and his famous ship, The Endeavour.  

Back in the mid 1700’s, Whitby ship builders were tasked to make coal carrying vessels, so this was the Endeavour’s original purpose. (Or to give it its original name, The Earl of Pembroke) 

HMS Endeavour in all it’s glory

As you all know though, it was destined for much greater things.  

On August 26th 1768, the ship was re-commissioned to sail, and Captain James, along with Astronomer Charles Green and botanist Joseph Banks, set off on their journey to Tahiti from Plymouth to observe the ‘transit of Venus’. (A process in which the planet can be seen crossing the face of the sun from the Southern Hemisphere).  

The Admiralty, the Royal Society and His Majesty King George the Third all sponsored the voyage, as they were excited by the prospect of calculating the distance between our planet and the sun – as a direct result of the transit.  

To this day, Cook is recognised as the man who radically changed western perceptions of world geography. Halso successfully mapped the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia on his journeys. 

If you’d like your taste of history, you can pop along and see the replica in the Cleveland Centre, Middlesbrough. 

Thanks for reading.



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