The Collections

Captain Cook's Third Voyage

Created: 16.01.13

Captain Cook came out of retirement in 1776 for his third, and final, voyage to the Pacific. He again commanded the ‘Resolution’ with the newly-purchased ‘Discovery’ alongside, under orders to find a North-West Passage through the American continent, from the Pacific to Atlantic. The voyage was accompanied, like the second, by Larcum Kendall’s chronometer, K1, and the astronomer William Bayly. The Admiralty appointed John Webber as voyage artist. Cook surveyed the north coast of America for six and a half months, with no success. He became the first European to enter Nootka Sound on the north-west coast of Vancouver Island, as well as fixing the position of the Prince Edward and Marion islands, and discovering Oahu and Kauai, at the western end of the Hawaiian Islands. He was killed in Hawaii in 1779 after violent clashes with the islanders. First Charles Clerke, commander of the ‘Discovery’, and then John Gore, were left to complete the survey of the Hawaiian islands, search again for a North-West passage, and finally bring the expedition safely home.


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