The Collections

Captain Cook's First Voyage

Created: 17.07.14

In 1768, Captain Cook embarked on his first voyage of discovery. His primary objective was to observe the transit of Venus from Tahiti in 1769. Secret orders then sent him on southwards to search for the unknown continent that geographers thought must exist in the Southern Ocean. He proceeded to survey New Zealand and the east coast of Australia, claiming the whole of the latter for George III as ‘New South Wales’. Cook’s company on the 'Endeavour' included the gentleman-naturalist Joseph Banks and his party of assistants and artists. The voyage’s blend of scientific observation and collecting, artistic recording, and territorial claims served as a model for all future European voyages of this type. Cook’s success as captain led to his promotion to commander on his return in 1771, and his appointment to two further voyages.


  • Name
  • Artist / Maker
  • Date made
  • ID
  • Unknown
    PAD5990
    Repairing of Capt Cook's Ship in Endeavour River (Cook's first voyage)

    Print depicting the 'Endeavour' badly damaged after running aground on the Great Barrier Reef in June 1770. The ship limped into Endeavour River on the coast of New South Wales for repair. Anchors, cables and stores were carried ashore to…

  • Stubbs, George
    1772
    ZBA5755
    'Portrait of a Large Dog' (Dingo)

    ‘Kangaroo’ and ‘Dingo’ were commissioned by Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820) following his participation on Captain James Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific (1768–71), which was also the first British voyage devoted exclusively to scientific discovery. Banks is a major figure…

  • Stubbs, George
    1772
    ZBA5754
    'The Kongouro from New Holland' (Kangaroo)

    ‘Kangaroo’ and ‘Dingo’ were commissioned by Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820) following his participation on Captain James Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific (1768–71), which was also the first British voyage devoted exclusively to scientific discovery. Banks is a major figure…

  • Unknown
    April 1768
    3814
    Endeavour (1768)

    Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for Endeavour (1768), a purchased collier, prior to final fitting as a ship-rigged Bark for exploration.

  • Parkinson, Sydney
    1773
    PAI3988
    A view of Endeavour River, on the coast of New Holland, where the ship was laid on shore, in order to repair the damage which she received on the rock

    An engraving by William Byrne done after a lost drawing likely by Sydney Parkinson in 1770. Parkinson was a Scottish botanist and natural history artist employed by Joseph Banks on Captain James Cook's first Endeavor voyage to the Pacific from…

  • Unknown
    11 July 1768
    3819b
    Endeavour (1768)

    Scale: 96. Plan showing the quarterdeck, upper deck, forecastle, fore & aft falls (a type of platforms), lower deck, and fore & aft platforms for Endeavour (1768), a purchased collier, as fitted as a ship-rigged Bark for exploration.

  • Bayly, John
    1 Jan 1772
    PAI4013
    Chart of New Zealand explored in 1767 and 1770 by Liuet J Cook, Commander of His Majesty's Bark Endeavour

    This chart is an engraving in John Hawkesworth's 1773 account of the voyages of Captain James Cook, Joseph Banks and Captain John Byron. Vice Admiral John Byron accompanied George Anson on his circumnavigation of the globe (via the Falkland Islands…

  • Whitchurch, William
    1772-3
    PAI4016
    A Chart of New South Wales or the East Coast of New Holland Discover'd and Explored by Lieutenant J Cook, Commander of his Majesty's Bark Endeavour...MDCCLXX

    This chart is an engraving in John Hawkesworth's 1773 account of the voyages of Captain James Cook, Joseph Banks and Captain John Byron. Vice Admiral John Byron accompanied George Anson on his circumnavigation of the globe (via the Falkland Islands…

  • Bayley, I.
    1772
    G263:1/2
    Chart of New Zealand, explored in 1769 and 1770 by Lieut. I: Cook,Commander of His Majesty's Bark Endeavour.

    Single sheet. Engraving. Scale: circa 1:3,500,000. Graduated, Greenwich meridian. Variation noted. Contents Note: Shows Endeavour's track from Oct 6th 1769 to April 1st 1770.

  • Royal Australian Mint
    1969
    W1971-37.1
    Medal commemorating the bicentenary of James Cook's rediscovery of New Zealand, 1969

    Medal commemorating the bicentenary of Cook's rediscovery of New Zealand, 1969. Obverse: Bust of Captain James Cook (1728-1779) (left) in uniform, the globe showing the Pacific Ocean in the background. Legend: 'JAMES COOK, CIRCUMNAVIGATOR OF THE GLOBE, EXPLORER OF THE…

  • J. Gibson & T. Bowen
    [1770]
    262:6
    Entrance of Endeavour River in New South Wales.

    Scale: 1:35,000. Ungraduated engraved chart with a key to the plan.

  • Byrne, William
    circa 1773
    PAJ3959
    An animal found on the coast of New Holland, called Kanguroo [kangaroo] (untitled)

    Engraved by Byrne from the painting commissioned by Joseph Banks from George Stubbs. It was based on the probably stuffed skin of a wallaby that Banks's greyhound had caught at Endeavour River, Queensland, in July 1770, and the skulls of…

  • Lightley, Robert A.
    Circa 1973
    SM1976-26
    Endeavour(1768); Bark

    A plank on frame model of HM bark ‘Endeavour’ as fitted out for Captain James Cook’s first voyage of discovery from 1768-71. Built at a scale of 1:48, the model is fully planked on the port side and mounted within…

  • Unknown
    about 1819
    PAD3304
    Sir Joseph Banks, 1743-1820

    Drawing: with touches of white bodycolour. The National Portrait Gallery has a left-profile pencil head study of Banks by Sir Francis Chantrey which they date to c. 1819. The similarity of the hairline and hairstyle style in this drawing, and…

  • Parkinson, Sydney
    circa 1790
    2313 BB. XVIII
    Heads of New Zealand chiefs Curiously Tatowed/ A New Zealand War Canoe

    Print after Parkinson, the artist of Cook's first Pacific voyage in the 'Endeavour', 1768-71, showing the two heads above a separate starboard broadside view of the manned canoe. This is not one of the original prints from Parkinson's posthumously published…

  • Cheevers, J
    1773
    G267:47/1
    Chart of the Island Otaheite, by Lieut. J. Cook 1769.

    Single sheet. Engr. Scale: [ca.1:250 000 (lat)]. Cartographic Note: Graduated, Greenwich meridian. Variation given. Sparse soundings. Scale in miles. Additional Places: Tahiti. From Hawkesworth's Account of the Voyages...Southern Hemisphere, 1773.

  • Hawkesworth, John
    1773
    G262:4/1
    A chart of New South Wales on the east coast of New Holland. Discovered and explored by Lieutenant J. Cook, Commander of His Majesty's Bark Endeavour in the year MDCCLXX.

    Single sheet. Engr. Scale: [ca.1:1 500 000]. Cartographic Note: Graduated. North at 90 degrees. Additional Places: Queensland. Contents Note: Shows voyage track, with soundings. Key to symbols. From Hawkesworth's account of Cook's voyage.

  • Cary, John
    1827
    N1986-12.8
    Terrestrial floor globe

    Terrestrial floor globe. Geographical details on the sphere include reports on explorations in the north polar region: 'The sea seen by Mr Mackenzie 1789' and 'Note: On Whale Island a Post is erected with the lat.e 69° 14 and Mr…

  • Dance, Nathaniel
    1776
    GH55
    Captain James Cook, 1728-79

    A three-quarter-length portrait of Captain Cook, seated to the left, facing the right. He is wearing captain's full-dress uniform, 1774-87, consisting of a navy blue jacket, white waistcoat with gold braid and gold buttons and white breeches. He wears a…

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA6008

    Part IV - Australia. One of a set of 738 botanical prints produced from original drawings made by Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of Captain Cook (1768-1771). Parkinson made sketches of hundreds of specimens collected by Joseph Banks and…

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA6029

    Part V - Australia. One of a set of 738 botanical prints produced from original drawings made by Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of Captain Cook (1768-1771). Parkinson made sketches of hundreds of specimens collected by Joseph Banks and…

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA5924

    Banks' Florilegium catalogue, contains loose prospectus

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA6210

    Part XIII - Australia. One of a set of 738 botanical prints produced from original drawings made by Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of Captain Cook (1768-1771). Parkinson made sketches of hundreds of specimens collected by Joseph Banks and…

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA5925

    Part I - Australia. One of a set of 738 botanical prints produced from original drawings made by Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of Captain Cook (1768-1771). Parkinson made sketches of hundreds of specimens collected by Joseph Banks and…

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA5940

    Part I - Australia. One of a set of 738 botanical prints produced from original drawings made by Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of Captain Cook (1768-1771). Parkinson made sketches of hundreds of specimens collected by Joseph Banks and…

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA5971

    Part III - Australia. One of a set of 738 botanical prints produced from original drawings made by Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of Captain Cook (1768-1771). Parkinson made sketches of hundreds of specimens collected by Joseph Banks and…

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA5980

    Part III - Australia. One of a set of 738 botanical prints produced from original drawings made by Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of Captain Cook (1768-1771). Parkinson made sketches of hundreds of specimens collected by Joseph Banks and…

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA5999

    Part IV - Australia. One of a set of 738 botanical prints produced from original drawings made by Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of Captain Cook (1768-1771). Parkinson made sketches of hundreds of specimens collected by Joseph Banks and…

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA6000

    Part IV - Australia. One of a set of 738 botanical prints produced from original drawings made by Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of Captain Cook (1768-1771). Parkinson made sketches of hundreds of specimens collected by Joseph Banks and…

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA6004

    Part IV - Australia. One of a set of 738 botanical prints produced from original drawings made by Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of Captain Cook (1768-1771). Parkinson made sketches of hundreds of specimens collected by Joseph Banks and…

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA6017

    Part V - Australia. One of a set of 738 botanical prints produced from original drawings made by Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of Captain Cook (1768-1771). Parkinson made sketches of hundreds of specimens collected by Joseph Banks and…

  • Natural History Museum
    1771-1784; 1980-1994
    ZBA6021

    Part V - Australia. One of a set of 738 botanical prints produced from original drawings made by Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of Captain Cook (1768-1771). Parkinson made sketches of hundreds of specimens collected by Joseph Banks and…