On this day: Captain Cook in 1768

Captain James Cook

On the 26th of August, 1768, James Cook departed Plymouth, England for his first voyage around the world. There were ninety-four people on the ship the Earl of Pembroke, later renamed HMS Endeavour. In a voyage commissioned by King George III that lasted nearly three years, Cook and his crew stopped at many points on many continents. They became only the second Europeans to visit New Zealand, after Abel Tasman 127 years before, and the first Europeans to reach Australia’s east coast.

Painting of the Earl of Pembroke, later HMS Endeavour, leaving Whitby Harbour in 1768. Painted circa 1790.

Painting of the Earl of Pembroke, later HMS Endeavour, leaving Whitby Harbour in 1768. circa 1790

The route of the voyage.

Captain Cook's First Voayage 1700s