On this day: the Coronation of a King

The coronation of George IV of the United Kingdom, the flamboyant and infamous son of “Mad” King George, took place on the 19th of July, 1821.

Coronation_of_George_IV Coronation of King George IV 19th July 1821 by James Stephanoff

The Coronation as painted by watercolourist James Stephanoff.

The new King had served as Prince Regent through the final years of the Napoleonic Wars as his father’s health had continued to decline, a period that was marked by great excess and frivolity amongst the upper classes.

Coronation_procession_of_his_majesty_George_the_Fourth,_19th_July,_1821_LCCN2002717331_tif Coronation procession of his majesty George the Fourth, 19th July, 1821.

The Coronation Procession winds its way through a park in London.

Though he married, George IV and his wife, Caroline, intensely disliked each other, and she was barred from attending the ceremonies.

Their only child, the Princess Charlotte, had died in childbirth in 1817, which eventually paved the way for the long reign of Queen Victoria.

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