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On this day …….. 30th of July 1768

In 1768, Lieutenant James Cook was commissioned with the task of observing the transit of Venus across the sun from the vantage point of Tahiti. This expedition was originally commissioned by the Royal Society of London as a scientific mission. However, when the British Admiralty became aware of Cook’s expedition to the Southern Hemisphere, Cook was given an extra task – one which, it was hoped, would see the advancement of the British Empire and acquisition of more territory.
On the 30th of July 1768, shortly before HM Bark Endeavour departed England, Cook was handed his orders. They were in two parts: the second section was sealed, and could be opened only by Cook once he completed his observations of Venus. Entitled “Secret Instructions for Lieutenant James Cook Appointed to Command His Majesty’s Bark the Endeavour 30 July 1768”, the instructions commanded Cook to find the Great South Land, a ‘Land of great extent’ that was believed to exist in the Southern hemisphere. Although the continent of Australia had been discovered by the Dutch in the early 1600s, it was not thought to be “Terra Australis Incognita”, or the mysterious “Unknown Southern Land”. Cook was instructed ‘… to proceed to the Southward in order to make discovery of the Continent above-mentioned until you arrive in the latitude of 40º, unless you sooner fall in with it’. He was then ordered ‘with the Consent of the Natives to take possession of Convenient Situations in the Country in the Name of the King of Great Britain’. In essence, Cook was awarded the power to consign any indigenous inhabitants of the Great South Land under the King of England’s authority.

 

On this day …….. 16th September 1770

Captain Cook, the first European to chart Australia’s eastern coast, was hired in 1766 by the Royal Society to travel to the Pacific Ocean to observe and record the transit of Venus across the Sun in mid-1769. Following this, Cook’s next orders were to search the south Pacific for Terra Australis Incognita, the great southern continent. Cook came across New Zealand, which Abel Tasman had discovered in 1642, and spent some months there, charting the coastline. Nearly a year later, Cook set sail west for New Holland, which was later to become Australia. Some time after beginning his journey up the eastern coast of the continent, Cook became the first European to note the appearance of the Aurora Australis. On 16 September 1770, Cook described a phenomenon which was similar in some ways to the Aurora Borealis, but different in other ways: they had “a dull reddish light” with other “rays of a brighter coloured light” passing between them, and “entirely without the trembling or vibratory motion” he had seen in the Aurora Borealis. By this time, Cook was as far north as Timor, and the Aurora Australis is not usually seen at that latitude. However, considerable solar activity in September 1770 is believed to have contributed to the appearance of the phenomenon.

 

On this day …….. 30th of July 1768

In 1768, Lieutenant James Cook was commissioned with the task of observing the transit of Venus across the sun from the vantage point of Tahiti. This expedition was originally commissioned by the Royal Society of London as a scientific mission. However, when the British Admiralty became aware of Cook’s expedition to the Southern Hemisphere, Cook was given an extra task – one which, it was hoped, would see the advancement of the British Empire and acquisition of more territory.
On the 30th of July 1768, shortly before HM Bark Endeavour departed England, Cook was handed his orders. They were in two parts: the second section was sealed, and could be opened only by Cook once he completed his observations of Venus. Entitled “Secret Instructions for Lieutenant James Cook Appointed to Command His Majesty’s Bark the Endeavour 30 July 1768”, the instructions commanded Cook to find the Great South Land, a ‘Land of great extent’ that was believed to exist in the Southern hemisphere. Although the continent of Australia had been discovered by the Dutch in the early 1600s, it was not thought to be “Terra Australis Incognita”, or the mysterious “Unknown Southern Land”. Cook was instructed ‘… to proceed to the Southward in order to make discovery of the Continent above-mentioned until you arrive in the latitude of 40º, unless you sooner fall in with it’. He was then ordered ‘with the Consent of the Natives to take possession of Convenient Situations in the Country in the Name of the King of Great Britain’. In essence, Cook was awarded the power to consign any indigenous inhabitants of the Great South Land under the King of England’s authority.

 

On This Day – December 23, 1862

From Adelaide we have our files to the 23rd inst. by the Havilah, which reached Sandridge Railway Pier about five o’clock on Sunday morning. By the Havilah, Mr. Howitt and his party arrived, bringing the remains of Burke and Wills. The steamer was telegraphed off Cape Otway at half-past twelve o’clock on Saturday. The agents expected her to arrive about midnight, and consequently at twelve o’clock Dr. Macadam, Dr. Eades, Mr. J. Watson, and Dr. Wilkie members of the Exploration Committee, accompanied by Mr. J. V. A. Bruce, proceeded to Sandridge, with a hearse and two mourning carriages. The vessel did not arrive for several hours afterwards. Upon proceeding on board, the committee were met by Mr. Howitt and Dr. Murray. The remains of the explorers were delivered over to them, and were quietly conveyed to the hall of the Royal Society, where they now lie.

On this day …….. 16th September 1770

Captain Cook, the first European to chart Australia’s eastern coast, was hired in 1766 by the Royal Society to travel to the Pacific Ocean to observe and record the transit of Venus across the Sun in mid-1769. Following this, Cook’s next orders were to search the south Pacific for Terra Australis Incognita, the great southern continent. Cook came across New Zealand, which Abel Tasman had discovered in 1642, and spent some months there, charting the coastline. Nearly a year later, Cook set sail west for New Holland, which was later to become Australia. Some time after beginning his journey up the eastern coast of the continent, Cook became the first European to note the appearance of the Aurora Australis. On 16 September 1770, Cook described a phenomenon which was similar in some ways to the Aurora Borealis, but different in other ways: they had “a dull reddish light” with other “rays of a brighter coloured light” passing between them, and “entirely without the trembling or vibratory motion” he had seen in the Aurora Borealis. By this time, Cook was as far north as Timor, and the Aurora Australis is not usually seen at that latitude. However, considerable solar activity in September 1770 is believed to have contributed to the appearance of the phenomenon.

 

On this day …….. 30th of July 1768

In 1768, Lieutenant James Cook was commissioned with the task of observing the transit of Venus across the sun from the vantage point of Tahiti. This expedition was originally commissioned by the Royal Society of London as a scientific mission. However, when the British Admiralty became aware of Cook’s expedition to the Southern Hemisphere, Cook was given an extra task – one which, it was hoped, would see the advancement of the British Empire and acquisition of more territory.
On the 30th of July 1768, shortly before HM Bark Endeavour departed England, Cook was handed his orders. They were in two parts: the second section was sealed, and could be opened only by Cook once he completed his observations of Venus. Entitled “Secret Instructions for Lieutenant James Cook Appointed to Command His Majesty’s Bark the Endeavour 30 July 1768”, the instructions commanded Cook to find the Great South Land, a ‘Land of great extent’ that was believed to exist in the Southern hemisphere. Although the continent of Australia had been discovered by the Dutch in the early 1600s, it was not thought to be “Terra Australis Incognita”, or the mysterious “Unknown Southern Land”. Cook was instructed ‘… to proceed to the Southward in order to make discovery of the Continent above-mentioned until you arrive in the latitude of 40º, unless you sooner fall in with it’. He was then ordered ‘with the Consent of the Natives to take possession of Convenient Situations in the Country in the Name of the King of Great Britain’. In essence, Cook was awarded the power to consign any indigenous inhabitants of the Great South Land under the King of England’s authority.