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HMS Endeavour | by Archives New Zealand
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HMS Endeavour

On 26 August 1768, Captain James Cook departed from Plymouth on the HMS Endeavour. With him were 94 men, copious supplies, and secret instructions to locate the fabled southern continent known as ‘terra australis incognita’. They did not find the unknown continent, but they did arrive in Aotearoa New Zealand. His name, and that of the ship, has dominated the story of European exploration of Aotearoa New Zealand ever since.


The Endeavour was a relatively small vessel of 368 tons, just 32 metres long and 7.6 metres broad. It was originally the merchant collier Earl of Pembroke, launched in June 1764 from the coal and whaling port of Whitby in North Yorkshire, and of a type known locally as the Whitby Cat. A flat-bottomed design made the Endeavour well-suited to sailing in shallow waters, and allowed it to be beached for basic repairs without requiring a dry dock.


This artwork was used for a School Journal Publication, and comes from a series of Education Publication folders.


Archives Reference: AAAD 699 Box 23 / i


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Material from Archives New Zealand

Caption information from Te Ara


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Uploaded on August 13, 2015