Authorised form of nameCook; James (1728 - 1779)
Dates1728 - 1779
Place of birthMarton, Cleveland, England
Date of birth27 October 1728
Place of deathKealakekua Bay, Hawaii
Date of death14 February 1779
Research fieldMaritime discovery
After a short time in a haberdashers shop in Staithes, he was apprenticed to Whitby shipowners and spent several years serving as a merchant seaman, primarily in the North Sea. Joined Royal Navy (1755), became a Master (1759); conveyed the expeditions of Daniel Solander and Joseph Banks; in New Zealand on occasions (between 1769 and 1777); departed Plymouth in search of Northwest Passage (1776)
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election29/02/1776
Age at election47
Royal Society activityMedals and prizes:
Copley Medal 1776
RelationshipsSon of an agricultural worker
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB
Journal Book Original, President's Address on award of Copley Medal 1776, pages 182-219
Birth date from DSB
G E Fogg, 'The Royal Society and the Antarctic' in NR 2000 vol 54 pp 85-98
Harold B Carter, 'The Royal Society and the Voyage of HMS Endeavour 1768-71' in NR 1995 vol 49 pp 245-260
Robin J H Clark and Michael J Kelly, 'New Zealand, New Zealanders and the Royal Society' in NR 1994 vol 48 pp 263-281
Sir Raphael Cilento, 'Sir Joseph Banks, FRS, and the Naming of the Kangaroo' in NR 1971 vol 26 pp 157-161
Egon H Kodicek and Frank G Young, 'Captain Cook and Scurvy' in NR 1969 vol 24 pp 43-63
G E R Deacon and Margaret Deacon, 'Captain Cook as a Navigator' in NR 1969 vol 24 pp 33-42
I Kaye, 'Captain James Cook and the Royal Society' in NR 1969 vol 24 pp 7-18, plate
P M S Blackett, 'Opening of the Cook Gallery at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, on 17 July 1968' in NR 1969 vol 24 pp 1-4
Sir Richard Woolley, 'Captain Cook and the Transit of Venus of 1769' in NR 1969 vol 24 pp 19-32
William T Stearn, 'A Royal Society Appointment with Venus in 1769: the Voyage of Cook and Banks in the Endeavour in 1768-1771 and its Botanical Results' in NR 1969 vol 24 pp 64-90
John Thomas, 'Josiah Wedgwood's Portrait Medallions of Fellows of the Royal Society' in NR 1963 vol 18 pp 45-53, plate
Patricia Fara, 'Letters from a scientific emperor', review of Neil Chambers, 'The letters of Sir Joseph Banks: a selection 1768 - 1829' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 264-265
L B Glyn, 'Israel Lyons: a short but starry career. The life of an eighteenth-century Jewish botanist and astronomer' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 275-305
N J W Thrower, 'Samuel Pepys FRS (1633-1733) and The Royal Society' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 3-13
M Croarken, 'Astronomical labourers: Maskelyne's assistants at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1765 - 1811' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 285 - 298
Index to BR gives birth date as November 1728.
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA8183
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
AB/1/2/1/130Letter to James West from Mr Robertson15 August 1768
M/052Cook, James1784
A/0184Cook, James
IM/000937Cook, Jamesnd
IM/000942Cook, Jamesnd
IM/005683Cook, Jamesnd
IM/000940Cook, James2002
MM/7/21Letter from James King, Serle Street, to the Board of Longitude3 March 1781
EC/1775/27Cook, James: certificate of election to the Royal Society
IM/004320Cook, JamesSeptember 2004
IM/000939Cook, Jamesnd
CB/1/1/203Letter from Daines Barrington to Charles Blagden at Mrs Nelmes, St James Churchyard26 June 1775
NLB/3/962Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to J U Poole, care of Messrs Poole & Company, 33 Spencer Street, Clerkenwell25 November 1889
L&P/5/257Paper, 'Observations made at King George Island, in the South Seas' by Charles Green and James Cook1771
MS/391/175Bond of James Cook to the Treasurer of the Royal Society7 March 1776
L&P/5/115Letter, 'Update on Endeavour voyage' from James Cook to Charles Morton20 November 1768
L&P/5/241Paper, 'Extracts from his journals, beginning 9 November 1770' by James Cook1771
L&P/6/172Letter, 'Of the tides in the South Seas' from James Cook to John Pringle2 April 1776
L&P/7/238Paper, 'That Captain Cook sought for Cape Curcumcision under the proper meridian' by William Wales1782
MOB/041Terrestrial globe by W & TM Bardinc.1807
IM/000941Cook, James2002
IM/000938Cook, Jamesnd
IM/005682Cook, Jamesnd
MM/3/76Letter from Daines Barrington to Rev D Horsley30 March 1774
MM/7/17Board of Longitude Resolution4 November 1780
MM/7/18Committee of the Board of Longitude 27 November 1780
L&P/4/386Paper, 'Eclipse of the Sun 5 August 1766, observed at Newfoundland' by James Cook, communicated by John Bevis5 March 1767
S/0059Cameo of Cook, James1968
MOB/033Astronomical quadrant by John Birdc.1767
AP/6/14/1Unpublished letter, on artificial freezing of seawater from Mignonneau to [Sir Joseph Banks]4 April 1792
P/0284Portrait of Cook, James
MOB/029Regulator clock by John Shelton1760s
L&P/5/301Letter, 'An account of the flowing of tides in the South Sea, observed from the bark Endeavour' from James Cook to Nevil Maskelyne5 February 1772
L&P/6/163Letter, 'How health was kept on board the Resolution' from James Cook to John Pringle5 March 1776
S/0065Cameo of Rennell, Thomas1826
Add to My Items

    Collection highlights

    Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.

    The Royal Society

    The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of
    the world's most eminent scientists and is the
    oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
    Registered charity number 207043

    Website design ©CalmView


    + 44 207 451 2500
    (Lines open Mon-Fri, 9:00-17:00. Excludes bank holidays)

    6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

    Email Us →


    Subscribe to our newsletters to be updated with the
    latest news on innovation, events, articles and reports.

    Subscribe →

    © CalmView