Death of Captain James Cook, Hawaii, 1779

Death of Captain James Cook, Hawaii, 1779


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Death of Captain James Cook (far left), on 14 February 1779, in Kealekekua Bay, on the Pacific island of Hawaii. James Cook (1728-1779) was a British naval officer and explorer. After joining the Royal Navy, Cook's voyages included mapping the New Zealand coast and landing in Australia (1768-71), crossing the Antarctic Circle (1772-75) and searching for the North-West passage around Canada (1776-79). When halted by sea ice on this last voyage, he turned back to the Hawaiian islands that he had just charted. Fighting broke out during a dispute with the islanders, shots were fired by Cook's men, and, as the landing party retreated, Cook was hit on the head and then stabbed to death. Artwork from 'A Collection of Voyages round the World...' (London, 1790).

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