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Hms resolution captain cook - Small gas cooker.

Hms Resolution Captain Cook

hms resolution captain cook

Mason and Dixon

Mason and Dixon

Charles Mason 1728 – 1786 and Jeremiah Dixon 1733 – 1779 are remembered today primarily for their work between 1763 and 1767 in the resolution of a border dispute between British colonies of Maryland and Pennsylvania/Delaware in Colonial America. The disputants, the Calverts of Maryland and the Penns of Pennsylvania, engaged astronomer Charles Mason and surveyor Jeremiah Dixon, to survey what became known as the Mason–Dixon Line, and paid ?3,512 to have the 327 miles surveyed. In popular usage, especially since the Missouri Compromise of 1820, what became known as the Mason Dixon Line symbolises a cultural boundary between the Northeastern United States and the Southern United States (Dixie).
Edmond Halley had noted in 1716 that an accurate timing of the transit of Venus would aid the calculation of the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Although Halley knew he would not live to see the next anticipated Venus transit in 1761, his detailed plans and papers ensured that expeditions were sent out to the furthest reaches of the globe to make observations. The 1761 Transit of Venus observations constituted the largest international scientific undertaking up to that time and despite the fact that this transit took place during the latter half of the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), a worldwide conflict involving the major powers of the time and their colonies, it was to be observed by many astronomers from around sixty locations involving 120 observers scattered from Peking to Newfoundland.

In 1760 the Royal Society chose Charles Mason to go to Bencoolen in Sumatra to observe the 1761 transit and Mason suggested Dixon should go as his assistant. Their ship, the HMS Seahorse, was attacked by L’Grande a 34 gun French frigate and they had to return to Portsmouth with 11 killed and 37 wounded. Wanting to call the expedition off they were threatened with dire personal consequences “they may assure themselves of being treated by the Council with the most inflexible resentment, and prosecuted with the utmost Severity of Law” and were prodded back to sea by the Royal Society. Their second voyage wouldn't have got them to Sumatra in time so they stopped at Cape Town, South Africa, as guests of the local governor and set up their equipment. Mason and Dixon obtained several accurate measurements of Venus's position on the solar disc, providing some of the most useful data from the 1761 event, as it was the only successful observation made from the Southern Hemisphere On the passage home, they stopped at St Helena in October and, after discussion with Nevil Maskelyne, who had failed to observe the transit there, Dixon returned temporarily to the Cape with Maskelyne's clock to carry out gravity experiments. Returning to St Helena he and Mason returned to England in January 1762. Despite being watched by so many observers the results were disappointing. Bad weather, navigational errors, and difficulty timing Venus's image against the sun, all contributed to the failure. However, with the twin transit coming up in eight years, scientists planned carefully and managed to send out many observing parties. Captain Cook with Halley's instructions, took his ship Endeavour to the South Pacific and managed to view the whole transit in Tahiti. The Measurements gathered by Cook and others in 1769 were pretty rough but their calculations gave the best earth-sun distance at the time.

John Byron 1723 - 1786

John Byron 1723 - 1786

John Byron by Joshua Reynolds, 1759, National Maritime Museum Greenwich.
On the 21st June 1764 Commodore John Byron sailed HMS Dolphin from the Downs, sent by the British Admiralty, who had been persuaded by George III, to search for the great southern continent, believed to lie in the South Pacific. With Dolphin were HMS Tamar captained by Patrick Mouat and the supply ship Florida.
Byron was accompanied on Dolphin by midshipman Charles Clerke later to sail on all three of Cook’s voyages and, following Cook’s death in 1779, took over command of Resolution. Also sailing with Byron was master's mate John Gore who would sail on Dolphin’s second circumnavigation and on Cook’s first and third voyages. When Clerke died (on his thirty-eighth birthday) from tuberculosis en route to Kamchatka in August 1779 Gore commanded the Resolution and Discovery expedition back to England. Starting out on the Tamar before being promoted to First Lieutenant on the Dolphin was Philip Carteret.
Late 1764 and early 1765 were spent surveying Patagonia, the Straits of Magellan and the Falkland Islands., from where Florida returned to England with a message recommending that the islands be colonised. This was nearly the cause of war between Great Britain and Spain, both countries having armed fleets ready to contest the sovereignty of the barren islands.
Byron had previously been in the area as a midshipman on HMS Wager, part of George Anson’s ill-fated 1740 to1744 expedition. In May 1741 Wager was wrecked on the coast of Patagonia and it wasn’t until February 1746 that he was able to return to England.
Getting through the Straits of Magellan and into the Pacific took six frustrating weeks and by the time the ships came to what is now French Polynesia, the crew were suffering quite badly from scurvy, and this had a major influence on the conduct of the voyage through the Pacific. They were desperate to restock with fresh supplies, in particular coconuts and fresh vegetables for the sick. However, the local inhabitants opposed any landings with shows of arms, and coupled with the difficulty of anchoring near to the coral atolls, prompted Byron to name the first of them the Islands of Disappointment. The ships went on to the Cook Islands, the Gilbert Islands and the Marianas, before heading back to Britain via the Philippines, Batavia, the Cape of Good Hope and St. Helena, which they passed on Sunday March 16th 1766 without stopping.
On April 1st after sustaining damage to her rudder, Tamar was diverted to Antigua to be fitted with a new one. One of Byron's last official acts before entering port was to confiscate the journals kept by his crew members, a matter of routine on Navy voyages that was intended to guard against security leaks and guarantee that only the official, government-sanctioned version of the voyage would reach the public. Dolphin reached the Downs on the 9th May, Tamar a month later, the journey having taken just over 22 months which at the time was the fastest ever circumnavigation of the globe, but the discoveries made were very limited and the Admiralty made rapid plans to send the Dolphin back to the Pacific. Later nicknamed "Foul Weather Jack" he was the grandfather of the poet Byron.

hms resolution captain cook

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