Cook was born in the village of Marton in Yorkshire, now a suburb of Middlesbrough.He was baptised in the local church of St. Cuthber. Cook was the second of fourchildren of James Cook, a Scottish farm labourer from Ednam. In 1736, his familymoved to Airey Holme farm at Great Ayton, where his fathers employer, ThomasSkottowe, paid for him to attend the local school. After five years schooling, he beganwork for his father, who had by now been promoted to farm manager. Cook’s house Cook’s family
In 1745, when he was 16, Cook moved 20 miles (32 km) to the fishing village of Staithes, to be apprenticed as a shop boy to grocer and haberdasher William Sanderson. Historians have speculated that this is where Cook first felt the lure of the sea while gazing out of the shop window. After 18 months, not proving suitable for shop work, Cook travelled to the nearby port town of Whitby to be introduced to friends of Sandersons. Cook was taken on as a merchant navy apprentice in their small fleet of vessels, plying coal along the English coast.As part of his apprenticeship, Cook applied himself to thestudy of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, navigation andastronomy—all skills he would need one day to commandhis own ship.
Cook married Elizabeth Batts .The couple had sixchildren: James, Nathaniel , Elizabeth, Joseph , Georgeand Hugh.When not at sea, Cook lived in the East End ofLondon. He attended St Pauls Church, Shadwell, wherehis son James was baptised. Cook has no directdescendants—all his children either pre-deceased him ordied without having children of their own. Elizabeth BattsIn June 1757 Cook passed his masters examinations at Trinity House, Deptford,which qualified him to navigate and handle a ship of the Kings fleet. He then joinedthe frigate HMS Solebay as master under Captain Robert Craig. Cooks aptitude for surveying was put to good use mapping the jagged coast of Newfoundland in the 1760th. His five seasons in Newfoundland produced the first large- scale and accurate maps of the islands coasts; they also gave Cook his mastery of practical surveying, achieved under often adverse conditions, and brought him to the attention of the Admiralty and Royal Society at a crucial moment both in his career and in the direction of British overseas discovery.
On 29 April 1968 Cook and crew made theirfirst landfall on the mainland of the continent ata place now known as the Kurnell Peninsula,which he named Botany Bay after the uniquespecimens retrieved by the botanists JosephBanks and Daniel Solander. It is here that JamesCook made first contact with an Aboriginal tribeknown as the Gweagal. After his departure from Botany Bay he continued northwards. He returned to England via Batavia (modern Jakarta, Indonesia), where many in his crew succumbed to malaria, the Cape of Good Hope and the island of Saint Helena, arriving on 12 July 1771. Cook’s first ship Endeavour
Shortly after his return from the first voyage, Cook was promoted in August 1771, to the rank of commander. Then, in 1772, he was commissioned by the Royal Society to search for the Resolution and Adventure hypothetical. Terra Australis.Cook commanded HMS Resolution on this voyage, while Tobias Furneauxcommanded its companion ship, HMS Adventure. Cooks expeditioncircumnavigated the globe at a very high southern latitude, becoming one of the firstto cross the Antarctic Circle on 17 January 1773. He also surveyed, mapped andtook possession for Britain of South Georgia explored by Anthony de la Roché in1675, discovered and named Clerke Rocks and the South Sandwich Islands("Sandwich Land").
On his last voyage, Cook once again commanded HMSResolution, while Captain Charles Clerke commandedHMS Discovery. Ostensibly, the voyage was planned toreturn Omai to Tahiti; this is what the general publicbelieved, as he had become a favourite curiosity inLondon. Principally the purpose of the voyage was anattempt to discover the famed Northwest Passage. After returning Omai, Cook travelled north and in 1778 became the first European to visit the Hawaiian Islands. In passing and after initial landfall in January 1778 at Waimea harbour, Kauai, Cook named the archipelago the "Sandwich Islands" after the fourth Earl of Sandwich—the acting First Lord of the Admiralty. Cook returned to Hawaii in 1779. After sailing around the archipelago for some eight weeks, he made landfall at Kealakekua Bay, on Hawaii Island , largest island in the Hawaiian Archipelago.
In 1779 at KealakekuaBay, some Hawaiians tookone of Cooks small boats.Normally, as thefts werequite common in Tahitiand the other islands,Cook would have takenhostages until the stolenarticles were returned.Indeed, he attempted totake hostage the King ofHawaiʻiThe Hawaiians .prevented this, and Cooksmen had to retreat to thebeach. As Cook turned hisback to help launch theboats, he was struck on thehead by the villagers andthen stabbed to death ashe fell on his face in thesurf. Hawaiian traditionsays that he was killed by achief . The Hawaiiansdragged his body away.