James Cook bronze plaque in Great Ayton

Captain James Cook R.N., F.R.S. 1728-1779. James Cook, circumnavigator and explorer, attended this school which was founded by Michael Postgate in 1704. Whilst in Great Ayton James Cook lived at Aireyholme Farm on the slopes of Roseberry Topping where his father worked for Thomas Skottowe Lord of the Manor. Cook left Great Ayton in 1745 for Staithes, subsequently becoming apprenticed to John Walker, ship owner of Whitby.
This plaque showing the young Cook leaving Great Ayton was executed by Nicholas Dimbleby and erected by the Captain Cook Schoolroom Trust in 1997

Captain James Cook, FRS, RN (7 November 1728 – 14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.Cook joined the British merchant navy as a teenager and joined the Royal Navy in 1755. He saw action in the Seven Years' War, and subsequently surveyed and mapped much of the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River during the siege of Quebec. This helped bring Cook to the attention of the Admiralty and Royal Society. This notice came at a crucial moment in both Cook's career and the direction of British overseas exploration, and led to his commission in 1766 as commander of HM Bark Endeavour for the first of three Pacific voyages.In three voyages Cook sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe. He mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean in greater detail and on a scale not previously achieved. As he progressed on his voyages of discovery he surveyed and named features, and recorded islands and coastlines on European maps for the first time. He displayed a combination of seamanship, superior surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage and an ability to lead men in adverse conditions.Cook was killed in Hawaii in a fight with Hawaiians during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific in 1779. He left a legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge which was to influence his successors well into the 20th century and numerous memoria worldwide have been dedicated to him.

Source: dbpedia

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