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1700

18-Apr

Capt William Dampier, RN, HMS Roebuck, landed at the mouth of the Kubu River and carried out the first recorded trading with natives of New Britain.

1705

20-Jan

Extract from instructions issued to Capt Jacob Weyland by the Dutch authorities at Batavia: ‘The rummaging, spying and writings of the well known English traveller, William Dampier, as well as many other considerations have led us to decide that another crusade should be made.’ Capt Weyland was despatched with three ships, Geelvink, Kraanvogel and Nova Guinea to investigate the New Guinea coastline for English settlements.

1714

8-Jul

The British Parliament introduced a bill offering a reward of up to 20,000 for an instrument to measure longitude at sea. Twenty-two commissioners, known as the Board of Longitude, were appointed to adjudicate.

1727

8-Jun

The Dutch ship Zeewyk was wrecked in the Abrolhos Islands, WA, on her maiden voyage from Holland to Batavia.

1728

28-Feb

Sloepie, sloop, was launched by survivors of the Dutch ship Zeewyk in the Abrolhos Islands, WA. The sloop was the first vessel built by Europeans in Australia.

1728

26-Apr

Sloepie, sloop, built by survivors of the Dutch ship Zeewyk, arrived at Batavia, Java. Zeewyk was wrecked in the Abrolhos Islands, WA.

1728

27-Oct

Capt James Cook, RN, was born at Marton-on-Cleveland, Yorkshire, England.

1731

13-May

John Hadley announced his invention of a revolving octant, forefather of the sextant.

1738

10-Oct

Capt Arthur Phillip was born in London.

1740

1-Aug

‘Rule Britannia’ was played for the first time in public.

1747

5-Feb

James Cook joined his first ship, Freelove, at Yarmouth, England.

1747

20-May

Surgeon James Lind, RN, HMS Salisbury, commenced the first controlled clinical studies of scurvy in the RN. His research resulted in the eradication of the disease in British ships. The efficiency of the methods recommended by Lind were proved by Capt James Cook, RN, in his three voyages of discovery.

1747

27-Aug

Surgeon James Lind, RN, HMS Salisbury, conducted the first controlled clinical tests in an RN ship and conclusively proved that scurvy could be cured and controlled by the regular issue of citrus fruit juice.

1748

13-Apr

George III selected blue and white as the Navy’s official colours. His decision was reached after admiring the Duchess of Bedford in a gown of these colours. The order was promulgated the same day.

1748

14-Apr

The Admiralty promulgated an order outlining standards for Naval Officers’ uniforms.

1754

9-Sep

William Bligh was born at Plymouth, England.

1755

23-May

James Cook enlisted in the RN as an AB. Cook’s first ship was HMS Eagle, a 4th Rate mounting 60 guns.

1756

19-Nov

Jean Francois de Galaup, Comte de La Perouse, was appointed midshipman in the French Navy. He was born at Albi, France, in 1741. La Perouse was a navigator on a grand scale and is rated second only to Capt James Cook, RN.