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Series 06: 'Voluntiers, Instructions, Provision for 2d. Voyage', being papers concerning Banks' preparations for the second Pacific voyage in HM Ships Resolution and Adventure, James Cook, 1768, 1771-1773.

Number of documents

192

Provenance note

This series was already bound into a single volume with a spine title 'Voluntiers, Instructions, Provision for 2d. Voyage', on its receipt by the State Library of New South Wales in 1907. It was bequeathed by David Scott Mitchell, who had purchased it from the Australian book collector Alfred Lee in 1906. Lee had acquired the volume from Sir J. Henniker Heaton who had purchased it from Quaritch. Quaritch had purchased the volume at the Sotheby's sale of 17 June 1886.

It is unknown when the contents were bound. The documents include annotations in the hand of Banks. The volume, which has been disbound, was previously located at ML Safe 1/11.

Some of these documents were used by the compilers of Historical records of New South Wales, vol 1, part 1 (1893).

Background note

In 1771 planning began for James Cook's second Pacific voyage in search of a southern continent. Banks and a party of natural scientists and artists were to join the expedition. His extensive preparations for the voyage included purchasing supplies, equipment, and items for exchange with indigenous peoples, and gathering together a suite of 16 people, including himself and Daniel Solander, for the purpose of scientific discovery.

Unhappy with the capacity of HMS Resolution to accommodate his party, Banks required extensive alterations which rendered the vessel top-heavy and likely to capsize. Cook, who had at first supported the alterations, reversed his decision and, with the agreement of the Admiralty and the Navy Board, resolved to restore the ship to its original state. This decision led to Banks' withdrawal from the expedition.

During the preparations, a voluminous correspondence ensued between Banks and people making suggestions for areas of scientific investigation, or wishing to join Banks on the voyage. Banks kept the invoices and receipts for equipment purchased for the voyage and draft letters concerning the controversial fitting-out of HMS Resolution together with letters and invoices addressed to Daniel Solander and others in his intended party. Some documents date from before the voyage of HM Bark Endeavour and were therefore probably preparatory to that voyage. Others dated after Banks' withdrawal from the second voyage refer to his 1772 voyage to the Hebrides and Iceland, or to other rumoured voyages.

Subjects: Adventure (ship : Captain = Tobias Furneaux)
  Resolution (ship)