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The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks 1768–1771 [Volume One]

Supplementary Papers

Supplementary Papers

  • (I) The Grey MSS. In the Auckland City Public Library is a small group of MSS in Banks's hand, relating to Captain Cook, known as Grey MSS 47–75 — part of the miscellaneous and valuable collection bequeathed to the Library by Sir George Grey. Grey had acquired them about 1888, as already remarked, from J. D. Enys, a settler in the New Zealand province of Canterbury, who later retired to his native Cornwall; and Enys, writing to Grey, 7 April 1888, in a letter preserved with the collection, had informed him that they ‘were bought and sent to me from the sale of the MSS. of Sir Joseph Banks sold by his great nephew Lord Brabourne’. As we can see from the enumeration of the leaves, most of them were from Banks's bound volumes of papers. Those bearing on the Endeavour voyage are the following:

    • (i) Grey MS 48. Four pp. folio, of which the last page contains only one line; this is a description of Tahiti, possibly a draft outline produced while Banks was still making up his mind what form his journal entries should take, or perhaps a supplementary note.

    • (ii) Grey MS 49. Three ff. small quarto: notes on the position and size of the Society Islands and a number of the Tuamotu islands that had been sighted, with some other unimportant page 146 particulars. On Tahiti there is a reference, ‘see the account on a full sheet’, which may refer to No. 48.

    • (iii) Grey MS 51. Forty ff. small quarto, portion of a journal, running from 9 October 1769 to 10 October 1770. It has been thought that this, and not the Mitchell Library original, may have been the Lot 176 sold at Sotheby's for £7 2s 6d; but this, no more than the original, answers the description given in the catalogue of the sale — whatever that fact may be worth. This ‘journal’, though it was written out by Banks, is in no real sense a journal at all; it is simply an abstract of parts of Cook's journal, made as a summary of the ship's movements and of the geographical features encountered — details which Banks almost entirely excluded from his own journal as mere matters of latitude and longitude. Shore happenings are, correspondingly, excluded from this version, and thus for many days there are no entries at all. The language is all Cook's, except that for Cook's first person Banks substitutes ‘the Capt’, and makes a number of other adaptations. There is also evidence of individual curiosity in the addition to the geographical names conferred by Cook of a number of native names collected by Banks himself, and of blank spaces left for other native names in Queen Charlotte Sound. Very oddly, where Cook had given the Maori names for the main islands of New Zealand, Banks omits these, and writes in pencil (the hand seems to be his) ‘the Northern Island’ and ‘the Southern Island’. The abstracting from Cook seems to have been done before Cook made his own corrections and redrafts: see Cook I, p. ccxli.

    • (iv) Grey MS 52. Six ff. small quarto; apparently a continuation of No. 51, 26 December 1770 to 9 July 1771; it is a bare record of the daily positions of the ship, with a few notes on landfalls and other observations.

  • (2) ‘Mr B's Circuit round Otaheite June 1769’. This is a fragment of 8 pp. quarto in the Alexander Turnbull Library, in a folder entitled ‘Miscellaneous material relating to Cook's voyages’. It is in a quite small and very neat hand, to which can be attributed an even smaller fragment of a journal (possibly the midshipman Jonathan Monkhouse's?), also in the Alexander Turnbull Library in the same folder, and the surviving portion of that of William Brougham Monkhouse, the surgeon, now in the British Museum (see page 147 Cook I, pp. ccxxxi-ii, ccxxxvii, 549–51, 564–87). It has one or two corrections by Banks himself. In spite of its character it did not come from Banks's collection, but from a source closely connected with Cook, and it was sold with Cook's own journal and other important Cook material at auction by Messrs Puttick and Simpson on 11 March 1868; it was bought by the dealer Waller who acquired so many of Banks's papers at Sotheby's in 1886. What happened to it between 1868 and its purchase by Mr Turnbull, and when he purchased it, is unknown, owing to the loss of a large portion of Turnbull's correspondence. Precisely how to account for its existence, or for its provenance with the Cook MSS, is difficult: I have suggested in the Textual Introduction to Cook I, p. ccxxxix, that it is a fair copy of an earlier form of Banks's account of his expedition with Cook round the island. This suggestion was a tentative one, founded on the feeling that Banks may have made other drafts of the nature of Grey MS 48. Closer study leaves little doubt: and a comparison with Cook's account of the expedition (Cook I, pp. 105–14) shows that it was after reading this that Cook discarded his own earlier version (ibid., pp. 531–4) for a new one founded closely on Banks, just as he utilized other portions of Banks's Tahitian descriptions. But in this case Banks himself wrote a new version; preserving the first, which must then have been transcribed for some special purpose. In the absence of evidence fruitful speculation is impossible on the relation of these few pages with the other MSS in the same hand. These ones are printed as Appendix II, Vol. II, pp. 302–7 below.