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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

The Lords of the Admiralty to Lieutenant Cook

The Lords of the Admiralty to Lieutenant Cook.

Whereas the Council of the Royal Society have acquainted us that they have appointed Mr. Charles Green,* in conjunction with yourself, to be their observers of the passage of Venus over the disk of the sun in he southern latitudes. And whereas they have at the same time acquainted us that Joseph Banks, Esq., Fellow of that Society, a gentleman of large fortune, well versed page 53 in natural history, is desirous of undertaking the same voyage; and have therefore earnestly requested that in regard to Mr. Banks's great personal merit, and for the advancement of useful knowledge, he, together with his suite and their baggage, may be received on board the bark you command. You are hereby required and directed to receive on board the said Mr. Charles Green and his servant and baggage, as also the said Joseph Banks, Esq., and his suite, consisting of eight persons with their baggage, bearing them as supernumeraries for victuals only, and victualling them as the bark's company during their continuance on board.

Given, &c., 22 July, 1768.

Ed. Hawke.

Percy Brett.

C. Spencer.

* Mr. Charles Green (youngest son of Mr. Joshua Green, a considerable farmer and freeholder, of Yorkshire), born 1735, educated by his brother, a schoolmaster. Appointed to Greenwich Observatory as assistant to the Astronomer Royal, Dr. Bradley, in 1761. Continued to act in same capacity to Mr. Bliss (Dr. Bradley's successor). In 1763 appointed, in conjunction with Dr. Maskelyne, by the Commissioners of the Board of Longitude, to make observations at Barbadoes for the determination of the best means of ascertaining longitude. Upon the appointment of Dr. Maskelyne as Astronomer Royal in 1765, Green appears to have severed his connection with Greenwich. From this time until 1768 he appears to have taken merely a private part in astronomical affairs. In that year he was selected by the Royal Society to observe the transit of Venus, at the island discovered by Captain Wallis, and named by him King George the Third's Island (now Tahiti). The British Government provided the ship —the Endeavour—and appointed Lieutenant James Cook commander. The remainder of Green's history will be found in the pages of Hawkesworth's Voyages, vols. ii and iii. He died shortly after leaving Batavia, on the 29th January, 1771, and was buried at sea.—Biographia Britannica, vol. iv, p. 150, note.

Mr. (afterwards Sir Joseph) Banks. Space will not permit more than a reference to the principal works from which information as to Sir Joseph Banks's career and labours can be obtained, viz.:—Hawkesworth's Voyages, Lond., 1773. Parkinson's Journal, Lond., 1773. Van Troil's Letters on Iceland, 1781. The Remembrancer, April, 1784, pp. 298309. London Review, April, 1784, pp. 265, et seq. The Critical Review, April, 1784, pp. 299, et seq. An Appeal to the Fellows of the Royal Society, Lond., 1784. Narrative of the Dissension in the Royal Society, 1784. History of the Instances of Exclusion from the Royal Society, Lond., 1784. Kippis's Observations on the late Contests in the Royal Society, Lond., 1784. Naturalists' Library, vol. xxix, pp. 17–48. Annual Register, 1820, part ii, pp. 113, et seq. Gentleman's Magazine, 1820, part i, pp. 574 and 637, and part ii, pp. 86 and 99. Annual Biography and Obituary, 1821, p. 97. Nouvelle Biographie Générale, tom. iv, p. 362. Home's Hunterian Oration, 1822. Sir Joseph Banks and the Royal Society, Lond., 1846. Suttor's Memoirs of Sir Joseph Banks, Parramatta, 1855. Duncan's Short Account of the Life of Sir Joseph Banks, Edin., 1821. Cuvier's Eloge Historique lu le 2 Avril, 1821. The New Monthly Magazine, Aug., 1820, p. 185. Barron's Sketches, 1849, p. 12. Weld's History of the Royal Society, 1884, p. 103. Lord Brougham's Lives of Men of Letters and Science, vol. i.