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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

Captain Cook to The Earl of Sandwich §

Captain Cook to The Earl of Sandwich §

14 January, 1772.

My Lord,—

The bearer, Richd. Hutchins, was boatswain mate of the Endeavour, bark, during the whole of her late voyage, and upon page 85 her return home your Lordship was pleased to appoint him boatswain of the said bark on the removal of the then boatswain. He soon after was taken sick and put ashore at Portsmouth; the bark sailing before he was able to go on board again, another was appointed in his room, which has reduced him to the same situation as he was before he experienced your Lordship's favour. As your Lordship has been pleased to shew so much attention to such of my people as have been recommended to you, I am imboldened to solicit your Lordship's further favour in behalf of this man, which will be most gratefully acknowledged by

Yours, &c.,

Jam's Cook.

§ John, fourth Earl of Sandwich, popularly known by his contemporaries as “Jemmy Twitcher”; referred to in the House of Commons by Thomas Townshend as the “most profligate sad dog in the kingdom.” First Lord of Admiralty, December, 1748; re-appointed to that office in April, 1763, and again in January, 1771; Secretary of State, September, 1763, and again in December, 1770. He incurred much odium by his treatment of Wilkes.—(See Lord Chesterfield's Letters, vol. ii, p. 479; Walpole's Reign of George III, vol. i, p. 311, et seq.; and vol. iv, p. 317, A Voyage round the Mediterranean, London, 1779.) Kippis, in his Life of Cook, p. xii, refers to the Earl of Sandwich as “the great patron of our navigator, and the principal mover in his mighty undertakings.”

This is an error. Hutchins was an A.B. until September, 1769, when he was appointed boatswain's mate. On the death of the boatswain, John Guthrey, 4th February, 1771, he (Hutchins) was promoted to the vacancy. He does not appear to have accompanied Cook on either of his subsequent voyages.