'An Offering before Captain Cook, in the Sandwich Islands', c 1778.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving, the landscape by Middiman and the figures by Hall, after a drawing by Webber, showing natives of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) slaughtering swine before Captain Cook. From 'Complete History of Captain Cook's First, Second and Third Voyages' (1784). Captain James Cook (1728-1779), the famed navigator and hydrographer, transformed the West's knowledge of the Pacific region. The principal aim of this, his third voyage, was to find a northern sea pasage between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Having set sail from Hawaii in 1779, Cook returned to the islands after his ship 'Resolution' suffered storm damage, after which a fight broke out and he was stabbed to death.