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Observations from Cook's last voyage, 1779-06-15 - 1780-08-26

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 14/61/3: 50r-100r

Scope and Contents

Tabulated observations made by astronomer William Bayly. These include records of the time by the watch, apparent time, altitudes of the sun, moon and stars, observations of lunar distance, barometer and thermometer readings, estimates of latitude and longitude, and magnetic variation.
Occasional remarks on the observations are included: for example, in [RGO 14/61/3: 57r] Bayly records that his instruments were taken on shore at Kamchatka, Russia, where observations were made from 26 September-27 October 1779. Similarly, in the entry for December 1779 Bayly mentions that the commander John Gore ‘did not think it proper’ for him to go on shore with his instruments at Typa off Macau ‘as the Chinese might not like it’, noting that he took observations with his watch and quadrant each morning and afternoon instead ‘at a point far distant from any houses’ [RGO 14/61/3: 67r]. A note on observations taken on shore at False Bay, Cape of Good Hope also mentions repairs to the ship’s rudder and that the clock stopped after one of the stand supports gave way [RGO 14/61/3: 80r].
Bayly also includes notes on the tides at Typa [RGO 14/61/3: 68v] and at Pulo Condore [Côn Đảo Island, off southern Viet Nam] [RGO 14/61/3: 70v], accounts of the going of the clock at various locations onshore, and observations of a solar eclipse at False Bay, Cape of Good Hope [RGO 14/61/3: 83r].


  • Creation: 1779-06-15 - 1780-08-26


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From the Management Group:

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51 folio(s) (51 ff.) : Paper

Language of Materials



Bayly, William

Original geographic information

Alaska [subject]

Original geographic information

Cape of Good Hope [origination]

Original geographic information

Chu [subject]

Original geographic information

Côn Đảo [subject]

Original geographic information

Hawaii [subject]

Original geographic information

Japan [subject]

Original geographic information

Kamchatka [subject]

Original geographic information

Krakatau [subject]

Original geographic information

Macau [subject]

Finding aid date

2012-11-15 15:19:59+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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