Cook, the Transit of Venus, Aftermath and Legacy – Webinar

Wednesday 8th Jul 202017:00

The subject of this week’s webinar will be Cook, the Transit of Venus, Aftermath and Legacy, given by Stewart Coulter WOLAS Outreach Officer and Vice-President.

To join the interactive Zoom webinar please click on the below link. This will install the Zoom software if you do not already have it on your computer and then allow you to join the meeting. You may click on the link in advance to install the Zoom software prior to the webinar.

Click to join:

For anyone who does not wish to join via Zoom or is unable to install the software, then we will also be streaming the webinar on our BAA YouTube channel. Please note you will be unable to ask questions via YouTube.

If you do not have access to a computer or have a problem with the above methods, then you can listen to the webinar on a phone, though you will pay for the call at your usual rate and you won’t have the benefit of seeing the presentation. A list of numbers can be found here, and you will need to key in the webinar id 548 739 039 to join.

Notes and Links from the Final Slide

Cook’s holograph, original manuscript in the author’s hand is MS 1 at the National Library of Australia in Canberra. What I showed at the start was his wife’s, given to NMM in 1935 by King Edward VIII (Prince Edward if the date is correct). His wife outlived him by 56 years. MS 2 incidentally contains the secret instructions I mentioned.

1761 transit, I mentioned the unfortunate Le Gentil who could not land at Pondicherry, S India since it had been captured by the British and his sea observations were no good. Read more at

William and Mary Bryant were the lead escapees. A trustworthy < 5 minute biography of Mary Bryant, upon which Fled, below, was based, is at It fills in the links between the ship Pandora, her return to England, Capts. Edwards and Bligh, who was shipping breadfruit to American slave plantations on the Bounty.

Endeavour and other plans: Profile plan ZAZ6588:

RMG Stream: I glossed over this slide. Go to and key in Royal Museums Greenwich. 1h programmes about naval history, Thurs midday or watch again.

Fled by Meg Keneally (2019), fictionalised account of the true story of Mary Bryant, recommended.

The Commonwealth of Thieves, Tom Keneally (2007), The story of the First Fleet

The Biggest Estate on Earth, Bill Gammage (2012), sophisticated land management by the indigenous peoples

Astronomy in Aboriginal Culture and negation of terra nullius (RAS journal):

Aboriginal stories of sea level rise:

Leading Australian historian: hence to Secret Instructions, > Background information. Both longer reads.

Endeavour virtual tour:

British Astronomy Observing Challenge: In London 08:38 – 09:44 Fri 19 June
Exeter 5 min earlier, Edinburgh 3 min later.

Venus Night-side Imaging, Martin Lewis:

Contact: Stewart Coulter