Roseberry from Larners Hill

February 14th and I’m not going to mention the over commercialised ‘V’ word.  Too much hype. Instead the anniversary of a more significant event for the village of Great Ayton. In 1779 Capt. James Cook was on his third voyage and his two ships, Resolution and Discovery, were moored in Kealakekua Bay on the Pacific island of Hawaii. The day before a small boat had been stolen and Cook was looking to teach the islanders a lesson. His plan was to kidnap Kalaniʻōpuʻu, the aliʻi nui or ruling chief of Hawaii. So on the morning February 14th Cook, with a group of Royal Marines, rowed ashore, walked into the royal camp and escorted the chief back to the beach intending to hold him ransom for the return of the boat. At first the chief thought he was being invited to visit the ships but soon realised he was in fact being kidnapped and sat down on the beach. By this time word had got around and the beach was becoming crowded with islanders. Cook was shouting at the chief to get up. Two lesser chiefs tried to protect the ruling chief and in the ensuing melee Cook, four marines and several islanders were killed. So died Capt. James Cook a long way from his boyhood home at Aireyholme Farm (extreme left in the photo) below Roseberry Topping.


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