Capt. Cook’s Monument

I just had to climb Easby Moor today to visit the monument to Captain James Cook R.N. Today, because on this day in 1779 Capt. Cook was killed at Owyhee in the Hawaiian Islands. The Wikipedia account of his death makes it sound as though Cook’s arrogance and assumed superiority contributed to what the inscription on his monument of Easby Moor describes as a massacre. One  recent TV programme I’ve seen suggested that Cook was suffering from the onset of mental illness. It is easy to look with modern eyes but news of his death, by the time it reached our shores, shocked the nation. James Cook spent his childhood at Airyeholme Farm in Great Ayton and has become deeply engraved in the psyche of the village. He went to school there and his statue as a schoolboy stands overlooking the village green.

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