Transit of Venus 1769
Captain James Cook
After Dance late 18th Century Brian Greig Collection

18th Century

Venus around the sun from the
By Doppelmayer 2 feet by 18ins $135.00 US
400 dpi world wide from
an original B.G.Collectionw

Captain James Cook
National Maritime Museum Greenwich


Captain James Cook The Voyage of the Endeavor

The Voyage of the Endeavour


Brian Greig collection

Globe projection showing places of ingress and
egress for the planet Venus during the 1769 Transit

Transit of Venus R.A. Proctor 1875 - Brian Greig collection

Globe shows views of the earth from the sun during a Transit Plus set of instructions for 6 transits
Globe plus transit map


Island of Tahiti 1780 Alex Hogg


Map of Tahiti


James Cook sketch of Island of Tahiti, showing Matavai Bay and Point Venus,
originally found by Captain Wallis Sometimes called Point Royal.
Brian Greig collection


1/5 Scale model of the 4 inch James Short Gregorian telescope used by Cook at Tahiti in brass or sterling silver B.G. COLLECTION
4 inch James Short Gregorian telescope


View of Point Venus and the Endeavor at anchor in
Matavia Bay, Tahiti from One Tree Hill

View of Point Venus and the Endeavour at anchor in
Italian Publication Circa 1780 sometime prints were printed back to front this came
about by laziness as it was easier to engrave a direct copy (which printed in reverse)
than to engrave a reversed copy. (Thanks to Dr G.J.Tee Auckland University New Zealand).


The moons of Jupiter

were used by NAVIGATORS TO check their instruments and confirm their longitude.
they were also used for determining the speed of light


The moons of Jupiter


Astronomy Explained......James Ferguson 1757 - Brian Greig collection


James Cook and Joseph Banks, {the expedition botanist} would have
remembered these types of microscopes from their earlier years,by the
1760's more modern instruments appeared. These sketch's date from about 1720.

These sketch's date from about 1720.
Brian Greig Collection, Circa 1750

Note the small microscope on the table beside a young
Joseph Banks, painted by an unknown artist the painting once
hung at Revesby Abbey was home of Joseph Banks England


oseph Banks England


Joseph Banks showing the locals the
Transit of Venus using a Telescope

"Astronomy" Fred Hoyle




  Sothebys Auction London

Type of instrument supplied to Joseph Banks and Dr Solander while aboard the Endeavor possibly by George Adams.
He also supplied William Wales and William Bayley with instruments on Cooks second voyage for a price of twenty seven pounds and nine shillings.



Tent Observatory at Point Venus

Tent Observatory used in may of Cook's expeditions.
French Edition 1783 - Brian Greig collection
miniture Jesse Ramsden Sextant.
Jesse Ramsden Sextant
Private Collection



focal length of 330 mm and radius arm of 300 mm this instrument was stolen by the locals who thought it must have great powers because it was moved around in a wooden box and guarded with a sentry.

it was recovered, attempts had been made to pull it to pieces but it was put back together again some would say that it had lost its original alignment and accuracy.

The counter weight hanging at the left hand side was immersed in water to dampen any vibrations that might occur during observations. A mahogany tripod was used to support the quadrant when used on location around Tahiti


Astronomical Regulator Clock by John Shelton, 1768: Cook's second and third voyages.
The property of the Royal Society.
Jesse Ramsden , J.Sisson and Bird made these instruments the illustrated instrument is by Bird.
The Astronomical Quadrant Cambridge Whipple Museum

Peter Dolland supplied refracting telescopes with a focal length of about 40inch focal
length they were fitted with a split objective { a form of heliometer} and micrometer for
precise measurements, the style taken by Cook would have been close to these two images


micrometer attatchment and divided object glass

Sotheby's Auctions London  

Dip Needle by Nairne was
taken by Captain Cook

"Apparatus of Science at Harvard University "


From the Science Museum London Collection

This model was made before 1761 to demonstrate the problems
involved in finding the distance of the Sun from the Earth using the planet Venus. It was used to show clearly why transits of Venus occur at intervals of little over a hundred years and repeat two transits where each transit is separated by eight years i.e. 1761-1769, , 1874-
1882 and in the 21st Cent. 2004 and 2012."
Venusian Orrery

Greenwich Observatory and the Astronomers Royal played an important part in all the
Transits of Venus,instruments were calibrated and checked, the long case astronomical regulator clock made by John Shelton number 35 would have been checked here also.


Greenwich Observatory

National Maritime Museum, as it would have appeared in the 18th Century
"Discoverers of Space" 1969 - Brian Greig collection


A Map of the earth
Astronomy explained by James Ferguson 1785 Brian Greig Collection

Mappemonde Sur la quelle on amarques les Heures et les Minutes des tems vrai delentree et de la sortie du centre de Venus...............par M.DEL'ISLE del' Academic Royal des Sciences.


This map was located by me after having been unknown to the astronomical community for 200 years H.C.Woolf ¨THE TRANSIT OF VENUS¨1959 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS never Sited the mappemonde nor did David Sellers in his: ¨THE TRANSIT OF VENUS¨Magavelda Press 2001 it was also overlooked by W.Sheehan and J. Westfall in their ¨TRANSIT OF VENUS Prometheus Books, 2003 Their article in Sky and Telescope Feb 2004 repeated the same error Delisle was French and the so called mappemonde is Dutch In the above publications there is a real mappemonde by La Lande labled as such. No one appears to have wondered why two different constructed maps had a common name.

Delisle had used the Paris Observatory as the meridian upon which the viewing times were based. James Ferguson redrew the "MAPPMONDE" with the Greenwich Meridian and during the transit he viewed the event with others from the roof top of the British Museum London. He is better known for his lectures on astronomy and the models and orreries he used to give a better understanding of the cosmos.

Astronomer and map maker Joseph Nicolas Delisle played an important part in the life of another French astronomer Charles Messier who he hired in 1751 as a draughtsman. We know him today as the founder of the Messier Catalogue { M31} the Andromeda Galaxy the Omega nebulae { M17 } etc etc.



combined Lunarium Tellurian with silk belts

Astronomy explained J.Ferguson 1757 , Brian Greig Collection


Pastel portrait of William Wales

John Russell was a portrait painter and a Member of the Royal Academy of Art. As a hobby he bought a 6 inch reflecting telescope {Newtonian } from Sir John Herschel and starting drawing the moon.
Eventually making his own moon gores and produced this mechanical model in 1796 showing how the moon orbits the Earth.
William Wales painted by John Russell in 1794 From Christ"s Hospital, West Horsham England and with thanks to Dr.Wayne Orchiston of Sydney.
Globe on stand
From the Science Museum
Collection London


The original painting of the moon { 1795 } by John Russell R.A.about five feet square was given to Radcliffe Observatory in 1824 by his daughter. He also painted John Wesley, William Cowper, and Sir Joseph Banks in 1788

Graphic Magazine 1922









James Cooks Cottage donated to the people of Australia from the people
of England, shipped out brick by brick and reassembled in Melbourne.


James Cooks Cottage


Image kindly supplied by Cook's Cottages
Fitzroy gardens Melbourne Australia


James Cook Signature

James Cook signature

Porcelain Plaque of James Cook
by Josiah Wedgewood

"James Cook" by Beaglehole