James King (Royal Navy officer)

James King (Royal Navy officer)

Infobox Military Person
name= James King
lived= 1750 – 1784
placeofbirth= Clitheroe, Lancashire, England
placeofdeath= Nice, France

caption= Portrait of Captain James King from the National Library of Australia [http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an2292701]
allegiance= flagicon|United Kingdom United Kingdom
serviceyears= 1762 – 1784
rank= Royal Navy Post captain
Captain James King, FRS (1750–1784) , served under James Cook on his last voyage around the world, specialising in taking important astronomical readings using a sextant. After Cook died he helped lead the ships on the remainder of their course, also completing Cook's account of the voyage.

Early life

Captain King was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire, the son of the Reverend James King, who was at that time curate of St Mary Magdalene, Clitheroe. According to the parish registers young James King was baptised on 13 July 1750, presumably shortly after his birth. At an early age King entered Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, where he remained until he was 12 years old.

The Navy

King entered the navy on 19th November 1762 (not unusual in those days for someone so young) under the patronage of his kinsman William Norton, serving under him first in the Assistance as an able seaman, although in fact he was treated as a junior officer, and then as a midshipman in the William and Mary. After further service as an able seaman or midshipman in the Gibraltar and Liverpool, King joined the Guernsey, Captain James Chads, on 15th March 1768 as an able seaman for service on the Newfoundland station under Commodore Hugh Palliser, a friend and patron of Captain Cook.

Having passed for lieutenant on 7th March 1769, King was promoted to this rank on 10th January 1771, serving in several ships before being placed on half pay in May 1773. He was then granted leave to go abroad on his private affairs for one year, spending this time in Paris in scientific study. This was followed by a period with his brother Walter at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he made the acquaintance of the Reverend Thomas Hornsby, Savilian Professor of Astronomy, who recommended him for Cook's third voyage.

ervice on Captain Cook's third voyage

On board the Resolution King shared the duties of astronomer with Cook, taking astronomical observations on board by sextant to establish the Resolution's position at sea and on shore by sextant or by astronomical quadrant to establish the geographical position of salient points during the course of Cook's surveys. Thus King's geographical positions were an important contribution to the accuracy of the various surveys carried out during the voyage.

Following the death of Cook, King remained in the Resolution but on the death of Charles Clerke, Cook's successor, King was appointed in command of the Discovery, the Resolution's consort, remaining in her for the rest of the voyage. After his return to England King was very much involved in the publication of the official account of Cook's third voyage, writing the third volume at Woodstock, near Oxford, where his brother Thomas was rector of St Mary Magdalene. But shortly after his return King was promoted post captain and appointed in command of the Crocodile on Channel service.

Later life

Then towards the end of 1781 he was appointed in command of HMS Resistance, 40 guns, as escort for a large fleet of merchantmen to the West Indies, returning to England shortly afterwards with his health much impaired. He then returned to Woodstock to continue to work on Cook's third voyage. After the publication of the three-volume account of the voyage, advancing tuberculosis drove him to Nice, accompanied by his friends James Trevenen, who had served with him in the Resolution and Discovery, and Captain William Young, who had served with him in the Guernsey, where he died on 16 November 1784 at the age of 34, although the memorial tablet in Woodstock parish church states erroneously that he died in his 32nd year. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1782 in recognition of his astronomical observations during Cook' third voyage he was also made an honorary L.L.D. Oxon.

External links

* [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=1986 Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Cooke (Royal Navy officer) — Infobox Military Person name= John Cooke lived= 1763 ndash; 21 October 1805 placeofbirth= placeofdeath= HMS Bellerophon , off Cape Trafalgar caption= John Cooke nickname= allegiance= flagicon|United Kingdom United Kingdom serviceyears= 1776 to… …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Napier (Royal Navy officer) — For the similarly named General, his first cousin and contemporary in the Peninsular Campaign, see Charles James Napier. Sir Charles Napier Admiral Sir Charles Napier (print, c. 1855) …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Holmes (Royal Navy officer) — Sir Robert Holmes ( ca. 1622 ndash; 18 November 1692) was a British Admiral of the Restoration Navy. He took part in the second and third Anglo Dutch wars, both of which he is, by some, credited with having started. He was made governor of the… …   Wikipedia

  • John Campbell (Royal Navy officer) — Infobox Military Person name=John Campbell lived=1720 1790 caption= nickname= placeofbirth=parish of Kirkbean, near Dumfries, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland placeofdeath=his house at Charles Street, Berkeley Square, London, England allegiance=Great …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Watson (Royal Navy officer) — Charles Watson (1714 – 16 August 1757) was an officer of the Royal Navy, who rose to the rank of vice admiral. He served briefly as colonial governor of Newfoundland, died at Calcutta, India. Watson entered the navy in 1728 and in 1748 became… …   Wikipedia

  • Christopher Billopp (Royal Navy officer) — Bentley Manor , now known as The Conference House Christopher Billopp (ca.1638 1726) was an English officer of the Royal Navy in the seventeenth century who commanded various ships of the line including HMS Greenwich in the Battle of Bantry… …   Wikipedia

  • David Milne (Royal Navy officer) — Sir David Milne Vice Admiral Sir David Milne Born May 1763 Musselburgh …   Wikipedia

  • William Penn (Royal Navy officer) — Sir William Penn (23 April 1621 ndash; 16 September 1670) was an English admiral, and the father of William Penn, founder of the colony of Pennsylvania. Penn was born in St. Thomas Parish, Bristol to Giles Penn and Margaret Gilbert. On 6 June,… …   Wikipedia

  • James King — may refer to: notoc Government*James G. King (1791 1853), American businessman and New Jersey congressman *James King King (1806 1881), MP for Herefordshire *James Horace King (1873 1955), Canadian Minister of Pensions and National Health, from… …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Navy — This article is about the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. For other Royal Navies, see Royal Navy (disambiguation). Royal Navy The naval ensign …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.