A View of Cape Stephens in Cook's Straits with Waterspout
Polite society was thrilling to the idea of an undiscovered continent in the south. Was it even there and what would count as proof if it didn’t exist?
In 1818 John Ross was sent to search for the North-West Passage. He turned back, mistakenly believing there was no passage through Lancaster Sound.
The Death of Captain James Cook by the Indians of Owhyee, one of the Sandwich Islands.jpg
While Cook fails to find the North-West Passage, it is his discovery of Hawaii that will prove to be his undoing.
William Edward Parry was a key figure in the discovery of the North-West Passage. He made three voyages to find it and his research was invaluable.
Coat of Arms of the South Sea Company D4847_slider.JPG
The South Sea Bubble was the financial collapse of the South Sea Company in 1720. The company was formed to supply slaves to Spanish America.
'Royal George', dead astern D4082_7_slider.JPG
Royal George is a great example of a ship model from the 18th century and provides a fascinating insight into the ship design of the period.
The ship as icon: Battle of Trafalgar_attraction_slider.jpg
The Battle of Trafalgar took place in 1805. Nelson masterminded the victorious British attack on the Franco-Spanish fleet.
'Bellona' (1760) C1103_slider.JPG
The 74, a Third Rate, was the most important new ship-type of the later 18th century. Bellona was one of the most successful Royal Navy designs and became a prototype for its 74s.
The Battle of Trafalgar is one of the most famous naval battles in British history. Nelson led Britain to victory over a combined French and Spanish fleet, but was shot and died during the battle.
A detail from 'Emma Hart as Circe' by George Romney ©Tate, London 2016
When a fashionable society artist met a strikingly beautiful and expressive young woman, the shockwaves would continue for years to come.