Page 126. " formal portrait "
by hector

John Harrison - the King Painting
Public DomainJohn Harrison - the King Painting

Page 127. " smallpox "
by hector

Creative Commons AttributionSmallpox - Credit: otisarchives1, Flickr
A disease caused by the virus Variola, smallpox was so named to distinguish it from the “great pox”, or syphilis.   It could be fatal, killing two million people per year in the 1960s, and the blisters that formed on the skin frequently left crater-like scars.   A successful worldwide vaccination campaign led to the complete eradication of smallpox.   The last known case occurred in 1978.

Page 127. " Tassaert engraving "
by hector

John Harrison - the Tassaert Engraving
Public DomainJohn Harrison - the Tassaert Engraving

Page 131. " Lord Egmont "
by hector

John Perceval, Earl of Egmont
Public DomainJohn Perceval, Earl of Egmont
  John Perceval (1711-1770), 2 nd Earl of Egmont, was a cabinet minister and close adviser to George III and the Prince of Wales.   He has one other claim to fame.   In 1762, the same year that he became First Lord of the Admiralty, he fathered his seventh son, Spencer Perceval, who went on to become the only British Prime Minister ever to be assassinated.

Page 131. " Red Lion Square "
by hector
The Harrison Plaque in Red Lion Square
Public DomainThe Harrison Plaque in Red Lion Square - Credit: Micronanopico

Red Lion Square lies just north of High Holborn in London, surrounded by the Inns of Court.   It was named in 1698 after the Red Lion Inn.   It is claimed Oliver Cromwell was buried there.

Google Map


Page 134. " Nautical Almanac "
by hector

Nautical Almanac
Public DomainNautical Almanac
From 1767 to 1832, Nevil Maskelyne’s Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris was published by the Royal Greenwich Observatory.   In 1832, publication was transferred to HM Nautical Almanac Office.   The HMNAO was located at Greenwich until 1937, when it transferred with the Observatory to Herstmonceux in Sussex.   It is now part of the UK Hydrographic Office in Somerset.   Since 1960, the HMNAO and the US Naval Observatory have jointly published a single Nautical Almanac.  

Page 137. " medallion portrait "
by hector

The Tassie Medallion
Public DomainThe Tassie Medallion
The 1770 medallion by James Tassie can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Page 138. " triumphant second voyage "
by hector

HMS Resolution and HMS Adventure in Tahiti
Public DomainHMS Resolution and HMS Adventure in Tahiti
It may have been triumphant, but James Cook’s second voyage failed in its primary objective: to find “Terra Australis”, a mythical continent believed to be located in the Southern Ocean.   Instead, Cook circumnavigated the globe west-to-east, explored extensively within the Antarctic Circle, and claimed South Georgia for Britain.





Page 139. " oceangoing vegetable "
by hector

Sauerkraut and Wurst
Creative Commons AttributionSauerkraut and Wurst - Credit: adactio, Flickr
Sauerkraut is cabbage fermented by lactic acid bacteria, which impart the sour taste.   It is a traditional part of German, Russian and East European cuisines, and is made by fermenting salted shredded cabbage in stone jars for up to a month.



Page 141. " a few major flaws "
by hector

The Lunar Distance Method
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Lunar Distance Method - Credit: Michael Daly
Despite those flaws, most mariners successfully used the lunar distance method from 1767 until the mid-19 th century.  

Page 143. " The Principles "
by hector

The book can be viewed online.   Here’s a sample passage:

A certain fize is beft for the pallets, or rather a certain proportion between the diameter of the circle de- fcribed by the edge of the pallets and the diameter of the balance-wheel. This was firft fuggefted to Mr. Harrifon from bell-ringing; for he could bring the bell better into a motion, by touching it from time to time fomewhere near the centre than near the circumference; becaufe in the firft cafe his hand moved quick enough to follow the bell.


Page 144. " watchmaker Larcum Kendall "
by hector

Public DomainK-1
Larcum Kendall (1721-1795) completed K-1 in 1769 at a cost of £500.   K-2 was completed in 1771, and K-3 in 1774.   All three watches are now in the National Maritime Museum.

Page 145. " austere outward appearance "
by hector

Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeH-5 - Credit: Racklever, Wikimedia
H-5 is not a pretty watch, it is true.   It can be found at the Clockmakers’ Guild, alongside models by Earnshaw, Mudge and Arnold.

Page 146. " King George III "
by hector

George III
Public DomainGeorge III
 George III (1738-1820) was the first of the Hanoverian kings to be born in Britain and speak English as a first language.   His 60-year reign saw great military successes against France in the Seven Years War and then the Napoleonic Wars, but also the loss of the American colonies in the Revolutionary War.   He suffered recurring mental illness, most likely caused by porphyria – a blood disease which turns the urine blue – with the consequence that a regency, with his eldest son as de facto ruler, was established for the last ten years of his life.

He was dubbed “Farmer George” for his great interest in agriculture; his love of science saw him collect mathematical and scientific instruments, as well as fund the largest telescope yet built – used in 1781 to discover Uranus.  

He is the subject of the film, The Madness of King George.   A comic portrayal by Hugh Laurie of House-fame can be found in the Blackadder III series.

Page 147. " Observatory at Richmond "
by hector

The Richmond Observatory
Public DomainThe Richmond Observatory
The King’s Observatory at Richmond – or Kew Observatory – was designed by Sir William Chambers and built of Portland Stone with a moveable dome, in time for the transit of Venus in 1769.   London’s official time was set from calculations made here, until that responsibility passed to Greenwich.   The Observatory was closed in 1841, and today is used by the Meteorological Office for weather observations.  

Page 148. " lodestones "
by hector

Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeLodestone - Credit: Ryan Somma, Flickr
 Lodestone is a permanently and powerfully magnetic form of magnetite that was used to magnetize compasses.  It occurs naturally, possibly as the result of lightning strikes.   Vikings and 12th-century Chinese navigated by lodestone compasses.  

Page 148. " Lord North "
by hector

Frederick North
Public DomainFrederick North
 Frederick North (1732-1792), 2nd Earl of Guilford, was Prime Minister for twelve years from 1770.   He oversaw the first “Falklands Crisis”, when the Spanish attempted to seize the Islands.   In this he was successful, but his premiership was dogged by the American War of Independence, and he became the first Prime Minister anywhere in the world to be forced out of office by a vote of No Confidence.  

Page 150. " charts of the South Sea Islands "
by hector
Cook s Chart of South Georgia
Public DomainCook's Chart of South Georgia
As well as South Georgia, Cook discovered Clerke Rocks and the South Sandwich Islands.   He also visited Tahiti, the Friendly Islands, Easter Island, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu.  
Page 150. " Lono "
by hector

Lono is the Hawaiian god of peace.   He was said to have down to Earth on a rainbow.   A four-month festival, Makahiki, was held every year in his honour, during which war and unnecessary work were forbidden.   As Cook’s first visit occurred during this festival, his pleasant reception may have been due to the embargo on fighting.   His subsequent appearance was not so well timed.  

Hunter S Thompson wrote a book about his visit to Hawaii, when he believed himself to be Lono reincarnated: The Curse of Lono.