The Voyages of Captain James Cook from his early life shipping Urine and Coal from the North East Coast to London as a Merchant Seaman, through his self educating in mapping and navigation under Wolfe’s Royal Naval command in Nova Scotia and then Newfoundland, to his famous voyages to Australia and New Zealand.
Indeed Cook’s navigation skills and mapping were so accurate they had been in use until late in the last century and had been responsible for guiding many thousands of passengers migrating to the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. To that end we have Captain Cook to thank in ensuring their safe arrival.
Cooks pedigree was from the names of Butler and Cook but what are the origin of these names ?
This distinguished surname, with forty entries in the “Dictionary of National Biography”, and having no less than fifty Coats of Arms, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for a cook, seller of cooked meats, or the keeper of an eating house. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century “coc”, ultimately from the Latin “cocus”, cook, and the surname has a particularly early first recording (see below). It also has the distinction of being recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, when one Galter Coc was noted in Essex. The surname is also widespread in early Scottish records. Richard Cocus held lands in Berwick after 1147, and Raginaldus the Cook witnessed the gift of the church of Cragyn in Kyle to the Abbey of Paisley, circa 1177. One Henry Coke, and a Ralph le Cook were recorded in Somerset and Sussex in 1279 and 1296 respectively. Notable bearers of the name were Sir Thomas Cooke, sheriff of London, 1453, and Lord Mayor of London, 1462, and Sir George Cooke who commanded the first division of guards at the Battle of Waterloo, 1815. Garret Cooke, aged 20 yrs., who embarked from London on the “Primrose” bound for Virginia in July 1635 was one of the earliest recorded namebearers to settle in America. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a gold shield with a red chevron between two lions passant guardant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aelfsige thene Coc, which was dated circa 950, in the “Anglo-Saxon Wills Records”, during the reign of Edred the Saxon, Ruler of England, 946 – 955. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to “develop” often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Ironically the term used in the title of this blog; Chief Cook and Bottle Washer refers to a person who can do anything, In the case of Captain James Cook, he certainly could but not only, he excelled at it.
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Source of name origins. The Name Database.
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