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Whitby in the Time of Cook

2018 Exhibition - Whitby in the 18th Century

Today Whitby is generally thought of as a pretty seaside town with many historic connections.

How different it was in the 18th century! Cook could not have come to a better place and was immensely fortunate in the training he received there. Here he was exposed to impressive models of success, amibition, training and behaviour.

It was a town in the middle of a shipbuilding and shipping boom. There were opportunities to make careers in an exceptional seafaring environment. Boys and young men were drawn from miles around by the quality of training available. Training was strictly practical with the emphasis on professional and vocational skills.

It was also an outward-looking place, well connected by sea to the towns of North East, to London and to the Baltic. The young Cook himself travelled as far as St. Petersburgh in 1750.

The exhibition covers some of the key aspects of the town and examines the lives of key men who helped to shape it, such as Abel Chapman (1694-1777), entrepreneur and shipowner, and Lionel Charlton (1720-1788), teacher of mathematics, surveyor and author of the history of the town.

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