Translation from the original by Shirley McLeod



From the Log of Henry Roberts Mate of the "Resolution"
and Officer in charge of the Pinnace
in which Captain Cook went ashore for the last time

"Resolution" painted by Henry Roberts. 

At Sandwich Islands

Remarks ... in Carruacooah Bay, in the Isd Hawyai.

Sunday 14th Feb. 1779

Fine weather with land and sea breezes. The Native shaving stolen something from on board the "Discovery", a canoe suspected was pursued by one of the boats without arms in her. The crew landed and the things stolen was brought them. Afterwards our pinnace jined them, and by some means occasioned a dispute which rose to argument when they got themselves illused and beat, by the Natives breaking the pinnaces Oars, and endeavouring to have th boat, but no other mischief. In the morning the "Discovery" 's Boats large cutter was missing from the buoy, where she was moored. Boats sent from each ship in search of her, with orders to keep every Canoe in the bay, from paddling off, till there was a likelihood of her being returned, as it was well known, that the natives had taken her away. In order to make it more secure, Captain Cook went in the pinnace, manned and armed, with the launch under the command of the third Lieutenant in company, to the Village on the North point of the bay, with an intention to get the Chief Kerrie-oboo on board, for which purpose he landed with the Officer of Marines, the Sergeant and 7 (?) of his people.

After a little time they found the Chief and he would, and he would have willingly come off, but was, hindered by his Wife and those about him, who offered present of Hogs of which were rejected, they afterwards were very troublesome and began to be increasingly insolent and at last obliged the Capt to fire on them, this occasioned a great rumour among the crew who began to arm themselves after the Capt fired a muskett, which was seconded by the Marines and boats, the Capt immediately gave orders to cease firing, and come in with the Boats, the pinnace pullin in, the Natives on their parts had began the attack, when the stones showered down with great violence the whole body, prefring in on our peole, armed with spears clubs, .........., found them into the water.

The Capt fell in the conflict, with four of the Marines. The Officer, sergeant and others, reached the boats with great difficulty, nine of the nunber being wounded. The Boats, after keeping a warm fire for a while, returned on board, not being able to get the body of our lost Commander, whose death occasioned concern and sorrow in every countenance. Such an able Navigator, equalled by few and excelled by none, justly styled father of his peole from his great good care and attention, and beloved by those who knew or ever heard of him. The body's of the Marines also could not be taken, but exposed to the mercy of those savages who were truly desperate and intrepid.

Hands were immediately sent on shore to protect the Observatory and foremast which was at the inner part of the Bay. Here was a rising ground which the party took possession of, being a most convenient place, as the Indians here who had been quiet before, began now to be very troublesome, flinging stones at a considerable distance, but a few pieces of our Muskquetry kep them at bay.

The Discovery keeping a constant fire with their great guns on a village where the Natives were gathering in a great body just to the forward of our party. It was now thought advisable to get the Mast off, which was accordingly done with the Tents and everything from the shore. After this the party embarked on board after killing .... of the Indians.

At our leaving the shore many of them followed us shouting and flinging of stones. One of those daring fellows I saw stand the fire of above 50 Musketts, within the distance of 40 yards, and drag the body of his companion away that had been shot.

We were now under the necessity of getting the Mast along the booms for the Carpenter to work at it. Three of the Natives in a small canoe put off from the point were our accident happened, and came ahead of the ship throwing several stones, using menaces of Defiance. We fired several shots at them when they retreated with the utmost percipitation

Monday 15th

Weather inclined to rain in the Middle parts. The boats from each ship, well manned and armed, went in shore with a white flag as a Truce, to demand the bodies by fair means, but with no other success and satisfaction, than a promise of their being brought the next morning. The boats then returned. A few stones were thrown at their first approaching the shore, but afterwards tolerably peaceable. The ships company guarded very advantageously, taking every necessary precaution in case of an attack on the ship. During the night many large fires were burning on the shore and by the help of the night glass could distinguish great numbers of the Natives crowding around them, Others running along shore with lights. Loud lamentations were heard at times, and at others prodigious shouts. The morning came without any sign of the Body's being returned. An old priest named Co-ah-ah came off in a canoe with white flags, desiring Mr King to accompany him on shore, saying the Body's were brought down, but was refused..

Great numers of the Inhabitants coming over the Hill, stopping at the place were the largest fire was still burning, and seemingly gazing with much attention. The numbers killed on the North of the Bay, we are informed by the Natives is seventeen. Among wich were their principle chiefs whose names were Ka-na-na, his brother Tu-wa-rue and Ka-aw-wa. Carpenters employed on the mast.

Tuesday 16th.

Fine weather with the land and sea breezes. The carpenters employed about the Mast. From the vast concourse of people assembling on the hill over the north of the Bay, and from our situation it judged necessary to carry a small anchor out, aspiring to bring her broadside to bear on the Town. From the beginning of this fray with these people, we have found two separate divisions among them. Those in our favour were the priest, who performed the great ceremony to Captain Cook at the first arrival of Kerrie-Oboo, whose name was Ka-ow, and his party who has every been steadfast and faithful, even sending his people with water and refreshments.


Six days later a priest handed over all that could be found of Cook i.e. his skull, leg and arm bones, and hands.




Date Last Modified: 16/02/2003