The Neolithic, the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first development of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, in other parts of the world. The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago, marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In Northern Europe, the Neolithic lasted until about 1700 BC, while in China it extended until 1200 BC. Other parts of the world remained broadly in the Neolithic stage of development, although this term may not be used, until European contact; the Neolithic comprises a progression of behavioral and cultural characteristics and changes, including the use of wild and domestic crops and of domesticated animals. The term Neolithic derives from the Greek νέος néos, "new" and λίθος líthos, "stone" meaning "New Stone Age"; the term was coined by Sir John Lubbock in 1865 as a refinement of the three-age system. Following the ASPRO chronology, the Neolithic started in around 10,200 BC in the Levant, arising from the Natufian culture, when pioneering use of wild cereals evolved into early farming.
The Natufian period or "proto-Neolithic" lasted from 12,500 to 9,500 BC, is taken to overlap with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of 10,200–8800 BC. As the Natufians had become dependent on wild cereals in their diet, a sedentary way of life had begun among them, the climatic changes associated with the Younger Dryas are thought to have forced people to develop farming. By 10,200–8800 BC farming communities had arisen in the Levant and spread to Asia Minor, North Africa and North Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BC. Early Neolithic farming was limited to a narrow range of plants, both wild and domesticated, which included einkorn wheat and spelt, the keeping of dogs and goats. By about 6900–6400 BC, it included domesticated cattle and pigs, the establishment of permanently or seasonally inhabited settlements, the use of pottery. Not all of these cultural elements characteristic of the Neolithic appeared everywhere in the same order: the earliest farming societies in the Near East did not use pottery.
In other parts of the world, such as Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, independent domestication events led to their own regionally distinctive Neolithic cultures, which arose independently of those in Europe and Southwest Asia. Early Japanese societies and other East Asian cultures used pottery before developing agriculture. In the Middle East, cultures identified as Neolithic began appearing in the 10th millennium BC. Early development occurred from there spread eastwards and westwards. Neolithic cultures are attested in southeastern Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia by around 8000 BC; the prehistoric Beifudi site near Yixian in Hebei Province, contains relics of a culture contemporaneous with the Cishan and Xinglongwa cultures of about 6000–5000 BC, neolithic cultures east of the Taihang Mountains, filling in an archaeological gap between the two Northern Chinese cultures. The total excavated area is more than 1,200 square yards, the collection of neolithic findings at the site encompasses two phases.
The Neolithic 1 period began around 10,000 BC in the Levant. A temple area in southeastern Turkey at Göbekli Tepe, dated to around 9500 BC, may be regarded as the beginning of the period; this site was developed by nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes, as evidenced by the lack of permanent housing in the vicinity, may be the oldest known human-made place of worship. At least seven stone circles, covering 25 acres, contain limestone pillars carved with animals and birds. Stone tools were used by as many as hundreds of people to create the pillars, which might have supported roofs. Other early PPNA sites dating to around 9500–9000 BC have been found in Jericho, West Bank, Gilgal in the Jordan Valley, Byblos, Lebanon; the start of Neolithic 1 overlaps the Heavy Neolithic periods to some degree. The major advance of Neolithic 1 was true farming. In the proto-Neolithic Natufian cultures, wild cereals were harvested, early seed selection and re-seeding occurred; the grain was ground into flour. Emmer wheat was domesticated, animals were herded and domesticated.
In 2006, remains of figs were discovered in a house in Jericho dated to 9400 BC. The figs are of a mutant variety that cannot be pollinated by insects, therefore the trees can only reproduce from cuttings; this evidence suggests that figs were the first cultivated crop and mark the invention of the technology of farming. This occurred centuries before the first cultivation of grains. Settlements became more permanent, with circular houses, much like those of the Natufians, with single rooms. However, these houses were for the first time made of mudbrick; the settlement had a surrounding stone wall and a stone tower. The wall served as protection from nearby groups, as protection from floods, or to keep animals penned; some of the enclosures suggest grain and meat storage. The Neolithic 2 began around 8800 BC according to the ASPRO chronology in the Levant; as with the PPNA dates, there are two versions from the same laboratories noted above. This system of terminology, however, is not convenient for southeast Anatolia and settlements of the middle Anatolia basin.
A settlement of 3,000 inhabitants was found in th
Orkney known as the Orkney Islands, is an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland, situated off the north coast of the isle of Great Britain. Orkney is 10 miles north of the coast of Caithness and comprises 70 islands, of which 20 are inhabited; the largest island, Mainland, is referred to as "the Mainland", has an area of 523 square kilometres, making it the sixth-largest Scottish island and the tenth-largest island in the British Isles. The largest settlement and administrative centre is Kirkwall. Orkney is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, a constituency of the Scottish Parliament, a lieutenancy area, a historic county; the local council is Orkney Islands Council, one of only three Councils in Scotland with a majority of elected members who are independents. A form of the name dates to the pre-Roman era and the islands have been inhabited for at least 8,500 years occupied by Mesolithic and Neolithic tribes and by the Picts. Orkney was colonized and annexed by Norway in 875 and settled by the Norse.
The Scottish Parliament annexed the earldom to the Scottish Crown in 1472, following the failed payment of a dowry for James III's bride Margaret of Denmark. In addition to the Mainland, most of the islands are in two groups, the North and South Isles, all of which have an underlying geological base of Old Red Sandstone; the climate is mild and the soils are fertile, most of the land being farmed. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy; the significant wind and marine energy resources are of growing importance, the island generates more than its total yearly electricity demand using renewables. The local people are known as Orcadians and have a distinctive dialect of the Scots language and a rich inheritance of folklore. Orkney contains some of the oldest and best-preserved Neolithic sites in Europe, the "Heart of Neolithic Orkney" is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and there is an abundance of marine and avian wildlife. Pytheas of Massilia visited Britain – sometime between 322 and 285 BC – and described it as triangular in shape, with a northern tip called Orcas.
This may have referred to Dunnet Head. Writing in the 1st century AD, the Roman geographer Pomponius Mela called the islands Orcades, as did Tacitus in 98 AD, claiming that his father-in-law Agricola had "discovered and subjugated the Orcades hitherto unknown" Etymologists interpret the element orc- as a Pictish tribal name meaning "young pig" or "young boar". Speakers of Old Irish referred to the islands as Insi Orc "island of the pigs"; the archipelago is known as Ynysoedd Erch in modern Welsh and Arcaibh in modern Scottish Gaelic, the -aibh representing a fossilized prepositional case ending. Some earlier sources alternately hypothesize that Orkney comes from whale; the Anglo-Saxon monk Bede refers to the islands as Orcades insulae in his seminal work Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Norwegian settlers arriving from the late ninth century reinterpreted orc as the Old Norse orkn "seal" and added eyjar "islands" to the end so the name became Orkneyjar "Seal Islands"; the plural suffix -jar was removed in English leaving the modern name "Orkney".
According to the Historia Norwegiæ, Orkney was named. The Norse knew Mainland, Orkney as Megenland "Mainland" or as Hrossey "Horse Island"; the island is sometimes referred to as Pomona, a name that stems from a sixteenth-century mistranslation by George Buchanan, used locally. A charred hazelnut shell, recovered in 2007 during excavations in Tankerness on the Mainland has been dated to 6820–6660 BC indicating the presence of Mesolithic nomadic tribes; the earliest known permanent settlement is at Knap of Howar, a Neolithic farmstead on the island of Papa Westray, which dates from 3500 BC. The village of Skara Brae, Europe's best-preserved Neolithic settlement, is believed to have been inhabited from around 3100 BC. Other remains from that era include the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Maeshowe passage grave, the Ring of Brodgar and other standing stones. Many of the Neolithic settlements were abandoned around 2500 BC due to changes in the climate. During the Bronze Age fewer large stone structures were built although the great ceremonial circles continued in use as metalworking was introduced to Britain from Europe over a lengthy period.
There are few Orcadian sites dating from this era although there is the impressive Plumcake Mound near the Ring of Brodgar and various islands sites such as Tofts Ness on Sanday and the remains of two houses on Holm of Faray. Excavations at Quanterness on the Mainland have revealed an Atlantic roundhouse built about 700 BC and similar finds have been made at Bu on the Mainland and Pierowall Quarry on Westray; the most impressive Iron Age structures of Orkney are the ruins of round towers called "brochs" and their associated settlements such as the Broch of Burroughston and Broch of Gurness. The nature and origin of these buildings is a subject of ongoing debate. Other structures from this period include underground storehouses, aisled roundhouses, the latter in association with earlier broch sites. During the Roman invasion of Britain the "King of Orkney" was one of 11 British leaders, said to have submitted to the Emperor Claudius in AD 43 at Colchester. After the Agricolan fleet had come and gone anchoring at Shapinsay, direct Roman influence seems to have been limited to trade rather than conquest.
By the late Iron Age, Orkney was part of the Pictish kingdom, although the archaeological remains from this period are less
Skaill House is a historic manor house in Sandwick parish on Mainland, the largest of the Orkney Islands. The house overlooks the neolithic site, Skara Brae, the Bay of Skaill. In 1977, the house was included in the List of Scottish Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Skaill House is situated near to the site of Skara Brae, the lands were in use from neolithic times. Various finds from the Bronze- and Iron Ages show continuing use; the name Skaill derives from the Old Norse word for "hall". The names of all the surrounding farms are derived from that language, it is presumed that the lands have been permanently settled for over a thousand years. After the execution of Patrick Stewart, 2nd Earl of Orkney for treason in 1615, the lands were given to the Bishop of Orkney. In 1620, Bishop George Graham constructed a simple manor house, the first part of what is now Skaill House, his son became the laird of the estate, the property was from that time passed down to succeeding lairds.
Over the years, the building was expanded. In 1997, after six years of restoration work, Skaill House was opened to the public, it can be rented for receptions and events. Skaill House is situated near the west coast of Mainland overlooking the Bay of Skaill and Skara Brae, close to St Peter's Kirk, it is described by Historic Environment Scotland as the "most complete 17th century country mansion in Orkney". The oldest parts of the building surrounded three sides of a central courtyard, were constructed in the early 17th century; the building is predominately two storeys, with some three storey sections, is rendered with harl. Parts of the gables are crow-stepped. There is a stableyard with a brewhouse and harness room, to the north of the main buildings, a dovecote dating to the 18th century beside the house; the south wing is built on an old, pre-Viking burial ground, thought to be Pictish. Skaill House Official Website Skaill House at undiscoveredscotland.co.uk Information and pictures from Royal Society on the Ancient and Historical Monuments in Scotland The Ghosts of Skaill video by VisitScotland showing Skaill House exterior & interior
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
Vikings were Norse seafarers speaking the Old Norse language, who during the late 8th to late 11th centuries and traded from their Northern European homelands across wide areas of Europe, explored westwards to Iceland and Vinland. The term is commonly extended in modern English and other vernaculars to the inhabitants of Norse home communities during what has become known as the Viking Age; this period of Nordic military and demographic expansion constitutes an important element in the early medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, Kievan Rus' and Sicily. Facilitated by advanced sailing and navigational skills, characterised by the longship, Viking activities at times extended into the Mediterranean littoral, North Africa, the Middle East. Following extended phases of exploration and settlement, Viking communities and governments were established in diverse areas of north-western Europe, Belarus and European Russia, the North Atlantic islands and as far as the north-eastern coast of North America.
This period of expansion witnessed the wider dissemination of Norse culture, while introducing strong foreign cultural influences into Scandinavia itself, with profound developmental implications in both directions. Popular, modern conceptions of the Vikings—the term applied casually to their modern descendants and the inhabitants of modern Scandinavia—often differ from the complex picture that emerges from archaeology and historical sources. A romanticised picture of Vikings as noble savages began to emerge in the 18th century. Perceived views of the Vikings as alternatively violent, piratical heathens or as intrepid adventurers owe much to conflicting varieties of the modern Viking myth that had taken shape by the early 20th century. Current popular representations of the Vikings are based on cultural clichés and stereotypes, complicating modern appreciation of the Viking legacy; these representations are not always accurate — for example, there is no evidence that they wore horned helmets.
One etymology derives víking from the feminine vík, meaning "creek, small bay". Various theories have been offered that the word viking may be derived from the name of the historical Norwegian district of Viken, meaning "a person from Viken". According to this theory, the word described persons from this area, it is only in the last few centuries that it has taken on the broader sense of early medieval Scandinavians in general. However, there are a few major problems with this theory. People from the Viken area were not called'Viking' in Old Norse manuscripts, but are referred to as víkverir,'Vík dwellers'. In addition, that explanation could explain only the masculine and ignore the feminine, a serious problem because the masculine is derived from the feminine but hardly vice versa; the form occurs as a personal name on some Swedish runestones. The stone of Tóki víking was raised in memory of a local man named Tóki who got the name Tóki víking because of his activities as a viking; the Gårdstånga Stone uses the phrase "ÞeR drængaR waRu wiða unesiR i wikingu", referring to the stone's dedicatees as vikings.
The Västra Strö 1 Runestone has an inscription in memory of a Björn, killed when "i viking". In Sweden there is a locality known since the middle ages as Vikingstad; the Bro Stone was risen in memory of Assur, said to have protected the land from vikings. There is little indication of any negative connotation in the term before the end of the Viking Age. Another etymology, one that gained support in the early twenty-first century, derives Viking from the same root as Old Norse vika, f.'sea mile', originally'the distance between two shifts of rowers', from the root *weik or *wîk, as in the Proto-Germanic verb *wîkan,'to recede'. This is found in the Proto-Nordic verb *wikan,'to turn', similar to Old Icelandic víkja'to move, to turn', with well-attested nautical usages. Linguistically, this theory is better attested, the term most predates the use of the sail by the Germanic peoples of North-Western Europe, because the Old Frisian spelling shows that the word was pronounced with a palatal k and thus in all probability existed in North-Western Germanic before that palatalisation happened, that is, in the 5th century or before.
In that case, the idea behind it seems to be that the tired rower moves aside for the rested rower on the thwart when he relieves him. The Old Norse feminine víking may have been a sea journey characterised by the shifting of rowers, i.e. a long-distance sea journey, because in the pre-sail era, the shifting of rowers would distinguish long-distance sea journeys. A víkingr would originally have been a participant on a sea journey characterised by the shifting of rowers. In that case, the word Viking was not connected to Scandinavian seafarers but assumed this meaning when the Scandinavians begun to dominate the seas. In Old English, the word wicing appears first in the Anglo-Saxon poem, which dates from the 9th century. In Old English, in the history of the archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen written by Adam of Bremen in about 1070, the term referred to Scandi
Site of Special Scientific Interest
A Site of Special Scientific Interest in Great Britain or an Area of Special Scientific Interest in the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom and Isle of Man. SSSI/ASSIs are the basic building block of site-based nature conservation legislation and most other legal nature/geological conservation designations in the United Kingdom are based upon them, including national nature reserves, Ramsar sites, Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation; the acronym "SSSI" is pronounced "triple-S I". Sites notified for their biological interest are known as Biological SSSIs, those notified for geological or physiographic interest are Geological SSSIs. Sites may be divided into management units, with some areas including units that are noted for both biological and geological interest. Biological SSSI/ASSIs may be selected for various reasons, which for Great Britain is governed by published SSSI Selection Guidelines. Within each area, a representative series of the best examples of each significant natural habitat may be notified, for rarer habitats all examples may be included.
Sites of particular significance for various taxonomic groups may be selected —each of these groups has its own set of selection guidelines. Conservation of biological SSSI/ASSIs involves continuation of the natural and artificial processes which resulted in their development and survival, for example the continued traditional grazing of heathland or chalk grassland. In England, the designating body for SSSIs, Natural England, selects biological SSSIs from within natural areas which are areas with particular landscape and ecological characteristics, or on a county basis. In Scotland, the designating authority is Scottish Natural Heritage. In the Isle of Man the role is performed by the Department of Environment and Agriculture. Geological SSSI/ASSIs are selected by a different mechanism to biological ones, with a minimalistic system selecting one site for each geological feature in Great Britain. Academic geological specialists have reviewed geological literature, selecting sites within Great Britain of at least national importance for each of the most important features within each geological topic.
Each of these sites is described, with most published in the Geological Conservation Review series, so becomes a GCR site. All GCR sites are subsequently notified as geological SSSIs, except some that coincide with designated biological SSSI management units. A GCR site may contain features from several different topic blocks, for example a site may contain strata containing vertebrate fossils, insect fossils and plant fossils and it may be of importance for stratigraphy. Geological sites fall into two types, having different conservation priorities: exposure sites, deposit sites. Exposure sites are where quarries, disused railway cuttings, cliffs or outcrops give access to extensive geological features, such as particular rock layers. If the exposure becomes obscured, the feature could in principle be re-exposed elsewhere. Conservation of these sites concentrates on maintenance of access for future study. Deposit sites are features which are limited in extent or physically delicate—for example, they include small lenses of sediment, mine tailings and other landforms.
If such features become damaged they cannot be recreated, conservation involves protecting the feature from erosion or other damage. Following devolution, legal arrangements for SSSIs and ASSIs differ between the countries of the UK; the Isle of Man ASSI system is a separate entity. Scottish Natural Heritage publishes a summary of the SSSI arrangements for SSSI owners and occupiers which can be downloaded from the SNH website. Legal documents for all SSSIs in Scotland are available on the SSSI Register, hosted by The Registers of Scotland. Further information about SSSIs in Scotland is available on the SNH website; the decision to notify an SSSI is made by the relevant nature conservation body for that part of the United Kingdom: Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage or Natural Resources Wales. SSSIs were set up by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, but the current legal framework for SSSIs is provided in England and Wales by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, amended in 1985 and further amended in 2000, in Scotland by the Nature Conservation Act 2004 and in Northern Ireland by the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands Order 1985.
SSSIs are covered under the Water Resources Act 1991 and related legislation. An SSSI may be made on any area of land, considered to be of special interest by virtue of its fauna, geological or physiographical / geomorphological features. SSSI notification can cover any "land" within the area of the relevant nature conservation body, including dry land, land covered by freshwater; the extent to which an SSSI/ASSI may extend seawards differs between countries. In Scotland an SSSI may include the intertidal land down to mean low water spring or to the extent of the local planning authority area, thus only limited areas of estuaries and coastal waters beyond MLWS may be included. In England, Natural England may notify an SSSI over estuarial waters and further adjacent waters in certain circumstances (section 28 of The
Captain James Cook was a British explorer, navigator and captain in the Royal Navy. He made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand. Cook joined the British merchant navy as a teenager and joined the Royal Navy in 1755, he saw action in the Seven Years' War and subsequently surveyed and mapped much of the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River during the siege of Quebec, which brought him to the attention of the Admiralty and Royal Society. This acclaim came at a crucial moment in his career and the direction of British overseas exploration, led to his commission in 1766 as commander of HM Bark Endeavour for the first of three Pacific voyages. In three voyages, Cook sailed thousands of miles across uncharted areas of the globe, he mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean in greater detail and scale not charted by Western explorers.
As he progressed in his voyages of discovery, he surveyed and named features, recorded islands and coastlines on European maps for the first time. He displayed a combination of seamanship, superior surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage, an ability to lead men in adverse conditions. Cook was attacked and killed in 1779 during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific while attempting to kidnap Hawaiian chief Kalaniʻōpuʻu in order to reclaim a cutter stolen from one of his ships, he left a legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge which influenced his successors well into the 20th century, numerous memorials worldwide have been dedicated to him. James Cook was born on 7 November 1728 in the village of Marton in Yorkshire and baptised on 14 November in the parish church of St Cuthbert, where his name can be seen in the church register, he was the second of eight children of James Cook, a Scottish farm labourer from Ednam in Roxburghshire, his locally born wife, Grace Pace, from Thornaby-on-Tees.
In 1736, his family moved to Airey Holme farm at Great Ayton, where his father's employer, Thomas Skottowe, paid for him to attend the local school. In 1741, after five years' schooling, he began work for his father, promoted to farm manager. Despite not being formally educated he became capable in mathematics and charting by the time of his Endeavour voyage. For leisure, he would climb Roseberry Topping, enjoying the opportunity for solitude. Cooks' Cottage, his parents' last home, which he is to have visited, is now in Melbourne, having been moved from England and reassembled, brick by brick, in 1934. In 1745, when he was 16, Cook moved 20 miles to the fishing village of Staithes, to be apprenticed as a shop boy to grocer and haberdasher William Sanderson. Historians have speculated that this is where Cook first felt the lure of the sea while gazing out of the shop window. After 18 months, not proving suited for shop work, Cook travelled to the nearby port town of Whitby to be introduced to friends of Sanderson's, John and Henry Walker.
The Walkers, who were Quakers, were prominent local ship-owners in the coal trade. Their house is now the Captain Cook Memorial Museum. Cook was taken on as a merchant navy apprentice in their small fleet of vessels, plying coal along the English coast, his first assignment was aboard the collier Freelove, he spent several years on this and various other coasters, sailing between the Tyne and London. As part of his apprenticeship, Cook applied himself to the study of algebra, trigonometry and astronomy—all skills he would need one day to command his own ship, his three-year apprenticeship completed, Cook began working on trading ships in the Baltic Sea. After passing his examinations in 1752, he soon progressed through the merchant navy ranks, starting with his promotion in that year to mate aboard the collier brig Friendship. In 1755, within a month of being offered command of this vessel, he volunteered for service in the Royal Navy, when Britain was re-arming for what was to become the Seven Years' War.
Despite the need to start back at the bottom of the naval hierarchy, Cook realised his career would advance more in military service and entered the Navy at Wapping on 17 June 1755. Cook married Elizabeth Batts, the daughter of Samuel Batts, keeper of the Bell Inn in Wapping and one of his mentors, on 21 December 1762 at St Margaret's Church, Essex; the couple had six children: James, Elizabeth, Joseph and Hugh. When not at sea, Cook lived in the East End of London, he attended St Paul's Church, where his son James was baptised. Cook has no direct descendants—all of his children died before having children of their own. Cook's first posting was with HMS Eagle, serving as able seaman and master's mate under Captain Joseph Hamar for his first year aboard, Captain Hugh Palliser thereafter. In October and November 1755, he took part in Eagle's capture of one French warship and the sinking of another, following which he was promoted to boatswain in addition to his other duties, his first temporary command was in March 1756 when he was master of Cruizer, a small cutter attached to Eagle while on patrol.
In June 1757 Cook formally passed his master's examinations at Trinity House, qualifying him to navigate and handle a ship of the King's fleet. He joined the frigate