He also explored the Hawaiian Islands and the southwest coast of Australia. George Vancouver was born in Kings Lynn on 22 June 1757 as the sixth, and youngest, child of John Jasper Vancouver, a Deputy Collector of Customs, and Bridget Berners. In 1771, at the age of 13, George Vancouver entered the Royal Navy as a young gentleman and he was selected to serve as a midshipman aboard HMS Resolution, on James Cooks second voyage searching for Terra Australis. He also accompanied Cooks third voyage, this time aboard Resolutions sister ship, Discovery, upon his return to Britain in October 1780, Vancouver was commissioned as a lieutenant and posted aboard the sloop Martin initially on escort and patrol duty in the English Channel and North Sea. He accompanied the ship when it left Plymouth on 11 February 1782 for the West Indies, on 7 May 1782 he was appointed fourth Lieutenant of the HMS Fame which was at the time part of the British West Indies Fleet and assigned to patrolling the French-held Leeward Islands. Vancouver returned to England in June 1783, in the late 1780s the Spanish empire commissioned an expedition to the Pacific Northwest. However, the 1789 Nootka Crisis intervened, spain and Britain came close to war over ownership of the Nootka Sound on contemporary Vancouver Island, and of greater importance, the right to colonize and settle the Pacific Northwest coast. Henry Roberts and Vancouver joined Britains more warlike vessels, Vancouver went with Joseph Whidbey to HMS Courageux. When the first Nootka Convention ended the crisis in 1790, Vancouver was given command of Discovery to take possession of Nootka Sound, departing England with two ships on 1 April 1791, Vancouver commanded an expedition charged with exploring the Pacific region. In its first year the expedition travelled to Cape Town, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and he formally claimed at Possession Point, King George Sound Western Australia, now the town of Albany, Western Australia for the British. Proceeding to North America, Vancouver followed the coasts of present-day Oregon and Washington northward, in April 1792 he encountered American Captain Robert Gray off the coast of Oregon just prior to Grays sailing up the Columbia River. Vancouver entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca, between Vancouver Island and the Washington state mainland on 29 April 1792 and his orders included a survey of every inlet and outlet on the west coast of the mainland, all the way north to Alaska. Most of this work was in small craft propelled by sail and oar, maneuvering larger sail-powered vessels in uncharted waters was generally impractical and dangerous. Mount Rainier – after his friend, Rear Admiral Peter Rainier, Discovery Bay, Discovery Island and Port Discovery. Vancouver was the second European to enter Burrard Inlet on 13 June 1792 and it is the present day main harbour area of the City of Vancouver beyond Stanley Park. George Vancouver surveyed Howe Sound and Jervis Inlet over the nine days. Then, on his 35th birthday on 22 June 1792, he returned to Point Grey, here he unexpectedly met a Spanish expedition led by Dionisio Alcalá Galiano and Cayetano Valdés y Flores. For three weeks they cooperatively explored the Georgia Strait and the Discovery Islands area before sailing separately towards Nootka Sound, after the summer surveying season ended, in August 1792, Vancouver went to Nootka, then the regions most important harbour, on contemporary Vancouver Island
A portrait from the late 18th century by an unknown artist believed to depict George Vancouver
In The Caneing in Conduit Street (1796), James Gillray caricatured Pitt's streetcorner assault on Vancouver.