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Captain Tobias Furneaux (21 August 173518 September 1781) was an
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
navigator A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another.Bowd ...

navigator
and
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
officer, who accompanied
James Cook Captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a milit ...

James Cook
on his second voyage of exploration. He was one of the first men to
circumnavigate Circumnavigation is the complete navigation around an entire island, continent, or astronomical object, astronomical body (e.g. a planet or natural satellite, moon). This article focuses on the circumnavigation of Earth. The first recorded circ ...
the world in both directions, and later commanded a British vessel during the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
.


Early life

Furneaux was born at Swilly House near
Stoke Damerel Stoke, also referred to by its earlier name of Stoke Damerel, is a parish, that was once part of the historical Devonport, Devon, Devonport, England; this was prior to 1914. In 1914, Devonport and Plymouth amalgamated with Stonehouse, Plymouth, ...
, Plymouth Dock, son of William Furneaux (1696–1748) of Swilly, and Susanna Wilcocks (1698–1775).Hough (1995), pages 228-229 He entered the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
and was employed on the
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of co ...

French
and
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
n coasts and in the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
during the latter part of the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
(1760–1763). He served as second lieutenant of under
Captain Samuel Wallis
Captain Samuel Wallis
on the latter's voyage round the globe (August 1766May 1768) and due to Wallis being ill and confined to his cabin, Furneaux was the first European to set foot on
Tahiti Tahiti (; Tahitian ; ; previously also known as Otaheite) is the largest island of the Windward group of the Society Islands The Society Islands (french: Îles de la Société, officially ''Archipel de la Société;'' ty, Tōtaiete mā) a ...

Tahiti
, hoisting a pennant, turning a turf, and taking possession of the land in the name of His Majesty (25 June 1767).


Service with Cook

In November 1771, Furneaux was given command of HMS , which accompanied
James Cook Captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a milit ...

James Cook
(in ) on his second voyage. On this expedition Furneaux was twice separated from his leader (8 February 1773 to 19 May 1773; and 22 October 1773 to 14 July 1774, the date of his return to England). On the former occasion he explored a great part of the south and east coasts of
Van Diemen's Land Van Diemen's Land was the original name of the island of Tasmania during the European exploration of Australia in the 19th century. A British settlement was established in Van Diemen's Land in 1803 before it became a separate colony in 1825. ...
(now
Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atol ...
), and made the earliest British chart of the island. Unfortunately he mapped several place names incorrectly. He glimpsed the opening to
D'Entrecasteaux Channel The D'Entrecasteaux Channel is a body of water located between Bruny Island and the south-east of the mainland of Tasmania Tasmania (; abbreviated as Tas, nicknamed Tassie, xpz, Lutruwita; Palawa kani: ''Lutruwita'') is an island States ...
and thought that was
Storm Bay The Storm Bay is a large bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers ...

Storm Bay
. He thought he had rounded
Cape Pillar Image:Cape Pillar.jpg, 400px, Cape Pillar seen from Cape Hauy track Cape Pillar is a rural locality in the local government area (LGA) of Tasman Council, Tasman in the South-east LGA Region, South-east LGA region of Tasmania. The locality is about ...

Cape Pillar
and was on the east coast just south of Cape Frederick Hendrik, whereas he had turned left one stop early and was at
Bruny Island Bruny Island ( Nuenonne: Lunawanna-alonnah ) is a island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features o ...
, where he named Adventure Bay for his ship. The cape to his north he assumed to be Cape Frederick Hendrik, with Frederick Hendrik Bay on the other side of it, so he put both names on his chart. Off to the north-east, Furneaux could see where
Maria Island Maria Island (or ''Toarra-Marra-Monah'' or ''Tiarra-Marra-Monah'' in Paredarerme language, Paredarerme) is a mountainous island located in the Tasman Sea, off the east coast of Tasmania, Australia. The island is contained within the Maria Island ...

Maria Island
should be, but there seemed to be a few extra sights of land, so he changed the name to Maria Isles.Sketch of Van Diemen Land, National Library of Australia Map nk-2456-50 Most of his names here survive; Cook, visiting the shore-line on his third voyage, confirmed Furneaux's account and delineation of it, with certain minor criticisms and emendations, and named after him the
Furneaux Group The Furneaux Group is a group of approximately 100 island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features ...
at the eastern entrance to
Bass Strait Bass Strait () is a sea strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait ...

Bass Strait
, and the group now known as the Low Archipelago. After ''Adventure'' was finally separated from ''Resolution'' off
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
in October 1773, Furneaux returned home alone, bringing with him
Omai Mai (c.1751-late 1779), known as Omai in Britain, was a young Ra'iatean man who became the second Pacific Islander Pacific Islanders, Pacificer, Pasifika, or Pasefika, are the peoples of the Pacific Islands This is a list of islands in ...
of Ulaietea (Raiatea). This first South Sea Islander to travel to
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
returned to Tahiti with Cook on 12 August 1777. Also of note is that Furneaux successfully introduced domestic animals and potatoes into the South Sea Islands.


Later commands

Furneaux was made a navigator in 1775. During the American Revolutionary War, he commanded HMS ''Syren'' in the British attack of 28 June 1776 upon
Charleston, South Carolina Charleston is the largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County, South Carolina, Charleston County, and the principal city in the Charleston metropolitan area, South Carolina, Charleston–North Charle ...

Charleston, South Carolina
. ''Syren'', with Furneaux in command, was wrecked near Point Judith, Rhode Island on 6 November 1777.Winfield (2007) The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) has published a detailed history of the ''Syrens activities in the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
, as well as some of the original documents related to her loss, confirming 6 November as the correct date. By 10 November Furneaux and his crew were prisoners in
Providence, Rhode Island Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, prima ...

Providence, Rhode Island
, awaiting later exchange. RIMAP has also noted that the ''Syren'' is one of at least five ships associated with Captain Cook and his circumnavigating men with an historical connection to the State of Rhode Island. Furneaux died unmarried in 1781 and was buried in
Stoke Damerel Church Stoke Damerel Church, also known as the Church of St Andrew with St Luke, is a Church of England church in Stoke, Plymouth, Stoke, Plymouth, Devon, England. Dating from the 15th century, the church has been Listed building, Grade II* listed since 19 ...
where he had been christened.


See also

*
European and American voyages of scientific exploration The era of European and American voyages of scientific exploration followed the Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, Age of Contact or Contact Period), is an informal and loo ...


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References

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External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Furneaux, Tobias 1735 births 1781 deaths People from Plymouth English explorers Circumnavigators of the globe Explorers of Australia English explorers of the Pacific
Royal Navy officers {{CatAutoTOC Royal Navy personnel, Officers British military officers Navy officers by nation ...
James Cook British navigators Furneaux Group Royal Navy personnel of the American Revolutionary War