Image: Captain Cook - Statue: Hyde Park, Sydney A
The 1879 statue of Captain Cook in Sydney’s Hyde Park.
- Stan Florek
- © Australian Museum
The statue of Captain Cook (1728-1779) in Sydney’s Hyde Park was unveiled on 25 February 1879 on the anniversary of his death. It was erected to commemorate Cook`s discovery of the east coast of Australia in 1770. The statue was paid for by public subscription and a New South Wales Government grant - £4400 in total. The Colonial Secretary, Henry Parkes, was involved by contracting a British sculptor. The larger than life bronze sculpture was made by Thomas Woolner (1825-1892) and cast in England. The granite base, of 15 tonnes, was shipped from the Louitt’s quarry near Moruya on the South Coast of New South Wales.
James Cook was a British navigator, explorer, ‘cartographer’, and captain in the Royal Navy. He circumnavigated the globe three times but was killed in Hawaii on his third epic voyage - in an era when most people had only a vague idea of foreign regions, let alone different continents.