Endeavour Street in Marfell is named after the British Royal Navy research vessel, His Majesty's Bark Endeavour.  Built for the coal trade and launched in 1764 as Earl of Pembroke, the ship was bought by the Royal Navy in 1768.

Captain James Cook commanded the ship on his voyages of exploration between 1768 and 1771.  During this time Cook had sailed around the world, charted much of the New Zealand coastline, and discovered the eastern coast of Australia.

Sailing from Plymouth in August 1868, Endeavour stopped among the Madeira Islands, then continued along the west coast of Africa and across the Atlantic to South America, arriving in Rio de Janeiro on 13 November 1768. The next leg rounded Cape Horn into the South Pacific.

Endeavour reached Tahiti on 10 April 1769, and remained for two months. The transit of Venus across the Sun occurred on 3 June, and was observed and recorded by astronomer Charles Green from Endeavour's deck.  

Sealed orders opened by Cook after leaving Tahiti told him to search for a great southern land.  Guided by the Polynesian navigator Tupaia, the Endeavour reached New Zealand on October 6, 1769, the first European vessel to reach the islands since Abel Tasman's Heemskerck 127 years earlier.

In April 1770, Endeavour became the first seagoing vessel to reach the east coast of Australia, when Cook went ashore at what is now known as Botany Bay.

A replica of the Endeavour was launched in 1994. It visited New Zealand and is berthed alongside the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney Harbour.

This story was originally published in the Taranaki Daily News.

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