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Captain Cook Facts

captain cook facts

St Germains-574

St Germains-574

There are many historical facts connected with this small seaside town, not generally known, which would make the resort very interesting to visitors, besides the inhabitants. But I think the most interesting feature of all is the historic old church on the cliff, and visitors would be well to pay a visit to the ancient landmark.
The church of Marske stands at a little distance from the town, not far from the brink of the cliffs, and the spire affords a conspicuous to mariners. Within the last few years considerable repairs and restoration work has been done. The tower is unique in that it is a replica of the one that guided our sailors along the coast hundreds of years before the lighthouse was known. The ancient building is also one of the very few which has its three-decker pulpit. This also has been repaired. The church is undoubtedly of great antiquity; at least we have evidence of its foundation before the Norman Conquest.
It was dedicated to St. Germain by Elgelric, Bishop of Durham and was given together with the will of Marske, and the lands adjoining, to the convent of Durham; but it does not appear to have been long in the possession of that church, for soon after the Conquest, on the foundation of the priory of Guisborough, it was given by Robert De Brus, the founder, to that monastery, and being approached thereto, and a vicarage ordained. The first vicar was Stephen de North Alverton. The rectorial rights and patronage remained in the priory, until the dissolution, when they came to the crown and were afterwards granted to Sir William Pennyman - and from him came to Anthony Lowther, Esq.
A very interesting fact connected with this ancient church, which further goes to show its antiquity, is the following extract from a very old and reliable authority.
"Copsi, whilst deputy to Tosci, gave to the church of St. Cuthbert, and those who served at his' shrine, for ever, his Church of Marske' dedicated to St. Germain by Bishop Egelric; together with the will of Marske and lands thereto adjoining; and as a peruetual testimony of such his grant, he gave therewith a large silver bowl or cup, to be preserved in the church as a lasting memorial."
I have of course, refrained from giving the quotation as it was actually written, but readers will agree that it is a very interesting fact.
I cannot say whether this bowl is in existence to-day. If it is, it would add greatly to the historical value.
In the tower of this historical church hangs a pre - Reformation bell, one of, if not the oldest in Yorkshire. It bears the inscription, "Maria Demus Laudes Omnipeteuti Deo." Another interesting item connected with the church of St. Germain, is that it records the last earthly reference to the site of that illustrious Yorkshireman Captain James Cook. For many years the exact spot where he was buried was lost. Charles Dickens visited the graveyard in the fifties but failed to find the grave, also Ord, the great historian, failed to find it. But through the untiring work of the Rev. A. Waton, a small wooden cross was created on the site of the long lost grave.
I will quote one of the references to Cooke senior, which may add a little more interest to that lonely grave in St. Germains Churchyard. "His eightieth summer had nearly passed away, and only two or three years previously, he had learned to read that he might gartify a parent's wish and love by perusing his son's first voyage round the world. He was the father of Captain Cook." The last scene of all ends with the entry under burials in St. Germains Church at Marske.
"April ye 1st (1779), buryed James Cook of Redcar."

Spiny Spider (Austracantha minax) - Cairns Botanical Gardens

Spiny Spider (Austracantha minax) - Cairns Botanical Gardens

I found this small spiny spider last Sunday afternoon at the Gardens It was tiny. The first 2 images show the pattern on its body and the third one shows it in relative size on my hand. It was a bit tough trying to get it in supermacro mode as it kept moving. Here are some facts about the spiny spider.


Spiny Spider (Austracantha minax) (from Internet)

This strange little spider has the distinction of being the first spider in Australia collected by Captain Cook's crew. It is an unmistakable spider with a colourful hard outer shell painted in vibrant yellow, horizontal stripes against a deep maroon background. The small (6-10mm/?-? inch) body and very short legs are also maroon. A total of six spines protrude from the sides and bottom end of the 'shell' and this seems to dissuade birds from making a meal out of them.

Commonly seen in the forest or in your backyard, the Spiny Spider is not toxic but has a sharp bite. Its web is usually not far from the ground, often being attached to shrubs or fences so it is an easy spider to find.

Habitat and Biology
Also known as the Christmas spider or jewel spider, the spiny spider is found throughout most of Australia. It appears to prefer to live in shrubby woodlands, and is often found in colonies where large numbers of individuals congregate to construct their webs. Each spider makes its own individual web, but laced together the webs become large imposing structures capable of enshrouding entire bushes and causing annoyance to bushwalkers. Egg sacs are red brown in colour and vary in shape from pointed at each end to circular in shape. They are normally attached to a twig on the periphery of the web.

Male: Similar to female.
Female: Cephalothorax black. Abdomen black with a mottled yellow and white pattern of variable extent. Some specimens are completely black. Abdominal surface with a smooth enamelled appearance. Legs orange.

Abdomen with six large projecting spines, cephalothorax small, legs short and stout. Male much smaller than female.

Body Length
Male: 3mm
Female: 9mm

Web type
Orb web. These spiders often occur in colonies with multiple overlapping webs.

This spider is rarely known to bite; however, the bite is recorded as mildly painful with a local reaction.

captain cook facts

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