George Vancouver, probable
George Vancouver was an English Royal Navy Officer and explorer, best known for navigating and charting the Pacific coasts of North America, the Hawaiian islands, the Sandwich Islands, and the southwestern coast of Australia.

Full Name George Vancouver
Who explorer, Navy officer
Birth Date June 22, 1757
Death Date May 10, 1798
Country England
Born King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK
Died London, England, UK
Cause of Death general ill health


Father John Jasper Vancouver
Mother Bridget Berners Vancouver
Spouse n/a
Siblings Charles Vancouver


In 1770, at the age of 13, Vancouver embarked as midshipman on his first naval service, under James Cook. In 1776, Vancouver again served under Cook on his voyage to Hawaii.

From 1780 - 1782, Vancouver served under George Brydges Rodney in the West Indies.

In 1792, while exploring the coasts of Oregon, Vancouver happened to meet up with American captain and explorer Robert Gray, who was also mapping out the land.

Vancouver was a friend of Alleyne FitzHerbert, 1st Baron St. Helen's, and named Mt. St. Helen's in Washington state after him.

Vancouver was a friend of Harry Burrard, and named the Burrard Inlet in Vancouver in his honor.

While exploring land around present-day Vancouver in 1792, Vancouver ran into another expedition led by Spanish explorer Dionisio Alcala Galiano, who was accompanied by Cayetano Valdes y Flores. He was "mortified" to learn that Galiano had already mapped the area with impressive precision and was busy sending his findings back to Spain, though their meeting was a friendly one.

In 1792, Vancouver met with Spanish commander Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, with the purpose of working out potentially delicate territorial details, such as Spanish explorers naming sites that had already been named by Vancouver, or vice versa. Both men recalled the meeting as being cordial, though little was accomplished.

Upon landing in Hawaii in 1794, Vancouver met with King Kamehameha I and had a very pleasant audience. He stayed in Hawaii as his guest.

In 1795, Archibald Menzies made a legal complaint that a personal servant of his had been forced into service during an emergency on Vancouver's ship, which Menzies had been traveling on.

On various voyages, Vancouver was frustrated by the high-born troublemaker Thomas Pitt, 2nd Baron Camelford, who was serving on his ship. The younger man was disciplined for countless small infractions, which eventually grew so numerous that he was sent home in disgrace. Upon Vancouver's return to London in 1795, Pitt attacked him publically in every way possible, so much so that he became best known as "Vancouver's haranguer." The young man's powerful cousin, Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, took his relation's side and also began to torment Vanouver, attacking him in the press and eventually sending him a strongly-worded letter challenging him to a duel. Vancouver, who was in ill health, declined, but offered to compromise with a formal examination. Instead, Pitt stalked and assaulted Vancouver. In revenge, Vancouver's brother attacked Pitt in the street. The Pitt and Vancouver feud was heavily covered in the press. Before anything could be resolved, legally or otherwise, Vancouver died in 1798.


Seattle, Washington, USA - Explored here, 1792.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.