Sydney Parkinson’s sketchbook


These sketches were intended to prompt Sydney Parkinson’s memory when working later on finished artworks. The drawings here are believed to have been made during the week the Endeavour stayed at Botany Bay. The sketches include men, canoes, shields and a hut.

One of the sketches shows a man with a spear and spearthrower. The spearthrower was commonly used on the east coast. It projected the spear with greater force than if thrown by hand.

Full title:
Sydney Parkinson’s sketchbook
Sydney Parkinson (artist)
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Add MS 9345 f14v

Related articles

The first voyage of James Cook

Article by:
William Frame
The voyages

William Frame, the British Library’s Head of Modern Archives and Manuscripts, gives an account of Cook’s first voyage of 1768-71. Cook was instructed to observe the transit of Venus. But his expedition also had a secret aim to find lands in the south Pacific.

An indigenous Australian perspective on Cook's arrival

Article by:
Dr Shayne T. Williams
People of the Pacific

Dr Shayne T. Williams, Ph.D, looks at how James Cook’s landing in New South Wales, Australia might have been experienced and interpreted by the Gweagal people.