View Full Version : Captain Cook

Robert Sutherland
07-Jan-05, 05:04
Just wondering if anyone out there knows much about a John Sutherland who, it is said, was the first white man to be killed in Australia in 1680 and whose fore-bearer sailed with the famous English Captain Cook? If so, I would be really interested to learn more about John or the relative of his who sailed with Cook.

07-Jan-05, 21:11
Sorry Robert,
your dates are a wee bit out Captian James Cook was not born until 1728 and did not travel to Australia until 1768 - 1771


07-Jan-05, 21:24
check this out there is a full crew list here and there is one Sutherland


07-Jan-05, 22:20
You're correct in what you say Golach, but as Robert points out it was one of John Sutherlands forebearers that sailed with Captian Cook, not John Sutherland himself, so the dates would tie in.

The crew list you refer to is for the Endeavour, Cook sailed on may ships including the Resolution, Adventure and Discover, John Sutherland could have sailed on any one of these. It is possible that John Sutherland met James Cook whilst they were Ordinary seamen under the helm of Captian John Walker cir 1746.

08-Jan-05, 20:20
There is record of an Orcadian seaman that Sailed with Captian Cook during his first voyage. His name was Forby Sutherland, Forby sailed on the Endeavour which set out on a 3 year journey from England on 26th August 1768.
During the brief stay in Botany Bay, on 1st May 1770, seaman Forby Sutherland aged 29, died from tuberculosis and was buried on a beach in this bay. His death was recorded in the ship's log and noted that Captain Cook named this area "Point Sutherland" in his memory.
This southern part of Sydney where Captain Cook first set foot on Australian soil is called Sutherland Shire.
Several other Scottish seamen sailed with Cook, but Forby was the only one north of Inverness.


08-Jan-05, 21:24
In 1606 sailing the "Duyfken", Dutch sea Captian Willem Janszoon was the first European to record his voyages to Australia; thus this is the beginning of Australia's history. Because of his discovery, Australia was first known as "New Holland."

This was not only the first time that Europeans encountered Australia, but also the first time Europeans encountered Australia's native people, the Aborigines. The contact did not go very well. Nine crewmembers of the Duyfken were killed in a fight as the crew attempted to trade. The Aborigines were later referred to as "heathen man eaters" and "Wild Cruel black savages". Janzoon and his crew returned to Europe and had to report this bad news.

If it is correct that John Sutherland was the first white man killed in Australia, then he was killed in 1906 and had sailed on the "Duyfken" with Captian Janszoon. Maybe it was just that he was the first white man killed in that particular year "1680"?

I hope that you do not take offence at my last remark, as Golach points out "your dates are maybe" a wee bit out.

Robert Sutherland
09-Jan-05, 03:18
My dates and information is coming from a cousin in Scotland who is pretty confident that there was a John Sutherland who was the first white man to die in Australia and he says that the date for this is 1680. This death and date has been passed down from his grandfather whom he has confidence in as being accurate. Of course, nothing is for sure and I am open to the possibility that any of the dates may be incorrect. Also, it appears that it was Forby Sutherland who sailed with Captain Cook in or around the year 1768-70. Please note that I have never confused these two individuals (John and Forby) and that I have always maintained that they were different men, but from what I've been told, they are related by blood, either directly (son, grandson, etc) or by being cousins. Apparently John Sutherland is in the Australian history books as being the first white man to die there, according to my cousin. I am now trying to verify this and/or figure out the facts. Any help in this endeavor is greatly appreciated and as far as I am concerned, should be important to anyone from the area (Orkney, Caithness, etc) as well as any and all Sutherland's, as we share our heritage in common.

16-Jun-09, 08:55
I am descended from Sutherlands from Flotta who, according to the family scrap album, are connected to Forby Sutherland. However I can only trace my line as far back as 1800, so I would be very interested to know more about your John Sutherland and his descendents. Then perhaps some connection may be made. Thanks

16-Jun-09, 21:53
There is a display board in the Castlehill Heritage Centre in Castletown about a man named Sutherland who sailed with Captain Cook. Perhaps it would be worth contacting them.