John Gore (Royal Navy officer, died 1790)

John Gore by John Webber, 1780

Captain John Gore (died 10 August 1790) was a British American sailor who circumnavigated the globe four times with the Royal Navy in the 18th century and accompanied Captain James Cook in his discoveries in the Pacific Ocean.
Although little is known about John Gore before his service with the Royal Navy, it is believed he was born in the British Colony of Virginia in either 1729 or 1730. He first appears in the record books in 1755, joining HMS Windsor at Portsmouth as a midshipman.
Five years later Gore took his lieutenant’s exam and was appointed master’s mate of HMS Dolphin. Aboard the Dolphin Gore circumnavigated the globe twice—first under John Byron and then Samuel Wallis. His experience in the Pacific Ocean and on extended navy expeditions led to him being called up to join James Cook’s mission to record the Transit of Venus in Tahiti and search for Terra Australis in 1768 aboard HMS Endeavour. On Endeavour, Gore was initially third-in-command (i.e. 3rd Lieutenant) behind Cook (1st Lieutenant) and Zachary Hicks (2nd Lieutenant). After the death of Hicks on the return voyage to England on 26 May 1771, Gore became second-in-command (2nd Lieutenant) [1]
Gore had previously been part of the Royal Navy crew aboard Wallis’s Dolphin that had “discovered” Tahiti and he became valuable to Cook for his knowledge of the island. In 1769 Gore became the first recorded person on the expedition to shoot and kill a person of Māori descent, following an altercation over a piece of cloth as the Endeavour charted the coast of New Zealand. Later, on 14 July 1770 Gore became famous for being the first person to shoot and kill a kangaroo (for scientific research) as the expedition made its way up the eastern seaboard of Australia.
Returning to England, in 1772 Gore joined the botanist Joseph Banks (who had also been on Cook’s first Pacific voyage) in a private scientific expedition to Iceland and the Hebrides. Gore and Banks may have become friends as evidence shows that Banks was the executor of Gore’s will. The trip did not return until after Cook had sailed on his second Pacific voyage.
However, in 1776 Gore answered the call from Cook and the admiralty once again and joined HMS Resolution as First Lieutenant for Cook’s third voyage. As the Resolution explored the Pacific in search of the famed Northwest Passage, Gore would sight the American continent of his birth from the west coast. Later, following Cook’s dea