News and press releases

  • Royal Mail Group
    2 August 2018
    Royal Mail celebrates 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s Endeavour voyage with Special Stamps
  • A set of 10 stamps will be issued to mark Captain Cook setting sail in one of the greatest voyages of discovery of all time aboard HM Bark Endeavour
  • The stamps include a selection of the original drawings and paintings of the indigenous peoples, landscapes and flora and fauna, some of which had never been seen before by Europeans
  • The stamps and souvenir products can be pre-ordered now from www.royalmail.com/captaincook and are available from 7,000 Post Offices nationwide from 16 August 2018
Royal Mail is issuing a set of stamps to mark the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook setting sail in one of the greatest voyages of discovery of all time aboard HM Bark Endeavour - with nearly 100 men including astronomers, artists and scientists. 
 
The ten stamp set, four of which are presented in a miniature sheet, will include a selection of the original drawings and paintings of the indigenous peoples, landscapes of the Pacific and flora and fauna, some of which had never been seen before by Europeans, and which amazed the scientific establishment at the time. 
 
Also featured are Cook himself, natural history artist, Sydney Parkinson and naturalist, Joseph Banks as well as an illustration of a Tahitian Mourner by Tupaia, a Polynesian priest who joined the voyage as a navigator and translator. 
 
During the expedition, Cook and his men initiated the first European contact with Eastern Australia, mapped New Zealand and observed the transit of Venus across the Sun.
 
The Endeavour returned to the UK on 13 July 1771 after circumnavigating the globe, mapping over 5000 miles of coastline, and on board were 3000 specimens for scientific examination and hundreds of drawings which fascinated the public and amazed the scientific establishment.
 
Cook’s pursuit of new knowledge and information helped to correct the positions of many Pacific islands which had been incorrectly placed by earlier travellers. Ultimately, Cook’s voyage produced Pacific maps based on accurate information rather than conjecture.  
 
Philip Parker, Royal Mail, said: “Our striking new stamps mark the 250th anniversary of one the most important voyages of discovery of all time. On board the Endeavour were scientists and artists who recorded their findings and the ship brought back thousands of specimens and illustrations which amazed society”. 
 
The stamps and souvenir products can be pre-ordered now from www.royalmail.com/captaincook and are available from 7,000 Post Offices nationwide from 16 August. 
 
Ends
 
ISSUED BY:
Royal Mail Press Office on 2 August 2018
Natasha Ayivor 
100 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0HQ
Tel: 02074498250
 
About Royal Mail Special Stamps 
For more than 50 years, Royal Mail’s Special Stamp programme has commemorated anniversaries and celebrated events relevant to UK heritage and life. Today, there are an estimated 2.5 million stamp collectors and gift givers in the UK and millions worldwide. Her Majesty The Queen approves all UK stamp designs before they are issued.
 
About Royal Mail plc
Royal Mail plc is the parent company of Royal Mail Group Limited, the leading provider of postal and delivery services in the UK and the UK’s designated universal postal service provider. UK Parcels, International and Letters (“UKPIL”) comprises the company’s UK and international parcels and letters delivery businesses operating under the “Royal Mail” and “Parcelforce Worldwide” brands. Through the Royal Mail Core Network, the company delivers a one-price-goes-anywhere service on a range of parcels and letters products. Royal Mail has the capability to deliver to more than 29 million addresses in the UK, six days a week (excluding UK public holidays). Parcelforce Worldwide operates a separate UK network which collects and delivers express parcels. Royal Mail also owns General Logistics Systems (GLS) which operates one of the largest ground-based, deferred parcel delivery networks in Europe.