Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 15.06.53CAPTAIN James Cook and Napoleon Bonaparte’s differing experiences of the island of St Helena will be explored in a Local History Month event.

The two men both spent time on the island, in the Atlantic Ocean, 40 years apart from one another and an illustrated talk on the topic will take place at Middlesbrough’s Captain Cook Birthplace Museum on Friday, May 15.

The event has been organised as part of the town’s Local History Month festival but also to mark next month’s bi-centenary of the Battle of Waterloo.

It was in 1775, nearing the end of his second great Pacific voyage, that Captain Cook visited St. Helena.

Despite being wined and dined by the governor John Skottowe, whose father Thomas Skottowe was the patron who paid for Cook’s education, Cook was at first met with a somewhat frosty reception as a result of his apparent controversial comments about certain aspects of life on St.Helena in the published account of his first great Pacific voyage – which Cook did not write and had not seen when he visited the island.

This is in stark contrast to the experience of the Emperor of the French, Napoleon Bonaparte, who in 1815 was exiled to St. Helena after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

The once-great leader lived in virtual seclusion on the island, surrounded by only a few loyal followers, until his death six years later.

The illustrated talk by Senior Curator of the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Phil Philo, will bring to life the two men’s differing experiences and observations of life on the island.

The talk will take place on at 2pm on Friday, May 15, at the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, and is part of Local History Month in Middlesbrough.

For more information call the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum on 01642 311211.