Captain James Cook (1728 - 1779)
Most famous for his three voyages of Pacific exploration, Cook was one of very few men from the lower classes to rise to senior rank in the Royal Navy. He was killed in the Hawaiian islands during his third Pacific voyage with HMS Resolution and HMS Discovery.
Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820)
Independently wealthy, Banks studied at Oxford and travelled to North America as a naturalist in 1766. Banks became very influential after the voyage - he was a trustee of the British Museum, ran the botanic garden at Kew, and was President of the Royal Sociey from 1778 until his death. It was on Banks' suggestion that the first Australian penal colony was founded at Botany Bay.
Daniel Solander (1733 - 1782)
A Swedish pupil of Linnaeus, Solander came to Britain in 1760, where he was employed as an assistant at the British Musuem. He was engaged by Banks to sail with the Endeavour, and after the voyage became Banks' assistant and librarian, even declining a professorship at St Petersburg university to remain in London.
Sydney Parkinson (1745 - 1771 )
Born in Scotland, Parkinson came to London in 1766 and was soon after engaged by Banks to work at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he worked for a year before before joining the Endeavour. One of two on board artists, neither of whom survived the voyage, Parkinson died at sea shortly after leaving Java.