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Captain George Vancouver, RN

King's Lynn, Norfolk, Great Britain

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Location of Statue

George Vancouver was a naval officer and explorer from King's Lynn who sailed with Captain Cook on two of his voyages.

His connection with Norfolk lies in King's Lynn.

George Vancouver was the son of John Vancouver, the Deputy Collector of Customs and Collector of Town Dues at Lynn.

At the age of 14, George Vancouver set sail with Captain James Cook on his ship the 'Resolution' on a four-year expedition which took in the South Pacific, the Antarctic and the South Atlantic.

Vancouver also sailed on Cook's last voyage to the Sandwich Islands (now the Hawaiian Islands) where Cook was killed.

King's Lynn's most famous sailor eventually rose to the dizzy heights of Commander when in 1791 he was sent to explore and survey South West Australia and the west coast of America.

He also led the longest mapping expedition in history. In four-and-a-half years, Vancouver and his crewmen sailed about 140, 000 kilometers and mapped the North American west coast from northern Mexico to southern Alaska. His measurements were so accurate that many can still be used today.


It was George Vancouver who proved that Vancouver Island, off British Columbia was truly an island. It was named in his honour. As was the City of Vancouver in British Columbia and Fort Vancouver in Washington state. George Vancouver eventually died of poor health in May 1798 in Petersham. In 2001 a bronze statue was erected at the quay in King's Lynn as a tribute to the great explorer.

Information from:

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Born King's Lynn 1757     Died Petersham 1798


A great navigator & surveyor

From 1791 to 1795 Captain Vancouver precisely charted many thousands of miles of the northwest pacific coastline from San Diego California to Anchorage Alaska


(To King George III)

Captain Vancouver was not undeserving the honour of trust reposed in him; and that he has fulfilled the objective of his commission from your majesty with diligence and fidelity


(John Vancouver The plinth is of stone from the Pacific West Coast of Canada

Erected in the year 2000

Vancouver, Canada

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Location of Statue

Sculpture by Jim Demetro
Location: 6th & Esther Street, Vancouver Canada

Though the real Captain Vancouver never made it to Vancouver, this nine-foot, 1500-pound bronze piece, sculpted by artist Jim Demetro, made a ceremonial trip on the Columbia River in 2000.

The bronze “Captain George Vancouver” was made possible through the leadership of Avril Massey and the Captain Vancouver Committee, local developer Elie Kassab, and 1,300 additional community donors.

Location of Statue

Vancouver, Canada


Photo Credit: Madeleine de Trenqualye

DESCRIPTION from the Vancouver Heritage Foundation - Heritage Site Finder

Captain George Vancouver of the British Navy visited the West Coast of North America between 1792-94 and is the namesake of the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Vancouver was born in Norfolk, England in 1757 and is most well known for his survey of the west coast of North America. Vancouver departed England in 1791 and his voyage included South Africa, Australia, Tahiti and Hawaii before reaching North America in 1792. Vancouver died in 1798 at the age of 40. As an early European explorer on the West Coast and one of the first Europeans to visit what it now B.C., George Vancouver’s legacy is tied to the colonization of the region.

This statue by noted sculptor Charles Marega was commissioned by the Vancouver Canadian Club. It was unveiled in 1936 by Sir Percy Vincent, Lord Mayor of London, who visited Vancouver during Vancouver’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. The bronze figure standing atop the granite plinth is said to bear little resemblance to Captain George. The sculpture was copied from a maquette, which had been fashioned after a painting.

Charles Marega was born Carlo Marega in Gorizia, an Italian city that was then within the boundaries of the Austro-Hungarian empire. He lived in South Africa briefly before moving to Vancouver in 1909. Marega, whose work includes the lions of the Lions Gate Bridge, was a teacher at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts, which later became Emily Carr University, until his death in 1939.

The Golden Jubilee celebrated fifty years since Vancouver was incorporated in 1886. Described as Vancouver’s “coming-out party” in a 1936 New Year’s Vancouver Sun article, the event took place through July and August of that year. Taking place during the Great Depression, the event was not without controversy. An article from July 9th described a conflict between the Mothers Council protesting evictions of relief families and then-mayor Gerry McGeer. The article reports that the delegation pointed to Golden Jubilee as evidence that more money was available for relief, while McGeer defended the grand celebrations on the basis of job-creation. Nonetheless, the event was popular, with ongoing celebrations all over the city. In addition to the George Vancouver statue, another remnant of the Golden Jubilee is the Lost Lagoon Fountain in Stanley Park.

Information from:

Further Exploration

Charles Marega (1871-1939), Parks Canada,

George Vancouver, Encyclopaedia Britannica,

B.C. law professor says Canada needs to review colonial legacy of public monuments, Global News,

Vancouver Golden Jubilee Society Records, AuthentiCity,

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