An old story passed on

I was looking at an old copy of the Whitby Gazette, at an article about Captain Cook.

I have over the years read many articles about this illustrious gentleman but never read the story of how he ran away to see. I was told the story by an old gentleman way back in 1949. He was born in 1859 and this is the story.

When James Cook was 17 he got a job in an ironmongers, just past the Gazette offices. How long he worked there I do not know. He was just apprenticed in the shop, when one week he got his wages, one shilling.

He had to look after the shop on his own. As he was just passing the time doing nothing he happened to look in the till when he noticed a brand new shilling piece. He took out his shilling and he noticed it was old and dirty so he thought if he exchanged it he would not be doing anything wrong, but when the owner came back he noticed that the new shilling had gone and as James was the only one there he was accused of stealing the shilling.

He tried to explain but they said he had stolen it. At this he decided to run away to sea.

After that is history. I would like it to be true. Could you with all your contacts be able to find out?

S Hobson, Hazel Grove, Bexhill-on-Sea