Captain Tobias Furneaux (21 August 1735 – 18 September 1781) was an English navigator and Royal Navy officer, who accompanied James Cook on his second voyage of exploration. He was the first man to circumnavigate the world in both directions.
Furneaux was born at Swilly House near Plymouth, son of William Furneaux (1696-1748) of Swilly, and Susanna Wilcocks (1698-1775). He entered the Royal Navy, and was employed on the French and African coasts and in the West Indies during the latter part of the Seven Years' War (1760–1763). He served as second lieutenant of HMS Dolphin under Captain Samuel Wallis on the latter's voyage round the globe (August 1766 – May 1768).
In November 1771, Furneaux was given command of Adventure, which accompanied James Cook (in Resolution) on his second voyage. On this expedition Furneaux was twice separated from his leader (8 February 1773 to 19 May 1773; and 22 October 1773 to 14 October 1774, the date of his return to England). On the former occasion he explored a great part of the south and east coasts of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania), and made the earliest British chart of the same. Most of his names here survive; Cook, visiting the shore-line on his third voyage, confirmed Furneaux's account and delineation of it, with certain minor criticisms and emendations, and named after him the Furneaux Group at the eastern entrance to Bass Strait, and the group now known as the Low Archipelago.
After Adventure was finally separated from Resolution off New Zealand in October 1773, Furneaux returned home alone, bringing with him Omai of Ulaietea (Raiatea). This first South Sea Islander to travel to the Great Britain returned to Tahiti with Cook in 1776–1777.
Furneaux was made a captain in 1775. During the American Revolutionary War, he commanded Siren in the British attack of 28 June 1776 upon Charleston, South Carolina. Siren, with Furneaux in command, was wrecked near Point Judith on 6 November 1777.[Note 1]
See also 
- Sprod, Dan (2005). "Furneaux, Tobias (1735 - 1781)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 5 May 2008.
- Winfield (2007)
- Robert F. Marx (1 December 1987). Shipwrecks in the Americas. Courier Dover Publications. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-486-25514-9. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- Rif Winfield, British Warships in the Age of Sail, 1714 to 1792, Seaforth Publishing, London 2007. ISBN 978-1-84415-700-6.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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