James Cook went to Canada in 1758, where he soon showed marvellous skill in mapmaking. By 1768 he was sailing to explore the South Pacific. In 1770, he annexed both the North Island and the South Island of New Zealand for Britain; discovered the east coast of Australia; sailed through the Great Barrier Reef opposite Queensland; and hoisted the British flag on Possession Island off Cape York, claiming the whole of the eastern coast of Australia for Britain. Accordingly, it is from no later than that very moment onward — that British Common Law began to operate 'Down Under.'
During his second voyage (1772-75), Captain Cook almost circumnavigated the World. This time, he bypassed the southern coast of Australia even south of the Antarctic Circle. After exploring the South Pacific, during 1777 he landed in Tasmania (thereby asserting Britain's authority there too). Therafter, he continued to chart the Pacific — and died during 1779 in Hawaii. That place, though now a Republic and part of the U.S.A., still brandishes Britain's Union Jack in the top left-hand corner of its own State Flag, to this very day.