power of acquiring knowledge of his profession beyond the average.
About this time Cook's father seems to have given up his position at Airy Holme Farm and turned his attention to building. A house in Ayton is still pointed out as his work, but has apparently been partially rebuilt, for Dr. Young speaks of it as a stone house, and it is now partly brick, but the stone doorway still remains, with the initials J.G.C., for James and Grace Cook, and the date 1755. The old man has been represented as completely uneducated, but this cannot have been true. Colman in his Random Recollections, writing of a visit he paid to Redcar about 1773, relates how a venerable old man was pointed out who:
"only two or three years previously had learnt to read that he might gratify a parent's pride and love by perusing his son's first voyage round the world. He was the father of Captain Cook."
If it is true that he was the son of an Elder of the Scottish Church, it is extremely improbable that he was entirely uneducated,