John Robson was born at Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham, England. He became interested in Captain James Cook at a very early age and often visited Great Ayton, where Cook grew up. The Captain Cook Monument on Easby Moor was always visible from Stockton. John Robson travelled extensively in his career as a mining geologist and later as a librarian. He now works at the University of Waikato Library in Hamilton, New Zealand, and is the New Zealand representative of the internationally based Capatain Cook Study Unit. He is also a member of the Hakluyt Society.