James Hingston (a.k.a. Kingston) Tuckey (August 1776 - October 4, 1816) was an Irish born British Naval officer and explorer active in the early 19th century. Tuckey was the son of a Protestant reverend, James Kingston, of Donoughmore, Ireland. Both of his parents suffered untimely deaths and he was subsequently raised by his grandmother. Turning 17, Tuckey, inspired by a family naval tradition, joined the Royal Navy. His naval career was marked by continuous front line action in various theaters, including the East Indies, India (where he developed Hepatitis), the Red Sea, and Australia. In Australia he was commissioned as the First-Lieutenant of the HMS Calcutta and published his adventures in the 1804 The Account of a Voyage to establish a Colony at Port Phillip in Bass's Strait. In the following year, the HMS Calcutta was captured by French forces and Tuckey, along with most of the other officers and passengers, were imprisoned in the French Citadel of Verdun, where met his wife Margaret Stuart, a fellow prisoner, and prepared Maritime Geography and Statistics, published shortly after his 1814 release. Tuckey's two published works reveal the mind of meticulous and scientific geographer. Tuckey was next commissioned to lead an exploratory mission up the Congo River (or River Zaire) with the mission determine if it communicated with the Niger River. Some of suggest that this commission was viewed as a reward or at least compensation for his long imprisonment, but in fact, given his poor health, it was nothing short of a death sentence. Nonetheless, Tuckey took to the command and the expedition was launched early in 1816. The team reached as far as Nsundi (on map as Soondy N’Sanga), where they were forced to turn back by lack of supplies and general expedition-wide ill health. Most of the expedition ultimately suffered from various tropical illnesses, including Tuckey himself, who died on October 4th at Moanda, on the coast of today's Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tuckey's journals were subsequently published verbatim by the Royal Geographical Society. Curiously, the Tuckey Expedition, though a near total disaster, inspired further British interest in African exploration. Tuckey is sometimes referred to as John Hingston Tuckey. We have been unable to definitively determine which name is correct.

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