BY IDA LEE, F.R.G.S.
(MRS. CHARLES BRUCE MARRIOTT.)
THE COMING OF THE BRITISH TO AUSTRALIA,
COMMODORE SIR JOHN HAYES, HIS VOYAGE AND LIFE.
WITH SIXTEEN CHARTS AND ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE ORIGINALS
IN THE ADMIRALTY LIBRARY.
GRAFTON & CO.
69 GREAT RUSSELL STREET
First Published in 1915.
TO THE MEMORY OF MY GRANDFATHER,
ONE OF AUSTRALIA'S PIONEERS.
The objects for which the Lady Nelson's voyages were undertaken render
her logbooks of more than ordinary interest. She was essentially an
Australian discovery ship and during her successive commissions she was
employed exclusively in Australian waters. The number of voyages that she
made will perhaps never be accurately known, but her logbooks in
existence testify to the important missions that she accomplished. The
most notable are those which record early discoveries in Victoria: the
exploration of the Queensland coast: the surveys of King Island and the
Kent Group: the visits to New Zealand and the founding of settlements at
Hobart, Port Dalrymple, and Melville Island. Seldom can the logbooks of a
single ship show such a record. Their publication seemed very necessary,
for the handwriting on the pages of some of them is so faded that it is
already difficult to decipher, and apparently only the story of Grant's
voyages and the extracts from Murray's log published by Labilliere in the
Early History of Victoria have ever before been published. In
transcription I have somewhat modernized the spelling where old or
incorrect forms tended to obscure the sense, and omitted repetitions, as
it would have been impossible to include within the limits of one volume
the whole of the contents of the logbooks. The story of the Lady Nelson
as told by Grant has in places been paraphrased, for he sometimes writes
it in diary form under date headings and at others he inserts the date in
the narrative. The entries from the logbooks of Murray, Curtoys and
Symons, in the Public Record Office, with such omissions as I have
specified, are printed verbatim.
Murray's charts now published are distinctly valuable, as in the fourth
volume of the Historical Records of New South Wales, where they should be
found, it is stated that they are "unfortunately missing."
On my inquiring at the Admiralty, Mr. Perrin, the Librarian, to whom my
cordial thanks are due, made a special search and was fortunate enough to
discover them. Thus, after a long separation, Murray's charts and his
journal are united again in this volume. Perhaps the most important
chart, and the one which should appeal especially to the people of
Victoria, is that of Port Phillip showing the track of the Lady Nelson's
boat when the brig entered the bay for the first time. Murray's log
telling of this discovery ends on March 24th, 1802. In writing later to
the Duke of Portland, Governor King says: "The Lady Nelson's return just
before I closed my letters enabled me to transmit Acting-Lieutenant
Murray's log copies of the discoveries of King Island and Port Phillip.
These important discoveries, being combined with the chart of former
surveys, I hope will convince your Grace that that highly useful vessel
the Lady Nelson has not been idle under my direction." The charts were
sent home in charge of Lieutenant Mackellar, who sailed in the ship
Caroline on March 30th, 1802, six days after the Lady Nelson's return.
Duplicates were forwarded by the Speedy, which left Sydney in June, but a
comparison of those at the Admiralty shows that King added nothing
further to this second series.