British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

You are also with the consent of the natives to take possession in the name of the King of Great Britain of convenient situations in such countries as you may discover, that have not already been discovered or visited by any other European power, and to distribute among the inhabitants such things as will remain as traces and testimonies of your having been there.1 But if you find the countries so discovered are uninhabited you are to take possession of them for His Majesty by setting up proper marks and inscriptions as first discoverers and possessors.

But for as much as in undertakings of this nature several emergencies may arise not to be foreseen, and therefore not particularly to be provided for by instructions beforehand, you are, in all such cases, to proceed as you shall judge most advantageous to the service on which you are employed.

You are by all opportunities to send to our Secretary, for our information, accounts of your proceedings and copies of the surveys and drawings you shall have made; and upon your arrival in England you are immediately to repair to this office in order to lay before us a full account of your proceedings in the whole course of your voyage, taking care before you leave the sloop to demand from the Officers and Petty Officers the Log Books and Journals they may have kept, and to seal them up for our inspection, and enjoining them and the whole crew not to divulge where they have been until they shall have permission so to do. And you are to direct Capt. Clerke to do the same with respect to the Officers, Petty Officers and crew of the Discovery. . . .

Given, etc., the 6th day of July, 1776.

SANDWICH. C. SPENCER. H. PALLISER.

By command of their Lordships.

Php. Stephens.2

Sent the same day to him at Plymouth by Butler the Messenger at ⅟4 before 5 o'clock P.M.


2
THE CHAIRMAN AND DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY TO LORD HILLSBOROUGH 25 October 17813

MY LORD, [East India House, Leadenhall Street.]

In obedience to your Lordship's commands, signified to the Chairman the 18th instant, desiring to be informed when His Majesty's and

____________________
1
The Resolution carried so many animals that Cook remarked that it was like a Noah's Ark, lacking only 'a few females of our own species'.
2
Philip Stephens was Secretary of the Admiralty from 1763 to 1795.
3
Home Miscellaneous Series, 154/6, pp. 277 ft. India Office Library: C.R.O.

-4-

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