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Historical Records of New Zealand

Governor King to The Duke of Portland.* (King Papers.)

Governor King to The Duke of Portland.* (King Papers.)

Sydney, New South Wales, 29th March, 1802.

My Lord,—

The vessel in which L’t McKellar takes his passage, not being ready to sail before to-morrow, enables me to inform page 233 your Grace that the Lady Nelson returned here on the 23rd instant, having been absent five months executing the service I had the honor to inform your Grace of in a former letter. With this I transmit Acting-L’t Murray’s journal, and copies of his charts of discoveries he has made in the straits that separate New Holland from Van Dieman’s Land, and although the bad weather and contrary winds he met with has prevented him from executing the orders he sailed under so fully as might have been wished, yet I hope his survey of the east and north coasts of King’s Island, lying in the center of the west entrance of the straits, and having described another very noble and spacious harbour (Port Phillip) within the straits, which are both so fully described in his journal and the charts, with the other objects of his researches, will serve to assure your Grace that no time has been lost in putting His Majesty’s Instructions on that behalf into execution; and as Mr. Murray, who has served eight years in the Navy, and passed for a lieutenant, has acquitted himself very much to my satisfaction and, I trust, to the public advantage in what he has done, I hope there will be no impropriety in my respectfully requesting your Grace’s recommendation for his being confirmed as a Lieut’t in the Royal Navy, and appointed to the command of the Lady Nelson.

I am sorry the vessel’s sailing so soon prevents those surveys being connected with the other parts of the straits; but if the charts and journals now sent, and those constructed before the Lady Nelson’s return, are put into the hands of Mr. Dalrymple, hydrographer to the Admiralty, a chart sufficiently correct may be compiled therefrom for present purposes until further discoveries are made, which chart will be of the utmost service to ships coming here from England.

I have sent the accompanying packet to the secretary of the Admiralty, which I have left open for your Grace’s perusal.

The Lady Nelson continues in excellent condition, and only wants a partial caulking and new sails (the latter of which I shall hardly be able to supply her with for the want of canvas) to proceed on further service.

This detention also gives me an opportunity of informing your Grace of the Colonial schooner’s return from Norfolk Island on the 25th instant. A copy of the L’t-Govr’s public letter and returns I have the honor to enclose, by which you will observe the great success the South Sea whalers have had off Norfolk Island and New Zealand.

I have, &c.,

Philip Gidley King.

* A letter of similar purport was also sent by Governor King to Secretary Nepean, of the Admiralty.