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Historical Records of New Zealand

D. Erskine to Earl Bathurst

D. Erskine to Earl Bathurst.

At the Earl of Buchan’s, Dryburgh Abbey, By St. Boswell’s, N.B., June 22d, 1822.

My Lord

I hope you will forgive a very humble indeviduel presuming to suggest any measure to Your Lordship, but as I understand page 582 New Zealand is intended to be the destination of future (14 years) convicts and those for longer periods, as that island (or rather two islands very close together) was particularly paid attention to in exploring by Capt. Cook, I think some one colony of the British dominions should bear his name, one of the greatest circumnavigators this country ever produced. The one island, with submission to Your Lordship’s better judgement, ought to be called Cook’s Island and the other lesser one James’s Island, the chief town Cooksborough, and the same in the lesser island Martinville, from Martin,* in Cleveland, the place where Capt. Cook was born. This would be a proper compliment to the memory of the discoverer of the great South Sea Archipeligo, and so great an honor as he was to his country.

My Lord, &c.,

Dav. Erskine

(A former schoolfellow of Your Ldp. while Lord Apsley at Rebonvilles, 17 Cav. Str.)

P.S.—It would also be honorable to the memory of Capt. Cook, to offer a seniority, with any number of acres of land His Majesty might chuse to give, to any of his (Cook’s) male or female descendents who continued to be called by his name and went to this new colony, making them next in rank to Kts., and taking the step of seniority to all others; it would introduce a rank in the coloney that would be useful to it. The straight, I believe, between the two islands are already called by Capt. Cook’s name. I again intreat your Lordship will forgive (…) great a liberty as I have taken.

The Rt. Honle. the Earl of Bathurst, Secretary of State for the Colonial Department, &c.

* The village was named Marton.—F.M.B.