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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

The Lords of the Admiralty to Lieutenant Young

The Lords of the Admiralty to Lieutenant Young.

Extract of Instructions to Lieutenant Young, commanding the
Lyon, armed vessel, dated 13th March, 1777.

Whereas in pursuance of the King's pleasure, signified to us by the Earl of Sandwich, his Majesty's sloops named in the margin have been sent out under the command of Captain Cook, in order, during this and the ensuing year, to attempt the discovery of a northern passage by sea from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, and for that purpose to run up as high as the latitude of 65° north, where it is hoped he will be able to arrive in the month of Cook's movements. June next, and there, and as much further to the northward as page 141 in his prudence he shall think proper, very carefully to search for 1777 13 March and explore such rivers or islets as may appear to be of a considerable extent, and pointing to Hudson's of Baffin's Bay, on the North Sea; and upon finding any passage through, sufficient for the purposes of navigation, to attempt such passage with one or both of the sloops, or, if they are judged to be too large, with smaller vessels, the frames of which have been sent out with him for that purpose; and whereas, in pursuance of his Majesty's further pleasure, signified as aforesaid, the armed vessel under your command hath been fitted in order to proceed to Baffin's Bay, with a view to explore the western parts thereof, and to endeavour to find a passage on that side from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, and we have thought fit to entrust you with the conduct of that voyage: You are therefore hereby required and directed to put to sea in the said armed vessel without a moment's loss of time and make the best of your way into Baffin's Bay, and to use your best endeavours to explore the western shores thereof as far as in your judgment the same can be done without apparent risque, and to examine such considerable rivers or inlets as you may discover, and in case you find any through which there may be a probability of passing into the Pacific Ocean you are to attempt such passage, and if you succeed in the attempt, and shall be able to repass it again so as to return to England this year, you are to make the best of your way to Spithead or the Nore, and to remain there until you receive further order, sending us an account of your arrival and proceedings. But if you shall succeed in the attempt, and shall find the season too far advanced for you to return the same way, you are then to look out for the most commodious place to winter in, and to endeavour to return by the said passage as early in the next year as the season will admit, and then to make the best of your way to England as above directed.

In case, however, you should not find, or should be satisfied there is not any probability of finding, any such passage, or finding it you should not be able to get through in the vessel you command, you are then to return to England as before mentioned, unless you shall find any branch of the sea leading to the westward which you shall judge likely to afford a communication between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, and which you shall not be able to explore in the course of this year, it being in that case left to your discretion to stay the winter in the most commodious situation you can find, in order to pursue the discovery next year if you shall find it advisable to do so; and, having discovered such passage or not succeeded in the attempt, you are to make the best of your way back to England as above directed.

Resolution and Discovery.