Page:The Coming Colony Mennell 1892.djvu/29

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II.


"Ancient History" of Western Australia-Discovery and Exploration—Stir­ling's Glowing Report—The French Frustrated-British Flag raised at Fremantle—Stirling appointed Lieutenant-Governor—Pioneer Settlers arrive at Kangaroo Island—Foundation Day—The First Chaplain, Immigrant Ship, Printing Press, Newspaper, and Bank.


Though the "ancient history" of the colony may be thought to have little interest for the latter-day settler, there is innate in the human mind a turn for genealogical investigation, whether as applied to family or national antecedents. In the case, too, of the colonist, there is a certain gratification in hearing of the hardships and failures undergone by his predecessors on the very spot on which more favourable conditions, or, as perhaps he prides himself, his own superior energy have enabled him to plant himself with security and success. No excuse is thus necessary for commencing with a few pre­liminary words as to the discovery and early history of the colony.

In 1527 a Portuguese navigator named Menezes touched upon its western shores, and gave the name of the Albrolhos to the group of islands lying westward of what is now known as Champion Bay. In 1598 these islands, which contain valuable guano deposits, were sighted by a Dutchman named Houtman, the projector of the Dutch East India Company; and in 1629 Francis Pelsart's frigate Batavia was wrecked upon them. Cape Leeuwin (or Lioness) was first sighted from a vessel of that name in 1622, and in 1644 Tasman, on his second voyage, gave the name of Tasman Land to what is now known as the Kimberley district in the far north. In 1688-9 Dampier in the Roebuck sailed along the north-west coast, entering and naming Shark's Bay, the scene since of a profitable pearl fishery. In 1697 the entrance to the Swan River