Page:The Coming Colony Mennell 1892.djvu/30

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
6
THE COMING COLONY.

was discovered by Vlaming in the Gielvink, and in 1791 Capt. Vancouver discovered King George's Sound, Flinders ten years later taking his vessel, the Investigator, in as far as King George's Island. In the same year (1801) the western coast was visited by the French corvettes Géographie and Naturaliste, the officers, Baudin and Freycinet, giving their names to various points to which they still attach. From 1820 to 1824 the northern coasts were explored and surveyed by Capt. P. G. King, and his work was continued by Captains Whickham and Stokes between the years 1837 and 1843. The colony was first permanently settled from Sydney by Major Lockyer, who in 1826 landed at what is now Albany, with a detachment of the 39th Regiment and a party of convicts, the whole contingent numbering some seventy-five persons in all. Five years later the settlement was transferred to Rockingham, a port about fourteen miles to the south of Fremantle, which was named after Capt. Fremantle of H.M.S. Challenger, who hoisted the British flag near the mouth of the Swan River on a site included within the confines of the present town, which there seems a strong determination to make the main port, not only of Perth, the capital, but of the entire colony. The settle­ment under Major Lockyer had been formed in consequence of rumours of an intended French aggression, and with a view to still further securing the country for British colonists. Capt. Stirling, R.N., was sent from Sydney in 1827 in H.M.S. Success with instructions if he were pleased with the country to select a site for a settlement, at first intended to be a "penal" one, on the western coast. Captain Stirling, whose views were endorsed by Mr. Frazer, the colonial botanist of New South Wales, who accompanied him, gave a glowing report of the country, with the result that on their return to Sydney, after examining the mouth of the Swan River, Governor Darling decided to recommend to the Home Government to form a settlement there on an extended scale. Captain Stirling took the despatch to England, and personally afforded additional information to the Imperial authorities, who resolved to act on the suggestion, and appointed the bearer of the despatch Lieu­tenant-Governor of the infant colony, which was at first styled