Browse the documents Browse the documents Search
Advanced search
The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
You are here: Flinders > Browse the Documents > Documents > Documents
All pages | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | Back to Index

Instructions to Flinders from Admiralty for voyage of discovery in HMS Investigator (FLI03)

Annotation on reverse:
Instructions for
the Investigator's voyage
of discovery

      By the Commiƒsioners for executing
      the Office of Lord High Admiral of
      the United Kingdom of Great
      Britain and Ireland &c

      Whereas the sloop under your
Command has been fitted and stored
for a Voyage to remote Parts; And
whereas it is our intention that
you shall proceed in her to the
Coast of New Holland for the
purpose of making a complete
Examination and survey of the
said Coast, on the Eastern side of
which His Majesty's Colony of
New South Wales is situated; You
are hereby required and directed to
put to sea the first favorable
opportunity of Wind and Weather,
and proceed with as little delay
as poƒsible in execution of the
service abovementioned, repairing
in the first place to Madeira and

the Cape of Good Hope in order to take
on board such supplies of Water
and Live Stock as you may be in
want of.

      Having so done you are to make
the best of your way to the Coast of
New Holland, running down the
said Coast from 130 Degrees of East
Longitude to Baƒses Straits (putting
if you shall find it neceƒsary, into
George the thirds' Harbour for
Refreshments and Water previous
to your commencing the survey)
and on your arrival on the Coast,
use your best endeavours to discover
such Harbours as may be in those
Parts; and in case you should
discover any Creek or opening likely
to lead to an inland Sea or Strait,
you are at liberty either to examine
it, or not, as you shall judge it

most expedient, until a more
favorable opportunity shall enable
you so to do.

      When it shall appear to
you neceƒsary, you are to repair
to Sydney Cove for the purpose of
refreshing your people, refitting the
sloop under your Command, and
consulting with the Governor of
New South Wales upon the best
means of carrying on the survey
of the said Coast; and having
received from him such informa
tion as he may be able to commu
nicate, and taken under your
command the Lady Nelson Tender
which you may expect to find at
Sydney Cove, you are to recommence
your survey by first diligently
examining the Coast from Baƒse's
Straits to King George the third's
Harbour, which you may do, either

by proceeding along shore to the
Westward, or, in case you should
think it more expedient, by pro-
-ceeding first to King George's Sound
and carrying on your survey from
thence to the Eastward.

      You are to repair from time
to time, when the season will no
longer admit of your carrying on
the survey, to Sydney Cove, from
whence you are to return in the
execution of these Instructions,
so soon as circumstances will
enable you so to do.

      You are to be very diligent
in your examination of the said Coast,
and to take particular care to
insert in your Journal every
Circumstance that may be useful
to a full and complete knowledge
thereof, noting the Winds & Weather
which usually prevail there at

different Seasons of the Year, the Productions
and comparative Fertility of the soil,
and the manners and Customs of
the Inhabitants of such Parts as
you may be able to explore; fixing
in all cases, when in your power,
the true positions both in Latitude
and Longitude of remarkable
Head Lands, bays and harbours,
by astronomical observations, and
noting the variation of the Needle,
and the right direction and course
of the Tides and Currents, as well
as the perpendicular height of the
Tides; and in case during your
Survey, any River should be
discovered, you are either to proceed
yourself in the Tender, or to direct
her Commander to enter it, and
proceed as far up as circumstances
will permit; carefully laying

down the Course and the Banks
thereof, and noting the Soundings,
going on shore as often as it
shall appear probable that any
considerable variation has taken
place either in the productions of
the soil, or the Customs of the
Inhabitants, examining the Country
as far inland as shall be thought
prudent to venture with the
small number of Persons who
can be spared from the Charge of
the Veƒsel, wherever there appears
to be a probability of discovering
any thing useful to the Commerce
or manufacture of the United

      When you shall have com-
pletely examined the whole of the
Coast from Baƒse's Straits to
King George the third's Harbour

you are, at such time as may be
most suitable for the purpose
(which may be seen on a reference
to Mr Dalrymple's Memoir, an
Extract of which accompanies
this) to proceed to and explore
the North West Coast of New
Holland, where, from the extreme
height of the Tides observed by
Dampier, it is probable that
valuable Harbours may be

      Having performed this service
you are carefully to examine the
Gulph of Carpentaria, and the
parts to the Westward thereof,
between the 130th and 139th Degrees
of East Longitude; taking care to
seize the earliest opportunity to do
so, when the seasons and prevalent
Winds may be favorable for

visiting those Seas.

      When you shall have explored
the Gulph of Carpentaria and the Parts
to the Westward thereof, you are to
proceed to a careful investigation
and accurate survey of Torres Straits;
and when that shall have been
completed, you are to examine and
survey the whole of the remainder of
the North, the West, and the Northwest
Coasts of New Holland, and especially
those parts of the Coast most likely
to be fallen in with by East India
Ships in their outward bound
Paƒsages. And you are to examine
as particularly as Circumstances
will allow, the Bank which extends
itself from the Tryal Rocks towards
Timor, in the hope that by ascer-
-taining the depth and nature of
the soundings thereon, great advan-
tage may arise to the East India
's Ships, in case that Paƒsage
should hereafter be frequented by them. So

      So soon as you shall have com-
-pleted the whole of these Surveys &
Examinations as above directed, you
are to proceed to, and examine very
carefully the East Coast of New
Holland seen by Captain Cooke [sic], from
Cape Flattery to the Bay of Inlets;
and in order to refresh your People,
and give the advantage of variety
to the Painters, you ^ are at liberty to
touch at the Fejees or some other
of the Islands in the South Seas.

      During the Course of the survey,
you are to use the Tender under
your Command as much as poƒsible;
moving the Investigator onwards
from one Harbour to another as
they shall be discovered in order
that the Naturalists may have time
to range about, and collect the produce
of the Earth, and the Painters allowed
time to finish as many of their
works as they poƒsibly can on the
spot where they may have been

began: And when you shall have
completed the whole of the surveys
and Examinations as abovementioned,
you are to lose no time in returning
with the sloop under your Command
to England for further orders, touching on
your way, if neceƒsary, at the Cape of
Good Hope, and repairing with as
little delay as poƒsible to Spithead
and transmit to our Secretary an
account of your arrival.

      During your continuance on the
service abovementioned, you are, by
all proper Opportunities to send to
our Secretary for our information
accounts of your proceedings and
copies of the Surveys and Drawings
which you shall have made, and
such Papers as the Naturalist and
the Painters employed on board may
think proper to send home; and
upon your arrival in England you
are immediately to repair to this
Office in order to lay before us a full
account of your proceedings in the

whole course of your Voyage; taking care
before you leave the sloop to demand
from the Officers and Petty Officers the
Log Books and Journals which they
may have kept and such Drawings
and Charts as they may have taken
and to seal them up for our inspection.

      And whereas you have been furnished
with a Plant Cabbin [sic] for the purpose
of depositing therein such Plants, Trees,
Shrubs &c, as may be collected during the
Survey abovementioned, you are, when
you arrive at Sydney Cove, to cause the
said Plant Cabbin [sic] to be fitted up by
the Carpenter on the Quarter Deck of
the sloop you command, according to
the intention of its construction; and
you are to cause Boxes for containing
Earth to be made and placed therein,
in the same manner as was done in
the Plant Cabbin [sic] carried out by the
Porpoise storeship, which Plant Cabbin [sic]
you will find at Sydney Cove.

      You are to place the said Plant
Cabbin [sic] with the Boxes of Earth
contained in it, under the charge and

care of the Naturalist and Gardener, and
to cause to be planted therein during
the survey such Plants, Trees, Shrubs
&c, as they may think suitable for
the Royal Gardens at Kew; and you
are, as often as you return to Sydney
Cove, to cause the said Plants to be
deposited in the Governor's Garden
and under his Charge, there to remain
until you sail for Europe: and so
soon as you shall be preparing to
return Home, you are to cause the
small Plant Cabin to be removed
from the sloop's Quarter Deck, and
the one brought out by the Porpoise
(which is something larger) to be
placed there in its' stead; in this
lastmentioned Cabin the Naturalist
and Gardener are to place the Plants,
Trees, Shrubs &c, which may have
been collected during the survey, in
order to their being brought Home
for His Majesty; and you are so
soon ass the sloop shall arrive at

any Port in England, to give notice
of her arrival to His Majesty's
Botanic Gardener at Kew, and to
transmit to him a List and State
of the said Plants &c, which the
Gardener employed under your
Orders, is to furnish you with for
that purpose.

      Given under our Hands
the 22d of June 1801
            [signatures of St Vincent (First Lord of the Admiralty),
            and T Troubridge (Admiralty Commissioner) have been cut away]

Matthew Flinders Esqr
Commander of His Majesty's       [signed] J Markham
Sloop Investigator

      at Spithead

By Command of their Lordships

      [signature of Evan Nepean (Secretary to the Admiralty) has been cut away]

All pages | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | Back to Index
View Print Friendly Version

Related people
Dalrymple, Alexander
Dampier, William
Flinders, Matthew
Markham, John
Jervis, John, Earl of St Vincent
Nepean, Evan
Troubridge, (Admiral) Sir Thomas

Cape of Good Hope
(King) George 3rd Harbour
Mavis Enderby
Sydney Cove
King George's Sound
Gulf of Carpentaria
Torres Straits
Tryal Rocks
Cape Flattery
Bass Strait

Lady Nelson

Words and phrases
East India Co

Related Documents
Other documents written in 1801