Phillip Parker King

(1791—1856) naval officer and hydrographer

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(1791–1856), son of Governor Philip Gidley King, was born at Norfolk Island, where his father was lieutenant-governor. Trained as a surveyor, King was given command of the cutter Mermaid in 1817 to explore the north-western coast of Australia, the first of four such voyages he made between then and 1821. In 1826 he published Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia, partly illustrated by his own sketches. His connection with Australia was resumed in 1832 when he returned to the colony as a substantial landowner; in 1834 he became resident commissioner of the Australian Agricultural Company, which he had joined as a shareholder in 1824. King's exploits are discussed in G.C. Ingleton's Charting a Continent (1944) and G.S. Ritchie's The Admiralty Chart: British Naval Hydrography in the Nineteenth Century (1967). Dorothy Walsh edited The Admiral's Wife: Mrs. Phillip Parker King (1967).

From The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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