British Empire
The rise of the British empire - Australia
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  simplified transcript - source1  
Instructions given to Captain Cook in 1769 on his voyage to Australia
(Catalogue ref: ADM 2/1332)
You are also, with the agreement of the natives, to take possession in the name of the King of Great Britain of some convenient places in this country. If you find the country uninhabited, then take possession of the country for King George and set up markers and notices that we are the discoverers and owners of the country ......

You will also observe with accuracy the situation of any islands you discover on your voyage which have not already been found by Europeans. You should take possession of any islands which seem to be important or worthwhile, but do not do this if it likely to distract you from the main aim of the voyage - the discovery of the southern continent.

You are to send by all proper methods to the Secretary of the Royal Society copies of the observations you have made of the movement of the planet Venus and you should also send any copies of drawings or surveys you have made. As soon as you return to England you should immediately come to this office to give a full report of everything you have seen to the Royal Society. You should also take the log books or journal which the officers on your ship have kept, for us to look at. You should also urge the officers and crew to say nothing about where they have been.
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