British Empire
The rise of the British empire - Australia
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  full transcript - source1  
Instructions given to Captain Cook in 1769 on his voyage to Australia
(Catalogue ref: ADM 2/1332)
Source 1a

You are also with the consent of the Natives to take Possession of convenient Situations in the Country, in the Name of the King of Great Britain; Or, if you find the Country uninhabited, take Possession for His Majesty by setting up proper Marks & Inscriptions, as first Discoverers & Possessors.


You will also observe with accuracy the Situation of such Islands as you may discover in the course of your Voyage that have not hitherto been discovered by any Europeans, & take Possession for His Majesty and make Surveys & Draughts of such of them as may appear to be of consequence, without suffering yourself however to be ......

Source 1b

thereby diverted from the object which you are always to have in view, the discovery of the Southern Continent so often mentioned.


You are to send by all proper Conveyances to the Secretary of the Royal Society, Copies of the Observations you shall have made of the Transit of Venus; and you are at the same time to send to our Secretary, for our information, Accounts of your Proceedings, & Copies of the Surveys & Drawings you shall have made. 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 Vessel to demand from the Officers & Petty Officers the Log Books and Journals they may have kept, and to seal them up for our inspection; and enjoyning Them, and the whole Crew, not to divulge where they ......
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