Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Matthew Flinders - Rough draft of fragments of 'A Voyage to Terra Australis', ca. 1809-1814
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To the right hon. George John, Earl Spencer, the right hon. John, Earl of St. Vincent, the right hon. Charles Philip Yorke, and the right hon. Robert Saunders, Viscount Melville, who, as first Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, successively honoured the Investigator's voyage with their patronage, this account of it is respectfully dedicated, by Their Lordships most obliged, and most obedient, humble servant Matthew Flinders

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(As the introduction commences with page 1, I do not know how far a pagination here will be proper; but suppose it may be done to the preface, although omitted at the table of contents)

The publication in 1814 of a voyage commenced in 1801, and of which all the essential parts were concluded within three years, requires some explanation. A Shipwreck followed by and a long imprisonment prevented my arrival in England until the latter end of 1810; much had then been done to forward the account, and the charts in particular were nearly prepared for the engraver; but it was desirable that the astronomical observations, upon which so much depended, should undergo a recalculation, and the lunar distances have the advantage of being compared with the observations made at the same time at Greenwich; and in July 1811 the necessary authority was obtained from the Board of Longitude. This delay was greatly A considerable delay hence arose, and it was prolonged by the Greenwich observations being found to differ so much from the calculated places of the sun and moon, given in the Nautical Almanacks of 1801, 2 and 3, as to make require a great now considerable alterations in the longitudes of places settled during the voyage; and a make considerable alterations in the longitudes of places settled during the voyage; and a re reconstruction of all the charts and finding this repetition of my labour becoming thence becoming hence indispensable to accuracy, I wished also to employ in it corrections of another kind, which before had been adopted only in some particular instances

A variety of observations with the compass had shown this instrument the magnetic needle to differ from itself sometimes as much as six, and even seven degrees, in or very near the same place, and the differences appeared to be subject to regular laws; but it was so extraordinary in the present advanced state of navigation, that they should not have been before discovered and a mode of preventing or correcting them ascertained, that my deductions, and almost the facts were distrusted; and in the first construction of the charts I had feared to deviate much from the regular usual practice. Application was now made to the Admiralty for experiments to be made tried with the compasss on board different ships; and the results in five instances cases being conformable to one of the three laws before deduced, which alone could be tried was susceptible of proof in England, the whole were adopted without reserve, and the variations and bearings taken throughout the voyage underwent a systematic correction. From these causes the reconstruction of the charts could not be commenced before 1813, which, when the extent of them is considered, will explain why the publication did not take place sooner; but it is hoped that the advantage in point of accuracy will amply compensate the delay

Besides these instances of deviation from correcting the lunar distances and the variations and bearings, there are some other particulars, both in the account of the voyage and in the atlas, where their example the practice of former navigators has not been strictly followed. Latitudes, longitudes and bearings, so

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so important to the seaman and uninteresting to the general reader, have hitherto been interwoven in the text; they are here commonly separated from it, by which the one will be enabled to find them more readily, and the other perceive at a glance what may be passed. Having I heard it declared that a man who published a quarto volume without an index ought to be set in the pillory, and being unwilling to incur the full rigour of this sentence, I have affixed a running title to the wor has been affixed to all the pages; on one side is expressed the country or coast, and on the opposite the particular part where the ship is lying at anchor or which is the immediate) subject of examination; this, it is hoped, will answer the most essential main purpose of an index, without swelling the volumes. Longitude is one of the most essential, but at the same time least certain data in hydrography; the man of science therefore requires something more than the general result of observations before giving his unqualified assent to their accuracy, and the progress of knowledge has of late been such, that a commander now wishes to know the foundation upon which he is to rest his confidence and the safety of his ship; to comply with this laudable desire, the particular results of the observations by which the most important points on each coast are fixed in longitude, as also the means used to otain them, are given at the end of the volume wherein that coast is described, as being there of most easy reference.

The deviations in the Atlas from former practice, or rather the additional marks used, are intended to make the charts contain as full a journal of the voyage as can be conveyed in this form; a chart is the seaman's great, and often sole guide, and if the information in it can be rendered more complete without introducing confusion, the advantage will be admitted by those who are not opposers of all improvement. In closely following a track before laid down upon a chart, the seamen often runs at night, unsuspicious of danger if none be marked; but some parts of that track were run in the night also, and there may consequently be rocks or shoals, as near even as half a mile, which might prove prov fatal to them; it therefore seems proper that night tracks should be distinguished from those of the day, and they are so in this Atlas, I believe for the first time. A distinction is made between the situations at noon where the latitude was observed, and those in which none could be obtained; and the positions fixed in longitude by the time keepers are also marked in the track, as are the few points where a latitude was obtained from the moon.

It has appeared to me, that to show the direction and strength of the winds, with the kind of weather we had on when running along these coasts, would be an useful addition to the charts; not only as it would enable those who may navigate by them alone to form a judgment

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No. 2
Magnetical Appendix

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+The prosecution of This inquiry was attended with many difficulties, and no satisfactory conclusion could be drawn until a great variety of observations were collected; it then appeared however, that when the ship's head was on the east side of the meridian the differences were the same mostly always one way, and when on the west side they were always the contrary, whence I judged

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(Continue the pagination, and leave no more space between No. 1 and 2 than between two chapters)



No. 2. (Type one size smaller)

On the errors of the magnetic needle on ship board, and in the vicinity of land compass arising from attractions within the ship, and others from the magnetism of land; with precautions for obviating their effects in marine surveying.

Differences of variation from changing the deviation of the Investigator's head, or the place of the compass. A standard mean proportion established for the differences at the binnacle, in each hemisphere. Mode in which the observed, has been corrected to the true variation, in this voyage, and the proper variation found for the bearings in the survey. Similar errors have existed in other ships. Analogy between the attraction of iron in the ship, and of the land, with exceptions. Precautions necessary in the use of the compass in marine surveying.

Several Repeated instances Several have been mentioned in the course of this voyage, where the compass showed a different variations on the direction of the ship's head being was changed, and some, where differences took place on removing the compass when on being removed from one part of the ship to another; In the English Channel for instance off the Start, thus off the Start, where the true variation was about 251/2º west, observations on the binnacle gave 291/2º, whilst others taken upon the booms before the main mast, sixty-eight miles lower down Channel, gave only 24º; and in the experiment made with five compasses, Vol. I. p. 18, the mean difference between the variation at the binnacle and on the booms was 4º.37' the same way greater than on the booms. Finding that the situation of the compass was thus an object of importance, I determined in the survey of the coasts of Terra Australis, very early in the voyage to keep place it always upon the binnacle, both when taking bearings for the survey, and when observing azimuths or amplitudes; nor, in any observations taken by myself, was it ever displaced except by way of experiment; but the officers occasionally took variations observed from different parts of the ship, when the sun could not be seen from the binnacle, until they were at length convinced that such observations were of no utility, either to the survey or for ascertaining the true variation.

It was not enough that the compass should always [indecipherable words] the same when in use; for since changing soon became evident, however, that fixing keeping the compass to one spot was not sufficient alone to insure accuracy; a change in the direction of the ship's head was also found to make a difference in the needle it became and it was necessary to ascertain what the quantity was, and which way, that a proper correction the nature and proportional quantity of this difference before a remedy might be made could be applied. + This could not be done, in a satisfactory manner, until towards the conclusion of the survey, when a great variety of observations were collected; but it very soon appeared that the iron in the ship had an attraction on the needle, and drew it forward from the binnacle towards the main mast; but there was ,however this remarkable distinction
Vol. II 3 U 513

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+for although the two attractions were on opposite sides of the compass, they were still in the same continued line, though on opposite sides of the compass;

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Errors in variation On ship-board

distinction, - in the northern hemisphere it was the north end of the needle which was attracted, and in the southern hemisphere it was the south end. This In the instance off the Start, before [indecipherable word] when the ship's head was West in the Channel the north end of the needle had been drawn forward, or to the left of North, nearly 4º., and the west variation thereby increased to 291/2º; with the head East, it would be drawn to the right of its natural position, and the variation diminished to about 211/2º; but at North, the attraction in the ship was in the same line with the magnetic poles of the earth, and would therefore produce no change. in the direction of the needle. The same thing took place at South +; and throughout the voyage I found, that variations taken with the head at North and at South both agreed very nearly in themselves and with the observations on shore near the same place, when such observations were not affected by local attractions.

But although the errors from the true variation were always the same way in the same hemisphere, when the head was at West, and when it was East, they were always the contrary, yet the quantities varied with the situation of the ship, being greater in high, and less in low latitudes; and yet they did not increase and diminish in proportion to the latitude. After much examination and comparison of the observations, and some thinking on the subject, I found that the errors had a close connexion with the dip of the needle. When the north end of the needle had dipped, it was the north point of the compass which had been attracted by the iron in the ship; and as that dip diminished, so had the attraction, until, at the magnetic equator, where the dipping needle stands horizontal, there seemed to be no attraction. After passing some distance into the southern hemisphere, and the south end of the needle dipped, our observations again showed errors in the compass; but of a contrary nature to what they had before been, for the west variation was now too great when the ship's head was eastward. These errors increased as the dip augmented; until, having and on arriving arrived in Bass' Strait, where the south dip is nearly as great as the north dip in the English Channel, the attraction produced almost as much error as when we left England, but it was of an opposite nature. On advancing turning northward again, along the east coast of New South Wales, the dip of the south end of the needle and the attraction of the [indecipherable word] iron upon the south point of the compass diminished together, as nearly in equal proporitions as the accuracy of our observed variations could be depended on; and I therefore considered the connexion between them to be so far certain, as to make the dip one datum in reducing the observed, to the true variations.

Another point of equal importance remained to be known: The compass needle stood right in both hemispheres when the ship's head stood was at North or South, because the attraction in the ship was in a line with the magnetic poles of

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+ At or near the binnacle, the north point of the compass

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Errors in variation On ship-board

poles of the earth and it erred most on one side when the head was at West and went on the other when it was at East; but what was the proportion of error at the intermediate points, between the magnetic meridian and East and West? Unfortunately, the direction of the ship's head when observations were taken, had not been particularly marked in the first part of the voyage, nor always in the latter part; and in gathering it from the courses steered when under way, and from the direction of the winds and tides when at anchor, there was often a good deal of uncertainty; but it was evident, that the quantity of error increased as the angle between the ship's head and the magnetic meridian became greater and that when the head was on the western side of the meridian, the error was of the same kind as at West, and on the eastern side, as at East. After some consideration, it appeared to me that the magnetism of the earth and the attraction forward in the ship must act upon the needle in the nature of a compound force; and that the errors produced by the attraction should be proportionate to the sines of the angles between the ship's head and the magnetic meridian. I tried this upon many observations where the direction of the head was least doubtful, and found the differences to correspond as nearly as could be expected, and sometimes exactly; and it was therefore [indecipherable word] seemed as a probable [indecipherable word] amongst my data for correcting the variations, that the error produced at any direction of the ship's head, was would be to the error at East or West, at the same pl dip; as the sine of the angle between that direction and the ship's head and magnetic meridian, was to the sine of eight points, or radius. And thus According to this, when the error was ascertained at any given direction, more especially at East or West where it was greatest, it might be found at any direction required, by inspection in the Traverse Table.

Soon after my arrival in England, I made application was made to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to have experiments made tried on board some of His Majesty's ships, that this law might be verified; and they were pleased to order them to be tried at Sheerness, Portsmouth and Plymouth. and I was present at the two first ports, when a series of observations were made in five different ships vessels; and the The general results, so far as they are necessary to the preent explanation, were these.

1st + The north end of the compass needle at, or near to, the binnacle, was attracted forward in all the ships; but the quantity of error produced, on one side when the [indecipherable word] head was East, and on the other when West, varied from 61/2º. to 0º.21'.
2nd When the compass was placed in other parts of the different ships, the attraction was sometimes forward and sometimes aft; but always aft from the fore castle. The error at some of the stations was greater than at the binnacle, and at others less.
3rd The errors were least when the ship's head was at, or near to North and or South, and

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+ the error for eight points at each dip being reduced to parts of that dip, a medium of the whole was taken to serve as a standard of correction for and considered to be the standard radius [indecipherable word] applicable to all situations. These two tables are here inserted for the satisfaction of naval and philosophical readers; and no further explanation of them seems requisite, than that when the errors of observation were to the right they are marked + and - when to the left

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Errors in variation On ship-board

and greatest when it was at, or near to East or West; and they increased at all the stations, as the head was made to deviate from the least to the greatest, as the ship's head was veered to the right or the left, and points of least error to the gr towards the greatest, the increase of error was found to be in proportion to the sines of the angles of deviation.

This last was the particular subject upon which I was most anxious of my anxiety; and being then satisfied of the certainty of that the law before deduced I proceeded to establish a mean proportion between the errors for eight points in the Investigator, and the dip of the needle, that all my observations might be corrected in one uniform ratio, which had not before been done. A selection was made for the purpose, of all those observations from analogy was certain, I employed it upon these observations taken to find a standard correction for all my observations in the Investigator. For this purpose a selection of them was made where the ship's head was in the most opposite directions points and furthest from the meridian, and where the true variation could be ascertained within a small quantity; the differences between the observed and true variations gave the errors, at these points and when the head had not been at East or West, they [indecipherable word] were proportioned to eight points by the sines of [indecipherable word] the angles or radius by means the sines of the Traverse Table angles. These observations were collected into tables, one for the north, and another for the southern magnetic hemisphere, and classed according to the dips of the needle; and + for the satisfaction of naval and philosophical readers, they are here given.

The first eight columns require no explanation. The column of variation supposed true, is filled up, either from what was known, - from what was observed near the same place with the ship's head near to the magnetic meridian, or otherwise from observations taken with the head in nearly opposite directions, or at an equal number of points on each side of the meridian. * The tenth column contains the differences between the true and observed variations, which are called Errors of observation; when these errors are to the right they are marked + and - when to the left. In the eleventh column, the errors of observation are reduced up to eight points, or radius, by means of the Traverse Table; but the mean radius from all the observations taken near the same place, is alone inserted. The Dip is mostly filled up from what was observed in this voyage. The last column expresses near what land the observations were made, and whether under sail or at anchor.

After the errors for eight points are obtained at the different dips, from as many observations as could be found suitable to the purpose, they are reduced to parts of those dips for the advantage of taking a medium which shall be may is applicable to all situations; and this is done at the end of each table.

*The mean of two variations or bearings taken with the head in directly opposite points, will be the correct variation or bearing however much the attraction in the ship may make them differ from each other.

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Errors in variation On ship-board

Observations taken at different dips of the needle in the Northern magnetic Hemisphere from which are deduced the errors of variation at the Investigator's binnacle on changing the direction of when the ship's head from the magnetic meridian to was at East or West. at different dips of the needle in the Northern magnetic Hemisphere

(This table to be in the same type and figures as the tables of App. No. 1)

[Table not reproduced - please check original]

At dip 72º.,error for eight points 3º.52', or in parts of the dip ,0537
-- 1.311/2 --- ,0526
Mean error for eight points in parts of the dip ,0531

These are all the observations taken in the northern hemisphere, where there was any certainty of knowing the true variation; for not being then aware of the difference which changing the direction of the ship's head produced, I did not seek to multiply the observations, nor to take them at opposite directions points. * (See last page) In the southern hemisphere, the survey of Terra Australis required the variation to be frequently observed, and it will be seen in the following table what considerable differences arose on the direction of the ship's head being changed; and it will also be remarked, that they errors were of an opposite nature to those in the northern hemisphere, and decreased with the dip of the needle. It cannot be supposed, that observations taken mostly at sea, by various persons, and without any other objective view than that of obtaining the variation, can always be correct much nearer than one degree, but with this necessary allowance, which every person [indecipherable words] seaman will be ready to make, the observations will be found to support, I think fully, the system which has been deduced from them

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Errors in variation

Observations taken at different dips of the needle in the Southern magnetic Hemisphere, from which are deduced the errors of variation at the Investigator's binnacle when on changing the direction of the ship's head from the magnetic meridian was at to East or West. at different dips of the needle in the Southern magnetic Hemisphere

[Tables not reproduced - please check original]

* In the column of observers
C means Ccommander, F lieutenant Flinders, and T Mr. Thistle the master.

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2nd note
# This example is taken from the first observation in the table for the Southern Hemisphere. has served for this example. The true variation is not there taken at 1º.57' but at 1º.41' east; for it could not know be exactly what it was known until the standard was fixed. Another observation, with the head S.E., was taken at two leagues from the same place, and gave variation 0º.50' west; and from them both it was, that I judged the variation there to be 1º.41' east: it appears to have been 1º.44' east from the mean of both observations.

1st note
# The most essential observations are these given, but not all. It is probable, that on account of the astronomical observations made on board the Investigator, will be published by order of the Board of Longitudes and of this the table of variations will no doubt make a part

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On ship-board

Observations on the Southern magnetic Hemisphere, continued

[Tables not reproduced - please check original]

The medium error for eight points deviation of the ship's Investigator's head on either side of the magnetic meridian, was therefore very nearly one-twentieth part of the dip; and (,0498 called) ,05, the decimal expression of it, is the common multiplier to the dip for obtaining the radius of error at any situation in the southern hemisphere; as the (,0531 called) ,053 from the first table, is the common multiplier from England to the magnetic equator. Had the observations in both hemispheres been equally numerous, the multipliers might perhaps have been exactly the same, but it is also (possible also that they might have been more different, for the removing of four guns from the quarter deck into the hold, which was done after the northern observations were taken, was likely to make some alteration change in the attraction of the iron in the ship.
The mode

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Errors in variation On ship-board

The mode in which In correcting the variations given in the voyage, have been corrected in this and the preceding volume, to what it is presumed they would have been if observed with the ship's head in the magnetic meridian, is this the following plan was used. From With the dip of the needle, as near as it could be known, at the place of observation and the common multiplier, for that hemisphere the radius, or the error for eight points is found, and was obtained; with this, taken as a distance, with and the direction of the ship's head as a course, gives the correction was found in the departure column of the Traverse Table; this variation and being applied to the variation observed, either to the right or left, according as the dip in was north or south and the head on the east or west side of the meridian, it gave the true variation. An example may be useful to illustrate.
(Example. The dip being 66º. south, and the ship's head W. by S., the variation was observed to be 5º.11' east; required the true variation?
Dip 66º. x ,05 = error for eight points 3º,30 = {3º.18'=} 198'.
Course 7 points and distance 198 = departure 194', or 3º.14'
Then, as in south dip the south end of the needle is was drawn forward, or in this case to the west, and north end goes went to the east, the east variation observed was too great, and must be reduced 3º.14'; and 5º.11' observed, - 3º.14' correction, = 1º.57' east, the true variation. # Had the north end of the needle dipped, and all other circumstances been the same, the correction 3º.14' would have been additive; as it would also, had the head been E. by N. or E. by S., instead of W. by S.

To ascertaining the proper variation to be allowed on bearings for the survey, I was obliged to go through a double process; unless where variations happened to have been observed with the ships head in the same direction, or at an equal number of points on the same side of the magnetic meridian, as when the bearings were taken, in which case the variation observed was that which was to allowed upon the be allowed bearings. But in all other cases it was necessary to find, from the nearest observations on each side first 1st what was the true variation, and from thence second 2nd what it would be with the ship's head in the given direction. I will take an example in
[Example. Suppose that with the ship's head W.S.W., the variation was observed to be 29º.12' west in the English Channel, where the dip is 72º. North; on board the Investigator; and I wished to know what variation is to be allowed upon a set of bearings taken when the head was N.E.1/2 E. find the true variation
(Dip 72º. x ,053 = error for eight points 3º,816 = (3º.49' =) 229'.
Course 6 points, distance 229' = departure 212', or 3º.32' correction.
Being in north dip, the north end of the needle was drawn forward, that is westward in this case, and the west variation observed was too great; and must be reduced therefore 29º.12' observed, - 3º.32' correction = 25º.40' the true west variation
2nd. To find from thence what is to be allowed with the head at) N.E.1/2 E.
Course 41/2 points, distance 229' = departure 177', or 2º.57' correction.
With the head N.E.1/2 E, the north end of the needle at the binnacle would be drawn eastward, and the west variation be less than the true; therefore, true variation 25º.40' - 2º.57' = 22º.43' to be allowed, deduced from 29º.12' observed.

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+ Some doubts may be entertained by persons little accustomed to accuracy of observation will be disposed to doubt whether the differences found in the azimuths and amplitudes on changing the direction of the ship's head, really took place in the bearings themselves; and with the same constancy; for their satisfaction some examples are a few instances are therefore subjoined, in which

+ [Tables not reproduced - please check original]

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Errors in variation On ship-board

This operation will at first seem complex and tedious to the seaman; but when the a common multiplier is once found obtained and the principle of its use understood, it is neither more tedious nor complex will be found not more troublesome than the working a meridian altitude for the latitude; and the accuracy required in common cases is is generally much less.

+ Some doubts may, not improbably, be entertained, whether such differences in bearing could really have taken place on changing the direction of the ship's head; I shall therefore give some examples where, in standing towards the shore, bearings were taken the instant before tacking from the shore and so soon as the ship was round and the compass steady, the same objects were again set. Differences arose in all the bearings took place without exception, and they were all always the same way; but some of the objects were being too near for the bearing not to be affected by a small change in the ship's place, and therefore the differences are [indecipherable word] taken from those only are selected whose distance was more considerable. The first examples [occurred whilst beating against a southern wind near the Capes Jaffa and Lannes on along that part of the south coast of Terra Australis discovered by the French, where the dip is nearly 67º.; and as objects of comparison that it may be seen how near the bearings coincided with the azimuths and amplitudes, the differences which should result from the common multiplier and sines of the angles are placed against those which were found in the bearings are added to the table.

+ [Tables - crossed out - not reproduced - please check original]

(Vol. II. 521 3 X)

Another example occurred whilst working up to King's Island, in Bass' Strait, where the dip is 68º.; and when the decrease and the variation was ?toward; on changing the ship's head from West to S.E.1/2 S., the decrease of east variation from five bearings was 4º.48'; from multip the common multiplier it would be 5º.33'.

The bearings therefore showed differences the same way, and nearly the same in quantity as the azimuths and amplitudes did; that they should do so exactly, is not to be expected; for if azimuths, and especially amplitudes taken at sea with the present compasses, cannot be depended upon nearer than to half a degree on either side, as I believe they cannot, even under the most favourable circumstances, the best bearings set by hand and in haste, are likely to err a degree on either side, and more in many cases two degrees where there is much motion; and it is only by taking the medium of several differences, that any thing like an accurate comparison can be established.

After this exposition of the errors produced in the Investigator's compasses by the attraction of the iron, and of the method employed to obviate their effects on the survey, the reader will probably have some curiosity to know whether similar errors have taken place it will be asked whether anything similar has been found in other ships, especially in those sent on discovery

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+ most general

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Errors in variation On ship-board

discovery; and if so, whether their observed variations and survey-bearings have been corrected accordingly; and if it be usual, at this day, in His Majesty's ships, or others, to make allowance for any such error? were submitted to any regular system of correction? It does appear that similar errors have been noticed in ships employed on discovery, as well as also in others, and that they probably exist in all ships, in a greater or less degree; but as before this time, they were not perceived to follow any regular laws, no correction could be made, and, consequently, there is often much had hitherto been applied; and it naturally follows, that there should be frequent discordance between the bearings given in captain Cook's voyages and others, and the charts which accompany them. nor, up to the year ?1802? 1812?, do I know of any instance where allowance has been made to counteract the attraction of the iron, either in His Majesty's ships or any others. The effect which these deviations in the compass seem and the consequence to have produced, has hitherto been not a system to explaining and ?correcting them, but that the compass had suffered in the estimation of experienced seamen, as being, within certain limits, [indecipherable word] radically imperfect instrument; There are few experienced seamen who have not remarked occasional differences in the compass; but the + sole result of their observations seems to have been an opinion, that within some undefined and variable limits this instrument is radically was radically imperfect; and it has not been un and it is has been not unusual practice, when an observed variation differed much from what is was thought to be the truth, to reject it, as having been either erroneously taken or bad from some unknown cause, and it is not entered in the journal. To this injudicious practice, than which nothing can more tend to stifle inquiry, and consequently prevent the advancement of knowledge, there are however many honourable exceptions; and at the head of which these must be placed the immortal Cook. In page 49, of the Introduction to the Astronomical Observations made in his captain Cook's second voyage, published 1777 page 49, is the following passage from the pen of Mr. Wales, astronomer on board the Resolution.

"In the Channel of England, the extremes of the observed variations were from 19º.3/8 to 25º.: and all the way from England to the Cape of Good Hope, I frequently observed differences nearly as great, without being able, any way, to account for them; the difference in situation being by no means sufficient. These irregularities continued after leaving the Cape, which, at length, put me on examining into the circumstances under which they were made. In this examination it soon appeared, that when most of those observations were made, wherein the greatest west variations had happened, the ship's head was North and Easterly; and that when those, where it was least, had been observed, it was South and Westerly." (The greatest west variations in the southern hemisphere were observed with the head East, on board the Investigator, and the least with the head West.) "I mentioned this to captain Cook, and some of the officers, who did not at first seem to think much of it; but as opportunities happened, some observations were made under those circumstances, and very much contributed to confirm my suspicions; and throughout the whole voyage I had great reasons to believe, that variations observed with a ship's head in different positions, and even in different parts of her, will differ very materially from one another; and much more will

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Errors in variation. On ship-board.

more will variations observed on board different ships, which I now find fully verified, on comparing those made on board the Adventure with my own, made about the same time" in the Resolution.

Mr. Wales did not quit the subject here. In the Introduction to captain Cook's third voyage, published in 1785, is a paper from the same careful observer, citing a variety of cases wherein differences were found in the variations of the compass. These cases are as follow.
1st. Putting the ship's head a contrary way : differences 3º. to 6º., and
even 10º.
2nd. At different times of the same day : differences 3º. to 7º.
3rd. Being under sail, and at anchor in a road-stead: difference 5º.
4th. On board different ships : differences 3º. to 5º.
5th. Near the same place at different times in the voyage : 4º. and 5º., or upwards.
6th. In different compasses : 3º. to 6º.

That the variation should be different on changing the direction of the ship's head or the place of the compass, and also on board different ships, is perfectly reconcileable to the explanation I have given; but that it should differ vary so much at different times of the same day, or year, - when under sail and at anchor, - or even in different compasses, much surprised me, if as is stated, all other circumstances were the same. I was therefore induced to examine the instances, quoted under each case; and found great reason to believe, not only that the direction of the head was changed in most, if not all of those where great differences had been observed, but also that the differences themselves were conformable to what had taken place upon the binnacle of the Investigator. The work variations, observed with the head westward, being too great in the northern, and too little in the southern hemisphere, and there with the head eastward, being the contrary.

Mr. Wales goes on to observe, "It is not necessary to account for these differences in the observed variations in this place, nor yet to point out the reasons why such anomalies have not been noticed in observations of this kind before. I shall however remark, that I have hinted at some of the causes in my introduction to the observations which were made in captain Cook's second voyage; and many others will readily offer themselves to persons who have had much practice in making these observations, and who have attentively considered the principles upon which the instruments are constructed, and the manner in which they are fabricated. Nor is it at all surprising, that the errors to which the instruments and observations of this kind are liable, should not have been discovered before; since no navigators before us ever gave the same opportunity, by multiplying their observations, and making them under such a variety of circumstances as we did."

[Page 23]
* In the sketch given for elucidation, the ship at the position C is represented to be steering S.W., and at the position D, N by E., thence hence probably the difference of bearing.

[Page 24]
Errors in variation On ship-board

That the compasses, even in the Royal Navy, and to this day, are the worst constructed instruments of any carried to sea, and often kept in a way to deteriorate, rather than to improve their magnetism, cannot be denied; but the errors arising from the badness of the compasses would not have been reducible to regular laws as those were in the Investigator, and appear to be in the three ship's commanded by captain Cook. It seems indeed extraordinary, that with the attention paid by Mr. Wales to the subject, he should not have discovered, or suspected, that the attraction of the iron in the ship was the primary or and general cause of the differences so frequently observed; nor have perceived that the differences varied proportionally to the direction of the ship's head and to the dip of the needle, and were of an opposite nature in the two hemispheres. But it should be recollected, that the apparently contradictory phænomena which occur in most branches of science, at first frequently bewilder the explorer of nature inquirer in a labyrinth which appears inexplicable where pursuit seems to be hopeless; and that when one general cause is found to explain all the contradictions, to have hit upon the clue always seems to be the most simple of imaginable things: The explorer appears so easy that any one might have found it, the inquirer perceived it: the inquirer himself is not less surprised that it should have escaped him sight so long, than pleased at his final success.

It appears from a late publication that differences, apparently probably similar to those in the Investigator, were also observed on board La Recherche, one of the ships with which the French admiral D'Entrecasteaux went in search of the unfortunate La Pérouse. Monsieur Beautemps-Beaupré, the able surveyor to the expedition, found so much uncertainty in compass bearings that he abandoned, as far as was possible, the use of them; substituting the sun's azimuth and angular distance from some one point, and measuring the angles from that point to other objects. He says of the compass, "We found by a great number of observations, but principally by the differences between the bearings of points set with each other from opposite directions, that no confidence could be had in bearings taking with the compass from the deck of a large vessel, nearer than to 3º., even under the most favourable circumstances nearer than to 3º. For instance, it has often happened that from one position, as C, the cape A has been set in a line with cape B; and afterwards, from another position, D, cape B has been set with A; and that we have found considerable differences in the results of the two observations*. We also remarked, that the compass showed differences of several degrees in variations at sea, though observed with the greatest care and in within the space of a few minutes." (Voyage de D'Entrecasteaux, par M. de Rossel. Vol. I p.600. A Paris 1808.)

I do not find any other distinct mention of differences found in the variation, from changing the direction of the ship's head or the place of the compass; but it appears from the following passage, shews that the Investigator was not singular in having a variaton of 4º. greater than the truth in the English Channel. Captain Vancouver,

[Page 25]
+ Upon the east side of the high hills behind Memory Cove, the east variation was 1º.40 greater than at the granitic summit of the same hills.

++ Near the east side of Pellew's Group, the east variation appeared from the bearings to be increased 2º from what it had been at a further distance, though on regular course it should have diminished; and at stations on the east sides of the different islands, I found it necessary to allow 1º. more than on the west sides.

* M. Beautemps-Beaupré (in Vol. I.p.605 of the work before cited) gives the following instance of attraction in the stone hereof this Archipelago. The compass was placed upon one of the capes of the main land, to set the bearing of a point. "When the bearing had been taken, the compass was removed six feet from its place, beyond a large stone; where the vane being by chance directed to the same point, a difference of four degrees was found in the bearing, although the object was were so far distant that the change of place should scarcely have produced a difference of one minute. Fully persuaded that we had made an error, either in reading off the bearing or in writing it down, the first observation was verified; but we had the same result within a few minutes as had been marked on the paper, and it was certain that the stone near which the observation had been made, had solely caused so this great an error."

# probably might not be exceptions to the rule if all the circumstances were known; for although the body of an island may lie to the west, a single block of stone near the theodolite on the other side might do more than counteract the opposite attraction.

[Page 26]
Errors in variation. On and near land

in his passage toward Madeira, says (Vol. 1. p.6), "The error in reckoning, amounting almost to a degree (of longitude), seemed most likely to have been occasioned by our not having made sufficient allowance for the variation of the compass on our first sailing; as, instead of allowing from 22º. to 25º., which was what we esteemed the variation, our observations for ascertaining this fact, when the ship was sufficiently steady, shewed the variation to be 28º. and 291/2º westwardly."

Besides the errors which the attraction of the iron produced in the compasses at the binnacle of the Investigator, differences are frequently mentioned in the course of this voyage as having been found in the magnetic needle on shore, and on board the ship in the vicinity of land. That there are few masses of stone totally devoid of iron, and that all iron which has long remained in the same position will acquire magnetism, that is or a power of attracting one end of the magnetic needle towards one part of it, and the opposite end towards another, is, I believe, generally admitted. The kinds of stone which I have observed to exert the greatest influence on the needle, after are iron ore, are porphyry, granite, and basaltes; and the least, are sand or free stone, and calcareous rock, and the argillaceous earths very little.

The iron in the ship attracted the south end of the needle in the southern hemisphere, and it appeared that, in the same part of the world the land also attracted had the same effect ?of the needle. The following are some instances:

In King George's Sound, the west variation was 6º. greater on the western head of Michaelmas Island, than it was on the east side of a flat rock in the sound, (and 4º.20' greater than at the south west extremity of Bald Head): the rock stone here is granite.

On approaching the granite islands of the Archipelago of the Recherche, from the west, the corrected variation on board the ship was increased from 5º.25' to 6º.22' west, contrary to the regular order; but when Termination Island bore nearly West, and the greater part of the islands principal cluster N.N.W., the corrected variation was no more than 0º.51'; and after clearing the archipelago some distance, it again became again increased to 41/2º. west

Near the west side of Yorke's Peninsula, the corrected east variation was 3º. less than on the east side, although the places of observation were not more than forty-eight miles asunder: [indecipherable word] the uncorrected observations differed 6º.

+ In Shoal-water Bay, at anchor near the eastern shore, the corrected east variaton was 1º.25' less than near the west shore; At at Broad Sound also, it was 1º. less on the east than on the west side. These effects were correspondent to the former, though the expression of the situations be unavoidably different.

In the Investigator's Road, Gulph of Carpentaria, the east variation was full 1º. less more on the east side of Sweers Island Bentinck's, than on the west side of Bentinck's Sweers' Island. The rock here is partly iron ore.

++ There were several other examples less distinctly marked, where the south end end of the magnetic needle was drawn towards the nearest land; but none in which only two where the contrary attraction could be clearly discovered seemed to have been exerted. These were both on shore, and #.

To ascertain whence it is arrive at the cause why that both the iron in the ship and also the land should preferably attract the south end of the compass needle in the southern hemisphere,

[Page 27]
+ is the west variation greater, or east variation less on the east sides of islands and projecting points than on the west sides?

[Page 14]
Errors in variation. On and near land

hemisphere, it seems necessary to refer to the position of the dipping needle; because it has been found that for the unobstructed magnetism in a mass of iron will lie as nearly in that direction as the form of the mass will admit. Where the south end of the needle dips 60º., the north end will necessarily be no more than 30º. from standing perpendicularly upright; and it is to be supposed, that the upper ends or parts of the different pieces of iron in the ship, will there possess the same attraction as the north end of the north end of the dipping needle, and the same with the upper parts of magnetic lands in the southern hemisphere. But it is an universal law in magnetics, that powers of the same quality repulse, and that dissimilar powers attract each other; therefore the upper parts, both of the iron in the ship and of the land, should, like the north end of the dipping needle, repulse the north and attract the south end of the compass needle. Now the compass in, or upon the binnacle of a ship is raised above the greater part of the iron, and therefore more in a situation to be attracted by the upper, than the lower parts of the different pieces. The same will generally be the case with respect to the land; The its southern polarity of that land must often be lower than the depths of the sea, whilst the upper part, which attracts the south end of the compass needle, will be nearly on a level with, sometimes a few degrees above the ship.

This reasoning is unfavourable to from abstract principles is consistent with my observations on and near the coasts of Terra Australis; and if it be just, the contrary effects must take place in the northern hemisphere, at least in high latitudes: the upper parts, both of the iron in a ship and of land possessing magnetism, will attract the north end of the compass needle. That it is the north point of a compass on the binnacle which is attracted by the iron of a ship in the northern hemisphere, has already been shown; but whether the land will do generally attracts the same point, I have no knowledge from experience; If, however answers to the following queries can be answered affirmatively, the question will go near to being determined would probably be useful in the determination.

Is the west variation in the coast of Holland and Germany considerably less than it is on the east coast of England and Scotland, in the same latitude?

Is it sensibly less at Holy Head than at Dublin; at Port Patrick than at Cariefergus?

Is the variation as much, or greater on the Yorkshire, than on the Lancashire coast?

In North America, the difference in variation on the east and on the west side, in the same latitude, is it greater than the distance [indecipherable word] under would seem to ?authorise, comparitively with other similar situations and distances?
And generally in the northern hemisphere, + on approaching land from the West, East does the west variation increase more, or decrease less rapidly, than it did before, or the east variation increase less or decrease more? And on approaching land from the West, does the contrary take place?

Observations made on ship-board for determining this or any other general question of magnetism, will require, when the head is not at North or South, [indecipherable word] to be divested of the error which the attraction of the iron in [the ship may produce.

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Errors in variation On and near land


the ship may produce. In making them on land, it should be done on the open shore, so as that no attraction, purely local, may interfere; and if the direction of that shore be North and South, the experiment would be more satisfactory.

In an investigation of the cause why the attraction of the iron in a ship, and in some cases of the land, should decrease with the dip of the needle, and cease at the magnetic equator, the position of the dipping needle must again be consulted. At the equator it is horizontal; and therefore the line connecting the north and south polarities in each piece of iron in the ship, if it still possess magnetism, will be the same also be horizontal, and the two attracting parts be equally near to the level of the compass; and it should follow, that the attractions on the north and south points of the compass would be equal, and counteract each other. But it seems not improbable that the iron stanchions and other upright pieces of iron, and perhaps all others lose most, of not all its their magnetism at the magnetic equator; from the rotatory motion of the ship not allowing any piece to have one end directed to the north, and the other end to the south, a sufficient long time to acquire or retain magnetism. This was not the case where the dipping needle approached the perpendicular; for there, however the ship were turned, the upper part or end of each fixed piece of iron still remained the upper part; and the more nearly the needle stood to the perpendicular, the more strongly would the magnetism of the iron be concentrated at the upper and lower extremities, and consequently the more strong would be the attractive power on the compass. This I take to be the true cause of the errors in the compass increasing and decreasing in close connexion with the dip of the needle

With respect to land near the magnetic equator, the analogy should not hold, because the magnetic vein or mass is not, like the iron in a ship, subject to a rotatory motion. Suppose that in the upper part of an island near the magnetic equator, there be a mass of iron ore, or other stone possessing magnetism; the north end of this mass will have a power of attracting the south point of the compass, and the south end, the north point; and it should follow, that when the centre of this island bears S.W. or N.E., at a little distance, the west variation should be less than when it bears S.E. or N.W. At the small island Trinidad, where the south end of the needle dipped about 13º. only, I had some observations which countenance this supposition, though too far distant taken at too great a distance to afford a positive confirmation satisfactory proof.

Trinidad S.S.W. 13 leagues, corrected variation 3º.58' west.
S,S.E. 6 leagues, " " 4.15 west E. 15 leagues, " " 1.50 west

The attraction of land has hitherto here been supposed to be so far uniform, as that, in high dips of the needle, the upper part has the same kind of attraction as the magnetic pole of the its hemisphere where the land is situate; and that near the magnetic equator, on either side, the north end of the land attracts the south point of the compass, and vice versa; but it must be evident, that not only will should there be a regular course of approximation gradation from one to the other, as the dip increases or diminishes, but also that local discordances may take place in both cases

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+ where no hills were near existed in the neighbourhood, or where the theodolite was placed on the highest land.

[Page 31]
>Errors in variation On and near land

cases, where, instead of one extended magnetic substance pervading the whole land, there are many detached masses, veins, or blocks. Each one of these will possess a north and a south polarity; and in consequence contrary attractions may therefore be found at different degrees of elevation and in short intervals of space, without the supposition of the general attraction in land being thereby overturned.

That even small differences in elevation will may produce a change in the magnetic needle should appears from some instances in this voyage, where observations were taken on shore, either in the same spot or within a few feet from it [indecipherable word] with the ship's azimuth compasses and with a theodolite. The compasses stood on the ground, and the theodolite upon legs about four and a half feet high, when the differences and the variations were as under :
In K. George's Sound, variation from three compasses 6º.23', from theodolite 8º.17' West.
Lucky Bay, .................2.35,.....0.30 West.
Kanguroo I., variation from one compass......2.58,... 5.48 East.

Some part of these differences might arise from erroneous construction of the instruments; but only a small part, for they did not differ very were scarcely sensible in some other cases +. It is to be remarked, that the compasses come nearer to what appeared to be the true variation than did the theodolite; which I should attribute to the attraction being more equal all round, upon the compass instrument placed on the earth, than upon that which was secured above it and to the theodolite being influenced by the neighbouring hills.

In some parts of this little discussion upon the attraction of land, I feel to have stepped out of my sphere; but if the hints thrown out should aid the philosopher in developing a correct system of magnetism applicable to the whole earth, or even be the means of stimulating inquiry, the digression will be pardoned. I conclude this article with copying some precautionary memoranda upon the use of the compass in marine surveying; they were made for myself, in [indecipherable words] case of being hereafter called upon to sail in another Investigator, and may not be without their use to other officers. So soon as the guns are on board and the ship ready for sea, to nail small cleats on the binnacle for showing the place where the azimuth and surveying compass is to be stand, when in use. To ascertain by repeated observations there, whether it be at North and South, or at what other opposite directions near them, that this compass gives exactly the same variation; and to note these as the Points of no difference.

2.nd Ascertain what the difference in variation is, when the head is placed at right angles to the points of no difference, on each side. Half this difference is the Error for eight points; which being divided by the dip, will give the common multiplier for that hemisphere, and perhaps for both.

3.rd To try the accuracy of the common multiplier as often as can conveniently be done, by observations taken on the at various ports where the dip of the needle is different; and more especially to ascertain whether observations in the southern hemisphere give the same multiplier as in the north. No

[Page 32]
Errors in variation How to (avoid them) be obviated) No change to be made in the disposition of the iron work or guns during the voyage; but if a change be indispsable [sic], to ascertain as soon after as may be, what change alteration it may have produced in the points of no difference, and in the multiplier. The direction of the ship's head, by compass, to be noted to the nearest quarter point when the variation is observed, or bearings of land are taken; this to be considered an indispensable part of such observations, since without it the true variation cannot be known, nor the proper variation ?observed allowance made to the bearings.

6. th On arriving upon the coast to be surveyed, to miss no opportunity of observing the variation, by azimuth if possible; and on passing from one side of a projecting cape or of an island to the other side, to remark if any difference arise in the compass. This is best done by azimuth; but it may be found roughly by the bearing of two well-defined heads or points set in a line from opposite directions. If after the proper variations ?are ?obtained, the bearing corrections are made, according to the ?variation of the ship's head, the bearing be not the same, the difference will be seen.

These memoranda are mostly relative to a compass fixed on the binnacle; but the trouble of correction may be saved if before leaving England, a place can be found near the taffrel, where the attraction of the iron at the stern will counteract, ?by its greater vicinity, the more powerful attraction in the centre and fore parts of the ship; and should the after attraction be too weak, it may be increased by fixing one or more upright stantions stanchions or bars of iron in the stern. If a neutral station can be found or made, exactly amidships, and of a convenient height for taking azimuths and bearings, let a stand be there set up for the compass; and if the stand be must of necessity be moveable, make permanent marks that the exact place and elevation may always be known. Observations taken here should never undergo any change from altering the direction of the ship's head, at any dip of the needle; but it will be proper to verify occasionally, and to compare the azimuths and bearings with others taken on the binnacle. The course should also be marked from this compass, though the ship be steered by one before the wheel; a quarter or half point being allowed to the right or left, according as the two are may be found to differ. when steering different courses

These precautions are not intended to supersede the taking of angles with a sextant or circle, from the sun to any chosen object, and from thence to others; but in using the compass on ship-board, such are those I would employ, in order to arrive at the true variation and to know what should be allowed on each (side) set of bearings. In surveying with a theodolite or circumferentor on shore, my memorandum is, - To observe azimuths with the same instrument, and in the same place spot where each set of bearings is taken; unless where I have the back bearing can be had of some former station or of the ship, where the variation has been observed.
Had I

[Page 33]
Errors in variation How to avoid them be obviated

Had I been more early aware of the necessity of these precautions in the use of the magnetic needle, both on ship-board and on shore, much perplexing labour would have been saved; and although every existing datum has been employed to remedy the deficiences, the charts which accompany this work would then have presented a more correct delineation than they now do of the coasts of Terra Australis.

[Page 34]

Variations of rate and errors in longitude, made by one or both of Earnshaw's time keepers, No. 543 and No. 520, during the circumnavigation of Terra Australis, and from Port Jackson to the island Mauritius :

[Tables not reproduced - please check original]

The irregularity of this table, compared to Table VII of the Appendix to Vol. I, arises from its having been sometimes found advisable to make use of one time keeper in preference to both, - from some stations being fixed by the survey where no rates are found, - and latterly from No. 543 having stopped. In other respects, the explanation which follows the former table will generally apply here.

[Page 35]
TABLE IX. (Reference from p. 417.)

Longitude of the Garden prison, 1' N.E. from Port Louis - Mauritius

[Tables not reproduced - please check original]

[Page 36]
Lunar observations

TABLE VIII continued

Longitude of Wreck Reef Bank, lying off the East Coast

[Tables not reproduced - please check original]

[Page 37]
August 20th. my friend Pitot passed part of the day with me, concerting measures for my transport out to Wilhems Plains, and in the evening Mr. Harenga Mr. Harenga, the Dutch interpreter came to me from the colonel Monistrol to say that I might quit the Maison Despeaux when I pleased, and he delivered me the following letter a note, wherein the colonel which permitted me to remain in the town the time I had requested
Isle of France the 2nd. Fructidor year [indecipherable number]
It is with pleasure that I grant the request you make me of coming to town on Wednesday, as also that of not departing before Thursday night or Friday morning for the residence you have chosen. I shall have a true satisfaction in learning that it may have been favourable to your health
I have the honour to salute you

The importunity of my friend to go and spend the evening with his family, induced me to use the liberty now granted of quitting the Maison Despeaux the same hour. On [indecipherable word] taking leave of the good old serjeant who La Mêle who had had the charge of the prisoners house and the prisoners during the whole time of my residence [indecipherable word], and finding myself without side the gate, I felt, that one does not quit even a prison that one has long inhabited without regretsome sentiment of regret. I had now been a prisoner 20 months [indecipherable words] more than sixteen of which had [indecipherable words] Maison Despeaux, sometimes rather lightly, but the greater part in bitterness. I was meagre, pale, or rather and so weak that the assistance of my friends [indecipherable word] was necessary to support me through this walk yellow and the walk of a mile into the town shewed me that my strength was much inferior even to what I had supposed it to be. I could scarcely believe myself to be the same being who, but two or three years before, had been capable of undergoing so much fatigue upon the coasts of Australi[indecipherable letters - edge of page torn]

Belonging to Referred to from page 127.

[The following paragraph is in large part indecipherable]

For all that I have [indecipherable words] It must be understood that in speaking of that in the Isle of France, which is above hinted at must be strictly confined treatment of the English prisoners in the Isle of France, it must be strictly confined understood only of the [indecipherable word] spoken of the severity and the small allowances with which period between my arrival and the departure of the cartels; for in the preceding [indecipherable word] it seems their treatment was different in the Isle of France in every respect English prisoners were treated at this time in the Isle of France turn with much pleasure neither does what I have said relate in any way to the usage satisfaction to wherein English officers praise can be with truth bestowed they met with on board the ships that took [indecipherable word]

It is a tribute that I pay with pleasure and gratitude on the part of my countrymen, to admiral Linois and all the officers (generally speaking [edge of page torn]

[Page 38]

of his squadron, as well as to the commanders of the privateers, in declaring; that not one of the many prisoners I conversed with in the Maison Despeaux made any complaint of them; on the contrary, the almost every one declared that he had been treated with kindness while on board, and except some times a little pilfering by the sailors that he not been deprived of the least article of his clothing or necessaries, or any thing that he had a right claim to keep according to the received usages of war amongst polished nations. The trunks of many were not searched, it being only required of the possessor to declare, that it was his private property, and that no letters of or journals were contained therein. The most remarkable instances that came to my knowledge were the officers on board the Aplin, taken by La Psyché ?commanded when a privateer, and those of the Fly packet, taken by Mr. Lamême in the privateer La Fortune. In the first instance, every thing which the officers had in their cabins, they took away without examination, and in the second, captain lieutenant Mainwarings table plate and his time-keeper were delivered to him as a part of his private property. I wish as much could be said of the general conduct of our English privateers could have in Europe; could have doubtless there are examples of strict honour and generosity amongst them also but I fear they are [indecipherable word] too rare. - (Turn back to page 124)

- See p. 222 ++
End of Chapter 6.

of Australia.

My first visit after obtaining this extension of my liberty being liberated from the Maison Despeaux was to captain Bergeret, to whose mediation I considered myself principally indebted for the [indecipherable word] [torn edge of page] favourable a change in my situation. He was not at [indecipherable word] next morning, August 21 he breakfasted here He had obligingly offered me the accommodation of his lodging whilst I should remain in the town, but M. Pitot had previously engaged me previously to reside with him. The next morning, Aug. 21. was appointed by M. Bergerat to pay a visit to colonel Monistrol, the chef d'etat-major, and give my parole I returned to the Maison Despeaux to finish a paper upon the effects of sea and land winds upon the barometer for the ?p to be transmitted to the president of the Royal Society, and afterwards accompanied M. Bergeret to the office of the chef d'état-major to give my parole. Colonel Monistrol received me politely and even with kindness. He expressed himself highly pleased with the he reception he had met with on board our ships the Terpsichore when

[Page 39]
had found two on board an American vessel, which he had boarded at her entrance into the harbour according to custom. The other he had communicated to some friend of his friends It may not be amiss to mention the rules which a ship is obliged to observe on arriving at Port North-West, since it will of itself give an some idea of general De[indecipherable letters] the nature of the government of the island. The ship is boarded by a pilot one or two or three miles from the entrance of the port, who informs the commander that no person must go on shore, or any person one suffered to come on board until the ship has been visited by the officer of health, who usually so if it is a foreign ship comes soon after the ship has arrived at anchor in off the mouth of the port accompanied by an interpreter, and with an officer from the captain of the port, and, if it is a foreign ship, by an interpreter. If the health of the crew presents no objection, and after answering the questions put to him, concerning the object of his coming to the port island the commander is taken goes on shore in this the French boat, and is desired to take with him all news papers containing political information, and all letters, whether public or private, that are on board the vessel; and although there should be five several parcels of newspapers of the same date, they must all go. On arriving at the government house, to which he is accompanied by the officer and interpreter, and frequently by a guard, he sooner or later sees the governor, or one of his aids-de-camp, who questions him upon his voyage, - upon political intelligence, - the vessels he has met at sea, - his intentions in touching at the island etc. after which he is desired to leave his letters, packets, and newspapers, no matter to whom they are addressed. If he refuse this, or to give all the information he knows, however detrimental it may be to his own affairs, or appears to equivocate, if he escapes the being imprisoned in the tower he is sent and back to his ship under a guard, and forbid all communication with the shore. If he gives satisfaction, he is conducted from the General to the Prefect, to answer his questions, and if he satisfies him also, is then left at liberty to go to his consul and transact his business. The letters etc. and packets left with the general, if not addressed to persons who are suspected of disaffection, obnoxious to the disinclination towards the government, are sent unopened according to their direction; the others are opened and sent afterwards, if not found to contain any thing mysterious, or injurious to the government. the others, I will not venture to say that they are opened and destroyed afterwards destroyed, but it is much suspected. If the newspapers contains no intelligence but what the general permits is permitted to be known, they are [indecipherable word] also sent to their address, with the letters the others are retained; and for this reason it is, that all the copies of the same

[Page 40]

the same paper are demanded, for the intention is not merely to gain intelligence, but to prevent what is disagreeable from being circulated. From these restrictions, which about this time began to be enforced rigourously enforced The crime committed by my poor friend Mr. Bonnefoy will from hence be understood. He feared to ask permission to visit me in the Maison Despeaux after his dismiss[indecipherable letters]

I was amused with the account of a serious blunt American captain of a ship, who having left a part of his people sealing to collect seal-skins upon the Island Tristan-d'Acunha, had come in for provisions, and to get his vessel repaired. This good honest man did not wish to tell where he was collecting his cargo, nor did he understand all the ceremony he was required to go through. The dialogue that passed between the American the old seaman and the French officer of the port was nearly thus
Off: "From whence do you come Sir?
From [indecipherable word] whence do I come? - Humph - why Monsieur I come from the Atlantic Ocean."
Off: But pray Sir from what port?
"Port! you will find that out from my papers, which I suppose you want to see"
Off:... "It appears, Sir, that you have not above half your crew on boa[indecipherable letters] be so good as to inform me where are the rest?
"Oh. My crew! Poor fellows, yes. Why Sir we met with an island of ice on the road, and as some of my sailors were ?cute fellows, I set them left them there a-basket-making.
Off. "Making baskets, on an island of ice! This is a very strange answer Sir; and give me leave to tell you such they will not do here; but you will accompany us to the captain-general, and we shall then see whether you will answer or not."
"Aye, we shall see indeed. Why, look ye, Monsieur, As to what I have been about, is nothing to any body. I am an honest man, and that's enough for you; but if you want to know why I am come here, it is to get buy provisions, and to lie quiet a little bit. I am not come to beg or ?steal but to buy, and I fancy good bills upon Mr. ..... of Salem will ?suit you very well, aye Monsieur? convenient enough?

Off: "Very well, Sir, you will come with us to the general."
To the general! I have nothing to do with generals! They don't understand my business... Suppose I wont go?"
Off: "You will do as you please, Sir, but if you do not, you will soon

[Page 41]
Tuesday March 23rd. Additional remarks omitted

This land which we now judge to be an island seems to be calcarious in all the cliffs that shewed themselves to the westward of our anchorage, but here the calcarious matter is found scattered in loose and small quantities only. The basis seems to be a slate, which in some parts splits off like iron bars. The strata lie nearly horizontal, and in the interstices, some streaks of quartz are sometimes seen. In some pieces a composition with mica gives it a shining ore-like appearance.

A thick wood covers all this side of the island, but none of the trees that I saw in a vegetating state were equal in size to the generality of those that were dead. Such abundance of the last were lying on the ground, besides many standing, that in penetrating inland to get upon the higher ground, a considerable portion of the walk was made upon them. These prostrated trees were lying in all directions, and therefore I judge they were not thrown down by any general violent wind; but they seemed to be all nearly of the same age and in the same state of decay. I am induced from all circumstances to believe that they have been killed by fire, which, by some accident, seems to have prevailed all over this side of the island, and probably over the whole. This accident might have originated from lightening, or from the friction of two dead trees lying against each other in a gale.

The kanguroos appear to have possessed a dominion in this island which probably has never before been invaded; the seals share with them on the shores, but they seem to dwell amicably together. It not unfrequently happened, that the report of a gun [last sentence not decipherable - page cut or torn]

[Transcribed by Terry Walker for the State Library of New South Wales]