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Phillip Parker King

1791 – 1856

Phillip Parker King RN (1791–1856) has been described as the first Australian-born person to succeed in the world outside the colonies. He trained for a naval career in England, and subsequently became skilled in surveying. In 1817 he was appointed to explore the Australian coastline to consolidate the earlier work of Matthew Flinders. Over five years he made four difficult voyages, charting many gulfs, identifying several islands, and providing the first reports of Port Darwin. He was accompanied on the early voyages by Bungaree. In 1826, regarded as one of Britain's leading hydrographers, he sailed in the company of the Beagle to chart Peru, Chile and Patagonia. From 1832 onwards King was an agricultural administrator, although he was promoted rear admiral on the retired list in 1855. He continued to take an interest in exploration and published many volumes on his investigations in New South Wales.

Updated 2019