Phillip Parker King

Phillip Parker King books and biography

Philip Parker King

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Admiral Phillip Parker King, FRS, RN (13 December 1793-1856) was an early explorer of the Australian coast.

He was born on Norfolk Island, to Philip Gidley King and Anna Josepha King and named for his father's mentor, Arthur Phillip. Sent to England for education in 1796, he joined the Royal Navy in 1807, and was promoted to lieutenant in 1814.

He was assigned to survey the parts of the Australian coast not already examined by Matthew Flinders, and made four voyages between December 1817 and April 1822. The first three trips were in the cutter HMS Mermaid, but the vessel was grounded in 1820, and the fourth trip was undertaken in the sloop HMS Bathurst. He also sailed to Bass Strait and Tasmania for measurements.

He had been promoted to commander in July 1821, and in April 1823 returned to England. He subsequently commanded the survey vessel HMS Adventure, and in company with HMS Beagle, spent five years surveying the complex coasts around the Strait of Magellan. The result was presented at a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society in 1831.

He was honored on the 2-pound postage stamp of Australia in 1963.

See also

  • King expedition of 1817


  • The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea (Oxford, 1976) p. 450

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