The Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery, performed in His Majesty's Vessel The Lady Nelson…. James GRANT.
The Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery, performed in His Majesty's Vessel The Lady Nelson…
The Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery, performed in His Majesty's Vessel The Lady Nelson…

The Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery…
The Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery, performed in His Majesty's Vessel The Lady Nelson…

London: C. Raworth, 1803.

Quarto, with a large folding plate, a folding chart, a coloured plate and five other engravings; with the uncommon leaf headed 'List of Encouragers'; contemporary half calf restored on original marbled sides.

Grant on Bass Strait and the Hunter

First edition: one of the most important of the early Australian coastal voyages. In 1800 as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy he brought the Lady Nelson to Australia in company with HMS Porpoise. Over the next two years Grant made several voyages of discovery along the New South Wales coastline and is best remembered for his important explorations of Bass Strait and for his work in the Hunter River area which resulted in the establishment of Newcastle.

First edition: one of the most important of the early Australian coastal voyages. In 1800 as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy he brought the Lady Nelson to Australia in company with HMS Porpoise. Over the next two years Grant made several voyages of discovery along the New South Wales coastline and is best remembered for his important explorations of Bass Strait and for his work in the Hunter River area which resulted in the establishment of Newcastle.

The Lady Nelson was the first ship to be built with sliding keels to facilitate the exploration of shallow waters. Grant sailed her through Bass Strait, the first to do so from the west and, on arrival at Sydney, he discovered that he had missed Flinders to whom he was to deliver the ship and was sent back to survey the south-western coast of the continent, a task in which he was assisted by Francis Barrallier. However, because of the lateness of the season, the survey, which took place from March to May 1801, concentrated on Bass Strait and the Victorian coast instead. The chart of Bass Strait here was the first to be published of the newly-discovered Victorian coast.

On his return to Sydney, Grant was sent to examine the Hunter River, and it was as a result of his report that Newcastle was established. Two engravings in this book illustrate the exploration by the Lady Nelson of the Hunter River: they were probably engraved after sketches by the colony's first professional artist, John William Lewin, who accompanied the expedition. The finest is the hand-coloured plate depicting the "Fringe Crested Cockatoo", which is present here in particularly fine condition. There are also portraits of the Aborigines Pimbloy (an alternative spelling of Pemulwuy, the great warrior) "in a canoe of that country" and Bennelong.

Provenance: Private collection (Sydney).

Davidson, 'A Book Collector's Notes', pp. 125-6 ('rare and most desirable'); Hill, 718; Wantrup, 75.

Price (AUD): $12,250.00  other currencies Ref: #4504286

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