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A Voyage to New Guinea and the Moluccas from Balambanjan

Date: 1779
300 x 235 x 45 mm, 4.54 lb. (2.06 kg)
Medium: Paper, ink, leather
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00039673

User Terms

    This book is the first of four narratives by Thomas Forrest detailing his voyage to New Guinea and the Moluccas in 1774. Forrest's journey started in Balambanjan and this book contains accounts of Magindano, Sooloo and other islands in the Pacific. The richly illustrated book with 32 plates and maps, documents the settlements of the eastern spice islands and Western New Guinea in the years between 1774 and 1776. Many of the illustrations feature watercraft that are still being used in Indonesia today.

    SignificanceThis book is a unique record of European exploration in the Pacific during the 18th century. It contains depictions of the area immediately north of Australia dating only six years after Cook mapped Australia's east coast. It highlights the significant impact of the English East India Company on European exploration and settlement in the region.
    HistoryThomas Forrest was an English mariner and hydrographer who served in the Royal Navy before joining the English East India Company around 1762. He made four voyages to England and 15 trips between India and East Asia between 1762 and 1782, publishing four works detailing his experiences.

    In 1770 Forrest was involved in the settlement of Balambangan (Balembangan) - a small island off the northern coast of Borneo, which had been recommended by Alexander Dalrymple. From 1774 he was in the service of the East India Company and worked to extend their sources of trade in the direction of New Guinea. Forrest - with two English officers and a crew of 18 Malays - pushed the exploration as far as Geelvink Bay in New Guinea.

    The English East India Company (EEIC) was founded by a royal charter from Queen Elizabeth I in 1600 with the aim of exploiting trade with India and the Far East. The charter conferred a monopoly on the EEIC of trade in India and the Far East. The trading activities of the colony of New South Wales were prohibited from competing with the EEIC monopoly until 1813 when the monopoly was abolished. This was followed in 1833 by the abolition of the EEIC monopoly of Chinese trade, and the company's remaining administrative duties were transferred to the crown in 1858.

    A principal rival to the EEIC in the Far East was the Dutch East India Company (VOC) founded in 1602. Rivalry between the companies came to a head in 1623 when English merchants at Ambiona were massacred. This was followed in 1682 by the Dutch blockade and closure of the EEIC factory at Bantam. As a result, the EEIC restricted most of its activities to India for the remainder of the 17th century, before attempting to open new Asian settlements in the 18th century.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: A Voyage to New Guinea and the Moluccas from Balambanjan: Including an account of Magindano, Sooloo and other islands

    Web title: A Voyage to New Guinea and the Moluccas from Balambanjan

    Related People
    Publisher: G Scott

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