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Admiral Phillip Parker King

1791-1856

Admiral Philip Parker King (1791-1856), naval officer and early surveyor of the Australian coast was born on Norfolk Island in 1791, the son of son of Philip Gidley King. He was educated in England and joined the Royal Navy in 1807 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1814.

Between 1817 and 1822 on HMS MERMAID and secondly HMS BATHURST he made four trips surveying and charting areas of the Australian coast line that had not previously been charted by Matthew Flinders. In 1826, he published some of his findings in 'Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia'. After being promoted to Commander he spent five years surveying the coast of the Straits of Magellan in charge of the vessels HMS ADVENTURE and HMS BEAGLE. In later life he held the position of commissioner of the Australian Agricultural Company. Shortly before his death in 1856 he was appointed Rear Admiral on the retired list.