Phillip Parker King

Phillip Parker King

Admiral Phillip Parker King, FRS, RN (13 December 1791-February 26, 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, which explains the difference in spelling of his and his father's first names. 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 owned a property at Dunheved in the western suburbs of Sydney where he entertained Charles Darwin on Darwin's last night in Sydney in January 1836.

King was a Fellow of the Royal Society.

He was honored on the 2-pound postage stamp of Australia in 1963. The Australian native orchid "Dendrobium kingianum" has been named after him.


*King, P. P. 1839. "Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle between the years 1826 and 1836, describing their examination of the southern shores of South America, and the Beagle's circumnavigation of the globe. Proceedings of the first expedition, 1826-30, under the command of Captain P. Parker King, R.N., F.R.S." London: Henry Colburn. []

ee also

*King expedition of 1817


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

External links

* [ NSW state papers holdings for Phillip Parker King]
* [ NRA records for King]
*gutenberg author| id=Phillip+Parker+King | name=Phillip Parker King
* [ Godley, E. J., "Biographical Notes: Phillip Parker King (1791-1856)]

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