In April 1793, Thaddaeus Haenke, the naturalist with the expedition commanded by Alexandro Malaspina, wrote a letter to Sir Joseph Banks from Sydney Cove in Port Jackson, New South Wales, saying: “On the eleventh of March 1793, having been driven away from New Zealand by an extraordinary storm, we beheld with unanimous delight the coast of New Holland, and the following day the ships Descubierta and Atrevida with favourable winds approached Port Jackson”.
The stormy weather mentioned by Haenke had prevented the expedition from carrying out the task for which it had gone to New Zealand, which was to undertake measurement of the force of gravity using a pendulum, one of a series of such observations done at different locations during the course of the voyage with the aim of ascertaining the true shape or figure of the earth.
The Malaspina expedition left Spain on 30 July 1789 , as reported by the Gazeta de Madrid of 18 August , which said: "The little fleet fitted out for the purpose of making discoveries, and commanded by Don Alexander Malaspina, sailed from Cadiz the 30th of last month. The expenses which the Court have been at in fitting out these ships, and furnishing them with various kinds of astronomical, mathematical, and physical instruments, for the intended voyage, proves how much his Majesty wishes to encourage and promote the Arts and Sciences." This report was subsequently carried in the press of other European countries, the foregoing version, for example, appeared in The Whitehall Evening Post of 10 September 1789. Another London newspaper, The Morning Star for 11 July 1789 , had already carried an article describing the forthcoming expedition:
The King of Spain has given orders for a voyage round the world, under the direction of the Chevalier Malaspina, an Italian, and captain of a frigate. The principal object of the voyage is to obtain exact hydrographic charts of the immense shores of the South Sea , and the Archipelago of the Philippines . But, desirous of seconding the efforts of other nations, in the improvement of Medicine and Natural History, as well as Geography and Navigation, the King has extended and enlarged the design of this voyage. Two vessels were ready to sail at Cadiz , the beginning of this month, having on board, botanists and painters, with excellent instruments for astronomy, land-surveying, and chemical experiments....Most of the shores of Spanish America will be run over, the lands between Cape Horn and Chili, Pacific Ocean, the Marianes, the Carolines, the Philippines ; and astronomical charts made of them. The Navigators will also be employed in studying the inhabitants and natural history of each country, in the manner of Capt. Cook and M. de la Perouse.
Malaspina indicated his intention to carry out gravity experiments in New Zealand at Dusky Sound in a letter he wrote from Acapulco in December 1791. Upon his arrival in Mexico he had received a letter from Antonio Valdéz, the Minister for the Marine and the Indies , dated 22 December 1790 and carried to Mexico by José de Espinosa y Tello and Ciriaco Cevallos. Valdéz wrote:
As it is being endeavoured in France to set up a new system of weights and measures derived from the length of a pendulum that oscillates at seconds at the latitude of 45º, the King has judged it appropriate to take advantage of this opportunity to promote the progress of Geography and resolved that as the course of your voyage enables you to obtain information on this interesting point, you do so at convenient locations, so that it may be compared with that which has been verified in that Kingdom, and that knowledge concerning the actual figure of the Earth may be perfected by determining, if the southern hemisphere is more flattened, what may be this difference and others in the exterior shape of our globe, supposing its surface not to be as symmetrical as commonly imagined. As these points must be resolved by measurements of various degrees in different regions or by the observation of the pendulum in a certain number of locations, one that has been purposely constructed with the greatest care is being sent to you with Naval Lieutenants Don José Espinosa and Don Ciriaco de Cevallos. As in order to form an idea of the meridian the best way is to observe the pendulum in two locations proper for deducing the difference between them, His Majesty has resolved that the observations done at 45º South are to repeat those already carried out at the same latitude North, to link our investigations with those of the French academicians.
The French initiative referred to by Valdéz originated with a report presented to the French National Assembly by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord on 9 March 1790 . Recommending reform and reduction to uniformity of the immense confusion of weights and measures traditionally used in France, Talleyrand emphasized that it was necessary for a perfect solution to the problem that the basic standard to be adopted should be referable to an invariable model taken from nature, which could be returned to in case the standard needed to be checked or altered at some future time. Having reviewed the several alternatives put forward by leading savants, Talleyrand gave preference to that which consisted of taking “for the elemental measure, the length of the pendulum at seconds in the latitude of 45º,” as “the numerous partisans of that method have preferred this point, as being the mid-term between the Equator and the Pole”. He also drew attention to current English interest in the problem, and recommended that determination of the new standard be a joint Anglo-French undertaking, which would contribute to its gaining universal acceptance among the nations. He was also aware that the reform of weights and measures was a current issue in the United States of America , and that Thomas Jefferson, former ambassador to France and current Secretary of State, was an advocate of reform. Jefferson recommended in a report he submitted to the House of Representatives on 13 July 1790: “Let the standard of measure, then, be a uniform cylindrical rod of iron, of such length as, in latitude 45º, in the level of the ocean, and in a cellar, or other place, the temperature of which does not vary throughout the year, shall perform its vibration, in small and equal arcs, in one second of mean time”.
The National Assembly debated Talleyrand’s report on 8 May 1790 , and adopted his recommendation. The resolution of the Assembly was reported in the English press:
8 May 1790. It was this evening decreed — “That the President do wait on the King, and request him to write to his Brittannic Majesty for his concurrence in the project of establishing an universal standard of weights and measures; and that an equal number of the Royal Society of London, and of the Academy of Sciences in Paris may be appointed, by authority of Parliament and of the National Assembly, to ascertain the length of the pendulum, at 45 degrees latitude, or elsewhere”.
The addition of the phrase “or elsewhere” to the resolution was intended to mollify the English, who preferred the latitude of Greenwich (51º28’N) and Jefferson, who preferred the mid-point between the northern and southern boundaries of the United States (30ºN).
The Spanish naval officer and astronomer, José Mendoza y Ríos, was already working closely with the French savants (having been sent to France and several other European countries as leader of a delegation of Spanish officers charged with obtaining information on advances in astronomy and navigation), and Valdéz said in his letter to Malaspina that it was on his recommendation that it had been decided to add the task of measuring the figure of the earth to the expedition’s mission. Mendoza procured in London the specially made pendulum that Valdéz sent to Malaspina in Mexico. There was also perhaps the idea that this would fulfill the task that the loss of the Lapérouse expedition had left uncompleted. The Times of 7 May 1788 reported that “M. Dagelet”, of the Academy of Sciences , who went with the Lapérouse expedition as its astronomer, “was particularly directed to make observations with the pendulum, to determine the differences in gravity, and to ascertain the true proportion of the equatorial to the polar diameter of the earth”. Malaspina referred to Joseph Dagelet several times in his journal, and while at Manila in March 1793 noted: “Now, as on many other occasions, we regretted that we did not have the results of M. Dagelet’s calculations on the ill-fated expedition of the Comte de La Peyrouse, although we had no doubt that they would have been similar to our own”.
Malaspina referred to his receipt of the pendulum and letter from Valdéz in an entry in his journal for 21 April 1791:
According to the official letter to me from his Excellency the Minister of the Marine, by means of this Pendulum the experiments of the Gravity of Bodies at different Parallels of the Earth should be repeated as much as possible, not only for a Regulation of Measures which would depend on the consistent Observations which would in due course be verified in Europe exactly on the Parallel of 45 º, but also in order to carry on the investigations as to the true figure of the Earth in which there was suspected, not without basis, to be some variations from one Hemisphere to the other.
He initially intended to perform the pendulum experiments in New Zealand at Dusky Sound, as he said in the letter he wrote from Acapulco in which he set out the itinerary he then proposed to follow, “proceeding to New Holland, skirting around it by the West coast and doing gravity experiments in its most southerly parts; I will repeat these at Dusky Bay in New Zealand”. This itinerary was subsequently revised, and after leaving the Philippines he changed the preferred location to Doubtful Sound, as he recorded in his journal on 16 February 1793: “In a Latitude so close to that of 45 degrees as was Dusky Bay, and even more so Doubtfull-Bay which I intended to examine, our Experiments must be considered to be highly useful for the proposed objective of a common measure for all the European Nations”.
On 25 February 1793, the two ships of the expedition found themselves off the entrance to Doubtful Sound but, as recorded by Antonio de Tova, the second in command of the Atrevida, an island at the mouth of the Sound hid from view its interior, and “presented to our view were only two arms or channels, which appeared to lead on one side or the other into it”. He explained:
The high, steep configuration of the terrain close to the entrance, the narrowness and winding of the channels and, as well, finding no bottom after sounding to a depth of 120 brazos [about 120 fathoms], were reason enough to make it imprudent to attempt to enter this port, which otherwise would have been suitable because of its situation so close to the 45º parallel for conducting the experiments with the pendulum proposed by the Commander.
On the afternoon of 25 February, while Descubierta remained off the entrance, Malaspina sent the expedition’s cartographer, Felipe Bauzá, with the Descubierta’s boat into the Sound to carry out a survey of it. Bauzá produced a fine chart of the lower parts of Doubtful Sound, assigning the name “Puerto del Pendulo” to “an inlet that appears to have a good anchorage” which is in fact the junction of two bodies, later called Thompson Sound and Bradshaw Sound, with Doubtful. On modern charts this area is called Pendulo Reach. The upper part of the Sound, which he did not have time to survey, he named “Canal de Malaspina”, which he wrongly thought might connect with Dusky Sound. He inscribed a description of Doubtful Sound on his chart:
In the short time employed in this survey, it could only be noted that the tidal current was not great, and from the signs on the shore it appeared that the beginning of the ebb was around midday ; there were few birds, no seals, and no trace of inhabitants. The vegetation was bush of a middling height, no Pines or other large trees could be seen; watering could be done easily. On Bauza Island , besides bushes there were many flax plants and a plague of Mosquitoes whose bites drew a quantity of blood.
In his journal, Malaspina recorded a similar description, and also that he assigned the name “Puerto del Pendulo” to the area below Bauza Island , which he called “Isla de el Medio”, and called the upper part of the Sound “Canal Escarpado” from the steepness of its shores. Bauzá’s “Puerto del Pendulo”, he called “Puerto de Bauzá”. He wrote that Haenke recognized the predominant vegetation, a species of southern beech (Nothofagus spp.) also found in southern Chile . Eventually, it was Bauzá’s names that remained, or were re-instated on the charts. In 1797, Bauzá was appointed Sub-Director of the Dirección de Hidrografía in Madrid , where he commenced to assemble a collection of maps and papers relevant to his ambition to compile a set of definitive atlases of the territories of the Spanish Monarchy in Europe and America . From 1815 he was Director of the Dirección de Hidrografía, but in 1823 was forced by political turmoil in Spain to flee to England , where he died in 1834. In England , he worked with the Hydrographic Office, and on 10 February 1830 he presented it with his chart of Doubtful Sound. It thereby became the basis for British Admiralty, and subsequently New Zealand Geographic Board, charts of the Sound. The New Zealand Geographic Board has now restored the Spanish place-names that had been displaced by later surveyors, and today these form a unique cluster of the only Spanish names on the map of New Zealand : Febrero Point, Bauza Island and the Nee Islets, Pendulo Reach and Malaspina Reach. In 1984 a plaque was unveiled at Marcaciones Point, the site of Bauzá’s observation station for his chart of Doubtful Sound and of the first Spanish landing in New Zealand . Though disappointed in its principal aim in going there, namely to conduct observations of gravity with the pendulum, the expedition’s survey of Doubtful Sound did make its addition to the sum of knowledge of the South West coast which no doubt contributed to that region becoming the focus of early European activity in New Zealand based on sealing.
In the first published report on the results of the expedition, in the Gazeta de Madrid of 12 December 1794 , the gravitational experiments and their anticipated contribution to the establishment of a new metric system were given particular mention:
The experiments on the gravity of bodies, repeated in both hemispheres and at various latitudes, will conduce to important verifications of the non-symmetrical figure of the earth, and will be the basis of a universal, verifiable measure, as constant as the laws on which it depends, that is intended to be established in Europe .
It is curious that the article said that the gravity experiments would be the basis of a universal standard “that it is intended be established in Europe ”. That was thought to be the case when Valdéz sent the pendulum to Malaspina in December 1790, on the basis of the resolution of the French National Assembly of 8 May. The Duke of Leeds had responded from London on 3 December 1790 to the invitation from the National Assembly for collaboration: “There has often been question of such an arrangement among our public Economists but the Project seems exposed to so many Difficulties that its Accomplishment, however desirable it may be, has been regarded as almost impracticable”. No doubt in part because of this rebuff from the English, the French resolved to make the establishment of the new system of measurement a national project, and on 26 March 1791 the National Assembly adopted as the criterion for the universal measure one ten-millionth the distance from the Pole to the Equator as determined by extrapolation from the measurement of an arc of the Meridian of Paris between Dunkirk and Barcelona. Thomas Jefferson was irritated by the substitution of a standard drawn from a feature particular to the terrain of France , saying, “If other nations adopt this unit, they must take the word of the French mathematicians for it’s length”, and refused to have anything more to do with it.
Observations of gravity were made during the course of the expedition at fourteen locations in the northern and southern hemispheres (Acapulco , Port Mulgrave in Alaska, Nootka, Monterey , Guam , Manila , Macao , Zamboanga, Port Jackson, Vava’u, Lima , Concepcion , Port Egmont in the Falklands and Montevideo). Ciriaco Cevallos was able to correlate these when the expedition arrived at Montevideo in February 1794, and they confirmed that the figure of the earth was not symmetrical in both hemispheres, as it was possible to detect with the pendulum a stronger gravitational pull in the South. This finding, which corroborated that of Nicolas Louis de la Caille who carried out observations at the Cape of Good Hope in 1750-52, invalidated the premise which underlay the French decision to derive the universal measure from an arc of the Meridian of Paris on the assumption that it was exactly the same as every other meridian of the earth. The results of the gravity observations were analysed by Gabriel Cisnar, who found the experiments revealed a different strength of gravity, a different length of pendulum and different curvature of the Earth for every location . The observations contributed to the dawning realization that the figure of the Earth was so irregular as to be beyond ascertainment by simple extrapolation, a conclusion subsequently expressed by Alexander von Humboldt: “The true figure of the Earth is to a regular figure as the uneven surfaces of water in motion are to the even surface of water at rest”. The 1792-1798 survey carried out by Jean-Baptiste Delambre and Pierre Méchain to measure the Dunkirk-Barcelona arc confirmed the irregularity of the figure of the earth. An International Commission for Weights and Measures was convened in Paris to settle the true length of the metre, and Cisnar attended as a member of its sub-committee on the arc of the meridian . The standard metre adopted by the International Commission on 22 June 1799 was based on the Delambre-Méchain survey and fell short of one-ten millionth the distance between the Equator and the North Pole: the actual distance was later found to be some 10,003,250 of the new metres. The 1799 metre was replaced in 1875 by a new metre based on it, the definition of which omitted any reference to the shape of the Earth.
The visit of the Malaspina expedition to New Zealand was driven purely by scientific motives. The expedition’s visit to the English colony in New South Wales was inspired by other reasons, which had more to do with the broader political and strategic considerations which underlay the venture.
Having been driven away from New Zealand by stormy weather, as Haenke said in his letter to Banks, Descubierta and Atrevida arrived at Port Jackson in New South Wales and anchored in Sydney Cove, where they stayed from 13 March to 12 April 1793 . Different dates were given for the arrival and departure of the expedition by the English at Port Jackson: according to their calendar, the expedition departed on 12 April. Malaspina, did not adjust his timekeeping to take account of the time he had been accreting at the rate of four minutes for every degree of longitude he had sailed through since he had begun his westward voyage from Cadiz, so he logged his dates of arrival and departure as 12 March and 11 April; as he sailed back eastward across the South Pacific his "error" was self-corrected and by the time he reached Callao/Lima he was again in concordance with the local date. In the days before such a convention as the International Date Line, the Philippines , as a dependency of New Spain , kept the same date as Mexico , and hence was a day behind places such as Batavia and Sydney . He referred in his journal to an " eclipse of the sun observed on the evening of the 11th within sight of Botany Bay ". This partial eclipse of the sun took place on the day before the ships entered Port Jackson, 12 March 1793 , local time, reaching its maximum at about 4.00 pm . Malaspina recorded the expedition’s first contact with the English settlement in his journal:
The corvettes had not yet anchored when a boat manned and equipped in the most orderly fashion, and carrying an officer from the settlement, passed by our ship and came alongside the Atrevida, which had no pilot on board. The officer then boarded our ship to convey, as he told me, the compliments of the acting Governor, Major Grose, and to offer on his behalf all the assistance he could give us.
Instructions had been sent from London in 1790 to the Governor of the colony, Captain Arthur Phillip, that the Spanish visitors be paid every compliment and attention due to their rank and situation. The Descubierta and Atrevida carried a passport issued in London on 21 September 1789, instructing the Governor to show them "every degree of attention, and to afford the Commanders of them any assistance which they may stand in need of, and which it may be in your power to give them, in order to enable them to carry His Catholic Majesty's orders into Execution."
At the time of the visit of the Malaspina expedition to New South Wales , the Acting Governor of the five-year old British colony was Major Francis Grose, the Commandant of the New South Wales Corps and Lieutenant-Governor. Governor Phillip had gone back to England the previous December, to report to Government and to take a break after six strenuous years spent in founding the colony. Grose had seen service in America during the Revolution, where he was present at the battle of Bunker Hill , and wounded at the storming of Fort Montgomery and at Monmouth Court House. Because of his wounds he was repatriated to England in 1779, having achieved the rank of captain. He served two years as a recruiting officer, and at the end of the war was promoted to major. Phillip had not intended to resign his governorship when he left Sydney , but ill health forced him to do so in October 1793. Grose was to remain in charge of the New South Wales colony until December 1794, when ill health forced him, also, to return to England.
Grose may have read the description of the purposes of the Spanish expedition in The Morning Star of 11 July 1789 . The newspaper article was drawn from a letter Malaspina wrote to Sir Joseph Banks in January 1789. Malaspina wrote again to Banks on 13 July 1789 , care of William Parsons, to whom he wrote (in English) in his covering letter of the same date:
Our Sloops are quite ready….Their Names La Descubierta, y la Atrevida: Our Charts of the European Spanish Coasts, and the publication of our last Expeditions to the Straights of Magellan may be a warrant, that Spain is so much interested at this time in the improvement of public knowledge, as any other European Country, and the Plan of this Voyage will shew to the Public, that all Misterious Systems are over; that nothing is wanted to be known of our extensive Monarchy, and that the Sciences are the constant object of the King's Protection".
Malaspina’s disclaimer that “all Misterious Systems are over” and that the objects of the expedition were purely scientific ignored the fact that the plan for the voyage put forward under the names of his colleague, José de Bustamante and himself clearly stated that, "a voyage made by Spanish navigators should necessarily involve....the investigation of the political state of America in relation to Spain and foreign nations." The Malaspina/Bustamante plan specifically proposed that the expedition investigate and prepare confidential political reports on the Russian settlements in the North Pacific, and on the English colony at Botany Bay . The reasons were not set out in the plan, its authors apparently assuming that they were sufficiently understood by Antonio Valdéz, the Minister for the Marine and the Indies, to whom it was submitted on 10 September 1788.
The coincidence is striking between the scope and objectives set out in the Malaspina/Bustamante plan and followed in the voyage, and those set out in a memorandum from the military governor of Concepcion in Chile , the Irish-born Ambrose Higgins. In particular, concern expressed by Higgins to prevent encroachment on Spanish dominion in the Pacific was parallelled in the Malaspina/Bustamante plan by the proposal to investigate and prepare confidential political reports on the Russian and English settlements.
Ambrose Higgins was stimulated to write his memorandum by the visit of the expedition of the French explorer Lapérouse to Talcahuano/Concepcion in March 1786. Reflecting on the circumstances that had led to the Lapérouse expedition, and having closely studied A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean (London, 1784), Captain James King's account of the voyage he undertook under the command of Captain James Cook to the North Pacific (Cook's last voyage), Higgins strongly recommended to his superiors in Lima and Madrid that the Spanish Government send out an expedition similar to those of Cook and Lapérouse.
Higgins sent a comprehensive memorandum on this subject to his superiors in Lima and Madrid in July 1786 and again in August 1788. He wrote:
because of what may be understood of the intentions of the Russians or English to establish Colonies (although they could not do so without directly offending the Court of Spain) in the Sandwich Islands or in those which Cook called the Friendly Isles, and others which he visited in those Seas, it appears to me that it would not be excessively diligent to order that they be surveyed by a pair of Spanish frigates, equipped in Spain, provided with everything for a prolonged voyage, similar to this Expedition by the Count of La Perouse.
Higgins emphasized that "the new expedition under a Spanish commander should concern itself with more immediate objectives, of interest to the State". He said the proposed expedition should visit the isles of Quiros (the New Hebrides of Cook, and present day Vanuatu), Tahiti, and the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), with a view to preparing the way for their colonization by Spain: a Spanish settlement in the Sandwich Islands would promote development of the fur trade on the North West coast from Nootka up to Cook's Inlet. The furs could be sold to China , either directly at Canton or through Manila . Like those of Lapérouse and Cook, the Spanish expedition would contribute to a great improvement in navigation. Knowledge would be gained of the languages of the native peoples of New Zealand, New Holland, the Friendly Islands, New Caledoni , the isles of Quiros, the Sandwich and many other islands of the Pacific, as also of the American coast from Nootka to the Arctic Ocean. The timber resources of the North West coast could also be exploited. The strengthening of Spanish naval and merchant marines in the Pacific would be another benefit.
He drew attention to the fact that, although the expeditions of Cook and those of his fellow countrymen who preceded him as circumnavigators—Byron, Wallis and Carteret—had been promoted by the English under the specious pretext of perfecting geography, navigation and knowledge of the globe, no one could have remained ignorant of the involvement of other ideas which essentially formed their principal objective, that of establishing and possessing colonies in these regions. Nor could the Russians disguise that they were doing the same to increase their commerce in the seas and coasts between the Russian Empire and the neighbouring part of Spanish North America.
In February 1787, just a few months after Higgins sent off his memorandum and while he was still military governor at Concepcion , Alexandro Malaspina called in there in command of the frigate Astrea in the course of a voyage to Manila under charter to the Royal Philippines Company. The object of this voyage was to explore the best direct route to the Philippines from Spain for the Company, which was established in 1785 to provide an alternative to the traditional Acapulco-Manila galleon system of commerce. Two ships were sent under charter to the Philippines Company to test the alternative Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope routes. Malaspina was nominated to command of the Astrea in June 1786 and carried out the voyage to and from the Philippines for the Company, going out by the Cape Horn route and returning to Spain by the Cape of Good Hope , arriving at Cadiz on 17 May 1788. Presumably during the stay at Concepcion Higgins and Malaspina discussed the concept which led following the Astrea's return to Spain to the production in September of Malaspina's proposal for an expedition along the lines set out in Higgins' memorandum.
On 14 October 1788 , Valdéz wrote to Malaspina informing him of the Government's acceptance of his plan: its acceptance within such a short space of time indicates that the plan fitted Government priorities that had already been decided. Confirmation of the influence of Higgins's memorandum on the Government comes from José de Espinosa y Tello, the hydrographer with the Malaspina expedition. In a memorandum on Spanish voyages to the North West coast of America he prepared in 1791 prior to leaving Spain to join the expedition in Mexico, Espinosa stressed the importance of the information sent by Higgins in stimulating the Government to initiate an extensive program of exploration in the Pacific. After nine months of intensive preparations, Malaspina set sail from Cadiz for the Pacific in July 1789 in command of the specially built sloops, Descubierta and Atrevida, so called in honour of Cook's Discovery and Resolution.
Higgins’s warning concerning the actions and intentions of the Russians in the North Pacific reinforced the advice received from Spain’s Ambassador to St. Petersburg, Pedro Normandez, who informed his Government in February 1787 that news had been received in Russia about English trading vessels bringing sea otter skins to China at immense profit, “from the coasts of America opposite Kamchatka, which are contiguous with California”. This news had aroused the interest of the Empress Catherine and, Normandez wrote, Captain “Moloski”, natural son of Count Ivan Czernychev, Minister of the Marine, had been chosen to command a squadron of four men-of-war being sent to Kamchatka to protect Russian interests. Meetings at the Admiralty with a secretary of the Empress’s cabinet had resulted in an official manifesto, plans and maps for Moloski. Normandez had discovered that Catherine and her ministers were contemplating an ukase declaring Russian sovereignty over all of North America from Mount St. Elias eastward to the neighbourhood of Hudson ’s Bay. Announcement of this sovereignty would be communicated to other European powers, declaring that Moloski’s expedition was to secure those possessions and defend them against other nations seeking to make settlements there. The two frigates and transports would sail by way of the Cape of Good Hope and join another expedition led by Joseph Billings at Okhotsk. The Empress’s ukase authorizing the expedition was issued on 22 December 1786.
Upon receipt of Normandez’s report, Prime Minister Floridablanca asked the Minister for the Marine and the Indies to take appropriate action, a request that ultimately led to the approval of the inclusion in the plan for the voyage of the Malaspina expedition of an investigation of the North Pacific. Normandez’s Captain “Moloski” was Grigory Ivanovich Mulovsky. The Gazeta de Madrid of 31 July 1787 carried a report from St. Petersburg of the forthcoming expedition:
By order of the Government a frigate of 36 guns and 3 smaller ships is being readied to be sent to survey, delineate and prepare charts of the coasts of China , Japan and Kamchatka so as to make navigation more secure in those seas by new discoveries, and to obtain current information on those little frequented regions. They will direct their course through the Indian Ocean , going directly from Cronstadt by the Cape of Good Hope . The command of this expedition has been entrusted to Captain Moulowsky, who has gone in person to Kiev to receive his instructions from the mouth of the Empress herself.
Prior to his appointment to the Malaspina expedition, Thaddaeus Haenke (who was an Austrian subject) had spent the period from September 1787 to May 1788 in Vienna in anticipation of joining the proposed Russian expedition to the Pacific, as he wrote in a letter to a friend: “I have the greatest hopes of making the voyage round the world with Forster, the one which the Empress of Russia will send out over the coming years and which….I will accompany as Botanist”. He would have been the assistant to the proposed expedition’s naturalist, the Prussian George Forster, who had accompanied his father Johann Reinhold Forster on James Cook's expedition of 1772-1775. Forster expected the Russian expedition to visit the New South Wales colony during its voyage to the North Pacific in 1788, but this never happened as it was prevented from leaving the Baltic by the outbreak of war with the Turkish Empire and with Sweden in 1787 and 1788.
The mention of English trading vessels in Normandez’s report was a reference to the voyage of the Sea Otter, the first ship to sail to the North West coast on the sea otter trade, which left Canton in April 1785 under the command of James Hanna. The Sea Otter had been chartered in Canton by John Reid and John Henry Cox who headed a consortium of British merchants, and sailed under Portuguese colours to evade English East India Company restrictions. John Reid had been set up at Canton in 1779 as Austrian consul and agent of William Bolts’s Imperial East India Company of Trieste . Reid had been at Canton in November-December 1779 when Cook’s ships, Discovery and Resolution, under the command of James King, had called there and caused a sensation because of the success their crews had in selling the sea otter pelts they had obtained for trinkets on the North West American coast in the course of the great navigator’s third expedition. Reid had presumably reported this to Bolts, who immediately grasped the possibilities of the new branch of commerce opened up by Cook’s discoveries. The voyage of the Sea Otter owed its inspiration to Bolts a ccording to Nathaniel Portlock, one of Cook’s officers who in 1786 commanded one of the first ships to sail from England on the North West coast fur trade. The description of the possibilities of the North West coast fur trade in James King’s A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean led Higgins to urge that Spain take the initiative by developing the trade from a base in the Sandwich Islands.
Inclusion in Malaspina's plan for the voyage of the proposal to investigate and prepare a confidential political report on the English settlement at Botany Bay was prompted by a memorandum on the new British colony the Spanish Court received in September 1788 from one of Malaspina's fellow naval officers, Francisco Muñoz y San Clemente . When it had been decided to send two ships under charter to the Philippines Company to explore the best direct route to the Philippines from Spain by the alternative Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope routes, Muñoz had been appointed to command of the frigate Aguila Imperial to explore the route by the Cape of Good Hope. This complemented Malaspina’s voyage in the Astrea. The Aguila Imperial departed Cadiz on 23 January 1786 , calling at the Cape of Good Hope and Java, and arriving at Manila on 9 August of that year. She sailed on the return voyage to Spain from Manila on 11 January 1787 , called at Mauritius , and arrived at Cadiz on 17 March 1788 . Shortly after his return, Muñoz was given leave to go to Madrid . Malaspina and Bustamante were in Madrid to prepare and present their plan at the same time Muñoz was there. It was during this period that he wrote and submitted his memorandum, "Reflexiones sobre los establecimientos Inglesas de la Nueva Holanda": it is dated San Ildefonso, 20 September 1788 . He began it by stating: "The grave dangers, which in time our commerce will experience because of their neighbourhood to South America and the Philippines , has obliged us to consider the [English] settlements."
Muñoz’s memorandum, which foreshadowed many of the points which Malaspina was to make in his report on the colony, considered the advantages which settlements in New Holland offered to the English; the sea lines of communication between the new colony and India, China, the Philippines and South America; and finally, indicated the dangers which it posed to the Spanish possessions both in peace time from the development of a contraband commerce, and in war time as a base for British naval operations. He concluded with the warning:
The colonists will be able to fit out lucrative privateers so as to cut communication between the Philippines and both Americas; they will think perhaps of extending their possessions, or they may influence some revolution which will diminish our own....These possessions will have a Navy of their own, obtaining from the Southern region whatever is necessary to establish it, and when they have it ready formed they will be able to invade our nearby possessions with expeditions less costly and surer than from the ports of England, and it will not be difficult to foretell even now which will be their first conquests..…In sum, it all announces to us ill consequences for the future, worthy of occupying all the attention of our Government in order to forestall them opportunely.
Apart from Muñoz’s treatise, c omment on the Botany Bay project published in the English press could not but have aroused Spanish curiosity and suspicions. The Gaceta de Madrid of 13 and 20 October, and 14 November 1786 carried reports from the English press on the projected colony. All of this comment on the Botany Bay project was available to alert Spanish observers. An article that appeared in a number of London newspapers in mid-October 1786 said:
The central situation which new South Wales, in which Botany Bay is situated, holds in the globe, cannot fail of giving it a very commanding influence in the policy of Europe....When this colony from England is established, if we should ever be at war with Holland or Spain we might very powerfully annoy either State from the new settlement. We might, with equal safety and expedition, make naval incursions into Java, and the other Dutch settlements, or invade the coast of Spanish America , and intercept the Manilla ships. Thus this check would, in time of war, make it a very important object, when we view it in the chart of the world with a political eye.
This report was an excerpt from the proposal for the formation of a colony in New South Wales drawn up by James Matra, under the guidance of Sir Joseph Banks. Matra’s proposal had formed the basis of the British Government’s plan for colonization. The Spanish Ambassador to London , Bernardo del Campo, immediately forwarded to Prime Minister Floridablanca in Madrid a translation of this passage and others drawn from Matra's memorial that appeared in the newspapers describing the advantages of a settlement in New South Wales.
As well as forwarding relevant extracts from the daily press as part of its normal activity, the Spanish embassy in London paid close attention to public discussion in Britain of all matters bearing on the Botany Bay project, as shown by the report sent to Madrid by Campo of a book by the Scottish historian and judge, Sir John Dalrymple. His "Account of an intended expedition into the South Seas by private persons in the late war", published in May 1788, showed the strategic significance of New Holland. He wrote it in 1787 in expectation that war was imminent between Britain and the Bourbon alliance, France and Spain , arising from civil war in the Netherlands . It related to a proposal he had made to the administration of Lord North for an expedition against the Spanish empire in the South Seas upon the outbreak of war with Spain in June 1779, during the American Revolution. Dalrymple drew attention to the relative ease by which Spain’s possessions in South America could be attacked by following the sailing route to the south of New Holland: “The facility of this last route,” he wrote, “was not known till the late discoveries, which will make the memory of Sir Joseph Banks, of Captain Cook, of Lord Sandwich, and of his present Majesty, immortal in history.…The very circumstance of the consciousness of Spain of her security for twenty months gave an advantage to those who should attempt to make her feel her mistake”.
Ambassador del Campo immediately sent a translation of Dalrymple's work to Floridablanca on 4 June 1788 , with a discussion of the strategy it described. "Fortunately," he said, the British Government had not given the proposal "the confidence and attention it merited," and peace had supervened to remove for a time such considerations. He continued: “But after having read it with the most serious attention, and having compared it with the kinds indicated in the voyages of Anson, Bougainville, Cook and others, I formed the judgement that the enterprise would have been successful, with very considerable losses on our part, and that in any other succeeding war it would be equally so. He further commented:
if until now we have seen as the greatest security of our South Sea possessions the circumstance that, having once passed Cape Horn , the enemy would have neither port nor shelter in such a vast extent of coasts..…today I do not believe we should flatter ourselves with such obstacles, for in the many islands which the English have frequented they have found at all times provisions, firewood and all kinds of assistance; they can leave their sick to be cured; form magazines for as much as they require; they will have shelters not only to careen and repair their vessels, but also to construct others.
The concerns of Campo and Muñoz were echoed in the "Axiomas sobre la América", which Malaspina wrote in January/February 1789 as part of the preparation for his expedition, in which he wrote:
What, then, may not be feared from the Botany Bay settlement if, a stock of stores being laid in there and, assisted by a climate so well provided with the grains and beasts of Europe, the voyager who departs from India finds there a comfortable station from whence, with a crossing of three or four months, without the least risk or concern, our colonies present themselves to view, to be terrorized and at the very least, sacked?
The memorandum from Muñoz, together with the reports from London , presented irrefutable reasons for Spain to send her own observers to obtain first hand, accurate information on the colony. These were the reasons that lay behind the visit of the Malaspina expedition to the new English colony.
The settlement’s change of location from Botany Bay to Port Jackson, and the formation of a second English settlement on Norfolk Island , was learned of from factors of the English East India Company during the Atrevida’s visit to Macao in April 1792. Governor Arthur Phillip had left England in May 1787 with his fleet of soldier and convict colonists with instructions to make a settlement on Norfolk in addition to the main one on the coast of New South Wales.
When he learned of the settlement of Norfolk Island, Ambrose Higgins, by now Captain-General of Chile, felt his previously expressed fears were being realized, and wrote in a despatch from Santiago to his Prime Minister dated 18 October 1792: “What I fear, and not without reason, is that the numerous settlers at Port Jackson are intending to extend their settlements from that place little by little throughout the whole Pacific Ocean, as they have already advanced as far as Norfolk….advancing further and having such settlements in the Sandwich and Friendly Isles, and the Society islands or more probably in Tahiti, forming a chain of possessions with which they may approach these coasts and disturb in the near future our own commerce”. No doubt motivated by similar concerns, Malaspina intended to visit Norfolk Island during the run from the Philippines to New Zealand which , as Antonio de Tova recorded in his journal, “would have satisfied our curiosity concerning the progress of the settlers that the English had sent there from Botany Bay”, but adverse winds prevented the expedition’s ships from approaching the island.
On Tuesday, 12 March 1793 , the signal was made at the South Head entrance to Port Jackson for the arrival of the Descubierta and Atrevida. As Malaspina recorded in his journal, a launch was at once sent out with Captain George Johnston of the New South Wales Corps to greet the vessels and assure their commanders of Major Grose's offer of every assistance the colony afforded. Communication was facilitated by the presence among the Spanish officers of Jacob Murphy, who was of Irish extraction, and fluent in English. Murphy accompanied the launch back down the harbour to Sydney to explain to Grose the reasons for the Spanish ships' desire to visit Port Jackson. These were said to be: that unfavourable weather had prevented their entry into Botany Bay , their original destination; and that, after a 97-day voyage from Manila , it was necessary to take on wood and water, and to make repairs to the ships and their equipment. The expedition also wished to gather botanical and zoological specimens for the Royal Collection; to make observations on gravity with the pendulum; and to enable the crew to rest and refresh before facing continuation of the voyage. Naturally, no mention was made of making a politico-strategic examination of the English colony.
Grose and his officers made the visitors welcome, and Thaddaeus Haenke gave a summary of his own and his colleagues’ activities during the expedition’s visit in his letter to Sir Joseph Banks:
The space of almost a month was presently spent in the pleasure of many botanical and zoological excursions, which we undertook daily from Sydney Cove, the capital of the Southern Wales, into the adjoining countryside and neighbouring places: of which the more memorable were the one to Botany Bay, and in the opposite direction the one which we undertook to the new towns of Parramatta, Toongabbie and Prospect Hill, from the heights of which place we beheld in the distance the wilder country of the mountain range called the Blue Mountains. The number of plants, which everywhere in the places mentioned we gathered very freely by hand, surpassed all our expectations.
Malaspina recorded in his journal the hospitable reception the expedition received from the English colonists:
I advised His Excellency the Ambassador of His Royal Majesty in London of the civilities offered to us by Major Grose and all the other members of the colony. I emphasized that they had extended their interpretation of the orders received from His Majesty the King of England on behalf of this expedition to such a degree that they had refused to accept any payment for the small amount of goods which we had taken from the Royal Stores.
A few months earlier, the encounter between the English colonists and their Spanish visitors could have been quite different. During the Nootka Sound Crisis of May to October 1790, the expedition was visiting the ports along the western coasts of Spanish America . The expedition’s two warships, each carrying 24 guns, constituted a formidable force in comparison to what Britain had in the Pacific at that time, and Malaspina was quite ready to employ it against the British settlements if need be, as he told Viceroy Revillagigado when he reached Mexico. In February 1790, the British Secretary of State requested the British embassy in Madrid to discover the size and force of "the Ships which sailed a few months ago for California under the command of M. Malaspina". The crisis was resolved without resort to open hostilities, although not before the British had made preparations for wide-ranging naval attacks against Spanish America , in which the New South Wales settlement would have been used as a staging point. A naval battle at Port Jackson in May 1791 between Malaspina’s warships and a couple of frigates convoying a British expedition bound for Spanish America is one of the “might have beens” of history! At the height of the crisis, Alleyne Fitzherbert, British Ambassador to Madrid, had a private meeting with Prime Minister Floridablanca, who:
gave me to understand that he considered our sending Ships to purchase Skins at Nootka as a shallow artifice calculated to cover a real design of making ourselves masters of the Trade of Mexico, that our Southern Whale Fishery covered a like design against Peru & Chili, and as to our colony at Botany-Bay that it must necessarily have been founded with a view to seconding these designs & of adding to our other conquests that of the Philippines.
Following his visit, Malaspina prepared a confidential report on the English colony, "Examen Politico de los Colonias Inglesas en el Mar Pacifico", which included a brief discussion of Norfolk Island. Norfolk , he said, did “ not merit the least attention politically” because of its very small size and lack of an anchorage for ships, which made it “worthless for any scheme”. Although Muñoz is not mentioned in Malaspina's report , it addresses the concerns regarding the colony Muñoz raised in 1788. Malaspina wrote of the “terrible” future danger for Spain from the English colony at Port Jackson,
from whence with the greatest ease a crossing of two or three months through healthy climates, and a secure navigation, could bring to our defenceless coasts two or three thousand castaway bandits to serve interpolated with an excellent body of regular troops. It would not be surprising that in this case —the women also sharing the risks as well as the sensual pleasures of the men —the history of the invasions of the Huns and Alans in the most fertile provinces of Europe would be revived in our surprised colonies.…The pen trembles to record the image, however distant, of such disorders.
While recognizing the strategic threat it posed to Spain's Pacific possessions in time of war, Malaspina wrote: “It is not the concern of these paragraphs to demonstrate in detail the many schemes for these projected plunderings, so much as the easiest ways of preventing them”. He preferred the peaceable approach of drawing attention to the commercial opportunity the new colony offered for a trade in food and livestock from Chile and the development of a viable trade route linking that country with the Philippines . Having seen carts and even ploughs being drawn by convicts for want of draught animals in the colony, and having eaten meals with the colonists at which beef and mutton were regarded as rare luxuries, Malaspina saw the trade in Chilean livestock as the key to a profitable commerce. He proposed that an agreement be signed with London for an Association of Traders, and for an agent of the colony to be resident in Chile . Conscious that the policy he was proposing was a bold and imaginative one in the face of Spain's traditional insistence on a national monopoly of trade and other relations within her empire, Malaspina declared that "this affair is exceedingly favourable to the commercial balance of our Colonies", and it would have the advantage of calming and tranquilizing "a lively, turbulent and even insolent neighbour....not with sacrifices on our part but rather with many and very considerable profits".
Despite these sentiments, Malaspina took the precaution after leaving Port Jackson of going to Vava'u in the Friendly Islands ( Tonga ) to take possession of it in the name of the King of Spain and the Indies . Apart from the act of possession performed at Mulgrave Sound , Alaska , which consolidated Spain ’s claim to the North West Coast , this was the only territorial acquisition made in the course of the expedition’s voyage. He wrote in his journal that, according to the right recently usurped by European navigators, Vava'u had become a Spanish possession by virtue of Francisco Mourelle's discovery of it in February 1781. Two acts were still necessary to validate this: a scientific examination of the Vava'u archipelago; and a public ceremony, including the burial of "some description or other" to ratify the discovery in the eyes of Europe . A copy of the claim of possession was buried on the site of the expedition's camp at Longomapu, which recorded that it had been performed with the consent of the natives, who also assisted at the act of taking possession, presided over by their chief, Vuna. The strategic location of Vava'u as a base for blocking hostile operations from New South Wales in time of war was probably the motive for taking possession of it, but no action was taken subsequently by the Spanish Government to consolidate the claim or even endorse it.
Malaspina was aware that Vava’u, the Friendly Islands , New Zealand and all the islands of the South Pacific were claimed by the British as coming under the jurisdiction of the Governor of New South Wales, as proclaimed when the colony was founded on 7 February 1788 . In his confidential report, Malaspina wrote: “ On this occasion the commission, or patent, of Commodore Phillip was read with the greatest solemnity, which set out the limits of his authority over all the territory comprehended between Latitude 43º49’ and 10º37’ South and from the Meridian of 135º East of Greenwich, comprehending in the same direction eastward all the islands of the Pacific discovered by English ships” . This territorial proclamation revealed, wrote Malaspina, “ the real intentions of the British Government”. His expedition arrived in New South Wales representing an empire on the defensive and on the point of decline, and encountered there the advanced posts of a newly rising empire. His report on the colony underlines this geo-strategic development of the last decade of the eighteenth century.
Thaddaeus Haenke ended his letter from Sydney Cove with a conclusion that would have gladdened the heart of Sir Joseph Banks, who had given the colony an official motto, “ Sic fortis Etruria crevit ”, likening it to nascent Rome. Haenke wrote:
A Nation renowned throughout the world, which has left nothing untried, will also overcome with the happiest omens, by the most assiduous labour and by its own determined spirit the great obstacles opposing it in the foundation of what may one day become another Rome .
 Malaspina was an Italian, and usually signed himself “Alexandro”. This had the advantage for him of being pronounceable in both Italian and Spanish. “Alexandro” has the advantage for a writer in English of not having to choose between the exclusively Italian and Spanish versions of his name, “Alessandro” or “Alejandro”. He signed himself “Alexander” in the letter cited below which he wrote in English to William Parsons.
 Haenke's letter to Banks of 15 April 1793 is held by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin— Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Sig: Sammlung Darmstädter Amerika (2): Haenke) and has been published in the original Latin with a German translation by Josef Kühnel, Thaddeus Haenke: Leben und Wirken eines Forschers, München, R. Lerche, 1960; and in Latin with a translation into Spanish by Victoria Ibáñez, La Expedición Malaspina, 1789-1794, Tomo IV, Trabajos Cientificos y Correspondencia de Tadeo Haenke, Barcelona, Ministerio de Defensa, Museo Naval y Lunwerg Editores, 1992. See also Victoria Ibáñez and Robert J. King, "A Letter from Thaddeus Haenke to Sir Joseph Banks, Sydney Cove, 15 April 1793 ", Archives of Natural History, vol.23, no.2, 1996. The date appears to be a mistake, as the expedition departed Port Jackson on 12 April (local time), the day the letter was apparently written. Dr. Bernd Michael, of the Handschriftenabteilung, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin , has kindly examined the original manuscript and confirmed that Haenke dated it "die 15 Aprilis 1793", and that it bears the date of receipt "22 march 1794" written in the margin in another hand (Banks'?).
 The Diary, 9 September, the Gazette de France, 8 Septembre, The General Evening Post, 12-15 September, the September issues of The Gentleman's Magazine and The Political Magazine, and The Annual Register for 1789, also reported the expedition's departure, quoting reports from Cadiz of 12 August, and from Madrid of 18 August.
 The Whitehall Evening Post, 14-16 July, The Diary, 15 July, The Times, 14 July, and The General Evening Post, 11-14 July, 1789, also carried more or less abbreviated versions of this article.
 Malaspina à Paolo Greppi, 20 decembre 1791, published in Dario Manfredi, Alessandro Malaspina e Fabio Ala Ponzone: Lettere dal Vecchio e Nuovo Mondo (1788-1803), Bologna , il Mulino, 1999 , p.294.
 Letter of Valdéz to Malaspina, 22 December 1790, accompanying his sending of a pendulum to him care of José de Espinosa y Tello and Ciriaco Ceballos, Archivo General de Marina (Madrid), Sección Histórico, legajo 45: quoted in Josef Espinosa y Tello, Memorias sobre las Obervaciones Astronomicas, hechas por los Navegantes Españoles en Distintos Lugares del Globo, (Madrid, Imprenta Real, 1809, Tomo I, pp.190-1; and in Enrique J. Porrua (ed.), The Diary of Antonio de Tova on the Malaspina Expedition, 1789-1794, Lewiston, Queenston and Lampeter, 2001, p.453. I am grateful to Enrique Porrua for personally providing me with this extract (which I have translated from the Spanish). Lorenzo Sanfeliú Ortiz, 62 Meses A Bordo: La expedición Malaspina según el diario del Teniente de Navío Don Antonio de Tova Arredondo, 2. o Comandante de la “Atrevida” 1789-1794, Madrid, Biblioteca de Camarote «Revista General de Marina», 1943; Editorial Naval, 1988, pp.137-8; cited in Mª Dolores Higueras Rodriguez, , La Expedición Malaspina, 1789-1794, Tomo IX, Diario General del Viaje Corbeta Atrevida por José Bustamante y Guerra, Barcelona y Madrid, Museo Naval, Ministerio de Defensa y Lunwerg, 1999, pp.26-7.
 “Proposition sur les poids et mesures faite à l’Assemblée national, par M. de Talleyrand-Périgord, évêque d’Autun”, Archives Parlementaires, 9 Mars 1790, pp.106-108.
 Thomas Jefferson, “Plan for establishing uniformity in the Coinage, Weights and Measures of the United States ”, July 13, 1790 , in Albert Ellery Bergh, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. III, Washington, 1907, pp.25-32. Using the length of a pendulum beating at seconds as the basic unit for a universal measure was first proposed by Christiaan Huygens, the inventor of the pendulum clock, in Horologium Oscillatorium, The Hague , 1673, pp.152-4, Propositio xxv, De mensure universalis, & perpetuae, constituendae ratione.
 The Times, 15 May 1790 .
 Archives Parlementaires, 9 Mars 1790, pp.106-108; 8 Mai 1790, p.438-440; Le Moniteur Universel, 30 Avril et 10 Mai 1790; cited in Ken Alder, The Measure of Things: the Seven Year Odyssey that Transformed the World, London, Little, Brown, 2002, pp.90-99.
 Valdéz to Malaspina, 22 December 1790 ; cited in Porrua, p.453. Valdéz to Aranda, 15 April 1792, Museo Naval, Madrid, legajo 2294, doc.1; cited in António Ten, “El sistema métrico decimal y España”, Arbor, no.134, 1989, pp.109-10.
 Andrew David, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Carlos Novi, Glyndwr Williams, The Malaspina Expedition, 1789-1794: the Journal of the Voyage by Alejandro Malaspina, London and Madrid, Hakluyt Society in association with the Museo Naval, Volume II, 2003, p. 303.
 Ricardo Cerezo Martínez & Carmen Sanz Alvarez, La Expedición Malaspina, 1789-1794, Tomo II, Diario General del Viaje por Alejandro Malaspina, Barcelona y Madrid, Museo Naval, Ministerio de Defensa y Lunwerg, 1990, vol.1, p.271; Andrew David, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Carlos Novi, Glyndwr Williams, The Malaspina Expedition, 1789-1794: the Journal of the Voyage by Alejandro Malaspina, London and Madrid, Hakluyt Society in association with the Museo Naval, Volume II, 2003, p. 66.
 Malaspina à Paolo Greppi, 20 decembre 1791, published in Dario Manfredi, Alessandro Malaspina e Fabio Ala Ponzone: Lettere dal Vecchio e Nuovo Mondo (1788-1803), Bologna , il Mulino, 1999 , p.294.
 Ricardo Cerezo Martínez & Carmen Sanz Alvarez, La Expedición Malaspina, 1789-1794, Tomo II, Diario General del Viaje por Alejandro Malaspina, Barcelona y Madrid, Museo Naval, Ministerio de Defensa y Lunwerg, 1990, vol.2, p.164; Andrew David, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Carlos Novi, Glyndwr Williams, The Malaspina Expedition, 1789-1794: the Journal of the Voyage by Alejandro Malaspina, London and Madrid, Hakluyt Society in association with the Museo Naval, Volume III, 2004 p.56.
 Enrique J. Porrua (ed.), The Diary of Antonio de Tova on the Malaspina Expedition, 1789-1794, Lewiston , Queenston and Lampeter, 2001, p.476. Lorenzo Sanfeliú Ortiz, 62 Meses A Bordo: La expedición Malaspina según el diario del Teniente de Navío Don Antonio de Tova Arredondo, 2. o Comandante de la “Atrevida” 1789-1794, Madrid, Biblioteca de Camarote «Revista General de Marina», 1943; Editorial Naval, 1988, p.242 . Malaspina referred to the opinion of Captain Cook regarding Doubtful Sound, who in 1770 had called it Doubtfull Harbour because he doubted that it was a safe harbour: “On each side [of] the entrance of the opening, the land rises almost perpendicularly from the sea to a stupendous height, and this indeed was the reason why I did not carry the ship into it, for no wind could blow there but right in, or right out, in the direction of either East or West, and I thought it by no means advisable to put into a place whence I could not have got out but with a wind which experience had taught me did not blow more than one day in a month”. Malaspina had read this opinion in John Hawkesworth’s 1773 edition of Cook’s voyage in the Endeavour (Vol.III, p.415).
 Robert McNab, Murihiku and the Southern Islands, Invercargill, William South, 1907, pp.49-56.
 Andrew David, "Felipe Bauzá and the British Hydrographic Office, 1823-1834", in Mercedes Palau Baquero & Antonio Orozco Acuaviva (eds.), Malaspina '92: I Jornadas Internacionales — Madrid , Cádiz, La Coruña . 17-25 de Septiembre de 1992, Cádiz, Real Academia Hispano-Americana, 1994, pp. 235-242 .
 John Hall-Jones, Doubtfull Harbour, Invercargill, Craig Printing, 1984 and 1988 supplement; idem, The Fiords of Fiordland, Invercargill, Craig Printing, 2002.
 Gazeta de Madrid, 12 de Diciembre de 1794 .
 Quoted in Antonio E. Ten, “L’Academie des Sciences et les Origines du Système Métrique Décimal”, in Suzanne Débarbat et Antonio E. Ten (eds.), Mètre et Système Métrique, Valencia, Observatoire de Paris/Instituto de Estúdios Documentales e Históricos sobre la Ciencia, Universidat de València, 1993, p.25.
 Archives Parlementaires, 9 Mars 1790, pp.106-108; 8 Mai 1790, p.438-440; Le Moniteur Universel, 30 Avril et 10 Mai 1790; cited in Ken Alder, The Measure of Things: the Seven Year Odyssey that Transformed the World, London, Little, Brown, 2002, pp.90-99.
 Thomas Jefferson, “Memorandum to James Munroe”, before 4 April 1792, in Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Vol.27, Princeton U.P., 1950-, pp.818-22; cited in Ken Alder, The Measure of Things: the Seven Year Odyssey that Transformed the World, London, Little, Brown, 2002, p.100 .
 “Imediatamente despues se emprendieron las Experiencias de la Gravedad en el Pendulo Simple, y para los ultimas dias del Mes yá terminadas tambien estas, pudo el Theniente de Navío Don Ciriaco Zevallos, sistemar todas las que se havían echo en uno, y otro Emisferio, de las quales resultara (como lo havía ya sospechado el Abate La Caille) una mejor gravedad en el Emisferio Austral que en el Boreal.” Ricardo Cerezo Martínez & Carmen Sanz Alvarez, La Expedición Malaspina, 1789-1794, Tomo II, Diario General del Viaje por Alejandro Malaspina, Barcelona y Madrid, Museo Naval, Ministerio de Defensa y Lunwerg, 1990, vol.2, p.300; Malaspina, journal entry for 20 February 1794, Andrew David, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Carlos Novi, Glyndwr Williams, The Malaspina Expedition, 1789-1794: the Journal of the Voyage by Alejandro Malaspina, London and Madrid, Hakluyt Society in association with the Museo Naval, Volume III, 2004, p.239.
 Ciriaco Cevallos a Félix de Tejada, Inspector General de Marina, 28 November 1795, Archivo Naval (Madrid), ms.2296, f.228; cited in Virginia González Claverán, La Expedición Científica de Malaspina en Nueva España, 1789-1794, México DF, El Colegio de México, 1988, p.271.
 Josef Espinosa y Tello, Memorias sobre las Obervaciones Astronomicas, hechas por los Navegantes Españoles en Distintos Lugares del Globo, (Madrid, Imprenta Real, 1809, Tomo I, pp.190-212, “Experiencias sobre la gravedad hechas con un péndulo invariable en los puertos de Europa, América y Asia, mar Pacífico y Nueva Holanda en el viage de las corbetas Descubierta y Atrevida…calculadas por Don Gabriel de Ciscar”). This book was studied in the Russian Navy: see « Из вђстіе о И с пан с кой Экспедиц іи Пре д прин я т ой лдя О т кыт іи въ 1791, 1792 и 1793 года х ъ подъ к ом а ндо ю Ка пи т а н а Мал е с е п и н е», Записки, издаваемыя Государственнымъ Адмиралтейскимъ Департментомъ, относящiяся къ Мореплаванію, Наукамъ и Словесности (‘Izvestie o Ispaniskoi Ekspeditsii Predipritnyatoi dlya Otkritii v' 1791, 1792 i 1793 godakh pod’ komandoyu Kapitana Malespine’, Zapiski, izdavayemiya Gosudarstvennim Admiralteiskim Departmentom, otnosyashchiyasya k' Moryeplavaniyu, Naukam i Slovesnosti — ‘News on the Spanish Discovery Expedition of 1791, 1792 and 1793 commanded by Captain Malespina’, Notes issued by the State Admiralty Department relating to Navigation, Science and Literature), II, 1815, pp.256-260.
 ‘Die wirkliche Figur der Erde verhält sich zu einer regelmässigen, „wie die unebene Oberfläche eines bewegten Wassers sich zu der ebenen Oberfläche eines ruhigen verhält”’. Alexander von Humboldt, Kosmos: Entwurf einer physischen Weltbeschreibung, Stuttgart und Tübingen, 1845, erster Band, S.176; Cosmos: A Sketch of a Physical Description of the Universe, translated by E.C. Otté, London , Bohn, 1849, Vol.I, p.161.
 Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez y Manuel Valera Candel, “Gabriel Ciscar en el Congreso de Unificacion de Pesas y Medidas de Paris de 1798”, Asclepio, vol.46, no.1, 1994, pp.3-35.
 Ken Alder, The Measure of Things: the Seven Year Odyssey that Transformed the World, London , Little, Brown, 2002, pp.246-65, 351-6. The most recent definition of the metre was adopted at the Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures, October 1983: “Le mètre est la longueur du trajet parcouru dans le vide par la lumière pendant une durée de 1/299 792 458 de seconde”.
 See Theodor Ritter von Oppolzer, Canon of Eclipses, (translation by Owen Gingerich of Canon der Finsternisse, Vienna , 1887), New York , Dover Publications, 1962, p.286 and chart 143.
 Andrew David, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Carlos Novi, Glyndwr Williams, The Malaspina Expedition, 1789-1794: the Journal of the Voyage by Alejandro Malaspina, London and Madrid, Hakluyt Society in association with the Museo Naval, Volume III, 2004, p.67.
 Oregon Historical Society Library ( Portland ), "Malaspina Papers", MS 2814, no.21).
 B.H. Fletcher "Francis Grose", Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1788-1850; Manning Clark, A History of Australia, Vol. 1, Melbourne, 1962, pp.132-3.
 British Library, Add. Ms. 8097: 216-20. An identical letter was sent to Joseph Jerome de Lalande, in Paris (Archivo Provinciale dei PP. Scolopi, Florence; published in Leodegario Picanyol, Lo Scolopio Massimiliano Ricca e il suo elogio sul grande Navigatore Alessandro Malaspina, Roma, PP.Scolopi di S. Pantaleo, 1935, pp.40-41; also in Dario Manfredi, Alessandro Malaspina e Fabio Ala Ponzone, Bologna, il Mulino, 1999, pp.158-9).
 Letter in private possession; drawn to the attention of the author by Robin Inglis.
 "Plan de un Viage Centífico y Político alrededor del Mundo, 10 September 1788", Museo Naval (Madrid), MS 316; quoted in Ricardo Cerezo Martínez,La Expedición Malaspina, 1789-1794, Tomo I, Circunstancia histórica del viaje, Barcelona y Madrid, Museo Naval, Ministerio de Defensa y Lunwerg, 1987, pp.138-9.
 Ambrose Higgins was born in Ireland around 1720. After going to Spain and Spanish America he always signed his name Ambrosio Higgins but among his Spanish speaking contemporaries his unfamiliar surname was spelled as they heard it, in a bewildering variety of ways. From this perplexing variety, the Royal bureaucracy in 1795 chose the grandiloquent “ O’ Higgins” for the citation of ennoblement when he was raised to the peerage with the title, Marqués de Osorno, and after that he was O’ Higgins in public documents, using “El Marqués de Osorno” as his official signature. His son by the Chilean woman, Isabel Riquelme de la Barrera, was called Bernardo Riquelme, as regulations forbade marriage between the King’s officers and locals. Bernardo eventually became a leader of the Chilean independence movement, and adopted the public style of his eminent father’s name (Ricardo Donoso, El Marqués de Osorno: Don Ambrosio Higgins, Santiago, Publicaciones de la Universidad de Chile, 1942 p.53) .
 Higgins to Sonora , 20 July 1786 , Archivo Histórico Nacional ( Madrid ), Estado, legajo 4289; also at Archivo Nacional de Chile, Fondo Vicuña Mackenna, vol.304, D, ff.5-26. Published in Revista chilena de historia y geografía, no.107, 1946, pp.387-401. Higgins to Valdéz, 2 August 1788 , Archivo Nacional de Chile, Fondo Toribio Medina, vol.204; cited in Ricardo Donoso, El Marqués de Osorno: Don Ambrosio Higgins, Santiago , 1942, p.122.
 Dario Manfredi, Il Viaggio Attorno al Mondo di Malaspina con la Fregata di S.M.C.«Astrea», 1786-1788, Memorie della Accademia Lunigianese di Scienze «Giovanni Capellini», La Spezia, 1988, p.71.
 José de Gálves to Antonio Valdéz, 23 August 1785, Archivo Naval de Bazan; cited in Dario Manfredi, Il Viaggio Attorno al Mondo di Malaspina con la Fregata di S.M.C.«Astrea», 1786-1788, Memorie della Accademia Lunigianese di Scienze «Giovanni Capellini», La Spezia, 1988, p.26. Gazeta de Madrid, 13 de Julio de 1787, 28 de Marzo de 1788, 23 de Mayo de 1788 .
 "Noticia de las principales expediciones hechas por nuestras pilotos del Departamiento de San Blas al reconocimiento de la costa noroeste de America, desde el año de 1774 hasta el 1791, extractada de los diarios originales de aquellos navegantes", Novo y Colson, Viaje, p.428; cited in Warren L. Cook, Flood Tide of Empire, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1973, p.115. Diego Barros Arana first called attention in 1902 to the influence Higgins' letter had on the preparation of the Malaspina expedition in his Historia General de Chile (Santiago, 1884-1902, Vol.VII, p.139). See also Robin Inglis, "The effect of Lapérouse on Spanish thinking about the Northwest Coast", in idem (ed.), Spain and the North Pacific Coast, Vancouver Maritime Museum Society, 1992, pp.46-52.) Dario Manfredi said in 1988: "probably, the idea of realizing such an undertaking must have germinated and taken shape in the mind of our navigator during the voyage of the Astrea" (op.cit., p.104). The expression of appreciation in a letter to Higgins signed by the Prime Minister, the Duke of Alcudia, on 18 April 1793, was an indication that the Government gave weight to his views: Alcudia said that His Majesty had valued the reflexions in Higgins' letter to Gálvez of 26 March 1786 (Archivo nacional de Chile, fondo de la Capitania-General, Vol.793, ff.230-3; Vol.742, núm.59; quoted in Ricardo Donoso, El Marqués de Osorno: Don Ambrosio Higgins, Santiago, 1942, p.262).
 Fermin del Pino Diaz, "Los Estudios Etnográficos y Etnológicos en la Expedición Malaspina", Revista de lndias, vol.42, no.169-170, July/Dec.1982, pp.407-8.
 Normandez to Floridablanca, St. Petersburg, 16 February 1787, Archivo Histórico Nacional (Madrid), Estado, 4289; cited in Warren L. Cook, Flood Tide of Empire: Spain and the Pacific Northwest, 1543‑1819, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1973, p.116 .
 Ал. П. Соколовъ, «Пиготовленіе кругосвђ тной экспедиціи 1787 года, подъ начальствомъ Муловскаго », Записки Гидрографического Департамента Морекого Министерства, часть VI, 1848г., ст р.142-91. [A.P. Sokolov, The Preparation of the 1787 round-the-world expedition commanded by Mulovsky], Zapiski Gidrogaficheskovo Departamenta Morekovo Ministerstva, part 6, 1848, pp.142-91. А.Л. Нарочницкий, А.И. Алексеев, Русские Экспедиций по Изучению Севеной Части Тихого Океана ввторой половине XVIII в. Сборник документов [A.L. Narochnitskii, A.I. Alekseyev, et al., Russkie Ekspeditsii po izucheniiu severnoi chasti Tikhogo Okeana vo vtoroi polovine XVIII veka. Sbornik dokumentov - Russian expeditions to study the northern part of the Pacific ocean in the second half of the XVIII century. Collection of documents], Moscow , Nauka, 1984, Document no.75 . B.A. Д и в ин , « Кругосветная экспедиция Муловского», [V.A. Divin, "The Mulovsky expedition of circumnavigation: its object and preparation"], in idem, Русские Море п ла вани я на Тихом Океане в XVIII веке, Москва, Издательство «Мыс л ь», 1971, стр . 287-93 [Russian Voyages to the Pacific Ocean in the 18th century, Moskva, Izdatelstvo «Masl», 1971, pp.287-93]; Glynn Barratt, Russia in Pacific Waters, 1715-1825, Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press, 1981, pp.74-99.; cited in Lydia Black, "'The Russians were Coming...'", Robin Inglis (ed.), Spain and the North Pacific Coast, Vancouver Maritime Museum Society, 1992, pp.31-2.
 Floridablanca to Marqués de Sonora , Aranjuez, 24 April 1787, Archivo Histórico Nacional (Madrid), Estado, 4289; cited in Warren L. Cook, Flood Tide of Empire: Spain and the Pacific Northwest, 1543‑1819, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1973, p.116 .
 Ал. П. Соколовъ, «Приготовленіе кругосвђ тной экспедиціи 1787 года, подъ начальствомъ Муловскаго », Записки Гидрографического Департамента Морекого Министерства, часть VI, 1848г., ст р.142-91. [A.P. Sokolov, The Preparation of the 1787 round-the-world expedition commanded by Mulovsky], Zapiski Gidrogaficheskovo Departamenta Morekovo Ministerstva, part 6, 1848, pp.142-91 ( A.L. Narochnitskii, Document no.75 .). В.A. Д и в ин , « Кругосветная экспедиция Муловского», [V.A. Divin, "The Mulovsky expedition of circumnavigation: its object and preparation"], in idem, Русские Море п ла вани я на Тихом Океане в XVIII веке, Москва, Издательство «Мыс л ь», 1971, стр . 287-93 [Russian Voyages to the Pacific Ocean in the 18th century, Moskva, Izdatelstvo «Masl», 1971, pp.287-93]; Glynn Barratt, Russia in Pacific Waters, 1715-1825, Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press, 1981, pp.74-99. James R. Gibson, “The Abortive First Russian Circumnavigation: Captain Mulovsky’s 1787 Expedition to the North Pacific”, Terrae Incognitae, vol.31, 1999, pp.49-60.
 Gazeta de Madrid, 31 de Julio de 1787 .
 Forster to Samuel Thomas Sömmerring, Wilna den 17. Juni 1787; Georg Forsters Werke: sämmtliche Schriften, Berlin, Akademie-verlag, Bd.14, 1978, Briefe, 1784-1787, p.696; Ал.П. Соколовъ, «Приготовленіе кругосвђ тной экспедиціи 1787 года, подъ начальствомъ Муловскаго », Записки Гидрографического Департамента Морекого Министерства, часть VI, 1848г., стр. 142-91. [A.P. Sokolov, The Preparation of the 1787 round-the-world expedition commanded by Mulovsky, Zapiski Gidrogaficheskovo Departamenta Morekovo Ministerstva, part 6, 1848, pp.142-91]).
 W. Kaye Lamb and Tomás Bartroli, "James Hanna and John Henry Cox: the First Maritime Fur Trader and His Sponsor", BC Studies, no.84, 1989-90, pp.3-36.
 Franz von Pollack-Parnau, "Eine österreich-ostindische Handelskompanie, 1775-1785: Beitrag zur österreichische Wirtschaftsgeschichte unter Maria Theresia und Joseph II", Vierteljahrsschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgesichte, Beiheft 12, Stuttgart , 1927, S.42, 78 .
 Catherine Gaziello, L'expédition de Lapérouse, 1785-1788, Paris, 1984, pp.49-50.
 Nathaniel Portlock, A Voyage Round the World, London , Stockdale, 1789, pp.2-3.
 TheAguila Imperial was formerly the AigleImpériale, or KaiserlicheAdler belonging to the Imperial Asiatic Company of Trieste, and had been sold at Cadiz following the collapse of the Company in 1785 (Helma Houtman-De Smedt, Charles Proli, Antwerps zakenman en bankier, 1723-1786: een biografische en bedrijfshistorische studie, Brussel, Paleis der Academiën, 1983, Verhandelingen van de Koninklijke Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België: Klasse der Letteren, no.108, p.157; J.H.Furber, John Company at Work, Harvard University Press, 1951, pp.136-7, et passim) .
 Gazeta de Madrid, 24 de Abril de 1787 .
 Gazeta de Madrid, 21 de Setiembre de 1787, 28 de Marzo de 1788; M a Lourdes Diaz-Trechuelo Spínola, La Real Compañía de Filípinas, Sevilla, Centro de Estudios de América, no.157, 1965, pp.184-6, 343.
 To attend to family affairs, as his mother had died just after the Aguila Imperial had sailed from Cadiz ( Expediente de Francisco Muñoz y San Clemente , Archivo Naval de Bazan).
 " Muñoz and the amiable Greppi are yet in Madrid ." ( Malaspina to William Parsons, Cadiz , 13 July 1789 ; in private possession; drawn to the attention of the author by Robin Inglis).
 "Reflexiones sobre los establecimientos Inglesas de la Nueva Holanda", San Ildefonso, 20 de septiembre 1788; copy made by Felipe Bauzá y Cañas in British Library, Additional Manuscript 19254; another copy in Biblioteca de Palacio (Madrid), Miscelanea de Ayala, XLII, ff.259-75, made by Felipe Bauzá y Cañas, and by the British Museum from Bauzá's estate in 1848 (Peter Barber, "'Riches for the Geography of America and Spain': Felipe Bauzá and his Topographical Collections, 1789-1848", British Library Journal, vol.12, no.1, 1986). Robert J. King, "Francisco Muñoz y San Clemente and his Reflexions on the English Settlements of New Holland", British Library Journal, vol. 25, no.1, 1999.
 The General Evening Post of 10-12 October , and in other London newspapers on 13 October 1786 : The London Chronicle; The Morning Chronicle; The Whitehall Evening Post; The Morning Post; and in The Daily Universal Register on 14 October 1786 .
 Matra’s Proposal, Public Record Office, CO 201/1, ff.57-61; British Library Add. MS 47568, ff.240-6.
 Campo to Florida Blanca, 13 October 1786 , Archivo Histórico Nacional ( Madrid ), Estado, legajo 4250/1. This document was drawn to my attention by Eric Beerman.
 Sir John Dalrymple, Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland, Edinburgh and London, 1788, Preface dated 3 November 1787 and Appendix; Dalrymple's "Account" was published in The Scots Magazine of August and September 1788 and it was fully described in The London Review for August 1788 pp.107-110. When the second edition of the Memoirs was published in 1790 (when war with Spain again appeared imminent), the Appendix was published in The Gazetteer of 6, 10 and 24 August 1790.
 Campo to Florida Blanca, 4 June 1788, Archivo General de Simancas, Estado, legajo 8145; also at Museo Naval (Madrid), Ms. 475, ff.280-304; quoted in Juan Pimentel, En el Panóptico del Mar del Sur: Orígenes y desarollo de la visita australiana de la expedición Malaspina (1793), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, 1992, pp.50-51.
 Alexandro Malaspina, "Axiomas Politicos sobre la America ", , Manuel Lucena Giraldo y Juan Pimentel Igea, Los «Axiomas políticos sobre la América» de Alejandro Malaspina, Doce Calles, Aranjuez, 1991, pag.200-202.
 During its stay at Manila from April to November 1792, Malaspina's expedition was assisted by Muñoz, who since August 1790 had occupied the post of Teniente de Rey and Commandant of the Cavite Arsenal: “Don Clemente theniente del Rey aquí te saluda mucho mucho”; Malaspina to Paolo Greppi, Manila, 16 maggio 1792, published in Dario Manfredi, Alessandro Malaspina e Fabio Ala Ponzone: Lettere dal Vecchio e Nuovo Mondo (1788-1803), Bologna, il Mulino, 1999, p.304.
 Enrique J. Porrua (ed.), The Diary of Antonio de Tova on the Malaspina Expedition, 1789-1794, Lewiston , Queenston and Lampeter, 2001, p.481. Lorenzo Sanfeliú Ortiz, 62 Meses A Bordo: La expedición Malaspina según el diario del Teniente de Navío Don Antonio de Tova Arredondo, 2. o Comandante de la “Atrevida” 1789-1794, Madrid, Biblioteca de Camarote «Revista General de Marina», 1943; Editorial Naval, 1988, p.244.
 Archivo nacional de Chile , fondo de la Capitania-General, Vol.793, ff.230-3; Vol.742, núm.59. Quoted in Ricardo Donoso, El Marqués de Osorno: Don Ambrosio Higgins, Santiago , 1942, p.262.
 Enrique J. Porrua (ed.), The Diary of Antonio de Tova on the Malaspina Expedition, 1789-1794, Lewiston , Queenston and Lampeter, 2001, p.473). I am grateful to Enrique Porrua for personally providing me with this extract (which I have translated from the Spanish).
 Fourteen years later George Johnston’s cousin, Charles James Johnston, in command of the East India Squadron frigate HMS Cornwallis (38 guns) used Port Jackson as a base for refreshment and re-supply during a cruise against Spanish shipping on the West coast of South America between May and October 1807 (Charles James Johnston, Captain, “Log of the Proceedings of His Majesty’s Ship the Cornwallis, 1807”, National Archives, Kew, PRO, ADM 51/1777; Jorge Ortiz Sotelo, ‘El crucero del HMS Cornwallis en la costo del Pacifico americano (1807)’, Derroteros de la Mar del Sur, núm.10, 2003.). The cruise is commemorated in the name Johnston Atoll, sighted by Captain Johnston on 15 December 1807 .
 Accounts of the visit of the expedition to Sydney are given the journals of Malaspina, of Francisco Xavier de Viana ( Diario del viage explorador de las corbetas expañolas “Descubierta” y “Atrevida”, Montevideo, Cerrito de la Victoria, 1849 ) and Luis Neé ( in Antonio Joseph Cavanilles, "Observaciones sobre el suelo, naturales y plantas de Puerto Jackson y Bahia Botanica", Anales de Historia Natural, No.3, 1800), and in David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, London, 1798 .
 Andrew David, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Carlos Novi, Glyndwr Williams, The Malaspina Expedition, 1789-1794: the Journal of the Voyage by Alejandro Malaspina, London and Madrid, Hakluyt Society in association with the Museo Naval, Volume III, 2004, p.87 .
 Revillagigado a Malaspina, 19 enero 1791, Museo Naval (Madrid), ms.280, ff.9-11v; cited in Virginia González Claverán, La Expedición Científica de Malaspina en Nueva España, 1789-1794, México DF, El Colegio de México, 1988, p.96.
 Duke of Leeds to Merry, 2 February 1790 , Public Record Office, London , FO 72/16, ff.87-8.
 Robert J. King, " An Australian Perspective on the English Invasions of the Rio de la Plata in 1806 and 1807", Sabretache (Journal and Proceedings of Military Historical Society of Australia), vol.XLIV, no.2, June 2003; Derroteros de la Mar del Sur, ( Lima), año 10, núm.10, 2003 (first presented at the Jornadas Internacionales de História Naval y Marítima, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 8 to 10 November 2000) .
 Fitzherbert to Leeds , 16 June 1790 , British Library Add. MS 28066, ff.27-28; quoted in V.T. Harlow, The Founding of the Second British Empire, London, Longmans, Vol.II, 1964,, p.634.
 Museo Naval (Madrid), MS 329, ff.57-88v; MS 318 ff.11-37v (copy by Bauzá); British Library Additional Manuscript 17624 (also Bauzá's copy); Juan Pimentel, La Expedición Malaspina, 1789-1794, Tomo VII, Descripciones y Reflexiones Políticas, Barcelona y Madrid, Museo Naval, Ministerio de Defensa y Lunwerg, 1996, pp.217-236; also in Juan Pimentel, En el Panóptico del Mar del Sur: Orígenes y desarollo de la visita australiana de la expedición Malaspina (1793), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, 1992; English translation by Robert J. King, The Secret History of the Convict Colony: Alexandro Malaspina's Report on the British Settlement of New South Wales, Sydney, Allen & Unwin, 1990.
 Pedro de Novo y Colson, Viaje alrededor del Mundo..., Madrid, 1885, translated in Robert Langdon, "The Maritime Explorers", Noel Rutherford (ed.), Friendly Islands: A History of Tonga, Melbourne, 1977, pp.59-61. On 17 September 1973, a dig was undertaken in the presence of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV on the site of Malaspina’s observatory on the coral islet near Longomapu, Vava'u, in search of any relics of the expedition, in particular, the bottle in which the proclamation of possession was buried. Nothing, however, was found on this occasion (Patricia Matheson, “Royal treasure hunt gives Tongans new awareness of past”, Pacific Islands Monthly, November 1973, pp.5-6).
 Robert Langdon, "They Came to Spy on Sydney ”, The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 April 1962 . John Kendrick, Alejandro Malaspina: Portrait of a Visionary, Montreal and Kingston , McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999, p.77.
 Alexandro Malaspina, holograph manuscript, Museo Naval MS 329, ff.54-72V o .
 Banks’s motto for the colony, “ Sic fortis Etruria crevit ” ("so strong Etruria grew") was from Virgil's Second Georgic, line 53, a reference to the foundation of Rome (Robert J. King, "'Etruria': the Great Seal of New South Wales", Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia, vol.5, October 1990 ).
Updated: January 21, 2015