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Biographical entry Moresby, John (1830 - 1922)

15 March 1830
Allerford, Somerset, England
12 July 1922
Fareham, Hampshire, England
Hydrographer and Explorer


John Moresby joined the British navy as a cadet at age twelve. He was made captain in 1865 and in 1871 was sent to Australia (Sydney). Moresby spent the next three to four years travelling to places including New Zealand, Torres Strait Islands, northern Australia, New Guinea and Norfolk Island. On these journeys he carried out hydrographic surveys and tried to halt kidnappings and other pirate activities. Moresby was responsible for claiming New Guinea for the British and named Port Moresby in honour of his father.



c. 1842 - c. 1845
Career position - Cadet with the Royal Navy
1845 - 1864
Career position - Midshipman, then lieutenant, then commander
Career position - Sent to the Australian Station on the HMS Basilisk
Career position - Ordered back to England
Career position - Discoveries and Surveys in New Guinea published

Published resources

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Ingleton, G. C., 'A Brief History of Marine Surveying in Australia', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 30 (1944). Details


McCarthy, G.J.