London, Bengal, the China trade and the unfrequented extremities of Asia: the East India Company's settlement in New Guinea, 1793-95
ON 25 October 1793 an Englishman, Captain John Hayes, hoisted the British flag at Dore Bay on the north-west coast of New Guinea, near present-day Manokwari in Irian Jaya. With appropriate ceremony a twenty-one gun salute was fired and Hayes, on behalf of the King and nation of Great Britain, took possession of the newly named and thus far unexplored country of 'New Albion'. A formal proclamation describing the annexed territory's bounds was signed by Hayes, his three senior officers and twenty-two crewmen of the Duke of Clarence and Duchess under his command. So began the first European presence on the great island of New Guinea.