Thursday, 27 December 2007
When Captain Cook claimed possession of what is now Eastern Australia in 1770, he named it New South Wales. It wasn't until fourteen years later that the continent acquired its present name. This came about in February 1785 when Josiah A Kerr, the coxwain of a penal colony supply ship, landed on the wooded shore of Desolation Bay with a watering party and mistook a bandicoot track for a bridleway. Kerr set off alone to explore it, and was never seen again. His parting words, "There's an 'orse trail 'ere", passed into folklore and became corrupted into Orstralia, subsequently latinised as Australia.