John Hayes (explorer)

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Sir John Hayes (1768 – 3 July 1831)[1] was an officer of the Bombay Marine of the British East India Company.[2]

On 6 February 1793 he sailed from Calcutta on a private trading voyage with two chartered ships, the Duke of Clarence of 250 tons (bm) and 14 guns and the Duchess, an armed snow of 100 tons (bm). The goal was to collect nutmeg from New Guinea. However, on passing Timor, due to adverse winds he decided to navigate around the south coast of Australia and resupply with wood and water at Adventure Bay in Tasmania.[2]

He spent some time exploring the area of the River Derwent, unaware that it had already been charted by Antoine Bruni d'Entrecasteaux. He (re)named many geographic features, generally using the names of officers in the East India Company or his shipmates. Some of these names survive to the present day, including the River Derwent itself and Risdon Cove.[2]

Leaving Tasmania on 9 June, he arrived at New Caledonia on 28 June and explored the coast until leaving for New Guinea on 3 July. He was the first European to land on Rossel Island.[2]


  1. ^ Roe, Margriet (1966). "Hayes, Sir John (1768 - 1831)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 20 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d Ida Lee (1912). Commodore Sir John Hayes His Voyage and Life (1767-1831) with some account of Admiral d'Entrecasteaux's voyage of 1792-3. Longmans, Green, and Co.