The First Discovery of Australia And New Guinea; Being The Narrative of Portuguese and Spanish Discoveries in the Australasian Regions, between the Years 1492-1606, with Descriptions of their Old Charts by George Collingridge.
This study of the Discovery of Australia shows that early Portuguese navigators were the first Europeans to sight Australia between 1521 and 1524, well before the arrival of Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606 on board the Duyfken who is generally considered to be the discoverer.
"Of the many books which have been published on subjects relating to Australia and Australian History, I am not aware of any, since my late friend, Mr. R. H. Major's introduction to his valuable work, "Early Voyages to Terra Australis," which has attempted a systematic investigation into the earliest discoveries of the great Southern Island-Continent, and the first faint indications of knowledge that such a land existed. Mr. Major's work was published in 1859, at a time when the materials for such an enquiry were much smaller than at present. The means of reproducing and distributing copies of the many ancient maps which are scattered among the various libraries of Europe were then very imperfect, and the science of Comparative Cartography, of which the importance is now well recognised, was in its infancy. For these reasons his discussion, useful though it still is, cannot be regarded as abreast of modern opportunities. It is, indeed, after the lapse of more than a third of a century, somewhat out of date. Having, therefore, been led to give close attention during several years to the whole subject, I have thought the time ripe for the present work. "
George Collingridge (1847–1931) was an Australian writer and illustrator best known today for his early assertions of Portuguese discovery of Australia in the 16th century.
He was born in Oxfordshire, England, educated in Paris, served in the Papal Zouaves, and migrated to Australia in 1879 aboard the Lusitania. He settled in the then isolated area of Berowra, before moving to nearby Hornsby, New South Wales. He founded the first Australian art magazine, and was one of the founders of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales.