Phillip Parker King brought in the cutter Mermaid to King George Sound in 1818. Sketch shows his men parlaying with Aborigines near the British bivouac at Oyster Harbour. Courtesy Battye Library 5042P.
In 1801, Matthew Flinders made the first map of Princess Royal Harbour. He met and traded with the local Noongar peoples. A few weeks after he left, the Frenchman Baudin arrived. He visited the Aboriginal fish traps located in the Kalgan River. Over the next 25 years, sealers and whalers were the most common visitors to the coast.
However, this changed after the arrival of Major Edmund Lockyer in King George Sound in 1826 to establish a military outpost to ward off any French interest in the area. Initially, relations between the settlers and the traditional landowners in the King George Sound region were fairly harmonious as Lockyer, appalled by the treatment Aboriginal people had received from parties of sealers operating along the coast, favoured a conciliatory approach to occupation.
This settlement provided a model that Governor James Stirling tried unsuccessfully to follow at the Swan River Colony. In 1831, Albany as it became known, was made part of the Swan River Colony and a civil administration was established.