In January 1803 King George signed off on the appointment of Adolarius William Henry Humphrey as Australia's first government geologist.
Colonial Secretary Lord Hobart informed Governor King: "With a view to afford you the most efficacious aid in ascertaining the mineral productions of your Government, His Majesty has been pleased to appoint Mr. A. W. H. Humphery, a person in every respect well qualified for the duty, to be his mineralogist in the territories of New South Wales."
Lord Hobart obviously didn't have a clue who AWH Humphrey was, which was illustrated both by misspelling his name and in saying he was well-qualified.
While Humphrey may well have been an intelligent and diligent young man, he was not "in every respect well qualified". He was only 20 years old and had no training in mineralogy at all.
This contrasted with the two mineralogists who accompanied the French explorer Baudin at this time.
They were both university trained and their presence in Australia may well have led to the Colonial Office deciding on Humphrey's appointment.
Humphrey joined the expedition under Lt-Col David Collins, which landed in Port Phillip in late 1803.
Though he found limestone at Sorrento and began producing lime, they found the area unsuitable for settlement and Humphrey was sent with an advance party to Port Dalrymple, to see if it offered better prospects. On the way, they were to look out for the brig Lady Nelson, which had gone missing.
They found Lady Nelson at Deal Island in Bass Strait and commandeered the vessel. On board was the famous botanist Robert Brown who, like Humphrey, was keen to explore Tasmania.
On New Year's Day 1804 they discovered and named Supply River, where they were able to replenish their freshwater supplies.
While convicts filled water barrels, Humphrey, with his hammer and chisel, carved his initials and the date into nearby rocks. They are still there and may be the oldest European graffiti still existing in Australia.
After two weeks surveying the Tamar, the expedition returned to Port Phillip, reporting it was well suited to settlement.
While they were away, however, Lt-Col Collins' settlers had been suffering from disease and lack of water and supplies.
It was decided that they were in no condition to establish a colony on the Tamar. Instead, they relocated to the new settlement on the Derwent.
This is why the York Town colony was delayed until later in 1804, and why Melbourne wasn't settled until the Batman and Fawkner expeditions from Launceston in 1835.
AWH Humphrey resigned as the colony's geologist/mineralogist in 1812 after prospecting much of the accessible parts of Tasmania on foot.
He became Chief Magistrate in Hobart, a member of the Legislative Council and Executive Council, and Lt-Governor Sorell's right-hand man.