Within a few days of the return in 1780 of Captain James Cook’s (1728–79) ships to England from their circumnavigation of the globe, Captain James King and voyage artist John Webber (1751–93) appeared before King George III (1738–1820). Accompanying them was Lord Sandwich (1718–92), the First Lord of the Admiralty, for whom the Hawaiian Islands had been named by Captain Cook. Lord Sandwich later related the events of the meeting in a letter to Sir Joseph Banks, who was a member of the Royal Society and who had accompanied Cook on his first Pacific voyage, which he described this way:

I attended Capt. King & Mr. Webber the painter to his Majesty Sunday last at Windsor, where we went thro’ an examination of the drawings, charts & which seemed to give great satisfaction; the drawings are very numerous being 200 in number and I think are exceedingly curious & well executed. 1