Lord Howe Island was discovered on 17th February, 1788 by Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball, commander of the armed tender of the First Fleet, HMS Supply. Lieutenant Ball was sailing from First Fleet headquarters in Sydney Cove to Norfolk Island where it was intended to found a second colony.
Ball did not land on Lord Howe Island until 13th March, 1788, on his return journey, when men from the Supply came ashore to explore the newly discovered island and claim it in the name of the Colony of New South Wales.
Many place names of the Island date to this very first visit. The Island was named after Lord Howe, who was the First Lord of the Admiralty at the time. Ball’s Pyramid and Mount Lidgbird were named after Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball.
In that same year a number of other First Fleet ships visited the Island. Some of the sailors who came ashore made diary notes and even sketches of the Island and its birdlife.