In 1840 various treaties were concluded by Captain Robert Moresby of the Indian Navy " on the part of the English Government in India " with the sultan of Tajura and the governor of Zaila, who engaged not to enter into treaties with any other foreign power.
The Port Moresby beds are Cainozoic. They are highly inclined, and occupy a large range of country along the south coast, and include the Macgillivray Range, to the north-east of Beagle Bay.
Brown and by Wilfred Powell, and in 1882 Dr Otto Finsch, whose name is well known in connexion with scientific work in New Guinea, made valuable explorations in the neighbourhood of Port Moresby and the Loluki river.
The surveys and reports of Captain Moresby in 1874 brought home to Queensland (and Australia generally) the dangers possible to her commerce were the coasts opposite to Torres Strait and the entrance to the splendid waterway inside the Barrier Reef to fall into the possession of a foreign power.
The Protectorate, as declared in 1884, with its seat of government at Port Moresby, was subsidized by the three Australian colonies of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and lasted, under the administration of two successive special commissioners (Major-General Sir Peter Scratchley and the Hon.
Justice is administered by petty sessions in the six magisterial districts into which the possession is divided, with a central court at Port Moresby (which, however, sits elsewhere as necessary) having the jurisdiction of a supreme court, from which in certain cases an appeal lies to the supreme court of Queensland.