La Perouse was named after the French navigator Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse (1741–88). La Perouse landed on the northern shore of Botany Bay (west of what is now called Bare Island) in January 1788 shortly after Captain Arthur Phillip and the first fleet of convicts arrived in Australia. Captain James Cook's expedition had earlier sailed onto the east coast of Australia in 1770 whilst exploring the south Pacific searching for the Land of the South. Inspired by this, Louis XVI of France commissioned Lapérouse to explore the Pacific. Upon King Louis XVI's orders, Lapérouse departed Brest, France, in command of Astrolabe and Boussole on 1 August 1785.