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George Grey

George Grey was born in Portugal, the son of a soldier. Among many other things, he was an early 'explorer' of the north of Western Australia. Wikipedia provides this summary:

In 1837, at the age of 25, Grey led an ill-prepared expedition that explored North-West Australia. British settlers in Australia at the time knew little of the region and only one member of Grey's party had been there before. It was believed possible at that time that one of the world's largest rivers might drain into the Indian Ocean in North-West Australia; if that were found to be the case, the region it flowed through might be suitable for colonisation. Grey, with Lieutenant Franklin Lushington, of the 9th (East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot, offered to explore the region. On 5 July 1837, they sailed from Plymouth in command of a party of five, the others being Lushington; Dr William Walker, a surgeon and naturalist; and Corporals John Coles and Richard Auger of the Royal Sappers and Miners. Joining the party at Cape Town were Sapper Private Robert Mustard, J.C. Cox, Thomas Ruston, Evan Edwards, Henry Williams, and Robert Inglesby. In December they landed at Hanover Bay (west of Uwins Island in the Bonaparte Archipelago). Travelling south, the party traced the course of the Glenelg River. After experiencing boat wrecks, near-drowning, becoming completely lost, and Grey himself being speared in the hip during a skirmish with Aboriginal people, the party gave up. After being picked up by HMS Beagle and the schooner Lynher, they were taken to Mauritius to recover. Lieutenant Lushington was then mobilised to rejoin his regiment in the First Anglo-Afghan War. In September 1838 Grey sailed to Perth hoping to resume his adventures.
In February 1839 Grey embarked on a second exploration expedition to the north, where he was again wrecked with his party, again including Surgeon Walker, at Kalbarri. They were the first Europeans to see the Murchison River, but then had to walk to Perth, surviving the journey through the efforts of Kaiber, a Whadjuk Noongar man ..., who organised food and what water could be found (they survived by drinking liquid mud). At about this time, Grey learnt [some of] the Noongar language.
Due to his interest in Aboriginal culture in July 1839, Grey was promoted to captain and appointed temporary Resident Magistrate at King George Sound, Western Australia, following the death of Sir Richard Spencer RN KCH, the previous Resident Magistrate.

References and Links

Grey, George 1841, Journal of Two Expeditions of Discovery in North-West and Western Australia, During the Years 1837, ‘38, and ‘39, Under the Authority of Her Majesty’s Government, T. and W. Boone, London.

Grey's Journals have been made available by the Gutenberg Project.

Wikipedia page.


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