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Wentworth, William Charles

Born: 1790 AD
Died: 1872 AD
Nationality: Australian
Categories: Explorer, Journalist, Politician

1790 – Born on Norfolk Island on the 26th October.

1796 – Wentworth arrived in Sydney, then a squalid prison settlement, with his parents and they lived at Parramatta, where his father became a prosperous landowner.

1803 – Sent to England, where he was educated at a school in London.

1810 – Returned to Sydney and appointed acting Provost-Marshall by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, and given a land grant on the Nepean River.

1813 – With Gregory Blaxland and William Lawson, led the expedition, which found a route across the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.

          – The town of Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains commemorates his role in the expedition.

1816 – As a reward he was granted more lands then combined farming with sandalwood trading in the South Pacific.

         – Admitted to the bar, travelled in Europe, and studied at Cambridge University.

1819 – Published the first book written by an Australian: A Statistical, Historical and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales, in which he advocated an elected assembly for New South Wales.

1822 – Completed his legal studies and was called to the bar on 8th February.

1823 – Published an epic poem Australasia, which contains lines now famous in Australia:

And, O Britannia!… may this – thy last-born infant – then arise,

To glad thy heart, and greet thy parent eyes;

And Australasia float, with flag unfurl’d,

A new Britannia in another world!


1824 – Wentworth returned to Sydney.

1827 – D’Arcy Wentworth died and William inherited his property, becoming one of the wealthiest men in the colony.

1853 – Chaired the committee to draft a new constitution for New South Wales.

1856 – Wentworth retired from the Council and settled in England.

1860 – Refused several offers of honours, and was a member of the Conservative Party.

1872 – He died 20th of March in England and his body was returned to Sydney for burial.