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Biographical entry Armit, William Edington (1848 - 1901)

10 May 1848
Liège, Belgium
3 January 1901
Samarai, New Guinea
Explorer and Naturalist


William Armit led an expedition to New Guinea in 1883 which included the eccentric American scientist, Professor W. Denton. He worked as a journalist and naturalist in North Queensland until 1893 when he returned to New Guinea to a succession of public service posts.


Born Liège, Belgium, 10 May 1848. Died New Guinea, 3 January 1901. Arrived Australia ca 1870. Stockman, Cleveland Bay, Queensland 1870-72, sub-inspector, Queensland Native Police 1872-82, Melbourne "Argus" special correspondence in command of expedition to New Guinea 1883, journalist and naturalist, Port Douglas and Cooktown 1883-93, private secretary to the administrator of New Guinea 1893-95, sub-collector of customs, Sumarai 1895-97, assistant resident magistrate, northern division 1899, resident magistrate 1899-1900.

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Australian Botanists - Biographies, MS 064; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Edward Pearson Ramsay - Records, 1860 - 1912, ML MSS 563; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Gibbney, H. J., 'Armit, William Edington (1848-1901), policeman, journalist, explorer and public servant', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 3, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1969, p. 48. Also available at Details

Journal Articles

  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Queensland Botanists', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, vol. xii, 1909, pp. 373-383. Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J.