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Biographical entry Wills, William John (1834 - c. 1861)

Born
5 January 1834
Totnes, Devon, England
Died
c. 29 June 1861
Queensland, Australia
Occupation
Explorer and Astronomer

Summary

William John Wills migrated to Australia in 1852 and in 1860 he was given the position of astronomer and surveyor with an expedition led by R.O. Burke to explore central Australia. They reached the Gulf of Carpentaria but died on the return journey.

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • William John Wills - Records, 1839 - 1863, mfm G 14542; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • William John Wills - Records, 1839 - 1861, MS 9504; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details
  • William John Wills - Records, 1839 - 1861, MF 360; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Published resources

Books

  • Bonyhady, Tim, Burke and Wills: from Melbourne to myth, David Ell Press, Balmain (N.S.W.), 1991, 383 pp. Details
  • Cathcart, Michael, Starvation in a Land of Plenty: Wills' Diary of the Fateful Burke and Wills Expedition, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 2012, 213 pp. Details
  • Joyce, E. Bernie and Mccann, Douglas A., Burke and Wills: the Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, 2011, 368 pp. Details
  • Murgatroyd, Sara, The Dig Tree: the Story of Burke and Wills, Text Publishing, Melbourne, 2000, 372 pp. Details

Book Sections

Conference Papers

  • Gardner-Thorpe, D., Gardner-Thorpe C. and Pearn, J., '"Surgeon" Wills of the Burke and Wills Expedition', in Covacevich, Jeanette, Pearn, John, Case, Donna, Chapple, Ian and Phillips, Gael (eds), History, Heritage and Health: Proceedings of the Fourth Biennial Conference of the Australian Society of the History of Medicine, Norfolk Island, 2-9 July, 1995, Society of the History of Medicine, Brisbane, 1996, pp. 345-350. Details

Journals

  • Pearn, John (ed.), 'Surgeon' Wills of the Burke and Wills Expedition 1860-1861: New Research and a Medical Perspective of William John Wills (1834-1861)', Queensland History Journal, vol. 21, 2012, 522-36 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Fitzpatrick, Kathleen, 'The Burke and Wills Expedition and the Royal Society of Victoria', Historical Studies, vol. 40, May, 1963. Details

Reviews

  • Stagg, Helen, review of Cathcart, Michael, Starvation in a Land of Plenty: Wills' Diary of the Fateful Burke and Wills Expedition (2012), Journal of Australian Colonial History, vol. 17, 2015, pp. 211-3. Details

Online Resources

See also

McCarthy, G.J.