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Biographical entry Gregory, Francis Thomas (Frank) (1821 - 1888)

19 October 1821
Farnsfield, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
23 October 1888
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Explorer and Surveyor


Francis Gregory was a surveyor, rising from cadet in the Surveyor General's Department to Staff Surveyor in 1849. He made exploratory journeys into unchartered parts of Western Australia, on occasion with his brothers Augustus and Henry who were also surveyors, including in the region of the Irwin River (1846), Murchison River (1857), Gascoigne River (1858) and Nickol Bay (1861). These surveys discovered much land suitable for grazing. For his work in exploring Western Australia Gregory was awarded the Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, London. In 1862 he moved to Queensland and entered public life, becoming a member of the upper house of the Queensland Parliament in 1874. Collections of botanical and geological specimens made during his explorations were lodged in the Fremantle Museum run by Charles Nicolay, and later became part of the Western Australian Museum.



Life event - Migrated in Western Australia with his family
Career event - Explored Irwin River district
1847 - 1849
Career position - Assistant surveyor, Surveyor General's Department, Western Australia
1849 - 1862
Career position - Staff Surveyor, Surveyor General's Department, Western Australia
Career event - Explored upper reaches of the Murchison River
Career event - Explored Gascoigne River
Career event - Explored Nickol Bay region
Life event - Moved to Queensland
Award - Founders' Medal, Royal Geographical Society, London
1872 - 1874
Career position - Mining Commissioner, Stanhope, Queensland
1874 - ?
Career position - Commissioner of Crown Lands, Toowoomba District, Queensland
January 1874 - October 1888
Career position - Member of the Legislative Council, Queensland Parliament
1883 - ?
Career position - Postmaster General, Queensland

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

  • Augustus Charles Gregory - Records, 1819 - 1905, ML MSS 291; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Published resources


  • Glover, John with Bevan, Jenny, The Forgotten Explorers: Pioneer geologists of Western Australia, 1826-1926 (Victoria Park, W.A.: Hesperian Press, 2010), 246 pp. Details

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Glover, John, 'F. T. Gregory and the foundation of the Western Australian pearling industry', WAG: Western Australian geologist, 491 (Oct/Nov) (2011), 6-8. Details
  • Glover, John, 'Captain Joshua S Dixon and His Contribution to FT Gregory's Final Expedition in Western Australia', WAG: West Australian Geologist, 489 (Aug/Sept) (2011), 11-2. Details


See also

  • Feeken, Erwin H. J., Feeken, Gerda E. E. and Spate, O. H. K., The discovery and exploration of Australia (Melbourne: Thomas Nelson (Australia), 1970), 318 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn