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Biographical entry Wentworth, William Charles (1790 - 1872)

20 March 1872
Wimborne, Dorset, England
Explorer and Barrister


William Wentworth crossed the Blue Mountains in 1813 with G. Blaxland and W. Lawson, thus opening up the interior to pastoralists.


Born on board the Surprize, ca July 1790. Died England, 20 March 1872. Acting provost-marshall, New South Wales 1811, granted 1750 acres in the Nepean (Vermont estate), studied law in England 1817-21, published A statistical, Historical, and Political description of the Colony of New South Wales ... 1819 (revised and enlarged editions 1820 an d 1824), returned to Sydney 1824, joint publisher of the Australian 1824-28, was responsible for the system of military juries being abolished 1829 and the introduction of trial by jury 1830, fought for self-government, foundation vice-president, Australian Patriotic Association 1835, Legislative Council 1843-54, played a leading part in establishing in 1848-49 the first real system of state primary education in New South Wales, led the movement resulting in the founding of the University of Sydney, which he helped to endow. Commemorated by the town of Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, portraits in the chamber of the Legislative Assembly in Sydney and in the Mitchell Library, and a statue in the Great Hall of the University of Sydney.

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Persse, Michael, 'Wentworth, William Charles (1790-1872), explorer, author, barrister, landowner, and statesman' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Douglas Pike, ed., vol. 2 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1967), pp. 582-590. Details


See also

Rosanne Walker