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DICTIONARY OF AUSTRALASIAN BIOGRAPHY.
Wentworth, William Charles, the great Australian patriot, was of Irish extraction, being the son of Darcy Wentworth, a surgeon from Dublin, who was appointed Imperial Medical Officer at Norfolk Island, where the subject of this notice was born in Oct. 1793. His mother's maiden name was Catherine Parry. When seven years old he was sent to England, and educated under Dr. Alexander Crombie, of Greenwich. After his return to Sydney (where his father became Principal Superintendent of Police) he joined with Messrs. Blaxland and Lawson in an attempt to cross the Blue Mountains, which had hitherto barred the way into the interior. The party started on May 11th, 1813, crossed the Nepean, and after undergoing great hardships returned successful on June 6th. In 1816 Mr. Wentworth revisited England, and went through the usual curriculum at Cambridge University. In 1819 he published his maiden work, "A Statistical, Historical and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales," which went through three editions prior to 1824. At the annual commencement at Cambridge University in 1823, Wentworth competed against the well-known poet, Winthrop Mackworth Praed, and twenty-five others for the Chancellor's medal for a poem on "Australasia." The palm was awarded to Praed, and Wentworth was placed second; but it is generally considered as a matter of literary judgment that the order should have been reversed. The curious on such matters will find the two poems printed in extenso in Mr. Henniker Heaton's "Australian Dictionary of Dates." Having been called to the Bar in 1822, Mr. Wentworth returned to Sydney, where he was admitted to the colonial Bar in 1824. Besides practising his profession with great success, he went largely into squatting, and in conjunction with his friend, Dr. Wardell, started the Australian newspaper, the plant for which they had brought from England. Having established his repute as a writer and speaker, Mr. Wentworth became the head and front of the Patriotic Association, which was formed to promote the claims of the people of New South Wales to civil and political privileges similar to those enjoyed by other British subjects. In the famous Sudds and Thompson case, in which two soldiers committed theft in order to secure the milder treatment accorded to convicts, and were so severely punished that the former died under the
administration various industries were developed; a partially representative legislature was established; municipal institutions were introduced; an Education Act was passed, which gave general satisfaction; a system was adopted which placed all religious denominations on a footing of equality, grants of land being made by the Governor to all of them in proportion to their number, for churches, schools, glebes and charitable institutions; telegraph lines were constructed throughout the colony; steam communication was opened up along the coasts, so as to promote the settlement of various parts of the territory; and important explorations were successfully carried out by the present Premier of the colony, Sir John Forrest. Two of Mr. Weld's last acts as Governor of Western Australia were to cut the first sod of the first Government railway, and to plant the first telegraph post of a line which ultimately connected Western Australia with Adelaide and the whole of Eastern Australia. In Jan. 1875 Mr. Weld, who held office in Western Australia from Sept. 1869 to Dec. 1874, was appointed Governor of Tasmania, where he remained till April 1880, when he was knighted and appointed Governor of the Straits Settlements, a position which he held till 1887, when he retired from the colonial service on a pension. Sir Frederick, who was created C.M.G. in 1875, K.C.M.G. in 1880, and G.C.M.G. in 1885, married on March 2nd, 1858, Filomena Mary Anne, eldest daughter of the late Ambrose Lisle March Phillipps de Lisle, of Grace Dieu Manor and Garenden Park, Leicester. Accounts of his explorations of the uninhabited districts of the Middle Island of New Zealand appeared in the New Zealand Government Gazette in 1851, and Province of Nelson in 1855. He is author of "Hints to Intending Sheep Farmers in New Zealand," and of a paper on the great volcanic eruption of Manna Loa (Sandwich Islands) in 1855; and ascent of that mountain (journal of the Royal Geological Society, London, 1856); also "Notes on New Zealand Affairs" (London, 1869). He died in England on July 20th, 1891.