Page:The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.djvu/524

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DICTIONARY OF AUSTRALASIAN BIOGRAPHY.

explorer and poet and Anti-Slavery Society secretary. He was born near Greenlaw, Scotland, in March 1820, and arrived in Tasmania with his father in 1832. So far back as 1838, when the colony of Victoria was in its infancy, and Mr.Whyte was only seventeen years of age, he crossed the Straits, and, with a good stock of sheep, settled on the station at Portland Bay known as Kononwotong. He and his brothers traded on a large scale under the firm of Whyte Brothers, and were the pioneers of the present township of Coleraine. The difficulties with the savage aborigines were very great, and Mr. Whyte had his vicissitudes, like all early settlers in squatting life. In connection with Mr. Robert McDonald and Mr. William Lane, he afterwards became the proprietor of a large station at Clunes, on which at a subsequent date the Port Phillip Gold Mine was discovered, which for years yielded a handsome royalty to its owners. Mr. Whyte, satisfied with his handsome returns from the Clunes goldmine, returned to Tasmania about the year 1853. His means were ample, and in 1854 he made his first appearance on the stage of public life, when, in the half-nominee and half-representative Legislature of that day, he contested the seat for Brighton with Dr. Butler, but was defeated. In the latter part of 1856, however, when, under the new Constitution Act, two representative Houses were established, he was elected for Pembroke without opposition, and retained his seat, being for several years Chairman of Committees, until it became vacant by effluxion of time on March 21st, 1876, when, holding an office of emolument under the Crown, he was no longer eligible for re-election. Mr. Whyte held a seat in the Gregson Ministry as a member of the Executive Council without office from Feb. to May 1857. Having been a prominent member of the Opposition to the Chapman Ministry, Mr. Whyte was entrusted with the formation of a Cabinet on their defeat in Jan. 1863, and took office as Premier and Chief Secretary. He, however, resigned in Nov. 1866, on the condemnation by the Assembly of the proposal to impose an income and property tax. In 1870 Mr Whyte, as a private member, carried a bill for the suppression of the scab disease in sheep, which was then making fearful ravages, and accepted the office of Chief Inspector under the provisions of the measure. This, as before stated, necessitated his retirement from parliament. He died on August 21st, 1880.

Wigley, Henry Rudolph, S.M., was born in 1794, and was admitted a solicitor of the Court of Chancery in 1818. He was appointed Public Prosecutor of South Australia in 1836, and shortly afterwards police magistrate. He was the first Commissioner of Insolvency, and presiding magistrate of the Adelaide local court until March 1856, when he retired on a pension. Mr. Wigley died at Grunthall on Oct. 19th, 1876.

Wilkinson, Charles Smith, F.L.S., F.G.S., Government Geologist, New South Wales, was the fourth son of the late David Wilkinson, C.E., who emigrated to Victoria in 1852, and took a prominent part in the initiation of railway and steamboat communication in that colony. He was born in Northamptonshire in 1843, and educated at Ebly, near Stroud, in Gloucestershire, and, after arriving in Melbourne, at Fenner's Collegiate School in that city. In Dec. 1859 he was appointed to the Geological Survey Office of Victoria, under Mr. Selwyn. In 1861 he acted as field assistant to the late Mr. Daintree in his explorations of the country northward of Bass's Straits, and in 1863 was associated with Mr. Reginald Murray in the exploration of the Cape Otway Ranges. Here some important geological discoveries were made, and Mr. Wilkinson's reports and maps were subsequently published. He also made some important investigations relating to the deposits of gold and the formation of gold nuggets, which he communicated to the Royal Society of Victoria. Having succeeded Mr. Daintree in 1866, he resigned his appointment under the Victorian Government in 1868, in consequence of ill health, and resided at Wagga Wagga, N.S.W., for three years. In 1872 he passed the examination for licensed surveyors in that colony, and was employed upon surveys in the New England and Murrumbidgee districts. In 1874 he received the appointment of Geological Surveyor under the Surveyor-General of New South Wales in the department of the Minister of Lands. In 1875 he was transferred to the Mines Department, and collected and arranged most of the fossils and minerals in the

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