The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Gregory, Hon. Augustus Charles
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Gregory, Hon. Augustus Charles
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Gregory, Hon. Augustus Charles, C.M.G., M.L.C., J.P., son of the late J. Gregory, lieutenant 78th Highlanders, who emigrated to Western Australia, was born in Nottinghamshire in 1819, and educated privately in England and Australia. He arrived in Western Australia in 1829, entered the Civil Service of that colony in 1841, and from 1846 to 1859 was actively engaged in exploration work on the Australian continent. In the first-mentioned year Mr. Gregory, with his brothers Charles and Frank (q.v.), started into the interior from Bolgart Spring; but were stopped in their progress eastward by an immense salt lake, which compelled them to turn north-west, where they discovered some fine seams of coal, in the limestone country at the mouth of the Arrowsmith. They were forty-seven days absent, and traversed a thousand miles. In 1848 Mr. Gregory was despatched northwards to explore the Gascoyne River, and succeeded in reaching a point three hundred and fifty miles north of Perth, the result of the expedition being to disclose the pastoral wealth of the Murchison and Champion Bay districts. In 1855 Mr. Gregory undertook a third exploring expedition under the auspices of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Baron von Mueller being one of the party. The object was the dual one of exploring the interior and of searching for traces of the lost explorer Leichhardt, who had been missing for seven years. The party started in July, and did not return to Brisbane till November in the following year, having discovered much rich country and new watersheds, but no certain traces of Leichhardt. In 1858 the New South Wales Government sent Mr. Gregory to renew his search for Leichhardt. The expedition left Sydney on Jan. 12th, 1858, and it reached the Barcoo in April, returning to Adelaide on July 31st; the only traces of Leichhardt which this expedition disclosed being a tree marked L., in lat. 24° 25', long. 145° 6'. Mr. Gregory, who takes a place in the front rank of Australian explorers, and had the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society conferred on him in 1858, did not take part in any further expeditions, being appointed Surveyor-General of Queensland in 1859, a post which he held till Sept. 1st, 1879. He was created C.M.G. in 1874, a trustee of the Queensland Museum in 1876, and was nominated to the Legislative Council in Nov. 1882; but did not take his seat till June 1883. Mr. Gregory has been District Grand Master of Freemasonry in Queensland under the English constitution since 1863. He is a J.P. of the colony, and was a member of the Queensland Commission in Brisbane for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1886.