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Sketcher.

FOUNDERS OF BRISBANE. JOHN OXLEY.

By DR. CUMBRAE STEWART.

The Surveyor-General of New South Wales, to whom Sir Thomas Brisbane communicated the instructions to examine the places recommended by Mr. Commis-

nioner Bigge, was John Oxley, one of the   most famous munb.s iri' the annala -of British exploration.-. Born in 173.3 nt Kirk haul' Abbey, in Yorkshire, Oxley unterod the Navy at the flge oC 10 as ;i mi'dship inaiv iv the Venerable, 74, a 'very famous ship; which.had boon Duncan's flagship- in the great victory over the Dutch at Cainperdown in October, 1797. Oxley. .s,iw a good deal of fighting with the French around Gibraltar iv the VenevuMo..-. In, 1802 lit) was in tho ButK.o >n 'iris w.ivy to Australia with Governor King, and ao remained on the Buffalo tor some years. Iv 1800 Governor King wiotiv '.>f him : "Mr. Joh'ii Oxley linn acted as lieutenant of the Buffalo since March, -\BO5. He ifl a very 'active, .sober, aiid attentive young man." Ho went homo in the Buffalo in 1807, His next -hip "was the 'Porpoise, and while in Jier., ho nindo the acquaintance <if Governor '•'Bligh, and expcVienced the ill-will which Bligh folfc for. most of his ooritemporawes.. Thin, however, did him no 'harm! Ho returned to England "in tho Porpoiso in May. 1810, and in 1812 was appointed Surveyor-Geneval of -New South Wales. He then came out and''made- the colony hit* home for the .rest, of hi* life.. Hi}'settled in a house" at-the"-corner 'or Kirn; and. .Macuuarie streets, ; afterwards St. :S.)"iun.!sV■■■•Reutory, and took t up K-irk-, \w\y, Elderslio, and Wingeeambee, near Ben-inn, on part. of. which Bowral now stands. His'greatest work was his a p]oi;atioii j>\\ the.interior, in the years 1817 -1818, described in. hi a book published by John Murray in. 1820 , . . . Thin -.was reviewed in the "Quarterly Review" in October; 1820. -In. it he de : scribes bow he waB-b.iffled.by the:ap?arent existence, of ,\n interior morass, into which,, )M wateri of the western watershed were thought to flow, lib theories- ot.: the nature-of the interior were very wide ot the ultimately ascertained 'facts. But his' fame depend* on the work ho did. not on guesses at 'facts beyond'his knowledge, In 1821 he married a Mifi3 Norton,, an mint.-of the late Hon.-Albert. .Norton;. M.L.C, a former Speaker of the Queens.: land Assembly, and was engaged'■ ni-the, •management of his department-;, when he was called* upon', for .further exploration work. - „ ' . . Sir' Thomas Brisbane was able1 to put fche". cutter' Mermaid, in which Governor son,:, afterward* Admiral P. P. King, had made' four voyages of .'cxylora fcion.at the disposal of Mr. Oxley,. and in her he 'sailed from Port Jackson oir October 23, 1823.' It was an important voyago from our point oi. view.ior the first thing they did was to discover the Tweed, and Oxloy was the. fiwt white man to stand on.l'inwil Point. Then they, discovered the Boat Passage at Southport, from there they went to Port Cur.tm and ♦Uncovered "llodd's Bay, , whoro Albert; Norton livxjd for -many years. -It. was named after one of the assistant surveyors ill' .Sydney. Then they returned, and at the «nd of November, 1823, they landed on Biibie Island. The work of examining Morelon Bay was entered upon, and on December 2, 1823, the Brisbane River vas discovered. ■ ; ■ The story of the discovery of the r*ver jlias been told so often that it would be wearisome to repeat it here. Oxley thought that he- had solved tho- problem of the western waters, and that these readied 4ho sea by the Brisbane River. Ho re turned to Sydney with the news of tho groat river at Moreton Bay. His next-vis.it was in August, 1824, wheiv he eame-up in the-Amity brig: His journal of this voyago was taken out of the Sur vey Office, in Sydney,, some years ago, but has now found its way to the Mitchell Library. A copy, or what purports.to be v copy, appeared about 20 years ago in tho proceedings of the Queensland, branch' of the Royal Geographical Society. It is taid, however, that the copy in.not-.in accurate one, and it has been suggested that a facsimile of the journal and tho . second visit,- together with Oxley'n field hooks of the-'first visit, now. in the Sydney Survey Office, should be reproduced for the purpose of the centenary. ' It was on the second visit that the settler uicnfc was' formed first at -Redcliffuy and then in! Brisbane itself. :. T''-I.' It was while-.' Oxley was at Moreton Bay. that; on .Augnsj; 11, . ].82i;-. ,;f-hq ; first Xicgi?lativc Council was opened in Sydney. Tho meihbe'rs were Cojonel VVilliam Stewart, of The Buffs, :j afterwards of: Mount .'Pleasant,, near '_ Bat hurst;'- .Cjhicf. Justice Forbes,-, father of two Darling Downs , pioneers,. .Major' Gbulburn,,- a first co vs \n of Gran v ille Che twy'nd. Stap'y 1-1 ton, the surveyor, murdered by blacks at Mount Lindsay in- 18iO;, John- Oxley; •lanies' Bowman, who. married pue-of the Macarthurs, and, lastly," tho rcdoubtablo John Macarthur, of Camdcn. <v Oxley returned to Sydney, but almost ' immediately after returifed to! ' MoretoiV Bay with Sir Thomas Brisbane and \,ha Chief Justice. Tl.iis was his last visit to the river with .which his liame !is so in timately connected.. His time was there-v After .spent in Sydney or at.Kirkhain, and

he had his share "of the laboum attending the ....introduction of the new form of constitutional Govern ment. The. noisy neetion which had pven. Sir. Thomas Brisbane ujuch trouble became more strident when Governor Darling came out in December, 1825J Ho was a. soldier from the War Office, with a splendid reputation as a military ad ministrator. Like Governor Brisbane, he did' not add to his reputation in Australia, not altogether by his own fault. *lle and his' council became the o-b'jucts of the attacks of tho demagogues. Darling, writ ing home in. 1826,; describes tho party feeling of tho-lime as being rather tho discussion of certain members of the Government,. Macarthur. "There is," ho said, "iio united opposition agaiiiHt him, and there Is, ,in fact' ?«t -one party, of which he is'the head; and

to which the Archdeacon (P. 11. Scott, Mr. Commissioner" Bigge's seci-etai-y),. the Attovney'-General, and: the ' Survoyor- General' belong." Darling described Oxloy as "a clever man and a useful officer;" About- this;-time Oxley became a direc tor of the Bank of Australia, and in 1827 -he reported on tlie proposed, plans sub mitted by Mr. Busby for the water supply, of; Sydney from Botany. The condition' of his health and alFiiirf( about this time' is aho.wn .iv one-.,0f, Governor. Darling* despatches, in which, in answer to an order that ,the -Surveyor-General's- salary, was not fo exceed £800 a year, he fiays I —"A salary of, this amount would be as/ inadoquato- to Mr. Ox-lev's services, which1 have been arduous and important (the; exortiontr he has undergone have- brought him. to the brink of the grave), a^<to the., station of Surveyor-General' in this Gov ernment." He then went, on. to*, show that- Oxloy's salary and. allowances for the. previous live years, had averaged about £190fy and, in addition, he hail ..a; free residence. ■■'• . • . The Governor's words were- "prophotie; His desnatch* had not readied' England when,' on May 26,, 1828,,J0hn Oxliiy died' at Kirkham at the early age of 45 yo*ar>, nearly .UQ of which had been spent in thy: ' service, of his couutry. He was biirjed in. the' Devonshire-street Cemetery iv Sydney, «?w- no longer-in1 cxistoncoi and a Government."Gazette" of May 27, 1827, recalled- his,services to the hind of his , adoption. xHe. left a wido\y"*diid. two young: sons, John- Norton.. and Henry They iii- their turn left descendants, the "bosk kno\\ vn .of whom is Mr. A. M. OxJ.ey, or.' Wallera wang,. New South Wales. When the Tain worth people, on. Sep tember 2._ 1018,. celebrated:, tho, centenary

of Oxlev's discovery of tho Peel River .-and..the site of irannvo.i'tli, they said :- -' "?It.!*i?-•Htt.fiifeft-triiat'~-ouf?.£{ifthf*l«~ :i should' testify at this coiitimary their jfodniivatiun Jiav this man's perseverance, \ride, vision, jjreatheart'edhess, and unquenchable cour age." The people ot! Brisbane will .'add their tribute to the •Ij^oveteir *>i' tho Brisbane River and Iho, actual foundev of their town. ' . - ■

JOHN;OXLEY, ...:;: from a reproduction, of. a jiortait proseiited to Mrs. King, widow of Gdverudr v Kiug t in-■'■ 181 Q." "

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