Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell.
SIR Thomas Livingstone Mitchell, Kt., D.C.L., was born in Stirlingshire on the 16th June, 1792. He was son of John Mitchell, Esq., of Carron Works and was brought up from childhood by his uncle, Thomas Livingstone, Esq., of Parkhall, Stirling- shire. Joining the British army in Portugal, on the death of his uncle, he served with it as a volun- teer, at the age of sixteen. On the 24th June, 1811, at the age of nineteen, he received his first com-
mission as ensign in the old 95th Rifles (now
Rifle Brigade), and was present at the storming of
the fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajos, and subsequently served on the general staff of Lord Wellington, to whose discrimination he owed his first commission and all promotion afterwards in the army. For his services during the war he received the Peninsular medal and five clasps, and promotion to a company in the 54th Regiment. After the war he was especially com- missioned by the Duke to survey the chief battle- fields. This service he successfully accomplished, and many of his models are still to be seen in the United Service Institution, while in the Quarter- master-General's department may be seen his "Atlas of Plans and Battles."
In September, 1826, Captain Mitchell received his promotion to an unattached Majority after fif- teen years of active service. In the following year (1827) he was requested by the English Govern- ment to undertake the survey and division of Eastern Australia into counties, and to lay out towns, roads, and reserves for public purposes. His first civil appointment in the colony was that of Deputy-Surveyor-General, which he held until the death of Mr. Oxley, when he succeeded to the office of Surveyor-General of the colony. His first step on arrival at Sydney early in 1827 was to arrange and give geographical expression to the numerous detached surveys, by connecting and compiling them into a general map of the colony, with the county divisions shown by natural features. This map of the nineteen coun- ties was published in three sheets in 1835, and en- graved in the colony on ship's copper. As an oragraphical map, Admiral King said "it was quite a gem, and not to be equalled in any colony belonging to Her Majesty's dominions."
In 1831, Major Mitchell commenced his first journey northward.
On Thursday, November 24, Major Mitchell left Sydney. He had to travel 300 miles before he could reach the vast untrodden soil, the explora- tion of which was the object of his mission.
On November 27, Major Mitchell met his assis- tants, Messrs. White and Finch, in the valley of the Wollombi, and on the 30th the party, con- sisting of eighteen, moved forward in exploring order. On the 5th December they left the settled districts, and on the 11th crossed the river Peel, at Wallamoul, near the present site of the township of Tamworth, which, it may be remarked, was selected and laid out as a township by the Major's
son, Mr. Roderick Mitchell, fifteen years later.
Beyond this, "all was still, new, and nameless," and they advanced with feelings of intense interest into the unknown country.
After passing the extensive open country of Mulluba, the party proceeded to the pick of Tangulda; and on December 16 camped on the bank of the Namoi.
On December 19, after passing an extensive valley, a stream was reached, which Major Mitchell called Maule's River, after his friend Colonel Maule.
The party returned to the Namoi, and on December 26 embarked in the boats on a voyage of discovery. However, the navigation was found so difficult that the party landed, and the journey was continued between the river and range.
On January 9 the party crossed the Gwydir, a broad silvery expanse.
On January 23, the Karaula or Upper Darling
On the 6th February Mr. Finch returned to camp after an unsuccessful attempt to bring up supplies.
He told a dismal tale. Two of his men had been killed, and all the supplies had fallen into the hands of the natives.
Major Mitchell had now to abandon the explora- tion of the country beyond the Karaula, and to prepare for the return journey, which was com- menced on February 6, and the Namoi safely
reached on the 28th.
During the three years which elapsed between his first and second expeditions, Major Mitchell was fully occupied by his arduous duties as Chief Engineer of Roads and Bridges, Chief Commis- sioner of Crown Lands, and Surveyor-General.
The British Government having judged it ex- pedient that an expedition should be undertaken, for the purpose of exploring the course of the River Darling, Major Mitchell started for that river on the 31st March, 1835. He was ac- companied by Mr. Richard Cunningham, as botanist, Mr. Larmer as assistant-surveyor, and a party of twenty-one men, nine of whom had been on the former expedition in 1831.
The plains of Bathurst were reached on the 3rd, and the whole party assembled at Boree on April 5th. Six days later the plains of the Darling were reached, and the survey connected with a hill, named by Major Mitchell, Mount Laidley, after Commissary Laidley. At this time he named, at Mr. Cunningham's request, Mount Tuson, after Mr. Cunningham's mother. On April 17 Mr. Cunning- ham wandered from the party at a place called Beny, and nothing further was seen of him, al- though every search was made by the whole party for many days.
On May 15, the party on their way down the Bogan, reached a hill, which Major Mitchell named Mount Hopeless, as he had by that time given up all hope of seeing poor Mr. Cunningham again. On the 26th May,the Party camped on the banks of the River Darling.
On June 15, on their way down the Darling, they passed a range, which Major Mitchell called Ran- kin's Range, after his friend Mr. Rankin, of Bathurst; and on June 24 another range of moun- tains was met with, and named Macculloch Range, after Dr. Macculloch. Both these ranges are east of the river. Three mountain ranges were seen west of the river on the 26th, and were named
respectively:—Mount Lyell, after the geologist; Mount Daubeny, after Dr. Daubeny; and Mount
Murchison after Mr. Murchison. The last named he
The return journey was commenced on July 12, and, on August 10, the whole party reached Fort Bourke, from which they had been absent about two months, and had travelled during that time
over 600 miles in direct distance.
The journey to Australia Felix, the most im- portant of all Major Mitchell's expeditions, was commenced on March 17, 1836.
After surveying the course of the Lachlan, and connecting it with the general survey of the colony, Major Mitchell and his party at length reached the Murrumbidgee, and on May 12 camped on its banks. On the 23rd May the still larger River Mur-
ray was reached.
After passing through a very fine country, they came, on the 28th June, to a hill, which was named Mount Hope, and from which there was a most extensive view of the unknown region to the south. On June 30 Pyramid Hill, which had been seen from Mount Hope, was ascended.
On the 1st July the Yarrayne was discovered and on the 4th a chain of ponds, watering a beauti- ful and extensive valley was crossed, after which the party reached the Tarray Creek, and proceed- ing onward encamped on a little stream, which was named the Loddon, after an English stream of
On July 11, from a forest hill was obtained a complete view of a noble range of mountains rising to a stupendous height. Thence by a beau-
SIR THOMAS LIVINGSTONE MITCHELL.
tiful valley the party crossed a fine stream, which was named Avon Water, after a stream of that name in Scotland. On July 12 another stream was crossed, called the Smallburn, and further on a stream which was named the Doscasas, near which they camped.
On July 14 they ascended the mountains, which were named "The Grampians," and a lake seen from them Lake Lonsdale, after Captain Lonsdale, of the 4th Regiment. On the 19th the Wimmera was discovered, and its five branches crossed on that day. On the following day Mount Zero was ascended, and an isolated mass seen from it was named Mount Arapiles. On the 21st they crossed the Mackenzie, and four miles further on the Norton, named after the late James Norton, Esq., of Sydney. On July 23 Mount Arapiles was ascended, and from it were
seen twenty-seven circular lakes and a lofty range south of the Grampians, which was named the Victoria Range, after the Princess Victoria. On July 31, "while moving merrily over hill and dale," they came on a fine river flowing south- west, which was named the Glenelg, after Lord Glenelg, then Secretary of State for the Colonies.
A small stream running into the Glenelg was crossed on August 6, and named the Chetwynd after Mr. Stapylton, and the rivers Wanda and Wannon on the 10th and 11th of August. The country around is described as far surpassing in quality any that had been seen on previous expedi- tions. On August 15 a little stream was named the Stokes, in memory of a brother officer who fell at Badajos. On August 18 Major Mitchell and sixteen men embarked on the river Glenelg in two boats, leaving eight men with Mr. Stapylton at the de- pot, which was named Fort O'Hare, "in memory," he says, "of a truly brave soldier, my commanding officer, who fell at Badajos, in leading the forlorn hope of the Light Division to the storm." On August 20 they reached the mouth of the river in a bay of the sea, which was called Discovery Bay. Leaving the Glenelg on the 23rd, the party fol- lowed the river Crawford (named after General Crawford, L.D.), and crossed the Rifle Range (named after 95th Rifles); and on August 28, came in sight of Portland Bay, and crossed the Fitzroy (named after Lord Raglan), and on the 29th, reached the Bay, and were most hospitably received by the Messrs. Henty. On the 30th, a hill was named after Captain Kincaid, of the Rifles, and a river entering the bay, at Mr. Henty's re- quest, was named the Surry.
On September 10, Major Mitchell ascended Mount Napier, and obtained a clear and extensive view in all directions, and for the first time saw a range of mountains to the eastward, which he named the Australian Pyrenees.
On the 12th, the sublime peaks of the Grampians began to appear, and two lower hills of trap rock were named Mount Bainbrigge (after General Sir Phillip Bainbrigge, K.C.B.), and Mount Pierrapoint. On the 13th, a large lake was discovered, and named Lake Neville, and after crossing some fine downs, the party encamped on the southern point of the Grampians, which was named Mount Sturgeon (after Colonel Sturgeon,
On September 19, Major Mitchell with a few men started in advance of the party, which he left to follow him to the Murray. On the first day the advance party crossed a river, which was named the Hopkins (after an old friend, Major Hopkins), and an eminence near Mount Staveley (after General Sir William Staveley). On the 20th, Mount Nicholson was named (after Dr. Nicholson), and on the 23rd Mount Cole (after Sir G. Loury Cole). On the 28th, Major Mitchell ascended Mount Byng (Mount Alexander). On September 29, he found an easy way over the range for the passage of the carts, and named it Expedition
On the 30th they crossed a small and deep river which was named Barnard (after General Sir Andrew P. Barnard, G.C.B), and ascended a moun- tain, to which he gave the name of Mount Macedon, from an association of ideas connecting it with "Phillip," as he saw Port Phillip from the southern slopes. On October 5 the Campaspe was discovered, and they ascended Mount Campbell
(named after Sir Archibald Campbell), and on
October 8 reached the Goulburn, and on the 15th the Ovens. On October 21 Major Mitchell ascended a pointed hill, which he named Mount Trafalgar, in honour of that memorable day, and on the 22nd named the Burnet River, after his trusty follower and on the 27th the party at length returned to the green banks of the welcome Murrumbidgee.
Some time after the return of Major Mitchell, he proceeded to England on leave of absence, and published in two volumes, with true artistic illus- trations from his own pencil, his admirable work describing his three expeditions.
In acknowledgment of his discoveries he re- ceived, in 1839, the honour of knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen, and soon after the degree of Doctor of Civil Laws was conferred on him by
the University of Oxford.
After completing the plans of the fields of battle in the Peninsula, and a model and map of the Pyrenees, worked from his model by the ana- glyptograph, Sir Thomas Mitchell returned to
In the year 1844 the constituency of Port Phillip elected him as one of their members. On the 28th May he took the oaths and his seat in the Legislative Council. He did not remain long in the Legis- lature, as, owing to a dispute over the voting on the District Courts Bill, he resigned his seat, and did not again seek Parliamentary honours.
On the 13th December Sir Thomas joined the camp at Buree, for an expedition to North Austra- lia. The exploring party consisted of the Chief; Mr. Kennedy, assistant surveyor, second in command; Doctor Stephenson, surgeon and naturalist, and 26 men. On January 3 the party reached that part of the Bogan near the scene of Mr. Cunningham's disasters.
The party reached the junction of the Barwon and Macquarie on the 28th February, and now began the exploratory tour to the unknown
On the 9th March the Narran was met with, and its course explored through a fine grassy country for thirty miles. Pursuing a northerly course the party arrived on April 1 on the bank of the
Proceeding due north, a large lake, with islands in it, was discovered on April 11, and named Lake Parachute, and on the following day a depot camp was formed on a noble reach of the river, neara natural bridge affording easy and perma- nent access to the opposite bank. This bridge was called St. George's Bridge, in honour of St George's Day, when the advance party left the
A fine open country appeared on May 6,
Mount Inviting and Mount Red Cap were dis- covered near the right bank of the lagoon.
On May 8 Sir T. Mitchell ascended an elevated north-eastern extremity of Mount Abundance, and from it he beheld the finest country he had ever seen in a primæval state.
Frosty Creek was passed on the 9th, and, con- tinuing nearly northwards, the hills Bindango, Bindyego, and the creek Tagando and river Amby, were discovered, and on the 17th the Maranoa. On this river was established a depot-camp, and the advance party awaited there the arrival of Mr. Kennedy and the drays from the Barwon.
On the 1st June Mr. Kennedy and the party arrived at the camp in good health, and Sir Thomas again started in advance with a light party and crossed the Maranoa near the depot camp. On the 5th July, a beautiful headland, which ap- peared quite isolated, and just such as painters place in middle distance, was named Mount Salvator, and the valley beneath Salvator Rosa.
The discovery of the River Claude was made on July 11, and on the 14th the party travelled over one of the richest plains that they had ever seen.
On the 19th July a lofty range on the west was ascended, and ascertained by the syphon baro- meter to be 2247 feet above the sea. It was named Mount Mudge, after Colonel Mudge; and a large mountain beyond it Mount Beaufort, after a scientific friend at the Admiralty.
On July 25 the limit of Tropical Australia was passed, and a blue pic, nearly due north, came into view, and was named Mount Narrien. On the following day the Belyando was first seen, and ex- plored for some distance through a thick brigalow scrub; and on August 12 Sir Thomas determined to return to the head of the Salvator, and to explore from thence the country to the north
On the 1st September the Mantuan Downs were
On the 10th the three volcanic cones, Mount Pluto, Mount Hutton, and Mount Playfair, were seen; and on the 13th the rivers Nive and Nivelle were discovered. On the 15th the river Victoria
was first seen.
On the 23rd a small stream running into the Victoria was named the Alice, and on the 28th three hills to the S.W. were named Mount Gray, Gowen Range, and Mount Kœnig; and on October 1 Mounts Northampton and Inniskillen were dis- covered. On the 11th October the party returned through a fine open forest country to the Warrego (which had been first seen in July, and got its native name some time after), and rejoined Mr. Kennedy at the main camp on the 19th; and a hill east of the camp was then named Mount Sowerby.
The whole party then started on their return to Sydney, which they reached safely on January 20,
In May, 1851, Sir Thomas Mitchell was sent by the Governor to examine and report upon the ex- tent and productiveness of the western goldfield reported to have been discovered in the county of
Sir Thomas had at this time directed his atten-
tion to the construction of a new screw-propeller, the Boomerang.
Several leading engineers in England, to whom he had transmitted models of the propeller, in- duced him to apply for leave of absence for one year, in order that he might bring his invention more immediately under the notice of the naval authorities. This request was complied with, and in consideration of his valuable services to the Australian colonies he was allowed full pay during his absence. The Boomerang propeller was tried successfully in the Queen's yacht, and in H.M.S. Conflict, and is to this day used, in a modified form, in most screw steam vessels. It was patented in England and America, but with- out advantage to the patentee, as Smith's patent rights were found to cover every form of screw.
During his last visit to England, he published a beautiful trigonometrical survey of the harbour of Port Jackson, on a large scale, and also a close translation of the Lusiad of Camoens, with a com- pendium of the life of the illustrious Portugese
warrior and poet.
The latest work upon which Sir Thomas was engaged was one which he did not live to see completed in its full integrity. We allude to his report upon the progress of the roads, bridges, and other public works of the colony, contain- ing elaborate drawings engraved at his own
He married, in 1818, the eldest daughter of General Blunt, Colonel of the 66th Regiment, and Inspector-General of Infantry during the Peninsula War. He died at his residence, Carthona, Darling Point, Sydney, on October 5, 1855, in his 64th year. The immediate cause of his death was bronchitis, brought on by exposure dur- ing very severe weather, when he was laying out a road at the Clyde River, Braidwood. He was buried with military honours on October 9, and by the express wish of the Governor-General, the funeral was a public one, and all classes attended to do honour to one who had served Australia so long and faithfully, and with so much benefit to the
Some idea of the extent and present popularity of Mudie's library may be gathered from the fact that the catalogue comprises 2500 copies of Mr. Martins "Life of the Prince Consort," 2000 copies of Captain Burnaby's "Ride through Asia Minor," 1500 copies of Stanley's "Through the Dark Continent," and 2600 copies of Mrs. Brassey's "Voyage in the Sun-
A case, in which an unusual amount of female bravery was displayed in bringing the offender to justice, came before the Water Police Court last Saturday. A larrikin named James Lacy, 19, was accused of using indecent language in George-street. Two ladies were walking down that street on Friday evening, when the prisoner, whom they had never seen before, accosted them, using disgraceful and obscene language. They threatened to give him in charge of a policeman if he did not desist and go about his business. As he did not comply with the request, they laid their own hands on the offender and managed to hold him till Constable Murphy put in an appearance and took the prisoner to the lock-up. The magistrates com- plimented the ladies on their bravery, which they rewarded by imposing on the prisoner the heaviest penalty the law would allow, viz., £5, or three