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Encyclopedia > Burke and Wills expedition
Robert O'Hara Burke by William Strutt
Robert O'Hara Burke by William Strutt
William John Wills
William John Wills

In 1860-61 Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Australia from Melbourne in the south to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 2,800 kilometres (≈1,750 miles). At that time most of the inland of Australia had not been explored by non-indigenous people and was completely unknown to the European settlers. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Robert OHara Burke 1862 by William Strutt (1825-1915) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Robert OHara Burke 1862 by William Strutt (1825-1915) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... William Strutt, , 1856: pencil and wash; 20. ... Illustration of William John Wills. ... Illustration of William John Wills. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Robert OHara Burke Artists depiction of Burkes death Robert OHara Burke (1821-June 1861) was an Australian explorer. ... William John Wills William John Wills (1834-1861) was born in Totnes in Devon and migrated to Victoria in 1853. ... This article is about the Australian city; the name may also refer to City of Melbourne or Melbourne city centre. ... The Gulf of Carpentaria from a 1859 Dutch map The Gulf of Carpentaria The Gulf of Carpentaria is a large, shallow sea enclosed on three sides by northern Australia and bounded on the north by the Arafura Sea (the body of water that lies between Australia and Indonesia). ...


The south-north leg was successfully completed (except they were stopped by swampland 5 kilometres (3 miles) from the northern coastline) but owing to poor leadership and bad luck, both of the expedition's leaders died on the return journey. All together, seven men lost their lives, and only one man, John King, travelled the entire expedition and returned alive to Melbourne. John King was the sole survivor of the ill fated Burke & Wills Exploration party that had left Melbourne sponsored by the Royal Society of Victoria to explore the Australian continent from South to North to the Gulf of Carpenteria. ...

Contents

Beginning

Gold was discovered in Victoria in 1851 and the subsequent gold rush led to a huge influx of migrants. Melbourne became Australia's largest city and the colony became fantastically wealthy. The boom lasted forty years and ushered in the era known as "marvellous Melbourne". The influx of educated gold seekers from England led to rapid growth of schools, churches, learned societies, libraries and art galleries. The University of Melbourne was founded in 1855 and the State Library of Victoria in 1856. The Philosophical Institute of Victoria was founded in 1854 and became the Royal Society of Victoria after receiving a Royal Charter in 1859. Motto: Peace and Prosperity Other Australian states and territories Capital Melbourne Governor HE Mr John Landy Premier Steve Bracks (ALP) Area 237,629 km² (6th)  - Land 227,416 km²  - Water 10,213 km² (4. ... 1851 (MDCCCLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The Victorian gold rush was a period in the history of Victoria in Australia between approximately 1851 and the early 1860s. ... In economics, the term boom and bust refers to the movement of an economy through economic cycles. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... The University of Melbourne, is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. ... A panoramic view of the library facade, forecourt and lawns from Swanston Street The State Library lit up at night. ... 1856 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... The Royal Society of Victoria is the oldest learned society in the state of Victoria in Australia. ...


In 1857 the Philosophical Institute formed an Exploration Committee with the aim of investigating the practicability of fitting out an exploring expedition. [1] While interest in inland exploration was strong in the neighbouring colonies of New South Wales and South Australia, in Victoria enthusiasm was limited. Even the anonymous donation of £1,000 to the Fund Raising Committee of the Royal Society failed to generate much interest and it was 1860 before sufficient money was raised and the expedition was assembled. [2] The Royal Society called for offers of interest for a leader of The Victorian Exploring Expedition and they dispatched George James Landells to India to buy 24 camels for use in the desert. [3] NSW redirects here. ... For the song, see South Australia (song). ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... Binomial name Camelus dromedarius Linnaeus, 1758 Dromedary range The Dromedary Camel (Camelus dromedarius) (often referred to simply as the Dromedary) is a large even-toed ungulate native to northern Africa, Greater Middle East area and western India, also the land of east Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. ... This article is about arid terrain. ...


Several people were considered for the post of leader and the Society held a range of meetings in early 1860 before announcing Burke as the leader, Landells, the camel man, as the second-in-command and Wills as third-in-command. 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... Robert OHara Burke Artists depiction of Burkes death Robert OHara Burke (1821-June 1861) was an Australian explorer. ... William John Wills William John Wills (1834-1861) was born in Totnes in Devon and migrated to Victoria in 1853. ...


Neither Burke nor Wills was experienced in exploration, and it is strange that they were chosen to lead the mission. Burke was an Irish-born ex-officer with the Austrian army, and later became police superintendent with virtually no skills in bushcraft. Wills was a surveyor and meteorologist. Wills was more adept than Burke at living in the wilderness, but it was Burke's leadership that was especially detrimental to the mission. Surveyor at work with a leveling instrument. ... Meteorology is the scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and forecasting. ...


Departure

Monument in Royal Park, Melbourne where the expedition commenced
Monument in Royal Park, Melbourne where the expedition commenced
Map of the Burke and Wills expedition
Map of the Burke and Wills expedition

The expedition set off from Royal Park, Melbourne at about 4pm on 20 August 1860 watched by around 15,000 spectators. The 19 men of the expedition included five Englishmen, six Irishmen, four Indian sepoys, three Germans and an American. They took 1 horse, six wagons and 10 camels imported from India especially for the mission. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1067, 209 KB)The Burke and Wills expedition monument in Royal Park, Melbourne with the city skyline in the background. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1067, 209 KB)The Burke and Wills expedition monument in Royal Park, Melbourne with the city skyline in the background. ... Burke and Wills expedition monument in Royal Park with Melbourne skyline Royal Park is located 4 km north of the Melbourne Central Business District, Victoria, Australia, in the suburb of Parkville. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (689x1237, 231 KB) Summary I modified this image file from the original uploaded to Wikipedia to more accurately reflect the track of the expedition. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (689x1237, 231 KB) Summary I modified this image file from the original uploaded to Wikipedia to more accurately reflect the track of the expedition. ... Burke and Wills expedition monument in Royal Park with Melbourne skyline Royal Park is located 4 km north of the Melbourne Central Business District, Victoria, Australia, in the suburb of Parkville. ... is the 232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... This article is about the island. ... Binomial name Camelus dromedarius Linnaeus, 1758 Dromedary range The Dromedary Camel (Camelus dromedarius) (often referred to simply as the Dromedary) is a large even-toed ungulate native to northern Africa, Greater Middle East area and western India, also the land of east Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. ...


There was an enormous amount of equipment; 6 tonnes of firewood, enough food to last two years, a cedar-topped oak camp table with two chairs, rockets, flags and a Chinese gong; the equipment all together weighed as much as 20 tonnes. [4] Burke decided not to take up Captain Francis Cadell's offer to transport the supplies to Adelaide by ship and up the Murray and Darling Rivers and everything was loaded onto the six wagons. One wagon broke down before it had even left Royal Park and by midnight of the first day the expedition had only reached Essendon on the edge of Melbourne. At Essendon two more wagons broke down. Heavy rains and bad roads made travelling through Victoria difficult and time-consuming. They reached Swan Hill on 6 September 1860 and arrived in Balranald on 15 September 1860. There they left behind some equipment and a few men. At Gambala on September 24, Burke decided to load some of the provisions onto the camels for the first time, meaning that the men would have to walk the rest of the way. At Bilbarka during the first week of October, Burke and his second-in-command, Landells, argued after Burke decided to dump the 60 gallons (≈270 litres) of rum that Landells had brought to feed to the camels. At Kinchega on the Darling, Landells resigned from the expedition, followed by the expedition's surgeon, Dr Hermann Beckler. Third-in-command Wills was promoted to second-in-command. Francis Cadell c. ... For other uses, see Murray River (disambiguation). ... The Darling River is the longest river in Australia, flowing 2,739km from northern New South Wales to its confluence with the Murray River at Wentworth, New South Wales. ... Essendon is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. ... Swan Hill is a town in the north west of Victoria, Australia. ... is the 249th day of the year (250th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... Balranald is a town and local government area in the south west of New South Wales, Australia. ... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Doctor. ...


In July 1859 the South Australian government offered a reward of £2000 (about A$230,000 in 2003 dollars) for the first successful south-north crossing of the continent west of the 143rd line of longitude. The experienced explorer John McDouall Stuart had taken up the challenge. Burke was concerned Stuart might beat him to the north coast and he soon grew impatient with their slow progress. When they reached Menindee on October 12, Burke split the group, taking eight men including himself and a smaller amount of equipment, with plans to push on quickly to Coopers Creek and then wait for the others to catch up. They left Menindee on October 19, guided by William Wright who was appointed third-in-command. At Torowotto Swamp Wright returned to Menindee to bring up the remainder of the men and supplies and Burke continued on to Coopers Creek. For the song, see South Australia (song). ... ISO 4217 Code AUD User(s) Australia, Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island Inflation 1. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... John McDouall Stuart (7 September 1815 – 5 June 1866) was the most accomplished and most famous of all Australias inland explorers and led the first expedition to traverse the continent from south to north successfully. ... Menindee is a small town in the far west of New South Wales, Australia. ... is the 285th day of the year (286th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Coopers Creek is one of the most famous and yet least visited rivers in Australia. ... is the 292nd day of the year (293rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... There are many well-known people called William Wright, such as: William Wright, the real name of Dan De Quille, American author, newspaperman, and humorist. ...


Coopers Creek

In 1860 Coopers Creek was the edge of the land that had been explored by Europeans; the river having been visited by Captain Charles Sturt in 1845 and Augustus Charles Gregory in 1858. Burke arrived at the Cooper on November 11 and they formed a depôt at Camp LXIII (Camp 63) while they conducted reconnaissance to the north. A plague of rats forced the men to move camp and they formed a second depôt further downstream at Bullah Bullah Waterhole. This was Camp LXV (Camp 65) and they erected a stockade and named the place Fort Wills. Captain Charles Napier Sturt (28 April 1795 – 16 June 1869) was an English explorer of Australia, part of the European Exploration of Australia. ... 1845 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Sir Augustus Charles Gregory (1 August 1819–25 June 1905) was an Australian explorer. ... is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


It was thought that Burke would wait at Coopers Creek until Autumn (March the next year) so they would avoid having to travel during the hot Australian summer. However, Burke only waited until December 16, before deciding to make a dash for the Gulf of Carpentaria. He split the group again, leaving William Brahe in charge of the Depôt, with Dost Mahomet, William Patton and Thomas McDonough. Burke, Wills, John King and Charles Gray set off for the Gulf with six camels, one horse and enough food for just three months. is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Gulf of Carpentaria from a 1859 Dutch map The Gulf of Carpentaria The Gulf of Carpentaria is a large, shallow sea enclosed on three sides by northern Australia and bounded on the north by the Arafura Sea (the body of water that lies between Australia and Indonesia). ... John King was the sole survivor of the ill fated Burke & Wills Exploration party that had left Melbourne sponsored by the Royal Society of Victoria to explore the Australian continent from South to North to the Gulf of Carpenteria. ...


The Gulf of Carpentaria

The return journey
The return journey

On 9 February 1861 they reached the Little Bynoe River, an arm of the Flinders River delta. They could not reach the ocean because of the swamps in their way. Burke and Wills left the camels behind with King and Gray at Camp CXIX (Camp 119), and set off through the swamps, although after 24 kilometres (15 miles) they decided to turn back. When they turned back they were by this stage desperately short of supplies. They had food for 5 weeks, but it would take 10 weeks to get back to Coopers Creek. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (909x645, 179 KB) Burke, Wills and King on the way back from the Gulf of Carpentaria, scanned from book. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (909x645, 179 KB) Burke, Wills and King on the way back from the Gulf of Carpentaria, scanned from book. ... is the 40th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... The Flinders River is the longest river in Queensland, Australia at about 840 km. ...


On their way north, the weather had been hot and dry, but on the way back the wet season broke and the tropical monsoonal rains began. A camel named Golah Sing was abandoned on March 4 when it was unable to continue. Three other camels were shot and eaten along the way and they shot their only horse, Billy, on April 10 on the Diamantina River, south of today's town of Birdsville. Equipment was abandoned at a number of locations as the number of pack animals was reduced. One of these locations, Return Camp 32 was relocated in 1994 and The Burke and Wills Historical Society [5] mounted an expedition to verify the discovery of camel bones in 2005. is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 100th day of the year (101st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Diamantina River is a river in Queensland, Australia. ... Birdsville is a small town located in Central West Queensland, Australia. ...


Gray fell ill, but the others thought he was "gammoning" (pretending). On March 25, on the Burke River near today's town of Boulia, Gray was caught stealing skilligolee (a type of watery porridge) and Burke beat him. Gray died on April 17 of dysentery at a place they called Polygonum Swamp. The location of Gray's death is unknown, although it is generally believed to be Lake Massacre in South Australia. While the possibility that Burke killed Gray has been discounted, the severity of the beating Burke gave has been widely debated. The three surviving men stopped for a day to bury Gray, and to recover their strength – they were by this stage very weak from hunger and exhaustion. They finally reached Coopers Creek on April 21, only to find the camp abandoned. is the 84th day of the year (85th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Boulia is a town in Central West Queensland, Australia. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Dysentery (formerly known as flux or the bloody flux) is frequent, small-volume, severe diarrhea that shows blood in the feces along with intestinal cramping and tenesmus (painful straining to pass stool). ... is the 111th day of the year (112th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Meanwhile the other mission led by William Wright was having terrible problems of its own. He was supposed to bring supplies up from Menindee to Coopers Creek, but a lack of money and too few pack animals to carry the supplies meant he had not set out until the end of January. Wright's delay subsequently resulted in him being blamed for the deaths of Burke and Wills. (An in-depth study of Wright's action formed a part of Dr Tom Bergin's 1982 MA Thesis at the University of New England.) The hot weather and lack of water meant the party moved incredibly slowly, they were harassed by the Bandjigali and Karenggapa Murris, and three of the men, Dr Ludwig Becker, Charles Stone and William Purcell, died from malnutrition on the trip. On his way north, Wright camped at Koorliatto Waterhole on the Bulloo River while he tried to find Burke's tracks to Coopers Creek. While he was there he met Brahe who was on his way back from the Cooper to Menindee. The Murri are the indigenous Australians that traditionally occupied most of modern-day Queensland. ...


Return to Cooper's Creek

Burke, Wills and King arrive at Cooper's Creek by John Longstaff
Burke, Wills and King arrive at Cooper's Creek by John Longstaff

Burke had asked Brahe and the depôt party to remain at the depôt camp on the Cooper for three months. The depôt party actually waited for over four months, but by then they were then running low on supplies and starting to feel the effects of scurvy and they believed Burke would not be returning from the Gulf. Brahe decided to leave Coopers Creek and return to Menindee, but before he left he buried some provisions in case Burke did return and he blazed (cut or carved) a message on a tree to mark the spot. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1795x1392, 2937 KB) Burke and wills and King arriving at the Dig sign at coopers creek. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1795x1392, 2937 KB) Burke and wills and King arriving at the Dig sign at coopers creek. ... Italic textu are all fuck headsInsert non-formatted text hereInsert non-formatted text hereInsert non-formatted text hereInsert non-formatted text hereInsert non-formatted text hereInsert non-formatted text hereInsert non-formatted text here--144. ...


The day that Brahe decided to leave the depôt was Sunday 21st April 1861. The evening of the same day was when Burke, Wills and King arrived back at Coopers Creek. Finding the depôt camp deserted, they dug up the cache of supplies, and a letter explaining that the party had given up waiting and had left only that morning. Burke's team had missed them by only 9 hours. The three men and two remaining camels were exhausted; they had no hope of catching up to the main party.


They decided to rest and recuperate, living off the supplies which had been left in the cache, before making an attempt to reach the furthest outposts of pastoral settlement in South Australia, at Mount Hopeless. This would mean travelling southwest through the desert for 240 kilometres (150 miles). They wrote a letter explaining their intentions and reburied it in the cache under the marked tree in case a rescue party visited the area. They did not change the mark on the tree or alter the date. On April 23 they set out into the Strzelecki Desert towards Mt Hopeless in an attempt to effect their own rescue. For the song, see South Australia (song). ... Mount Hopeless is the name of several mountains: Mount Hopeless (South Australia) Mount Hopeless (New South Wales) Mount Hopeless (Queensland) Mount Hopeless (Victoria) Mount Hopeless (New Zealand) Category: ... is the 113th day of the year (114th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Bore Track in the Strzelecki Desert, South Australia. ...


Meanwhile, while returning to Menindee, Brahe had met with Wright trying to reach the Cooper with the supplies. The two men decided to go back to the depôt camp on the Cooper and check to see if Burke had returned. When they arrived on May 8, Burke had already left for Mt Hopeless and the camp was again deserted. Burke and Wills were 35 miles (56 km) away at this point. As the mark on the tree was unchanged, Brahe and Wright assumed that Burke had not returned, and did not think to check to see if the supplies were still buried. They left to rejoin the main party and return to Menindee. is the 128th day of the year (129th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Dig Tree

The tree at the depôt camp that Brahe blazed to mark the location of the buried supplies on the banks of Bullah Bullah Waterhole on Coopers Creek in south-west Queensland is a coolibah, Eucalyptus microtheca. The exact inscription that Brahe carved is not known. It is variously recalled to be "DIG under" or "DIG 3 FEET N.W." or "DIG 40 FEET N.E." or a combination of these. The dates blazed indicated the date of arrival and the date of departure "Dec 6-60" carved over "Apr 21-61". The camp number was also cut into the tree, "B" over "LXV". As a result of the blaze on the tree and the subsequent popularity of the book "Dig" written in 1935 by Frank Clune, the tree became known as The Dig Tree. (Many tourists who visit the nearby 'Face Tree' mistakenly believe it is the Dig Tree.) Slogan or Nickname: Sunshine State, Smart State Motto(s): Audax at Fidelis (Bold but Faithful) Other Australian states and territories Capital Brisbane Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Quentin Bryce Premier Anna Bligh (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 28  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $158,506 (3rd... This article is about the plant genus. ...


Cooper's Creek summary

  • 11 November 1860. Burke, Wills, King, Gray, Brahe, Mahomet, Patton and McDonough make their first camp on the Cooper, Camp LVII (Camp 57).
  • 20 November 1860. The first Depôt Camp is established at Camp LXIII (Camp 63).
  • 6 December 1860. The Depôt Camp is moved downstream to Camp LXV - The Dig Tree (Camp 65).
  • 16 December 1860. Burke, WIlls, King and Gray leave the Depôt for the Gulf of Carpentaria.
  • 16 December 1860-21 April 1861. Brahe is left in charge of the Depôt at Coopers Creek.
  • 21 April 1861. Brahe leaves a cache of supplies, carves a message in the Dig Tree and leaves for Menindee. Later that day, Burke, Wills and King return from the Gulf to find the camp deserted.
  • 23 April 1861. Burke, Wills and King follow the Cooper downstream towards Mt Hopeless in South Australia.
  • 7 May 1861. The last camel, Rajah, dies. The men cannot carry enough supplies to leave the creek.
  • 8 May 1861. Brahe and Wright return to the Dig Tree. They stay only 15 minutes and do not dig up Burke's note in the cache.
  • 30 May 1861. Wills, having failed to reach Mt Hopeless, returns to the Dig Tree to bury his notebooks in the cache for safe-keeping.
  • End of June/ early July 1861. Burke and Wills die.
  • 11 September 1861. Alfred William Howitt, leader of the Victorian Burke Relief Expedition arrives at the Dig Tree.
  • 15 September 1861. Howitt finds John King, the only survivor of the four men who reached the Gulf.

is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... is the 340th day of the year (341st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... is the 111th day of the year (112th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 111th day of the year (112th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 113th day of the year (114th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 127th day of the year (128th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 128th day of the year (129th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 150th day of the year (151st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 254th day of the year (255th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...

Burke, Wills and King alone at Coopers Creek

Aborigines fed the explorers seedcakes made from the seeds of this plant, Nardoo
Aborigines fed the explorers seedcakes made from the seeds of this plant, Nardoo

Soon after leaving the Dig Tree the two remaining camels, Rajah and Landa died. Without pack animals, Burke, Wills and King were unable to carry enough supplies to cross the Strzelecki Desert to Mt Hopeless, and so the three men were forced to return to Coopers Creek. Their supplies were running low and they were exhausted. The Cooper Creek Aborigines, the Yandruwandha people, gave them fish, beans called 'padlu' and a type of damper made from the ground seeds of the ngardu (nardoo) plant (Marsilea drummondii). Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1067, 483 KB) Nardoo, used by the pioneer explorers, Burke and Wills - National Botanical Gardens File links The following pages link to this file: Burke and Wills expedition ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1067, 483 KB) Nardoo, used by the pioneer explorers, Burke and Wills - National Botanical Gardens File links The following pages link to this file: Burke and Wills expedition ... Aboriginal millstone - vital in making flour or pastes for bread. ... Australian Aborigines are the main indigenous people of Australia. ... Aboriginal millstone - vital in making flour or pastes for bread. ... Species See text. ...


Wills returned to the Dig Tree to put his diary, notebook and journals in the cache for safekeeping. Burke bitterly criticised Brahe in his journal for not leaving behind any supplies or animals.


Death

Artist's depiction of Burke's death
Artist's depiction of Burke's death

The three men lived on Coopers Creek, collecting ngardu seeds and accepting gifts of fish and baked rats from the Yandruwandha. Towards the end of June 1861, they decided to return upstream to the Dig Tree to see if a rescue party had arrived. Wills became too weak to continue, so he was left behind at his own insistence at Breerily Waterhole with some food, water and shelter. Death of Burke (1892) by Arthur Loureiro (1853-1932) This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years or less. ... Death of Burke (1892) by Arthur Loureiro (1853-1932) This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years or less. ...


Burke died at the end of June 1861. The exact date is unknown, but has generally been accepted to be June 28, 1861. King buried Burke's body and returned to Wills, but found that he was already dead. He found a tribe of Yandruwandha willing to give him food and shelter. is the 179th day of the year (180th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


In Melbourne, several rescue parties had been mounted. John McKinlay led the South Australian Burke Relief Expedition, William Landsborough led the Queensland Relief Expedition, Captain William Henry Norman sailed the HMCS Victoria to the Albert River on the Gulf of Carpentaria, Frederick Walker led the Victorian Relief Expedition and Alfred William Howitt set off from Melbourne for Coopers Creek. John McKinlay (26 August 1819 – 31 December 1872), was an explorer of Australia. ... William Landsborough (c. ... Frederick Walker was born in England around 1820 and died of gulf fever in Floraville, Queensland on 19 September 1866 Walker emigrated to Australia as a young man. ... Alfred William Howitt (1830 - 1908) was an Australian anthropologist and naturalist. ...


Howitt arrived at the Dig Tree on September 11 1861 and four days later found King living with the Yandruwandha. In pitiful condition, King survived the slow trip back to Melbourne, and died eleven years later, aged 33. He is buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery. is the 254th day of the year (255th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Deaths on the Victorian Exploring Expedition

  • Charley Gray, Wednesday 17th April 1861, Polygonum Swamp.
  • Charles Stone, Monday 22nd April 1861, Koorliatto Waterhole, Bulloo River.
  • William Purcell, Tuesday 23rd April 1861, Koorliatto Waterhole, Bulloo River.
  • Dr Ludwig Becker, Monday 29th April 1861, Koorliatto Waterhole, Bulloo River.
  • William Patten, Wednesday 5th June 1861, Desolation Camp, Rat Point.
  • William John Wills, probably either Friday 30th June or Saturday 1st July 1861, Breerily Waterhole, Coopers Creek.
  • Robert O'Hara Burke, probably Saturday 1st July 1861, Burkes Waterhole, Coopers Creek.

Afterwards

Burke and Wills Statue by Charles Summers on the corner of Collins and Swanston Streets, Melbourne.

The Victorian Government held a Commission of Enquiry into the deaths of Burke and Wills. Howitt was sent back to Coopers Creek to recover the bodies of Burke and Wills and the explorers were given a state funeral in Melbourne on 23 January 1863. The funeral car was modelled on the design used for the Duke of Wellington ten years earlier. There were reported to have been 40,000 spectators. Burke and Wills were buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery. Download high resolution version (480x640, 165 KB)this photo was taken by me, User:Adam Carr, and is released by me into the public domain File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Download high resolution version (480x640, 165 KB)this photo was taken by me, User:Adam Carr, and is released by me into the public domain File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Charles Summers (27 July 1825[1] – 30 November 1878) was an English-born Australian sculptor, creator of the memorial to the explorers Burke and Wills. ... Collins Street near King Street Collins Street near Swanston Street Collins Street is a major street in the Melbourne central business district and runs approximately east to west. ... Swanston Street, looking north from the corner of Bourke Street Swanston Street is a major thoroughfare in the centre of Melbourne, Australia. ... is the 23rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Italic text His Grace Field Marshal the Most Noble Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS (c. ...


In some ways the tragic expedition was not a waste of time. It had completed the picture of inland Australia, and proved that there was no inland sea. More importantly, each of the rescue parties sent from different parts of the continent added in some way to the understanding of the land it crossed.


In 1862 a memorial was erected overlooking the town of Castlemaine where Burke had been stationed before leading the expedition. The Victorian towns of Bendigo, Ballarat and Fryerstown also erected monuments. In 1890 a monument was erected at Royal Park, the expedition's departure point in Melbourne. The plaque on the monument states: Castlemaine (IPA: /ˈkæsəlmæɪn/; note the Flat A rather than a Broad A) is a town in Victoria, Australia, in the Midlands region about 120 kilometres northwest by road from Melbourne, and about 40 kilometres from the major provincial centre of Bendigo. ... Bendigo is a large regional town in central Victoria, Australia, located in the City of Greater Bendigo. ... Ballarat is a city in regional Victoria, Australia, approximately 120 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, with a population of 84,000 people. ...

This memorial has been erected to mark the spot from whence the Burke and Wills Expedition started on the 20th August 1860. After successfully accomplishing their mission the two brave leaders perished on their return journey at Coopers Creek in June 1861.

A 1985 film, Burke & Wills, was made about the expedition with Jack Thompson as Burke, and Nigel Havers as Wills. Burke & Wills (1985) is a film directed by Graeme Clifford. ... Jack Thompson AM (born August 31, 1940) is an Australian actor and one of the major figures of Australian cinema. ... Image:Nigel Havers. ...


Cause of Death

While ngardu (nardoo - Marsilea drummondii) was available as a food source in abundance, Wills' journal entries reveal that it assuaged their hunger but provided virtually no nutrients and did nothing to curb their physical deterioration.


Wills' last journal entry includes the following revelation:


"...starvation on nardoo is by no means very unpleasant, but for the weakness one feels, and the utter inability to move oneself, for as far as appetite is concerned, it gives me the greatest satisfaction. Certainly, fat and sugar would be more to one's taste, in fact, those seem to me to be the great stand by for one in this extraordinary continent; not that I mean to depreciate the farinacious food, but the want of sugar and fat in all substances obtainable here is so great that they become almost valueless to us as articles of food, without the addition of something else."


Unbeknown to the explorers, ngardu seeds contain thiaminase which depletes the body of Vitamin B1. It is probable that they were not preparing the seedcakes in accordance with Aboriginal food preparation methods, as the food was a staple among the local people. It has been argued that they did not make the food into the requisite paste to begin with, which may have nullified deleterious effects they suffered[1]. Thiaminase is an enzyme (EC 2. ... Thiamine mononitrate Thiamine or thiamin, also known as vitamin B1, is a colorless compound with chemical formula C12H17ClN4OS. It is soluble in water and insoluble in alcohol. ... Aboriginal millstone - vital in making flour or pastes for bread. ...


As a result, it is likely that the deaths of Burke and Wills resulted in part from beri-beri. Evidence to this effect is further provided by King's account, in which it is revealed that Burke complained of leg and back pain shortly before his death. Beri-beri is a nutritional disease, deficiency in vitamin 1 (thiamine). ...


See also

The history of Australia began when people first migrated to the Australian continent from the north, at least 40,000-45,000 years ago. ...

References

  1. ^ http://farrer.csu.edu.au/ASGAP/APOL26/jun02-6.html

Further reading

  • The [Melbourne] Argus, 1861. "The Burke and Wills exploring expedition: An account of the crossing the continent of Australia from Cooper Creek to Carpentaria, with biographical sketches of Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills." Melbourne: Wilson and Mackinnon.
  • Bergin, Thomas John, & Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1981. In the steps of Burke and Wills. Sydney: Australian Broadcasting Commission. ISBN 0-642-97413-6.
  • Bergin, Thomas John, & Readers Digest, 1996. Across the outback.. Surrey Hills: Readers Digest. ISBN 0-86449-019-4.
  • Bonyhady, Tim, 1991. Burke and Wills: From Melbourne to myth. Balmain: David Ell Press. ISBN 0-908197-91-8.
  • Burke and Wills Outback Conference 2003, 2005. The Inaugural Burke & Wills Outback Conference : Cloncurry 2003 : a collation of presentations. Dave Phoenix, Cairns Qld. ISBN 0-646-44702-5
  • Manning Clark's History of Australia, 1995, London: Pimlico, ISBN 0-7126-6205-7, Chapter 7: "Glory, Folly and Chance", pp.281-295
  • Clune, Frank, 1937. Dig: A drama of central Australia. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.
  • Colwell, Max, 1971. The journey of Burke and Wills. Sydney: Paul Hamlyn. ISBN 0-600-04137-9.
  • Corke, David G, 1996. The Burke and Wills Expedition: A study in evidence. Melbourne: Educational Media International. ISBN 0-909178-16-X.
  • Earl, John W, & McCleary, Barry V, 1994. "Mystery of the poisoned expedition." Nature,. Vol. 368.
  • Ferguson, Charles D, 1888. Experiences of a Forty-Niner during the thirty-four years residence in California and Australia. Cleveland, Ohio: The Williams Publishing Co.
  • Fitzpatrick, Kathleen, 1963. "The Burke and Wills Expedition and the Royal Society of Victoria." Historical Studies of Australia and New Zealand. Vol. 10 (No. 40), pp. 470-478.
  • Judge, Joseph, & Scherschel, Joseph J, 1979, February 1979. "First across Australia: The journey of Burke and Wills." National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 155, pp.152-191.
  • Moorehead, Alan McCrae, 1963. Coopers Creek. London: Hamish Hamilton.
  • Murgatroyd, Sarah, 2002. The Dig Tree. Melbourne: Text Publishing. ISBN 1-877008-08-7.
  • Phoenix, Dave, 2003. From Melbourne to the Gulf: A brief history of the VEE of 1860-1. Cairns: Self published.
  • Victoria: Parliament, 1862. Burke and Wills Commission. Report of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into and report upon the circumstances connected with the sufferings and death of Robert O'Hara Burke and William John * Wills, the Victorian Explorers. Melbourne: John Ferres Government Printer.
  • White, John, 1992. Burke and Wills: The stockade and the tree. Footscray, Vic: The Victoria University of Technology Library in association with Footprint Press.

External links

is the 113th day of the year (114th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 179th day of the year (180th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Burke and Wills expedition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3465 words)
In 1860-61 Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Australia from Melbourne in the south to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 2,800 kilometres (≈1,750 miles).
Burke was an Irish-born ex-officer with the Austrian army, and later became police superintendent with virtually no skills in bushcraft.
Burke was concerned Stuart might beat him to the north coast and he soon grew impatient with their slow progress.
Robert O'Hara Burke - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1152 words)
He was the leader of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition, which was the first expedition to cross Australia from south to north, finding a route across the continent from the settled areas of Victoria to the Gulf of Carpentaria.
The expedition party was well-equipped, but Burke was not experienced in bushcraft and his leadership is often blamed for the failure of the project and deaths of seven people in the party.
In May 1860, Burke was appointed to lead the Victorian Exploring Expedition with William John Wills as surveyor and astronomical observer.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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