William Wentworth

Essay by tiff064University, Bachelor'sA-, October 2006

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William Wentworth was born in the year 1793. It is unknown as to whether he was born on Norfolk Island, in Sydney, or in a ship bound from Sydney to Norfolk Island. His parents D'Arcy Wentworth and Catherine Crowley were being transported from Britain. His father D'Arcy Wentworth was a surgeon, who was not a convict, but was however accused of highway robbery and accepted transportation in order to avoid conviction. His mother however, was a convict. In 1796, Wentworth went with his parents to Sydney. The family lived at Parramatta, where his father became a successful landowner. Wentworth was sent to England in 1803 to be educated, and his father made unsuccessful efforts through his friend, Lord Fitzwilliam, to have him admitted to the military academy. He stayed in England to be educated for seven years and returned to Sydney in 1810. On his return he was appointed acting provost-marshal by Governor Macquarie, making him the first Australian born holder of an important official position.

He was also granted 700 hectares of land.

From 1788 to 1813 the settlement at Sydney grew rapidly, and soon more land was needed to grow food and graze animals. The Blue Mountains were seen as the barrier to expansion, with their deep valleys and sheer cliff walls. In 1813, with Gregory Baxland and Lieutenant William Lawson, Wentworth was granted permission by Governor Lachlan Macquarie to conduct an expedition to find a way across the mountains to new fields for sheep grazing. On their expedition they spent their time travelling along the main ridge that led them up into the mountains. They marked a track as they went, cutting bark from trees on either side so that they could find their way back again. They eventually found a vast expanse of good grazing land...