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Edward John Eyre was born on the fifth of August 1815 in Whi
Transcript of Edward John Eyre was born on the fifth of August 1815 in Whi
Edward John Eyre was born on the fifth of August 1815 in Whipsnade, Bedfordshire, England. He died on the 30 of November 1901 in Tavistock, Devon, England.
Wylie was an Aborigine from the King George Sound tribe. He was a teenager when he was taken by ship from Albany to Adelaide by Edward John Eyre in May 1840.
We know a lot about his expeditions because he wrote a book called
Autobiographical Narrative of Residence and Exploration in Australia 1832-1839
. That's a big name!
A lot of New South Wales had been explored by 1839, but in South Australia there was still a lot of undiscovered land.
Eyre wanted to find a good way to get livestock from South Australia to settlements on the West Coast. It would also help if he found an inland lake for the animals to get water.
Eyre went on two expeditions in 1839, but didn't find what he wanted to find. On both expeditions he and his group encountered harsh conditions and faced death along the way. He came back feeling pretty negative about whether they would ever find a good stock route. They hadn't found any fresh water.
By Rebecca Starling
Edward John Eyre and Wylie
At first, Edward John Eyre wanted to join the army but his father convinced him to go to Australia. He arrived on 20 March, 1833. He worked on a large property on the Hunter River. He bought 400 lambs to raise and sell. Diseased livestock and bad weather destroyed many of his crops and made him reconsider what he wanted to do. He began a business herding cattle from NSW down to Port Philip (which is now part of Victoria) and later to South Australia. A few of these trips helped Eyre to understand the inland of the country and made him want to explore!
When Eyre got home from his 1839 expedition, a committee was formed and money was raised so Eyre could lead another expedition. Before he set off on his next expedition, Eyre went to Albany where he met Wylie. He came back from Albany to Adelaide with Eyre.
After a little while food was running out. He and his companions were getting desperate. One night, Joey and Yarry shot Baxter and ran away with the food and some guns. Eyre and Wiley continued along the coast eating any food they could get. They shot native animals and licked the dew off plants for their water. They even had to eat one of their own horses!
Early years in Australia
Edward John Eyre
When they got to the top of Mt Hopeless they looked down and saw a string of salt lakes and realised that they couldn't get through. The biggest one he could see was Lake Eyre, which was later named after him. They gave up and headed back to Port Lincoln on the coast and he sent most of his men back to Adelaide. He made a plan to head west.
Finally, on the 2 June 1841, a French whaling ship spotted them. The Captain invited them on board and they spent two weeks getting back their strength before continuing the tiring journey.
Eyre asked for Wylie to come with the supply ship that met the remaining members of the group at Fowlers Bay. In February 1841, he set off West with his friend Baxter, Wylie and two other Aboriginal men named Joey and Yarry.
Eventually, Eyre and Wiley reached Albany on the 7 July 1841. They were welcomed as heroes. They are remembered for persevering through an extremely hard expedition. They did discover some important landmarks, such as the inland salt lakes like Lake Eyre. But Eyre and Wiley did not manage to discover a stock route.
After the exploring
Wylie was rewarded for being loyal to Eyre with a medal and a weekly ration of flour and meat. He ended up being addicted to alcohol and we don't know anything about him after 1848.
Eyre went home to England for a while and then became a lieutenant Governor in New Zealand and later a Governor in Jamaica. He died in 1901 in England.
A large expedition set out towards the north in June 1840. Wylie was supposed to be them but he was sick so couldn't go.