Landsborough, William (DNB00)

LANDSBOROUGH. WILLIAM (d. 1886), Australian explorer, son of David Landsborough [q. v.] the naturalist, born at Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland, was educated at Irvine. On emigrating to Australia he became a squatter in New England, then in the Wide Bay district, and afterwards, Rockhampton, Queensland. He then discovered Mount Nebo and Fort Cooper, and in 1859 explored Peak Downs and Nagod. In 1860 be discovered the sources of the Thomson river, and in 1861 made a survey of the Gregory and Herbert rivers. Several expeditions were at this date sent out to search for Robert O'Hara Burke and William J. Wills, the explorers, who had not been heard of since the previous year. Landsborough headed one of these, and starting with four companions from the Albert river on 14 Nov. 1861, made a preliminary search to the south-west, going two hundred miles in the direction of Central Mount Stuart, and then returning to the depot. On 10 Feb. 1862 he again started, and crossed Australia from the Gulf of Carpentaria to Melbourne, discovering many fine rivers and much good country, but apparently making little effort to find Burke and Wills. The journal of his expedition was published. For his discoveries he was, on 12 Nov,, presented by Sir Henry Barkly, the governor of Victoria, with a service of plate valued at 500l., and received a gold watch from the president of the Royal Geographical Society, In 1864 he wag elected a member of the Queensland parliament, but resigned his seat in the following year on obtaining the appointment of government resident in Burke district. Finding Burketown very unhealthy, he removed his headquarters to Sweers Island, whence he made explorations of the Gulf of Carpentaria, He ceased to be government resident in 1869. Some time afterwards he was gazetted inspector of brands for East Moreton, Queensland, and for his public services in exploring was awarded a grant of 2,000l. He died at Brisbane in May 1886. He married the sixth daughter of Captain Rennie, by whom he had a daughter.

[Times, 3 Jane 1886. p, 7; Heaton's Australian Dict. of Dates, 1879, p. 111: Howitt's Hist. of Discovery in Australia, 1865, ii. 191, 284-95; Julian E. T. Wood's Hist, of Discovery in Australia. 1865. ii. 300. 495-74; Journal of Landsborough's Expedition from Carpentaria, 1862; Bourne's Journal of Landsborough's Expedition, 1862.]]

G. C. B.