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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Landsborough, William

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Landsborough, William, was the son of a Scotch medical man, was born in Ayrshire and educated at Irvine. He went to Australia and commenced as a squatter in the New England district of New South Wales, subsequently removing to Queensland. He began a career of private exploration in 1856, and discovered Mount Nebo and Fort Cooper. He explored the Peak Downs and Nagoa in 1859, discovered the head of the Thomson in 1860, and traced the Gregory and Herbert rivers to their sources in 1861. In that year he was engaged by the Royal Society of Victoria to head an expedition from the Albert River in search of Burke and Wills. After several false starts the party left the depôt on Feb. 10th, 1862, and journeyed southward, discovering rich pastoral land extending along the waters of the Flinders to the Dividing Range, thence along the Thomson, from its source to the Victoria River (or Barcoo), and thence to the Warrego, whence they travelled by the Darling and Menindie to Melbourne, where Mr. Landsborough was presented with a piece of plate valued at £500, and, on his subsequently visiting London, with a gold watch by the Royal Geographical Society. After a tour in India and Europe he returned to Queensland, and was elected to the Assembly, but resigned his seat in 1865, and took the position of Government Resident in the Bourke District. Subsequently, in conjunction with Mr. G. Phillips, he discovered the Western River, and followed the course of the Diamantina to its source. In 1868 he was removed from his situation, and became Inspector of Brands for East Moreton. He died on March 16th, 1886.