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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Wilkinson, Charles Smith

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Wilkinson, Charles Smith, F.L.S., F.G.S., Government Geologist, New South Wales, was the fourth son of the late David Wilkinson, C.E., who emigrated to Victoria in 1852, and took a prominent part in the initiation of railway and steamboat communication in that colony. He was born in Northamptonshire in 1843, and educated at Ebly, near Stroud, in Gloucestershire, and, after arriving in Melbourne, at Fenner's Collegiate School in that city. In Dec. 1859 he was appointed to the Geological Survey Office of Victoria, under Mr. Selwyn. In 1861 he acted as field assistant to the late Mr. Daintree in his explorations of the country northward of Bass's Straits, and in 1863 was associated with Mr. Reginald Murray in the exploration of the Cape Otway Ranges. Here some important geological discoveries were made, and Mr. Wilkinson's reports and maps were subsequently published. He also made some important investigations relating to the deposits of gold and the formation of gold nuggets, which he communicated to the Royal Society of Victoria. Having succeeded Mr. Daintree in 1866, he resigned his appointment under the Victorian Government in 1868, in consequence of ill health, and resided at Wagga Wagga, N.S.W., for three years. In 1872 he passed the examination for licensed surveyors in that colony, and was employed upon surveys in the New England and Murrumbidgee districts. In 1874 he received the appointment of Geological Surveyor under the Surveyor-General of New South Wales in the department of the Minister of Lands. In 1875 he was transferred to the Mines Department, and collected and arranged most of the fossils and minerals in the Museum of Mines. The fossil discoveries in the gold drifts and coal measures of New South Wales elicited the acknowledgments of the leading palaeontologists, and a new genus and several new species have been named after him. Mr. Wilkinson was a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales, and of the Linnæan and Geological Societies of London. In 1890 he was appointed to take charge of the collections forwarded by New South Wales to the Exhibition of Mining and Metallurgy, held at the Crystal Palace in that year. Mr. Wilkinson died on August 26th, 1891.