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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Willoughby, Howard

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Willoughby, Howard, one of the leading journalists of Victoria, joined the reporting staff of the Melbourne Age soon after his arrival in the colony in 1860. and subsequently joined the Argus reporting staff. He was special correspondent for the latter journal in New Zealand during the last Maori war, and was with the headquarters of General Cameron during the campaign, which resulted, after severe fighting, in the conquest of the Waikato and the retreat of the King tribes to the interior. Soon after his return to Victoria, Mr. Willouhgby was despatched by the Argus to Western Australia to investigate the convict system there. His letters showing the inordinate expense of the system to Great Britain and its injustice to the free colonies, to whose shores the exex-convicts steadily found their way, were of great service in securing the abolition of the last remnant of transportation to Australia. In 1866 the Government commenced the publication of the Victorian Hansard, and Mr. Willoughby became one of the official staff. From this post he retired in 1869, to take the editorship of the Melbourne Daily Telegraph, then just established. Mr. Willoughby remained in charge of this journal until 1877, when his services were again secured. by the Argus as a contributor, and charge of the reporting staff of the paper. Many of Mr. Willoughby's papers, such as "The British Convict in Western Australia," "Critiques on Spiritualism," "The Critic in Church," have been republished in separate form with success. Mr. Willoughby in 1891 made a valuable contribution to the literature of intercolonial federation by the issue of a brochure comprising a series of letters originally written for the Melbourne Argus newspaper.