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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Woolls, Rev. William

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Woolls, Rev. William, Ph.D., F.L.S., the nineteenth child of Edward Woolls, merchant,of Winchester, Hampshire, England, was born in that city in March 1814. He was educated at the Grammar School, Bishop's Waltham, and, having failed to obtain a cadetship in the East India Company's service, he decided, in 1831, to emigrate to Australia. Prior to this he had published some occasional verses, and on his voyage be composed a poem on "The Voyage to New South Wales." Landing in Sydney, he obtained an appointment at the King's School, Parramatta, in 1832, and later on published a poem called "Australia," and a volume of "Miscellanies." He afterwards became classical master at the old Sydney College, under Mr. Cape. After leaving the college, he established a school of his own at Parramatta, which he carried on until 1865. In the meantime he contributed voluminously to the local press, devoting himself latterly to the study of botany, his main work—"A Contribution to the Flora of Australia"—becoming well known in the scientific world. His paper on "Introduced Plants," communicated to the Linnæan Society, was well received, and won him the fellowship of that learned body. His "Species Plantarum Parramattensium," was reprinted by the authorities of the University of Gottingen, who conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy, and Master of Liberal Arts. He wrote a short "Life and Character of Samuel Marsden." In 1873 Dr. Woolls took orders in the Church of England, and was appointed to the incumbency of Richmond, and subsequently became rural dean.