Wilkinson, Charles Smith (DNB00)

WILKINSON, CHARLES SMITH (1843–1891), geologist, was born in Northamptonshire in 1843, his father, David Wilkinson, being an engineer who had been associated with George Stephenson [q. v.] in designing the first locomotive. The family went out to Australia in 1852, settling in Melbourne, where the boy was educated. In 1859 he was appointed for a time on the geological survey of Victoria, and he surveyed the district from north of Bass Strait to Ballarat in 1861; the Cape Otway mountain in 1863; and worked in the gold district of the Leigh River in 1866. Here his health failed, and he spent three years in the Wagga district recruiting. In 1872 he passed the examination as a licensed surveyor, and, after reporting on the tin mines in the New England district, was appointed in 1874 geological surveyor to the department of lands, and the year following government geologist, both of them for New South Wales. After becoming a government official he took an active part, until his death on 23 Aug. 1891, in exhibitions and commissions of inquiry, and most of his best geological work is embodied in official reports, but a list of his separate papers will be found in the 'Australian Catalogue' (Etheridge and Jack). He was elected F.G.S. in 1876 and F.L.S. in 1881, was president of the Linnean Society of New South Wales in 1884, and of the Royal Society of that colony in 1888.

[Obituary notices Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. xlviii. Proc. p. 54, Geol. Mag. 1891, p. 571 (with engraved portrait), and Mining Journ. 17 Oct. 1891.]

T. G. B.