William Charles Wentworth (1790–1872) was an Australian poet, explorer, journalist and politician, and one of the leading figures of early colonial New South Wales. He was the first native-born Australian to achieve a reputation overseas, and a leading advocate for self-government for the Australian colonies.
Wentworth was born at sea, at least five weeks premature, shortly before arriving at Norfolk Island, a penal settlement in the Tasman Sea, where his parents D'Arcy Wentworth and Catherine Crowley (who were not married) were being transported from Australasia. Strictly speaking D'Arcy Wentworth, a surgeon, was not a convict, since although he was accused of highway robbery he accepted transportation in order to avoid conviction. He was a descendant of the Anglo-Irish Earl of Roscommon Catherine Crowley was a convict, an Irish teenager who was transported for stealing clothing.
In 1796 young Wentworth arrived in Sydney, then a squalid prison settlement, with his parents. The family lived at Parramatta, where his father became a prosperous landowner. In 1803 he was sent to England, where he was educated at a school in London. He returned to Sydney in 1810, where he was appointed acting Provost-Marshall by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, and given a land grant of 1,750 acres (7 km2) on the Nepean River.
In 1813 Wentworth, along with Gregory Blaxland and William Lawson, led the expedition which found a route across the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and opened up the grazing lands of inland New South Wales. The town of Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains commemorates his role in the expedition. As a reward he was granted another 1,000 acres (4.0 km2). ] He then combined farming with sandalwood trading in the South Pacific, where the captain of the ship died at Rarotonga and Wentworth safely brought the ship back to Sydney.[ He returned to England in 1816. There he was admitted to the bar, travelled in Europe, and studied at Cambridge University.
In 1819 Wentworth published the first book written by an Australian: A Statistical, Historical, and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales and Its Dependent Settlements in Van Diemen's Land, With a Particular Enumeration of the Advantages Which These Colonies Offer for Emigration and Their Superiority in Many Respects Over Those Possessed by the United States of America, in which he advocated an elected assembly for New South Wales, trial by jury and settlement of Australia by free emigrants rather than convicts.
Source: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wentworth
|Words are deeds. The words we hear |
May revolutionize or rear
A mighty state. The words we read
May be a spiritual deed
Excelling any fleshly one,
As much as the celestial sun
Transcends a bonfire, made to throw
A light upon some raree-show.
A simple proverb tagged with rhyme
May colour half the course of time;
The pregnant saying of a sage
May influence every coming age;
A song in its effects may be
More glorious than Thermopylae,
And many a lay that schoolboys scan
A nobler feat than Inkerman.