William Charles Wentworth (1790 - 1872 / Australia)
Biography of William Charles Wentworth
Explorer and barrister, born on Norfolk Island on 26th October, 1790 and educated in England.
In 1813 Wentworth, accompanied by Lawson and Blaxland, made the first recorded crossing of that part of the Great Dividing Range known as the Blue Mountains.
Wentworth was probably the original Republican, advocating self-government for Australia. He drafted the constitution which gave NSW self-government in 1855.
Wentworth rebuilt Vaucluse House which had began as a humble cottage in 1803. He, and his wife Sarah and their 10 children, lived in the house from 1827-53 and again from 1861-62. Some of the original family belongings and furniture are on display in Vaucluse house today.
The Blue Mountains town of Wentworth Falls and the western Sydney suburb of Wentworthville are named for him.
Wentworth died in England in 1872.
Acting provost-marshall, New South Wales 1811, granted 1750 acres in the Nepean (Vermont estate), studied law in England 1817-21, published A statistical, Historical, and Political description of the Colony of New South Wales ... 1819 (revised and enlarged editions 1820 and 1824), returned to Sydney 1824, joint publisher of the Australian 1824-28, was responsible for the system of military juries being abolished 1829 and the introduction of trial by jury 1830, fought for self-government, foundation vice-president, Australian Patriotic Association 1835, Legislative Council 1843-54, played a leading part in establishing in 1848-49 the first real system of state primary education in New South Wales, led the movement resulting in the founding of the The University of Sydney, which he helped to endow. Commemorated by the town of Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, portraits in the chamber of the Legislative Assembly in Sydney and in the Mitchell Library, and a statue in the Great Hall of the University of Sydney.
A Coast View
High 'mid the shelves of a grey cliff, that yet
Riseth in Babylonian mass above,
In a benched cleft, as in the mouldered chair
Of grey-beard Time himself, I sit alone,
And gaze with a keen wondering happiness
Out o'er the sea. Unto the circling bend
That verges Heaven, a vast luminous plain
It stretches, changeful as a lover's dream --
Into great spaces mapped by light and shade