Francis Thomas Gregory

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Francis Thomas Gregory

Francis Thomas Gregory (19 October 1821 – 24 October 1888) was an English-born Australian explorer and politician.

Biography[edit]

Gregory was born at Farnsfield, Nottinghamshire, England, and was the younger brother of the explorer Augustus Gregory. Francis Gregory was brought to Western Australia in 1829, entered the public service as a cadet in 1841, became an assistant in 1847 and a staff surveyor in 1849.

With his two brothers, Gregory explored country north of Perth in 1846. In 1857 he explored the Upper Murchison River, and in 1858 examined the country farther to the east and north.

In 1860, Gregory was put in charge of an expedition to explore the area around Nickol Bay and its hinterland (the western part of the region known later as the Pilbara). The British government provided £2,000 towards the expenses. Gregory left Fremantle on 23 April 1861 and four days later, at Champion Bay (later Geraldton), he was joined by three volunteers, making a party of nine. They completed the landing of the horses near the Harding River on 24 May, and started inland the following day. After reaching the Fortescue River, the expedition followed it for several days, before a turn to the south-west was made and the Hardey River was followed. On 25 June, having reached latitude 23° 56' south, they sought to retrace their steps and reached their landing place on the coast on 19 July. On 29 July, the commenced a second foray, north and east of the previous track. Gregory returned with his party on 17 October and the expedition returned to Perth, which it reached on 9 November 1861. Gregory reported that he had seen two to three million acres (80,000 or 120,000 hectares) of land suitable for grazing, and he also drew attention to the possibility of a pearling industry being established. He was subsequently awarded the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society (1863).

In 1862, Gregory moved to Queensland, where he was appointed a Commissioner of Crown Lands. From 1874, he was a member of the Queensland Legislative Council, and for a short period in 1883, was Postmaster-General of Queensland.

Gregory died at Toowoomba on 24 October 1888.

Legacy[edit]

Harlaxton in Toowoomba, ca. 1870

His Toowoomba home, Harlaxton House, is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Harlaxton House (entry 15614)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 

External links[edit]