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Horrocks' expedition: letter 8 September 1846
Title : Horrocks' expedition: letter 8 September 1846 Horrocks' expedition: letter 8 September 1846 View More Images
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Creator : Horrocks, John Ainsworth, 1818-1846
Source : PRG 966/6
Date of creation : 1846
Format : Letter
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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In 1846 John Ainsworth Horrocks had offered to lead an expedition, funded by fellow colonists, to explore the country north of Spencer Gulf. He was looking for country suitable for farming or pastoralism. His expedition party included Bernard Kilroy and Theakston, both workmen from his property, ST Gill, Mr Garlick, an Aboriginal man Jimmy Moorhouse, and a camel.The camel is considered to be the first used in an expedition in Australia.

Some 100 miles from the expedition's depot, Horrocks was reloading his gun to shoot a bird for their natural history collection. The camel unexpectedly lurched, knocking him and the gun was accidentally discharged. Horrocks received injuries to his fingers and lower jaw, and a row of teeth from his upper jaw was knocked out. Bernard Kilroy went to fetch help for the injured Horrocks. While waiting for help to arrive, ST Gill nursed his injured companion and sketched the surrounding country. Horrocks survived three days after his return home, but not before dictating a letter in which he described the expedition that had failed to find good pastoral lands. The unfortunate camel was destroyed

Samuel Thomas Gill was a trained water colourist. He arrived in South Australia in 1839, and would later make his name recording Australian life and scenes. Two of his drawings are reproduced in George French Angas's South Australia illustrated: Sturt's expedition leaving Adelaide and Hindley Street. His watercolours of Horrocks' expedition provide an additional dimension to the record of the expedition that is only otherwise accounted for in Horrocks' last letter.

Related names :

Horrocks, John Ainsworth, 1818-1846

Gill, S. T. (Samuel Thomas), 1818-1880

Kilroy, Bernard

Coverage year : 1846
Period : 1836-1851
Place : Central Australia, Spencer Gulf
Region : Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback
Further reading :

Morphett, George C. John Ainsworth Horrocks Adelaide: Pioneers' Association of S.A., 1946

John Ainsworth Horrocks of Penwortham: explorer and pioneer Watervale, [S. Aust.]: Mt. Horrocks Historical Soc., [1986?] ([Burra, S. Aust.?]: Burra Community Print)

Gill, S. T. Paintings of S.T. Gill Adelaide: Rigby, 1962

Appleyard, Fargher, Radford S.T. Gill, the South Australian years 1839-1852 Adelaide: Art Gallery of South Australia, 1986

Internet links :
Australian dictionary of biography online edition : S.T. Gill
Exhibitions and events :



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