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Colonial engraving of Lake Camel, near Coopers Creek and Innamincka, South Australia from a drawing by William Oswald Hodgkinson, who accompanied the Burke Relief Expedition (1861-1862) led by John McKinlay. McKinlay had been chosen by the South Australian Government in … Read Full Description
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Colonial engraving of Lake Camel, near Coopers Creek and Innamincka, South Australia from a drawing by William Oswald Hodgkinson, who accompanied the Burke Relief Expedition (1861-1862) led by John McKinlay.
McKinlay had been chosen by the South Australian Government in August 1861 to lead an expedition to search for the Burke and Wills expedition party, whose fate was unknown. He left Adelaide on 16 August 1861 with nine men, 70 sheep, two packhorses and four camels. On 20 October 1861 the grave of a European, supposed to be Charles Gray, was found near Cooper Creek. However, after John King, the sole survivor of the Burke and Wills expedition, had recounted the events it was discovered that Charles Gray died north of Cooper Creek, near what is today known as Coongie Lake.
Sunday, 20 October 1861 – Kadhi Bieri Lake Mulindhuroona or Samphire as it was christened bears thus from the point we struck it: E.end ½ a mile – 87° W – 303° N side 1½ mile – 15° During this trip our allowance of sleep was rather limited each having 19 hours duty out of the 24. At one or two spots perhaps watching might without any bad result have been dispensed with but the undecided behaviour of the natives showed that fear alone prevented their attacking us. Shortly after daylight the shores of Mulindhuroona were alive with dusky forms thronging to our camp and at length more than a hundred were eying the process of packing.
From the original edition of The Illustrated London News.
Richard Principal Leitch (1827 - 1882)
Richard Principal Leitch (1827-1882) The son of the painter and drawing-master, William Leighton Leitch (1804–1883). Richard P. Leitch was a landscape painter, an excellent water-colour painter and a good draughtsman on wood’ (MacGeorge, 112), he exhibited between 1844 and 1860 at the Royal Academy as R. Leitch Junior, at first from his father’s address. His View on the River Limpopo with a Herd of Hippopotami (reproduced in the Illustrated London News of 5 January 1856) was among scenes painted for Gordon Cumming’s South African Entertainment at 232 Piccadilly, London, in 1856. He also signed an engraving based on one of Charles Wirgman’s watercolour sketches of China in the Illustrated London News (1857–8). In September 1857 he was in Normandy painting watercolours for Queen Victoria. Thereafter, especially when his father was ill, he painted extensively for the queen and gave lessons to her children; the styles of father and son are often confused. William Leitch stated that both Richard and a younger son, William, were ‘most graciously set a-going’ by the queen (letter of 28 Nov 1882; private information). Richard Leitch published drawing manuals in the 1870s and early 1880s and worked as an illustrator for journals such as The Quiver and Good Words. His wife died a few months before him in 1882, leaving two children.
William Oswald Hodgkinson (1835 - 1900)
William Oswald Hodgkinson was an Australian explorer, journalist, gold miner, and politician, who accompanied the Burke Relief Expedition (1861-1862) led by John McKinlay. Hodgkinson was educated at Birmingham Grammar School and by 1851 was a midshipman in the merchant marine. He soon emigrated to Australia, working for the government in Victoria on the Tarnagulla and Forest Creek goldfields. After a short-lived return to England he went to work as a journalist in Australia, starting in 1859, and in 1860 joined the Burke and Wills expedition. Hodgkinson left the expedition before it ended in disaster at Cooper Creek, and went on to join first Alfred William Howitt’s Victorian Relief Expedition, which aimed to establish the fate of the Burke and Wills expedition, and then in 1861 the John McKinlay relief party, on which he served as second-in-command. Hodgkinson next continued his journalistic career, working as editor for Rockhampton's Morning Bulletin before founding Mackay's first newspaper, the Daily Mercury, in 1866. Returning to the gold mining business in 1868, he worked in the Ravensfield and Cape goldfields for the next two years. In 1870, at the Etheridge goldfield, he became a mining warden and police magistrate, two posts that propelled him onto the Legislative Assembly of Queensland representing the electoral district of Burke in 1874. In 1875, he resigned his seat in order to head up a government expedition that was to report on the potential of some unexplored land mining, pastoral, and agricultural purposes. This expedition, focused on the area between Etheridge and Cloncurry goldfields, explored the Diamantina, Mulligan, and Herbert river systems and headed north through Normanton and up the Cloncurry and Flinders Rivers, concluding at Brisbane. Throughout the late 1870s and 1880s Hodgkinson became more involved in politics as mining warden and in 1888 was requested to stand for six electorates. He stood for Burke and was successful, and in 1890 he became the Minister of Mines and Public Instruction. In 1893, he was defeated by Labor candidate John Hoolan and lost his seat. Hodgkinson spent much of the 1890s in Sydney and Western Australia, working as an expert in mining.
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