Edward John Eyre

Edward John Eyre(1815–1901) was an early explorer of the inland regions of New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia.eyre
In 1834 he purchased a property at Queanbeyan in NSW, but lost all his stock to disease and so determined to try his hand at overlanding sheep to Port Phillip and later to Adelaide. He resolved to settle in Adelaide where he established a home in 1838.
His experience in droving sheep and cattle led to exploring and all his efforts always had a goal to find good grazing country. In the course of his quests, he opened up much of South Australia for settlement.
Eyre attempted to open up a route to the centre of Australia in 1839 and again in 1840 on behalf of some Adelaide businessmen because it was thought there was a huge inland sea or lake and as a consequence good land. This expedition reached Mt Hopeless when Eyre gave up the attempt due to great difficulties brought about by the arid sandy country.
He determined to open up a cattle route from Fowlers Bay SA to Albany WA and hoped to discover good land on the journey. This incredible journey was undertaken in 1841.
On his return to Adelaide, Eyre was made a magistrate and protector of the aborigines at Moorundie.
His short association with the colony ended in December 1844 when he sailed for England.
In 1846 Eyre was appointed lieutenant governor of New Zealand. In 1853 Eyre returned to England and from 1854 served as lieutenant governor of St Vincent, acting governor of the Leeward Islands, and governor of Jamaica. He suppressed a serious mutiny in October 1865, but he was recalled following the court-martial and hanging of a member of the legislature who had been implicated in the uprising.
In England there was a public outcry over the matter and Eyre was arrested several times for murder and other charges but these were never followed up. Regardless, the matter raised great debate in England with worthies lining up to defend and criticise Eyre. His reputation damaged, Eyre retired from public office to Walreddon Manor, near Tavistock DEV, where he lived in seclusion until his death on 30 November 1901. He was buried in Whitechurch churchyard, near Tavistock. He was survived by his widow, Adelaide Fanny, whom he had married in 1850, four sons and a daughter.
In South Australia his exploratory efforts are recognised by Lake Eyre and the Eyre Peninsula.


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