GREGORY, Francis Thomas (1821-1888)


GREGORY, Francis Thomas (1821-1888)
explorer
younger brother of Sir A. C. Gregory (q.v.), was born at Farnsfield, Nottingham, England, on 19 October 1821. He was brought to Western Australia in 1829, entered the public service in 1841, and became a staff-surveyor in 1847. With his two brothers he explored the country north of Perth in 1846. In 1857 he explored the Upper Murchison River, and in the following year examined the country still farther to the east and north. In 1860 he visited London and was put in charge of an expedition to explore the north-west coast, the British government making a grant of £2000 towards the expenses. Gregory left Fremantle on 23 April 1861 and four days later, at Champion Bay, he was joined by three volunteers, bringing his party to a total of nine. They completed the landing of the horses near the site of Roebourne on 24 May, and started for the interior on the following day. The Fortescue River was followed for several days and a turn to the south-west was then made and the Hardey River was followed. On 25 June, having reached latitude 23 degrees 56 min., they began to retrace their steps and reached their landing place on the coast on 19 July. On 29 July another journey to the east was begun but to the north of the previous track. Gregory returned with his party on 17 October having discovered some excellent country. A return was made by sea to Perth which was reached on 9 November 1861. Gregory estimated that there were two or three million acres of land in the district examined suitable for grazing, and he also drew attention to the possibilities of the pearl-oyster industry.
In 1862 Gregory went to Queensland and was for some years commissioner of crown lands. He became a member of the legislative council in 1874, and for a short period in 1883 was postmaster-general in the McIlwraith (q.v.) ministry. He died at Toowoomba on 24 October 1888. He married in 1865 Marion Scott Hume and was survived by three sons. He was given the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1863.
Burke's Colonial Gentry, 1891; A. C. and F. T. Gregory, Journals of Australian Exploration; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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