Edward John Eyre

Edward John Eyre (born 5 August 1815  died 30 November 1901) was an English land explorer of the Australian continent, colonial administrator, and a controversial Governor of Jamaica. South Australia's Lake Eyre, Eyre Peninsula, Eyre Creek, Eyre Highway (the main highway from South Australia to Western Australia), and the Eyre Hotel in Whyalla are named in his honour, as are the villages of Eyreton and West Eyreton in Canterbury, New Zealand. Eyre was born in Whipsnade, Bedfordshire, shortly before his family moved to Hornsea, Yorkshire, where he was christened. His parents were Rev. Anthony William Eyre and Sarah. After completing grammar school at Louth and Sedbergh, he moved to Sydney rather than join the army or go to university. He gained experience in the new land by boarding with and forming friendships with prominent gentlemen and became a flock owner when he bought 400 lambs a month before his 18th birthday. When South Australia was founded, Eyre brought 1,000 sheep and 600 cattle overland from Monaro, New South Wales to Adelaide and sold them for a large profit. With this money, Eyre set out to explore the interior of South Australia, with two separate expeditions north to the Flinders Ranges and west to beyond Ceduna.

Eyre, together with his Aboriginal companion Wylie, was the first European to traverse the coastline of the Great Australian Bight and the Nullarbor Plain by land in 1840-1841, on an almost 2000 mile trip to Albany, Western Australia. He had originally led the expedition with John Baxter and three aborigines. Two of the aborigines killed Baxter and left with most of the supplies, and Eyre and Wylie were only able to survive because they were rescued by a French whaling ship which at Rossiter Bay, under the command of Captain Rossiter, chanced to be there. Eyre named the bay after the captain.

In addition to exploring inland South Australia and New South Wales, Eyre was instrumental in maintaining peace between white settlers and Aborigines along the Murray River.

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86 Stirling Terrace, Albany, 6330, WA

08 9842 8324

08 9842 8325

bookings@albanyforeshoreguesthouse.com.au

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