Hovell, William Hilton, 1786-1875

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1786-04-26
Death 1875-11-09

Biographical notes:

Hovell together with Hume, were involved in a major expedition of discovery to Port Phillip, travelling overland from Sydney in 1824-25. The Hume and Hovell expedition was one of the most important journeys of explorations undertaken in eastern Australia. In 1824 the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Brisbane, commissioned Hume and Hovell to lead an expedition to find new grazing land in the south of the colony and also to find where New South Wales's western-flowing rivers went to.The party set out October 1824 and travelled south to the Murrumbidgee River near the site of Tumut. In November they discovered what they called "a noble stream" which they named the Hume (now the Murray River) near the site of Albury, and then advanced into what is now Victoria. In December Hume and Hovell crossed the Victorian ranges, and were able to see the sea from the hilltops. Soon they arrived at Corio Bay near the present site of Geelong. They mistakenly believed they had reached Western Port, the large bay further east which had been discovered by Matthew Flinders and George Bass in 1798. They later published conflicting accounts of the journey. The Hume and Hovell expedition disproved the widely held view that the interior of Australia was an uninhabitable wilderness. They found abundant well-watered grazing land between the Murrumbidgee and the Murray, and also in Victoria. Soon streams of settlers were following their route, which is now the Hume Highway from Sydney to Melbourne via Albury.

From the description of Journey of discovery to Port Phillip and New South Wales in 1824 and 1825, 1837 [manuscript]. 1837. (Libraries Australia). WorldCat record id: 224591744

Epithet: of Cork

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000866.0x000069

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Places:

  • Victoria (as recorded)
  • Westernport (Vic.) (as recorded)
  • Oxfordshire, England (as recorded)
  • Victoria (as recorded)
  • Oxfordshire, England (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)
  • Westernport (Vic.) (as recorded)
  • Australia (as recorded)
  • London, England (as recorded)
  • Victoria (as recorded)
  • Angers, France (as recorded)