Peter Warburton

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Peter Egerton Warburton (1813—1889) was an English naval and military officer who became famous as an explorer of Australia. He served as the Commissioner of Police in South Australia.[1] He was employed by the South Australian government to replace Benjamin Herschel Babbage, because they felt Babbage was moving to slowly.[2] Warburton led several trips into the desert between 1856 and 1874. He discovered a gap through the ring of salt lakes north of Adelaide in South Australia, which had blocked northward exploration.[3] He discovered the artesian springs which he named Coward Springs. He also explored the Davenport Range which he named after Sir Samuel Davenport, a South Australian politician.[3]

In 1872 he became the first person to cross Australia from the centre, at Alice Springs to the coast of Western Australia.[3] He had to cross the Great Sandy Desert, a trip which left him blind in one eye. He was so ill he completed the trip tied to his camel. They were forced to eat most of their camels. He said they only reason the group survived was through the skills of Charley, their Indigenous Australian guide, Charley.[3] Warburton was made a CMG and given £1000 as a reward in 1875.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gordon, David J., and Ryan, Victor H. (1914). Handbook of South Australia. Adelaide, South Australia: South Australian Government. pp. 308.
  2. Syme, G.W. (1969). "Babbage, Benjamin Herschel (1815 - 1878)". Australian Dictionary of Biography Online. http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A030066b.htm. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Deasey, Denison (1976). "Warburton, Peter Egerton (1813 - 1889)". Australian Dictionary of Biography Online. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A060376b.htm. Retrieved 16 June 2011.