Burke & Wills Web
www.burkeandwills.net.au
The online digital research archive of expedition records
© 2017


Original appointments made in Melbourne, June-August 1860

Wednesday, 20 June 1860.
At an Ordinary meeting of the Exploration Committee of the Royal Soceity of Victoria, Robert O'Hara Burke was appointed leader of the expedition by 10 votes to five.

Wednesday, 4 July 1860.

Monday, 9 July 1860, Melbourne: 19 men
At an Ordinary meeting of the Exploration Committee, Burke submitted a list of persons to join the party:

Landells
Ferguson
Fletcher
Cowen
Patten
Langan
Creber
Brahe
Elliott

All were subsequently employed except for Elliott. Burke proposed Wills, Neumayer's senior assistant, as surveyor and astronomer. Burke suggested Beckler as medical officer and several members suggested Becker as artist and naturalist.

July 1860 August 1860 September 1860
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
             
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
             
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30            
3:F 11:3Q 19:N 25:1Q
2:F 10:3Q 17:N 23:1Q 31:F
8:3Q 15:N 22:1Q 30:F

Saturday, 18 August 1860, Royal Society of Victoria, Melbourne: 19 men
Men of the expedition sign the Memorandum of Agreement at the Royal Society of Victoria.

Sunday, 19 August 1860 , Royal Park, Melbourne: 19 men
Creber was discharged after Landells accused him of being drunk.
Fletcher was dismissed for incompetence, having supported Creber.
Burke hired two additional wagons and their drivers.

Monday, 20 August 1860, Royal Park, Melbourne: 22 men
Cowen was discharged for insobriety.
McIlwaine, Lane and Brooks were hired.
Burke hired a third additional wagon and driver.

Victorian Exploring Expedition, 1860 -1

Monday, 20 August 1860, Melbourne: 22 men
Leader, 4 officers, 1 foreman, 9 assistants, 4 sepoys, 3 hired wagon drivers,
23 horses, 26 camels, ~18 hired wagon horses.

  • Party that left Royal Park:
  • Robert O'Hara Burke
  • George James Landells
  • William John Wills
  • Dr Ludwig Becker
  • Dr Hermann Beckler
  • Charles David Ferguson
  • William Brahe
  • Thomas McDonough
  • William Patten
  • Patrick Langan
  • John Drakeford
  • John King
  • James McIlwaine
  • James Lane
  • Brooks
  • Samla
  • Dost Mahomet
  • Essau (Esa) Khan
  • Belooch Khan
  • William Cole (hired wagon driver)
  • George Price (hired wagon driver)
  • M O’Brien (hired wagon driver)

Wednesday, 22 August 1860, Bulla : 21 men.
Samla resigned two days out from Melbourne as he was unable to eat the rations due to his religion.

Saturday, 25 August 1860, Mia Mia : 22 men.
Prolongeau hired at Mia Mia.

Tuesday, 4 September 1860, Tragowel : 23 men.
Bowman hired at Tragowel.

Thursday, 6 - Monday, 10 September 1860, Swan Hill : 21 men.
Esau Khan dismissed due to illness.
McPherson and Grey hired.
Hodgkinson and Neumeyer arrive from Melbourne.
Burke hires a fourth wagon and driver.

  • Party that left Swan Hill:
  • Robert O'Hara Burke
  • George James Landells
  • William John Wills
  • Dr Ludwig Becker
  • Dr Hermann Beckler
  • Charles David Ferguson
  • William Brahe
  • Thomas McDonough
  • William Patten
  • Patrick Langan
  • John Drakeford
  • John King
  • James McIlwaine
  • Charley Gray
  • Robert Bowman
  • Alexander McPherson
  • William Oswald Hodgkinson
  • Georg Balthasar Neumayer
  • Dost Mahomet
  • Belooch Khan
  • William Cole (hired wagon driver)
  • George Price (hired wagon driver)
  • M O’Brien (hired wagon driver)
  • Frederick Morrison (hired wagon driver)

Sunday, 16 September 1860, Balranald : 17 men.
Ferguson, McIlwaine, Langan and Belooch dismissed.
Belooch rejoins party two days later.

  • Party that left Balranald:
  • Robert O'Hara Burke
  • George James Landells
  • William John Wills
  • Dr Ludwig Becker
  • Dr Hermann Beckler
  • William Brahe
  • Thomas McDonough
  • William Patten
  • John Drakeford
  • John King
  • Charley Gray
  • Robert Bowman
  • Alexander McPherson
  • William Oswald Hodgkinson
  • Georg Balthasar Neumayer
  • Dost Mahomet
  • Belooch Khan
  • William Cole (hired wagon driver)
  • George Price (hired wagon driver)
  • M O’Brien (hired wagon driver)
  • Frederick Morrison (hired wagon driver)

Friday, 21 September 1860, Prungle.
The wagons are slowed by the heavy sand and Burke divides the party.

  • Lead party from Prungle to Bilbarka:
  • Robert O'Hara Burke
  • George James Landells
  • William John Wills
  • Georg Balthasar Neumayer
  • Charley Gray
  • John King
  • John Drakeford
  • Alexander McPherson
  • Dost Mahomet
  • Belooch Khan
  • Wagon party:
  • Dr Ludwig Becker (Leader)
  • Dr Hermann Beckler
  • William Brahe
  • Thomas McDonough
  • William Patten
  • Robert Bowman
  • William Oswald Hodgkinson
  • William Cole (hired wagon driver)
  • George Price (hired wagon driver)
  • M O’Brien (hired wagon driver)
  • Frederick Morrison (hired wagon driver)

Thursday, 11 October 1860, Menindee: 16 men.
Landells resigns.
Beckler also resigns, but stays with party unill he can be replaced.

Friday, 19 October 1860, Menindee: 2 parties of 16 men in total.
(5 officers, 10 assistants, 2 sepoys, 2 Aborigines).
Drakeford dismissed for drunkenness.

  • Party that left Menindee:
  • Robert O'Hara Burke
  • William John Wills
  • William Brahe
  • Thomas McDonough
  • William Patten
  • John King
  • Charley Gray
  • Dost Mahomet
  • William Wright
  • Dick Mountain
  • Peter
  • 16 camels
  • 9 horses
  • Party that stayed at Menindee:
  • Dr Hermann Beckler (Leader)
  • Dr Ludwig Becker
  • Alexander McPherson
  • William Oswald Hodgkinson
  • Belooch Khan

Tuesday, 30 October 1860, Torowoto: 2 parties of 16 men in total.
Wright hired.
Wright, Dick Mountain and Peter returned to Menindie, arriving on 5 November 1860.

  • Party that left Torowoto:
  • Robert O'Hara Burke
  • William John Wills
  • William Brahe
  • Thomas McDonough
  • William Patten
  • John King
  • Charley Gray
  • Dost Mahomet
  • 16 camels
  • 9 horses

Saturday, 10 November 1860, Menindee.
Dispatches from Melbourne leave with Trooper Myles Lyons, Saddler McPherson & Dick Mountain.
Party rescued by Beckler, Belooch & Peter.

Sunday, 16 December 1860, Dig Tree : 3 parties of 19 men in total.
(5 officers, 10 men, 2 sepoys, 2 Aborigines).
Burke divides the party again.

  • Gulf party:
  • Robert O'Hara Burke
  • William John Wills
  • John King
  • Charley Gray
  • 6 camels
  • 1 horse
  • Depot party:
  • William Brahe
  • Thomas McDonough
  • William Patten
  • Dost Mahomet
  • 6 camels
  • 6 horses
  • Supply party in Menindee:
  • William Wright
  • Dr Hermann Beckler
  • Dr Ludwig Becker
  • Alexander McPherson
  • William Oswald Hodgkinson
  • Belooch Khan
October 1860 November 1860 December 1860
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      
             
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  
             
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
8:3Q 15:N 22:1Q 30:F
6:3Q 13:N 20:1Q 28:F
6:3Q 12:N 20:1Q 28:F

Saturday, 26 January 1861, Menindee : 3 parties of 17 men.
(5 officers, 9 men, 2 sepoys, 1 Aborigine).
Purcell, Stone and Smith hired by Wright.

  • Supply party that leaves Menindee:
  • William Wright
  • Dr Hermann Beckler
  • Dr Ludwig Becker
  • Alexander McPherson
  • William Oswald Hodgkinson
  • Belooch Khan
  • Charles Stone
  • William Purcell
  • Dick Mountain
January 1861February 1861March 1861
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
       
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425262728  
       
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
4:3Q 11:N 19:1Q 27:F
2:3Q 10:N 18:1Q 25:F
4:3Q 11:N 20:1Q 27:F
April 1861May 1861June 1861
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930    
       
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 
       
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      
2:3Q 10:N 18:1Q 25:F
2:3Q 10:N 18:1Q 24:F 31:3Q
8:N 16:1Q 23:F 30:3Q
July 1861August 1861September 1861
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930     
8:N 15:1Q 22:F 30:3Q
6:N 13:1Q 20:F 28:3Q
5:N 11:1Q 19:F 27:3Q

Deaths on the expedition, 1861

Charley Gray Wednesday, 17 April 1861 Polygonum Swamp (Lake Massacre ?), SA.
Charles Stone Monday, 22 April 1861 Koorliatto Waterhole, Bulloo River, QLD
William Purcell Tuesday, 23 April 1861 Koorliatto Waterhole, Bulloo River, QLD.
Mr Shirt Saturday, 27 April, 1861. Koorliatto Waterhole, Bulloo River, QLD.
Dr Ludwig Becker Monday, 29 April 1861 Koorliatto Waterhole, Bulloo River, QLD.
William Patten Wednesday, 5 June 1861 Desolation Camp, Rat Point, NSW.
William John Wills 30 June - 4 July 1861 Breerily Waterhole, Cooper Creek, SA.
Robert O'Hara Burke Saturday, 1 July 1861 Burke's Waterhole, Cooper Creek, SA.
12 Ngawun men Wednesday, 30 October 1861 Aborigines shot by Frederick Walker.
Gunner Frost Tuesday, 31 December 1861 Sweers Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, QLD.

------------------------
www.burkeandwills.net.au Burke & Wills Web The digital research archive of expedition records
© 2017, Dave Phoenix