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Edmund Kennedy (1818-1848)


Edmund Kennedy was second in command of Sir T.L. Mitchell's exploration party, which started in December 1845 to endeavour to find a route to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Read about Mitchell's expedition, "Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia".

On their return at the end of 1846, Mitchell suggested that Kennedy should be sent to explore the course of the Victoria River (now the Barcoo River). Read about this expedition, which took place in 1847, in Expedition to ascertain the course of the River Victoria.

It was also hoped that Kennedy might find a convenient route to the head of the Gulf of Carpentaria. His fatal second expedition to the tip of Cape York commenced in April 1848. It is described in Narrative of an Expedition Undertaken Under the Direction of E. B. Kennedy by William Carron, a survivor of the expedition. Arriving at Rockingham Bay (north of Townsville) in May, Kennedy's party, after much privation and toil, reached Weymouth Bay, where they established a depot. Kennedy, with four others, Costigan, Dunn, Luff, and a native, Jacky Jacky, left this depot in an endeavour to reach Cape York, where a relief ship was expected. Kennedy and Jacky Jacky continued north, after leaving the others at Shelburne Bay. Only the native reached Cape York, for in a skirmish with blacks Kennedy was killed. Jacky Jacky guided the ship's relief party to Shelburne Bay, but Costigan, Dunn, and Luff had perished. At the Weymouth Bay depot, only two survivors were found.

Read a biographical sketch of Edmund Kennedy from the "Dictionary of Australian Biography", here.



Updated 1 September 2013