GREY, Sir George
Journals of two expeditions of discovery in North-West and Western Australia, during the years 1837, 38, and 39...describing many new discovered, important, and fertile districts, with observations on the moral and physical conditions of the aboriginal inhabitants, &c. &c. 2 vols.London: T. and W. Boone, 1841.
"In 1837, at the age of 25, Grey led an ill-prepared expedition that explored North-West Australia. British settlers in Australia at the time knew little of the region and only one member of Grey's party had been there before. It was believed possible at that time that one of the world's largest rivers might drain into the Indian Ocean in North-West Australia; if that were found to be the case, the region it flowed through might be suitable for colonisation. Grey, with Lieutenant Franklin Lushington, of the 9th (East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot, offered to explore the region. On 5 July 1837, they sailed from Plymouth in command of a party of five, the others being Lushington; Dr William Walker, a surgeon and naturalist; and Corporals John Coles and Auger of the Royal Sappers and Miners. Others joined the party at Cape Town, and early in December they landed at Hanover Bay (west of Uwins Island in the Bonaparte Archipelago). Travelling south, the party traced the course of the Glenelg River. After experiencing boat wrecks, near-drowning, becoming completely lost, and Grey himself being speared in the hip during a skirmish with Aboriginal people, the party gave up. After being picked up by HMS Beagle and the schooner Lynher, they were taken to Mauritius to recover.
"Two years later, Grey returned to Western Australia and was again wrecked with his party, again including Surgeon Walker, at Kalbarri; they were the first Europeans to see the Murchison River, but then had to walk to Perth, surviving the journey through the efforts of Kaiber, a Whadjuk Noongar man (that is, indigenous to the Perth region), who organised food and what water could be found (they survived by drinking liquid mud). At about this time, Grey learnt the Noongar language.(Wikipedia article on George Grey, accessed 7-2020).
From the standpoint of human origins this work is notable for containing the first illustrations of rock art reproduced as 4 plates in vol. 1 (pp. 201-204, 213-215), 3 of which were printed in color. See A. P. Elkin, "Grey's Nothern Kimberley cave-paintings re-found," Oceania, 19 (1948) 1-15. These were aboriginal rock art works, dated in 2020 at 12,000+-500 years old, now known as Wandjina style art.
Digital facsimile from Google Books at this link.
Subjects: COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › Australia, EVOLUTION › Human Origins / Human Evolution, VOYAGES & Travels by Physicians, Surgeons & Scientists › History of Voyages & Travels by Physicians....