CURR, Edward Micklethwaite (1820-1889)


CURR, Edward Micklethwaite (1820-1889)
writer on aborigines and on stock
was the son of Edward Curr (1798-1850) and was born at Hobart in 1820. His father spent over three years in Tasmania, from February 1820 to June 1823, and on his return voyage to England wrote An Account of the Colony of Van Diemen's Land principally designed for the use of Emigrants, which was published in 1824. He subsequently returned to Tasmania and became manager of the Van Diemen's Land Company. He was one of the early settlers at Port Phillip, and in later years took a prominent part in the agitation for separation from New South Wales. Westgarth (q.v.) calls him the "Father of Separation". He died on 11 November 1850 at the comparatively early age of 52 and was buried at Melbourne. His son was educated in England and France, paid his first visit to Melbourne in 1839, and in 1841 again came to Port Phillip to take over a station his father had purchased about five miles from the site of the present township of Heathcote. His experiences on this and other stations is described in his Recollections of Squatting in Victoria, published 42 years afterwards. In 1851 he went to Europe and the Middle East for three years. He afterwards had properties in Queensland and New South Wales, but apparently did not have much success with them as in 1862 he was appointed an inspector of sheep in Victoria. In 1863 he published a book on Pure Saddle-Horses, and in 1865 won a prize Of £150 for An Essay on Scab in Sheep. This was published in the same year, and the measures advocated by Curr were used with such success that the disease became rare. He had been made chief inspector of sheep in 1864, and in 1873 he became chief inspector of stock. He took much interest in the aborigines, their manners, customs and languages. He was not a trained ethnologist but he got in touch with a large number of helpers, and in 1886 published The Australian Race, its Origins, Languages, Customs . . . in four volumes, a work of great value at the time; and, though few of his assistants were trained observers, the book is still remembered and consulted. Curr died at Melbourne on 3 August 1889. In addition to the works mentioned Curr was the author of a little volume of verse, Frivolities by E. M. C.
E. Finn, Chronicles of Early Melbourne, p. 859; W. Westgarth, Personal Records [sic-should read 'Recollections'] of Early Melbourne and Victoria, p. 164; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; The Argus, 5 August 1889.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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  • Edward Curr — Edward Micklethwaite Curr (25 December 1820 – 3 August 1889) was an Australian pastoralist and squatter.Curr was born in Hobart, Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen s Land), the eldest of eleven surviving children of Edward (1798 1850) and… …   Wikipedia


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