John McKinlay

John McKinlay ( born August 26, 1819 in Sand Bank in Scotland, † December 31 1872 in Gawler, South Australia ) was a researcher in Australia. McKinlay led one of the expeditions to rescue the explorer Robert O'Hara Burke missing Australian and William John Wills. He performed a total of only two expeditions, which, however, very well known, made him in Australia.


John McKinlay was born in as the third son of merchant Dugald McKinlay and his wife Catherine McKellar. McKinlay went to the Dalinlongart School and immigrated with his brother Alexander in 1836 to New South Wales in Australia from. He and his brother later came to South Australia and bought land on the Darling River. John McKinlay studied the habits of the aborigines, which helped him in his expeditions. On January 17, 1863, he married Jane Pile.


As Wills and Bourke were missing, was, inter alia, McKinlay instructed to look for them. He left Adelaide on August 16, 1861 with nine men, 70 sheep, two horses and four Australian camels. On 20 October 1861 he was near the Cooper Creek the grave of Charles Gray, a participant of the expedition of Burke and Wills, and guessed that Burke and Wills had died.

Then McKinlay decided to seek a direct route to Mount Stuart. However, heavy rains and flooding forced him to turn back. McKinlay thereupon turned towards the Gulf of Carpentaria, hoping to meet the ship HMVS Victoria, which was waiting to eventually take the survivors of the expedition of Burke and Wills on board. He reached the Gulf Coast a few miles from the meeting place where he did not arrive in time because of the difficult terrain on 20 May 1862. He decided to go to Port Denison in Bowen in Queensland, where he arrived in early August and drove back with a ship to Adelaide.

For his expedition he received from the Government a sum of money in the amount of £ 1000 and a golden clock of the Royal Geographical Society of England.

In September 1865 he was commissioned to explore the Northern Territory to settlement sites. Exceptional heavy rain and floods prevented the expedition on the eastern Alligator River from progressing, and McKinlay returned under difficult conditions back to the coast. Nevertheless, the expedition was successful, as has been reported in settlement land at Port Darwin and at the Anson Bay.

After his two expeditions he sat down near the town of Gawler in South Australia to rest, where he died. There is a monument to him was erected in honor of 1875.