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Lieut-Colonel William Patterson

(William Paterson)

1755 - 1810

Explorer and Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales. Born in the parish of Kinnettles (Angus), the son of a gardener. Patterson joined the army, serving in India (1781-8) and then in Australia, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. As an explorer, he undertook four expeditions inland from the Cape of Good Hope (1777-79) and is said to have penetrated further into the interior of Africa than any European had before him. He twice circumnavigated the globe and with a great interest in natural history brought to Britain a range of plant and other specimens which had not been seen previously and deposited these in various museums. Patterson was elected to the Royal Society in 1799 and was also a member of the Asiatic and Linnean Societies. In Australia Patterson was responsible for the security of the convict settlement at Botany Bay. In 1807, he founded the settlement of Launceston now the second city of Tasmania. He spent his last years as Lieutenant-Governor of the New South Wales settlement in Sydney and, having suffered a period of ill health, died while returning to Britain. He is remembered by a monument in Kinnettles Parish Churchyard.

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