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Biographical entry Dawes, William (1762 - 1836)

Born
1762
England
Died
1836
Antigua
Occupation
Astronomer and Surveyor

Summary

William Dawes, an officer of the marines, came to Australia with the First Fleet in 1788 and established an observatory at Sydney on behalf of the British Board of Longitude.

Details

Dawes arrived in Australia with the First Fleet as a Lieutenant in the Royal Marines, having served in the American War of Independence, and subsequently pursued studies in engineering and surveying. Equipped with meteorological and astronomical books and instruments provided by the Royal Astronomer, he immediately began construction of an observatory at what is now known as Dawes Point, near the southern pylon of the Harbour Bridge. Dawes' meteorological journal provides a detailed chronology of the early weather of the colony from September 1788 until his departure for England in December 1791. A Hundred Years of Science and Service, Bureau of Meteorology, 2001.

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • William Dawes - Records, 1788 - 1836; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Published resources

Books

  • Gibson, Ross, 26 Views of the Starburst World: William Dawes at Sydney Cove 1788-91 (Crawley, W.A.: UWA Publishing, 2012), 290 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Howse, Derek, 'William Dawes, 1762-1836' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Details
  • Mander-Jones, Phyllis, 'Dawes, William (1762-1836), officer of marines, scientist and adminstrator' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Douglas Pike, ed., vol. 1 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1966), pp. 297-298. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A010282b.htm. Details

Conference Papers

Journal Articles

  • Laurie, P. S., 'William Dawes, and Australia's First Observatory', Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 29 (1988), 469-482. Details
  • Marriott, R. A., 'W. Dawes and W. R. Dawes', Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 97 (1986), 10. Details
  • Morrison, Doug and Barko, Ivan, 'Dagelet and Dawes: their Meeting, their Instruments and the First Scientific Experiments on Australian Soil ', Historical Records of Australian Science, 20 (1) (2009), 1-40. Details
  • Orchiston, W., 'William Dawes: Australia's First Meteorologist', Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 30 (1989), 359-360. Details
  • Russell, H.C., 'Astronomical and Meteorological Workers in New South Wales, 1778-1860', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, 1 (1888), 45-94. Details

Resources

Reviews

  • Gibson, Ross, 26 Views of the Starburst World: William Dawes at Sydney Cove 1788-91 (2012)
    Nugent, Maria Nugent, Australian Historical Studies, 44, (2013), 295-7. Details

See also

Digital resources

Title
William Dawes
Type
Image

Details

McCarthy, G.J.