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Laurie McCalman Presentation: The Surveying Career of William Swan Urquhart

Saturday 2 June | 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Image of W S Urquhart

Join Ken James as he discusses the life and career of Victorian surveyor William Swan Urquhart.

Born in Scotland in 1818, Urquhart arrived in Sydney in 1840. Urquhart was a contract and Government surveyor. By 1843 he was working as a contract surveyor in Victoria surveying County boundaries. Often nine months of the year would be spent under canvas in very harsh conditions with meagre rations and sometimes unreliable assistants.

In 1853 he was appointed as the senior surveyor on the central Victorian gold fields centred on Castlemaine and surrounding goldfields. He was based at Taradale.  His responsibilities from 1853 to his retirement in 1864 included laying out of settlements, opening up of land for agricultural purposes and surveying of minor and major roads.

Settlements laid out by Urquhart over his career include Ballarat, Carisbrook, Castlemaine, Elphinstone, Lockwood, Malmsbury, Queenscliff, Sunbury and Taradale. You will find an Urquhart Street in most of these towns.

Ken James is the author of The career of surveyor William Swan Urquhart 1843-1864.

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Saturday 2 June
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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PMI Victorian History Library
39 St. Edmonds Road
Prahran, Victoria 3181
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9510 3393


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