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Charles Napier Sturt (28 April 1795 – 16 June 1869) was a British officer and explorer of Australia, and part of the
European exploration of Australia The European exploration of Australia first began in February 1606, when Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon landed in Cape York Peninsula and on October that year when Spanish explorer Luís Vaz de Torres sailed through, and navigated, Torres Strai ...
. He led several expeditions into the interior of the continent, starting from
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...

Sydney
and later from
Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usually ...

Adelaide
. His expeditions traced several of the westward-flowing rivers, establishing that they all merged into the
Murray River The Murray River (in South Australia: River Murray) (Ngarrindjeri language, Ngarrindjeri: ''Millewa'', Yorta Yorta language, Yorta Yorta: ''Tongala'') is a river in south-eastern Australia. It is list of rivers of Australia#Longest river ...

Murray River
, which flows into the Southern Ocean. He was searching to prove his own passionately held belief that an "
inland sea An inland sea (also known as an epeiric sea or an epicontinental sea) is a shallow sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers ap ...
" was located at the centre of the continent. He reached the rank of
Captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a military rank in a ...
, served in several appointed posts, and on the Legislative Council. Born to British parents in
Bengal Bengal (; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region located in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, p ...

Bengal
, British India, Sturt was educated in England for a time as a child and youth. He was placed in the British Army because his father was not wealthy enough to pay for Cambridge. After assignments in North America, Sturt was assigned to accompany a ship of convicts to Australia in 1827. Finding the place to his liking, he made his life there.


Early life

Charles Sturt was born in
Bengal Bengal (; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region located in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, p ...

Bengal
,
British India The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still earlier, Presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance in the Indian subcontinent. Collectively, they have been called British India. In one ...

British India
, the eldest son (of thirteen children) of Thomas Lenox Napier Sturt, a judge under the
British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
, and his wife. At the age of five, Charles was sent to live with relatives in England to be educated, as was customary for the children of the colonial upper class. After attending a preparatory school, he was sent to
Harrow Harrow may refer to: Places * Harrow, Victoria, Australia * Harrow, Ontario, Canada * The Harrow, County Wexford, a village in Ireland * London Borough of Harrow, England, UK ** Harrow, London, a town ** Harrow (UK Parliament constituency) ** Harr ...
in 1810. In 1812, Charles went to read with a Mr. Preston near Cambridge, but his father was not wealthy and had difficulty finding the money to send him to
Cambridge University The University of Cambridge is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by Henry III of England, Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest ...
, or to establish him in a profession. An aunt appealed to the
Prince Regent George IV (George Augustus Frederick; 12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union A polit ...

Prince Regent
and, on 9 September 1813, Sturt was gazetted as an ensign with the
39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot The 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot was an infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and armored warfare, armored forces. ...
in the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
. Sturt saw action with the
Duke of Wellington Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852) was an Anglo-Irish people, Anglo-Irish soldier and Tories (British political party), Tory statesman who was one of the leading military and political f ...

Duke of Wellington
in the
Peninsular War The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the military conflict War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurg ...

Peninsular War
and against the Americans in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...
during the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
. He returned to Europe a few days after the
Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo Waterloo most commonly refers to: * Battle of Waterloo, a battle on 18 June 1815 in which Napoleon met his final defeat :* Waterloo, Belgium, a municipality in Belgium fr ...

Battle of Waterloo
. Sturt was gazetted lieutenant on 7 April 1823 and promoted captain on 15 December 1825. With a detachment from his regiment, Sturt escorted convicts aboard the ''Mariner'' to
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
, arriving in
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...

Sydney
on 23 May 1827. Sturt was a cousin of the wife of
Henry Dumaresq Henry Rowland Gascoigne Dumaresq (20 February 1839 – 31 October 1924) was an Australian politician who represented the electoral district of Longford in the Tasmanian House of Assembly The House of Assembly, or Lower House, is one of t ...
, brother-in-law of Governor Ralph Darling, which was later to complicate his relationship with
Sir Thomas Mitchell Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell (15 June 1792 – 5 October 1855), Surveyor (surveying), surveyor and European land exploration of Australia, explorer of Southeastern Australia, was born at Grangemouth in Stirlingshire, Scotland. In 1827 he too ...
, who resented those whom he judged were treated favourably by Darling.


Australia and Sturt's first two expeditions

Sturt found the conditions and climate in New South Wales much better than he expected, and he developed a great interest in the country. The
Governor of New South Wales The governor of New South Wales is the viceregal A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of institut ...
,
Sir Ralph Darling General (United Kingdom), General Sir Ralph Darling, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order, GCH (1772 – 2 April 1858) was a British Army officer who served as Governor of New South Wales from 1825 to 1831. He is popularly described as a ...

Sir Ralph Darling
, formed a high opinion of Sturt and appointed him major of brigade and military secretary. Sturt became friendly with
John Oxley John Joseph William Molesworth Oxley (1784 – 25 May 1828) was an explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Discovery is the act of detecting somet ...

John Oxley
, Allan Cunningham,
Hamilton Hume Hamilton Hume (19 June 1797 – 19 April 1873) was an early explorer of the present-day Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria (Australia), Victoria. In 1824, along with William Hovell, Hume participated in an expedition that first t ...

Hamilton Hume
, and other explorers. Sturt was keen to explore the Australian interior, especially its rivers. Sturt received approval from on 4 November 1828 to explore the area of the
Macquarie River The Macquarie River is part of the Macquarie– Barwon catchment within the Murray–Darling basin The Murray–Darling basin is a large geographical area in the interior of southeastern Australia Australia, officially the Commonw ...
in western New South Wales. It was not, however, until 10 November that the party started out. It consisted of Sturt, his servant Joseph Harris, three soldiers and eight convicts; on 27 November Sturt was joined by Hamilton Hume as his first assistant. Hume's experience proved to be very useful. A week was spent at Wellington Valley breaking in oxen and horses, and on 7 December the real start into comparatively little known country was made. 1828–29 was a period of drought and the party had difficulty in finding sufficient water. They had followed the courses of the Macquarie, Bogan and Castlereagh rivers and, though its importance was scarcely sufficiently realized, had visited the
Darling River The Darling River (Paakantyi (Darling language), Barkindji: ''Baaka'' or ''Barka'') is the third-longest river in Australia, measuring from its source in northern New South Wales to its confluence with the Murray River at Wentworth, New South ...

Darling River
. The party returned to Wellington Valley on 21 April 1829. The expedition proved that northern New South Wales was not an inland sea, but deepened the mystery of where the western-flowing rivers of New South Wales went. In 1829 Governor Darling approved an expedition to solve this mystery. Sturt proposed to travel down the
Murrumbidgee River The Murrumbidgee River () is a major tributary of the Murray River within the Murray–Darling basin and the second longest river in Australia. It flows through the Australian state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, descen ...
, whose upper reaches had been seen by the
Hume and Hovell expedition The Hume and Hovell expedition was a journey of exploration undertaken in eastern Australia. In 1824 the Governor of New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a States and territories of Australia, state on the Eastern states ...
. In place of Hume, who was unable to join the party,
George Macleay Sir George Macleay (180924 June 1891) was an Australian explorer and politician. Biography Macleay was born in London, the third son of Alexander Macleay and educated at Westminster School. He came to Australia in 1826. In November 1829 he a ...
went "as a companion rather than as an assistant". A
whaleboat A whaleboat is a type of open boat that was used for whaling, catching whales, or a boat of similar design that retained the name when used for a different purpose. Some whaleboats were used from whaling ships. Other whaleboats would operate fro ...
built in sections was carried with them; it was assembled, and on 7 January 1830 they began their eventful voyage down the Murrumbidgee. In January 1830 Sturt's party reached the
confluence In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ...

confluence
of the Murrumbidgee and a much larger river, which Sturt named the
Murray River The Murray River (in South Australia: River Murray) (Ngarrindjeri language, Ngarrindjeri: ''Millewa'', Yorta Yorta language, Yorta Yorta: ''Tongala'') is a river in south-eastern Australia. It is list of rivers of Australia#Longest river ...

Murray River
. It was in fact the same river which Hume and Hovell had crossed further upstream and named the Hume. Several times the party was in danger from Aborigines but Sturt always succeeded in propitiating them. Sturt proceeded down the Murray, until he reached the river's confluence with the Darling. Sturt had now proved that all the western-flowing rivers eventually flow into the Murray. In February 1830, the party reached a large lake, which Sturt called Lake Alexandrina. A few days later, they reached the sea, later named as the
Southern Ocean The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or ...

Southern Ocean
. There they made the disappointing discovery that the was a maze of lagoons and sandbars, impassable to shipping. The party faced the ordeal of rowing back upriver on the Murray and Murrumbidgee, against the current, in the heat of an Australian summer. Their supplies ran out and, when they reached the site of
Narrandera Narrandera ( ) until around 1949 also spelled "Narandera", is a town located in the Riverina region of southern New South Wales, Australia. The town lies on the junction of the Newell Highway, Newell and Sturt Highway, Sturt highways, adjacent t ...
in April, they were unable to go any further. Sturt sent two men overland in search of supplies and they returned in time to save the party from starvation. But Sturt went blind for some months and never fully recovered his health. By the time they reached Sydney again, they had rowed and sailed nearly 2,900 kilometres of the river system.


A break from exploring

Sturt briefly served as Commander on
Norfolk Island Norfolk Island (, ; Norfuk language, Norfuk: ''Norf'k Ailen'') is an States and territories of Australia, external territory of Australia located in the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and New Caledonia, directly east of Australia's Evans ...
, where mutiny was brewing among the convicts. Because of his ill health, he went to England in 1832 on sick leave, arriving there almost completely blind. In 1833 he published his ''Two Expeditions into the Interior of Southern Australia during the years 1828, 1829, 1830 and 1831'', of which a second edition appeared in 1834. For the first time the public in England realised the importance of Sturt's work. Governor Darling's somewhat tardy but appreciative dispatch of 14 April 1831, and his request for Sturt's promotion, had had no result.
Sir Richard Bourke General (United Kingdom), General Sir Richard Bourke, Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, KCB (4 May 1777 – 12 August 1855), was an Irish-born British Army officer who served as Governor of New South Wales from 1831 to 1837. As a lifelo ...

Sir Richard Bourke
, who had succeeded Darling, was also unsuccessful in persuading Viscount Goderich to give "this deserving officer your Lordship's protection and support". Though the colonial office did not seem to recognise the value of Sturt's work, publication of his book was important because it captured the attention of
Edward Gibbon Wakefield Edward Gibbon Wakefield (20 March 179616 May 1862) is considered a key figure in the establishment of the colonies of European settlement of South Australia, South Australia and History of New Zealand#Colonial period, New Zealand (where he later ...

Edward Gibbon Wakefield
, who read it. He chose South Australia for a new settlement then being contemplated by the government. In May 1834, based on his services, Sturt applied for a grant of land in Australia, intending to settle on it. In July instructions were given that he was to receive a grant of ; in exchange, Sturt agreed to give up his pension rights. On 20 September 1834, Sturt married Charlotte Christiana Greene, daughter of a longtime family friend. Soon afterward, the couple sailed for Australia.


Return to Australia and disappearance and likely death of Henry Bryan

Sturt returned to Australia in mid-1835 to begin farming on his own of land, granted to him by the New South Wales government on the lower reaches of
Ginninderra Creek Ginninderra Creek, a perennial stream, partly perennial stream of the Murrumbidgee River, Murrumbidgee catchment within the Murray-Darling basin, is located in the Capital Country region spanning both the Australian Capital Territory and New Sou ...
, near present-day
Canberra Canberra ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the holding primary status in a , , , , or other , usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a that physically encompasses the government's offices an ...

Canberra
. (Sturt named the property 'Belconnen', a name now applied to the nearby population centre.) In 1838 he, with Giles Strangways, a Mr McLeod, and , herded cattle overland from Sydney to
Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usually ...

Adelaide
, on the way proving that the Hume and the Murray were the same river. In September 1838, Sturt led an expedition to the mouth of the Murray, which settled all dispute as to the suitability of Adelaide for the colony's capital. After returning to NSW to settle his affairs, Sturt settled at what is now
Grange, South Australia Grange is a coastal Suburbs and localities (Australia), suburb of the City of Charles Sturt, in Adelaide, South Australia, located 11 kilometres from the Adelaide city centre. The suburb is named after Captain Charles Sturt's cottage, which ...
in early 1839; he was appointed
Surveyor General of South Australia The Surveyor General of South Australia (also stylised Surveyor-General) is a position originally created for the Surveyor General for the colony of South Australia South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a States and territories of Australia, ...
and a member of the
South Australian Legislative Council The Legislative Council, or upper house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of South Australia The Parliament of South Australia is the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of South Australia. It consists of the 47-seat Sou ...
. When the London-appointed Surveyor-General Edward Frome unexpectedly arrived, Sturt had to step down. In the meantime, in December 1839, Sturt and his wife accompanied
George Gawler Lieutenant-Colonel George Gawler, KH, (21 July 1795 – 7 May 1869) was the second Governor of South Australia The Governor of South Australia is the representative in the Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, ...

George Gawler
, Julia Gawler, Henry Bryan and Henry Inman on a Murray River expedition, visiting
Mount Bryan Mount is often used as part of the name of specific mountains, e.g. Mount Everest. Mount or Mounts may also refer to: Places * Mounts, Indiana, a community in Gibson County, Indiana, United States People * Mount (surname) * William L. Mounts ( ...
. Julia Gawler, Charlotte Sturt, and Charlotte's maidservant became the first white women to travel the Murray. Sturt served briefly as the Registrar-General, but he soon proposed a major expedition with Henry Bryan into the interior of Australia as a way of restoring his reputation in the colony and London. Two days late while riding in very hot weather, with their water supply dwindling, both the men and horses were suffering. During the return journey to the river, Bryan's horse was slow, and was lagging behind the main group. When a
dust storm A dust storm, also called a sandstorm, is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development Deve ...

dust storm
occurred, Bryan got lost, was separated from his horse, and most likely died. His body was never recovered, although a massive search was conducted over eight days to find him. Days later both the Governor and his remainder of the party reached Adelaide on 28 December. Though Bryan was never found, his horse returned to Adelaide after several months. In September 1841, Sturt chaired a Bench of Magistrates that conducted an official inquiry into the circumstances of the
Rufus River massacre The Rufus River Massacre was a massacre of 30–40 Aboriginal people that took place in 1841 along the Rufus River, in the Central Murray region, after three consecutive ambushes with "Drover (Australian), overlanders" (stock drovers) on the rec ...
. The inquiry concluded "that the conduct of Mr Moorhouse and his party was justifiable, and indeed unavoidable in their circumstances".


Exploring from Adelaide, Sturt's third and final expedition

Sturt believed that it was his destiny to discover a great salt water lake, known as 'the inland sea', in the middle of Australia. At very least, he wanted to be the first explorer to plant his foot in 'the centre' of Australia. In August 1844, he set out with a party of 15 men, 200 sheep, six , and a boat to explore north-western
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
and to advance into central Australia. They travelled along the
Murray Murray may refer to: Businesses * Murray (bicycle company), an American manufacturer of low-cost bicycles * Murrays, an Australian bus company * Murray International Trust, a Scottish investment trust * D. & W. Murray Limited, an Australian wholes ...

Murray
and
Darling Darling is a term of endearment A term of endearment is a word or phrase used to address or describe a person, animal or inanimate object for which the speaker feels love or affection. Terms of endearment are used for a variety of reasons, suc ...

Darling
rivers before passing the future site of
Broken Hill Broken Hill is an inland mining Mining is the extraction of valuable mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and ...
. They were stranded for months by the extreme summer conditions near the present site of
Milparinka Milparinka is a small settlement in north-west New South Wales, Australia, about north of Broken Hill on the Silver City Highway. At the time of the Census in Australia#2016, 2016 census, Milparinka had a population of 77 people. Milparinka is o ...
. When the rains eventually came, Sturt moved north and established a depot at Fort Grey (today this site is within
Sturt National Park The Sturt National Park is a state park, protected national park that is located in the arid Far West (New South Wales), far north-western corner of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The national park is situated approximately northwest o ...

Sturt National Park
). With a small group of men, including explorer
John McDouall Stuart John McDouall Stuart (7 September 18155 June 1866), often referred to as simply "McDouall Stuart", was a Scottish explorer and one of the most accomplished of all Australia's inland explorers. Stuart led the first successful expedition to tra ...

John McDouall Stuart
as his draughtsman, Sturt pressed on across what is now known as and into the
Simpson Desert The Simpson Desert is a large area of dry, red sandy plain and dunes in the Northern Territory The Northern Territory (NT; formally the Northern Territory of Australia) is an Australian territory in the central and central northern regio ...
. Unable to go further, he turned back to the depot. 2 vols Sturt made a second attempt to reach the centre of Australia, but he developed
scurvy Scurvy is a disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of ...
in the extreme conditions. His health broke down and he was forced to abandon the attempt.
John Harris Browne John Harris Browne (22 April 1817 – 12 January 1904), generally referred to as J. Harris Browne, was an explorer in Australia and a pioneer pastoral farming, pastoralist. Early years Browne was born in Ilford, Wiltshire, England, son of Benjami ...
, surgeon on the expedition, assisted Sturt, took over leadership of the party and, after travelling a total of , brought it back to safety.


Later life

Early in 1847 Sturt went to England on leave. He arrived in October and was presented with the
Royal Geographical Society The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discipline (academia), academic disci ...
's
gold medal A gold medal is a medal A medal or medallion is a small portable artistic object, a thin disc, normally of metal, carrying a design, usually on both sides. They typically have a commemorative purpose of some kind, and many are given a ...
. He prepared his ''Narrative of an Expedition into Central Australia'' for publication; however, it was not published until early in 1849. Throughout this time he was suffering again with poor eyesight. Sturt returned to Adelaide with his family, arriving in August 1849. He was immediately appointed Colonial Secretary with a seat in the legislative council. There was no lack of work in the ensuing years. Roads were constructed, and navigation on the Murray was encouraged. However Sturt had renewed trouble with his eyes, which limited his ability to perform these duties. On 30 December 1851, he resigned from both positions and was given a pension of £600 a year. He settled on of land close to Adelaide and the sea. But the gold discoveries had increased the cost of living there. On 19 March 1853 Sturt and his family sailed for England. Sturt lived at
Cheltenham Cheltenham () is a large spa town and borough on the edge of the Cotswolds in the county of Gloucestershire, England. Cheltenham became known as a health and holiday spa town resort following the discovery of mineral springs in 1716, and claims ...

Cheltenham
and devoted himself to the education of his children. In 1855 Sturt applied unsuccessfully for the positions of
Governor of Victoria The governor of Victoria is the representative of the monarchy of Australia, monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, in the Australian state of Victoria (Australia), Victoria. The governor is one of seven viceregal representatives in the country, analogous ...
and in 1858 for
Governor of Queensland The governor of Queensland is the representative in the state of Queensland of the monarch of Australia. In an analogous way to the governor-general of Australia at the national level, the governor Governors of the Australian states, performs co ...
. Sturt's age, uncertain health, and comparatively small income were against him. By 1860 Sturt's three sons were all serving in the army. The remainder of his family went to live at
Dinan Dinan (; ) is a walled Breton Breton most often refers to: *anything associated with Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula and cultural region in the west ...

Dinan
to economize after the expenses of education and fitting out. But they found the town to be unhealthy and in 1863 returned to Cheltenham. In 1864 Sturt suffered great grief in the death of one of his sons in India. In March 1869 Sturt attended the inaugural dinner of the Colonial Society, at which Lord Granville mentioned that it was the intention of the government to extend the
Order of St Michael and St George The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George IV, George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, George III, King G ...

Order of St Michael and St George
to the colonies. Sturt allowed himself to be persuaded by his friends to apply for a knighthood (KCMG), but afterwards regretted he had done so, when he heard there were innumerable applications. Sturt's health had been very variable and on 16 June 1869, he died suddenly. He was survived by his widow, two sons, Colonel Napier George Sturt, R.E. and Major-General Charles Sheppey Sturt, and daughter Charlotte. Mrs Sturt was granted a civil list pension of £80 a year, and the queen granted her the title of Lady Sturt, as if her husband's nomination to a knighthood of the order of St Michael and St George had been gazetted. Reproductions of portraits of Sturt by Crossland and Koberwein were published in his biography, called ''Life,'' written by his daughter-in-law, Mrs N. G. Sturt. These suggest the charm and refinement of Sturt's character. Sturt's life is summarised in the ''Australian Dictionary of Biography'' as follows:
Although Sturt probably entered his career as an explorer through influence, his selection was justified by results. He was a careful and accurate observer and an intelligent interpreter of what he saw, and it was unfortunate that much of his work revealed nothing but desolation. He prided himself with some justice on his impeccable treatment of the Aboriginals, and earned the respect and liking of his men by his courtesy and care for their well-being. Indeed his capacity for arousing and retaining affection was remarkable; it made him an ideal family man but a failure in public life. Without toughness and egocentricity to balance his poor judgment and business capacity he had little chance of success in colonial politics. In this sphere, he might well be described as a born loser. He remained throughout his life an English Tory gentleman with an unshakeable faith in God and Jesus the true kings .
Sturt is buried in Cheltenham Cemetery, Gloucestershire.


Legacy

Sturt is commemorated by: *
Sturt National Park The Sturt National Park is a state park, protected national park that is located in the arid Far West (New South Wales), far north-western corner of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The national park is situated approximately northwest o ...

Sturt National Park
in north-western
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
* the
City of Charles Sturt The City of Charles Sturt is a Local government in Australia, local government area in the western suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia, stretching to the coast. The council was formed on 1 January 1997 as a result of the amalgamation of the Ci ...
in
Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usually ...

Adelaide
's western suburbs and its associated
tennis tournament List of current and past men's and women's tennis tournaments. Criteria for inclusion: *The tournament is notable enough to have its own article on Wikipedia *Historic tournaments are included if notability can be established by in depth coverage ...
; * the southern Adelaide suburb of Sturt, South Australia, Sturt; * the Sturt River, which flows through the Sturt Gorge Recreation Park, in the southern suburb of Adelaide
(a rock formation in the gorge, the Sturt Tillite, has given its name to the Sturtian glaciation) * the electoral Division of Sturt in Adelaide's eastern suburbs; * Charles Sturt University in regional
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
; * the Sturt Highway from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Wagga Wagga to Adelaide; * the Captain Sturt Hotel in Wentworth, New South Wales, Wentworth, New South Wales; * Sturt's desert pea; * Sturt's desert rose; * Sturt Stony Desert; * TS ''Sturt'' – a Training Ship of the Australian Navy Cadets. Sturt's home, known as "The Grange", in the
Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usually ...

Adelaide
suburb of Grange, South Australia, Grange, is preserved as a museum. The Australian-born American actor Rod Taylor, whose middle name is Sturt, was his great-great grand-nephew.


See also

* Evelyn Pitfield Shirley Sturt


Notes


References

*


Further reading

Dowling, Peter (2017), "What Charles Sturt saw in 1830 – Syphilis beyond the colonial boundaries?", ''Health and History'', 19: 44–59; .


External links

* *
Portrait of Charles Sturt
in the National Portrait Gallery, London. *
Narrative of an Expedition into Central Australia
' (London: T. and W. Boone), 1849  —at University of Sydney * {{DEFAULTSORT:Sturt, Charles Charles Sturt, 1795 births 1869 deaths 39th Regiment of Foot officers 19th-century Australian public servants English explorers English surveyors English botanists Explorers of Australia Explorers of South Australia Surveyors General of South Australia People educated at Harrow School Burials in Gloucestershire Members of the South Australian Legislative Council 19th-century Australian politicians