Lieutenant Colonel William Paterson

Lieutenant Colonel William Paterson. (1755-1810)

Lieutenant Colonel William Paterson was 49 when appointed to administer the settlement at Port Dalrymple.

He was born in Scotland. At 22 he joined an expedition to explore and examine the botany of South Africa. He returned three more times and in 1789 published a book about his experiences.

Arriving in Sydney as a captain in 1791 he was given command of the detachment on Norfolk Island.

In 1793 he led an unsuccessful attempt to find the elusive path through the Blue Mountains and to the interior of the mainland.

He was given command of the party to establish a settlement at Port Dalrymple In 1804.

By all accounts he was an easy-going, intelligent and cultured man. Unlike most of his military peers he did not use his position as an officer to line his pockets with legal or illegal trade.

Paterson left Port Dalrymple in 1808 for Sydney. His health was failing, so he departed for England with his wife Elizabeth in 1810 but died at sea during a storm as their ship rounded Cape Horn on 21 June 1810.

Article written by Phil Stephens of Stephens Creative