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CHARLES COOKE HUNT

1833 - 1868

 

 

 

Charles Hunt may have gone on to be one of the state's greatest explorers if tragedy had not overtaken him at a relatively young age.

He was born at Brighton, Sussex, in England in 1833 (one source says 1832) to John George Hunt, an auctioneer, and his wife Mary Ann (nee Cooke). After studying navigation and gaining his Master's ticket in 1859 he had a fall aboard ship and damaged his knee. He was pensioned off from the navy and came out to Western Australia in 1864 (one source says 1863) aged 30. He worked aboard the ship New Perseverance.

In 1864 (one source says 1863) he joined
Walter Padbury's expedition to Nichol Bay as an assistant surveyor and in later the same year led his own expedition into country east of York.

 

On March 15 1864, Hunt with Robert Hardey, Edward Robinson and trackers Cowitch and Tommy Windich left York on an exploration that travelled as far as the Koolyanobbing Ranges.

 

Hunt married Mary Ann Seabrook on 27 December 1864 and the couple had one son (Walter) and one daughter (Emily).

 

Three more expeditions followed in July 1864, October 1865 and October 1866. During these trips Hunt pressed east over what was to become one of the richest goldfields in the world.
 

Although Hunt was unaware (1) of the riches beneath his feet he was making roads and sinking wells that would be used by many thousands of people who would follow in his footsteps.

On his final expedition he was accompanied by
Tommy Windich (an Aboriginal guide) who was later to work closely with John Forrest.


The 1866 expedition was cut short as the country was experiencing a severe drought but Charles hoped to be able to return and explore further once conditions were more favourable.

Sadly it was not to be. Shortly after moving to Geraldton with his family in 1868, Charles was struck down with heart failure and died on March 1 1868 aged just 35.

 

John Forrest was reputed to have said; 'Will I ever find a place where this man has not been before me'

 

 

I'm lost please take me home...