Edmund KennedyPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin / John Huth

A cairn commemorates explorer Edmund Kennedy.

In 1848 the Assistant-Surveyor of New South Wales, Edmund Kennedy, led an expedition to explore Cape York Peninsula. Arriving at Rockingham Bay (north of Townsville) in May, Kennedy`s party, after much privation and toil, reached Weymouth Bay, where they established a depot. Kennedy, with four others, Costigan, Dunn, Luff, and an aboriginal, Jacky Jacky, left this depot in an endeavour to reach Cape York, where a relief ship was expected. Kennedy and Jacky Jacky continued north, after leaving the others at Shelburne Bay.

Only Jacky Jacky reached Cape York, for in a skirmish with blacks Kennedy was killed. Jacky Jacky guided the ship`s relief party to Shelburne Bay, but Costigan, Dunn, and Luff had perished. At the Weymouth Bay depot, only two survivors were found.


Address:Somerset Ruins Road, Rockingham Bay, Somerset via Bamaga, 4876
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -10.741509
Long: 142.59284
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:24-May-1848


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 13th December, 1948
Front Inscription

Edmund Besley Court Kennedy J.P. with a party of 12 men landed at Rockingham Bay 24 May 1848 to explore Cape York Peninsula.

He was fatally speared in December 1848, at Escape River within sight of his goal.  Six of his companions died at Weymouth Bay and three near Shelburne Bay.

Faithful aborigine Jackey-Jackey, W. Carron and W. Goddard were the only survivors.

Unveiled 13 December 1948

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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