John Carne BidwillPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Fred Brunings / John Huth

The replica of the headstone on the grave which is located near Tinana Creek, commemorates John Carne Bidwill (1815 - 1853), a botanist, who was born at Exeter, England.

In September 1838 John Bidwill arrived in Sydney, Australia, and while waiting for the survey of land that he had been allotted, he joined a commercial firm. He was sent in a schooner to New Zealand, arriving at the Bay of Islands on 5 February 1839. Over the next two months he took a journey into the interior of the North Island collecting botanical and other scientific specimens. He sent the plants he collected to John Lindley, although Lindley never published them. An account of this journey, Rambles in New Zealand, was published in London in 1841. He stated that "these rambles were abruptly put an end to by the increasing business of the mercantile firm at Sydney with which I am connected", but he returned to New Zealand in 1840 and spent some time at Port Nicholson and its neighbourhood.
Bidwill returned to Sydney in 1844 and spent a year from February 1845 in Tahiti. Bidwill became temporary government botanist on 1 September 1847 and inaugural Director of Sydney's botanic gardens. The gardens were established in 1816 and until that time had been supervised by colonial botanists and superintendents. Bidwill was succeeded by the permanent Director Charles Moore, who arrived in Australia and took up his duties in January 1848.

Following his brief time as interim Director of the botanic gardens, Bidwill was appointed commissioner of crown lands and chairman of the bench of magistrates for the district of Wide Bay in what is now Queensland. In 1851, while marking out a new road to the Moreton Bay district, Bidwill became separated from his colleagues and was lost without food for eight days. He eventually succeeded in cutting a way through the scrub with a pocket hook, but never properly recovered from starvation, and died on 16 March 1853 at Tinana, at 38 years of age. His grave at Cran Street, Tinana, has been listed on the Queensland Heritage Register. 


Address:Sussex & Lennox Streets, Queens Park, Maryborough, 4650
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -25.535624
Long: 152.703316
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

Sacred to the memory of John Carne Bidwill Esquire 

Late Commissioner of Crown Lands for this District.

Eldest son of Joseph Green Bidwill Esquire of Exeter England

Departed this life 16th March 1853  

Aged 38 years

Plaque :

Replica of the headstone on the grave of John Carne Bidwill near Tinana Creek

In recognition of John Bidwill`s contribution to the science of Botany

A gift to the City of Maryborough from the Australasian Native Orchid Society - Wide Bay Group Inc.

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