Richard Cunningham Print Page Print this page

The plaque was erected at the site where botanist Richard Cunningham (1793 - 1835) is believed to have lost his life in 1835. It was erected by a vote of the Parliament of New South Wales.

Cunningham was appointed Colonial Botanist (New South Wales) and Superintendent of Botanic Gardens, Sydney (1833-1835) on the recommendation of Robert Brown, Cunningham sent numerous live plants back to Ireland and England. 

Richard Cunningham (younger brother of explorer Allan Cunningham) accompanied Major Mitchell in 1835 on his second expedition. He is believed to have become lost near the Bogan River where he met his fate at the hands of aborigines around the 25th April 1835.   His body was never found. All that was found by the mounted police was his riding gloves and riding crop. Also some torn pieces of clothing and the yellow pouch in which he kept his map. He got lost near Buffalo Creek and wandered south towards Tullamore. It was there that he met aborigines who fed and watered him. They took him back up to their camp on the Bogan where he remained for a few days but he became restless and his moods scared the women and children in the camp. So, the men decided to lead him away from the camp where he was clubbed to death. 

Note: This plaque site is on private property. 


Address:Burdenda Road, "Burdenda" Property, 21 kilometres from Tottenham, Tottenham, 2823
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.126052
Long: 147.421189
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

Richard Cunningham ,

Government Botanist of this Colony.

Attached to an exploring expedition under the command of Major Mitchell, Surveyor-General, wandered in his enthusiasm for botanical investigation from his companions, and losing himself in this locality of the Bogan River, fell into the hands of the aboriginals, by whom he was unfortunately killed about 25th of April, 1835, in the 42nd year of his age.

"This tablet is erected to his memory by a vote of the Parliament of New South Wales, through the C.C.C. Lands, by S. R. Daniel, C.C.L., Wellington District."

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design