WYATT, William (1804-1886)

WYATT, William (1804-1886)
was born in 1804, studied medicine and obtained the qualification of M.R.C.S. in February 1828. For some time he was honorary surgeon to the Plymouth dispensary, and then went to South Australia as surgeon of the ship John Renwick. He arrived at Adelaide in February 1837 and practised there for a short time. In August he was appointed city coroner and was also for a time protector of aborigines. In May 1838 he was on the committee of the South Australian School Society, and was also on various other committees. On 28 February 1843 he was chairman of a meeting called to discuss the best means of civilizing the aborigines, in 1847 he was appointed coroner for the province of South Australia, and in 1849 he was a member of the provisional committee of the South Australian Colonial Railway Company. He was appointed inspector of schools for South Australia in 1851 and for the remainder of his life was in every movement that touched the educational or welfare of the colony. He was a governor of the Collegiate School of St Peters, one of the original governors of the Adelaide public library, a founder and vice-president of the Acclimatization Society, on the board of the botanic gardens, and from 1870 to 1886 was chairman of the Adelaide hospital. He was also secretary of the medical board for over 40 years. In his last years though growing infirm, he still attended to his many duties, and passed some hospital accounts for payment only a week before his death in his eighty-second year on 10 June 1886. He bought some town lots at the first land sale held at Adelaide on 27 May 1837, which laid the foundation of a considerable fortune. He did many acts of philanthropy in a quiet way and showed much interest in the social life of Adelaide, but never entered politics. He was married and left a widow. He published in 1883 a small Monograph of Certain Crustacea Entomostraca, and he contributed the chapter on the Adelaide and Encounter Bay aboriginal tribes to the volume on the Native Tribes of South Australia, which was published in 1879.
The South Australian Register and The South Australian Advertiser, 12 June 1886; J. Blacket, The Early History of South Australia, p. 368.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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