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Wynyard, Edward Buckley (1788–1864)

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

Edward Buckley Wynyard (1788-1864), military officer, was born on 23 November 1788 at Kensington Palace, London, the son of Lieutenant-General William Wynyard, colonel of the 20th Regiment. He entered the army as an ensign in December 1803 and served first in Sicily. In 1807 he went to England to join a regiment in South America but it returned to England before he could leave. In 1808 Wynyard became captain and was appointed to the adjutant-general's staff in the Mediterranean. In 1809 he was present at the capture of Ischia and Procida and served under Lieutenant-General Sir John Oswald in the Ionian Islands, where he was severely wounded on 22 March 1810 at Santa Maura; he was sent to Malta and returned to London in November. In 1811 he was appointed aide-de-camp to Sir Harry Burrard and then brigade-major under Sir Moore Disney but his wound prevented him from serving with the brigade at Bergen op Zoom. In March 1813 he became brevet major on the recommendation of Oswald and in April 1814 was promoted lieutenant-colonel in the 58th Regiment. In 1816-20 he served with Sir Hudson Lowe on St Helena, and in July 1830 was appointed aide-de-camp to William IV, and colonel in the Grenadier Guards. In 1837 he was placed on half-pay and in 1838 appointed C.B. In November 1841 he was promoted major-general and in September 1847 succeeded Sir Maurice O'Connell in command of the troops in New South Wales, Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand.

Wynyard arrived at Sydney early in 1848. He was a member of the Legislative Council in 1848-51 and of the Executive Council in 1848-53, but unlike O'Connell he did not insist on being addressed as 'Your Excellency'. He appreciated the climate in Australia, although he thought that conditions there were demoralizing for the troops and encouraged desertion. In constant struggles with the British and colonial governments over military costs he refused to countenance resignations from the army by men who were being urged to become settlers. His general policy was to retain the older men on garrison duties in the colonial capitals and to send less experienced soldiers to New Zealand, where they were more likely to see active service than in Australia. His steady opposition to every proposal for the reduction of troops under his command was justified in 1851 when gold was discovered and each colony began to clamour for protection.

In 1851 Wynyard became lieutenant-general and two years later left Sydney and returned to London. In January 1860 he was promoted general. He died of bronchitis in London on 24 November 1864. His name is remembered in Wynyard Square, Sydney, and probably in the town Wynyard in northern Tasmania which he visited in 1850-51.

Select Bibliography

  • manuscript catalogue under E. B. Wynyard (State Library of New South Wales)
  • WO 519-25 (National Archives of the United Kingdom).

Citation details

'Wynyard, Edward Buckley (1788–1864)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/wynyard-edward-buckley-2825/text4051, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 25 September 2016.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

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