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Edward John Eyre was a celebrated explorer, he was considered a Protector of Aborigines working amongst the tribes on the Murray River at Moorundie. In 1844 he returned to England, bringing with him two young Aboriginal youths, to be educated at his own expense.
One of those young men was Warrulan, the son of Tenberry, a tribal Chief (or King) and, on 26th January 1846, Warrulan, was presented by the new Colonial Secretary, William Gladstone, to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg and Gotha at Buckingham Palace.
This was a remarkable meeting by any account, and was covered by the Illustrated London News: "Her Majesty appeared much pleased with the general appearance and manners of these youthful representatives of her subjects at the antipodes".
Warrulan was sent to an agricultural school at Sibford in Oxfordshire. After finishing school, Warrulan, now known as Edward, spent three years as an apprentice at Banbury and subsequently he was employed at J. Middlemore, a leather firm in Birmingham.
On returning from a summer holiday in 1855, Warrulan became ill, and pneumonia followed; he died on October 23rd, 1855, aged about 19 years old. On October 27th, Edward Warrulan, the son of an Aboriginal Tribal Chief was buried in Public Grave number 503, section F at the Church of England Cemetery, Warstone Lane, Birmingham, England. Because it is a public grave the last resting place of this son of a King remains unmarked. View Grave
The School that Edward attended at Sibford has kindly sent an extract from the book about the school written by their archivist, Mike Finch. Read it here.
In 1902 the original photos and illustrations were donated to the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford. The JQRG is in contact with members in Australia.