#OnThisDay 15 September 1793 noted explorer and botanist Captain William Paterson left Sydney leading a group of fellow Scotsmen in an attempt to cross the Blue Mountains. Paterson, a member of the NSW Corps, was unsuccessful.
William Paterson (1755-1810) was gazetted captain in the newly formed New South Corps in June 1789 and, after spending some months recruiting, arrived in Sydney in October 1791. He was immediately given command of the detachment on Norfolk Island, where he served from November 1791 until March 1793. When Major Grose left the Colony in December 1794 Paterson acted as administrator until Governor Hunter arrived in September 1795. In 1796 he went home on sick leave and did not return to the colony until November 1799, by then a lieutenant colonel. Governor King appointed Paterson Lieutenant Governor on 28 September 1800.
He sailed from Sydney on 15 October 1804 to found a new settlement at Port Dalrymple in Van Diemen's Land. Hearing of Bligh's arrest in February 1808, he delayed returning to Sydney until January 1809 and then administered the colony until Macquarie's arrival, 9 January to 31 December 1809. He sailed in the "Dromedary" on 12 May 1810 and died at sea on 21 June. See entries for William Paterson (Lieut Col) in the Colonial Secretary's Papers »
The Paterson River in the Hunter is named after him.