Hume or Murray

The Register, Adelaide

9 January 1907

In the course of his presidential address to the Geography Section of the Science Congress on Tuesday Mr. T. W. Fowler, M.C.E., of Melbourne, referred to the naming of the River Murray.

He said:- "An examination of Australian history shows that an injustice has been done to the memory of the first native Australian explorer (Hamilton Hume), who during his memorable journey from the New South Wales settlements to Port Phillip discovered and crossed Australia's greatest river on November, 1824, at Albury, and named it the Hume, in honour of his father, the Rev*. A. H. Hume.

Capt. Sturt in 1829-30 followed the Murrumbidgee down to its junction with Hume's river (which had not in the interval been traced below Albury), entered the latter, and followed it to its mouth, calling it the Murray, after Sir George Murray, a distinguished officer, who had served with credit in the Peninsular Wars, and was at the time presiding over the Colonial Office.

By right of priority Hume's name should stand and be applied to the whole course of the river from its source to its mouth in Encounter Bay. The New South Wales Government gives a partial recognition to the original discoverer, marking the stream as the 'Murray River (or Hume River)' on the official maps.

Our Geographical Societies might with propriety unite in asking their respective Governments to restore the original name."

*The appellation "Rev" is incorrectly used. Hamilton Hume's father was not a minister of religion (although his grandfather was).