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Born in the British colony of New South Wales to a wealthy family descended from convicts, Wills grew up in the bush on properties owned by his father, the pastoralist and politician Horatio Wills, in what is now the Australian state of Victoria.He befriended local Aborigines, learning their language and customs.He played for, and was secretary of the Melbourne Cricket Club, but his larrikin streak and defections to other clubs strained their relationship. Harrison spearheaded the sport's development as captains, umpires and administrators.In 1858 he called for the formation of a "foot-ball club" with a "code of laws" to keep cricketers fit during winter. In 1861, at the height of his fame, Wills joined his father on an eight-month trek into the Queensland outback to establish a family property.In 1880, destitute and suffering from delirium tremens, he committed suicide by stabbing himself in the heart.Australia's first sporting celebrity, Wills fell into obscurity after his death, but has undergone a revival in Australian culture since the 1990s.we shall be compelled in self defence to measures that may involve us in unpleasant consequences". There, during school holidays, he stayed with his paternal aunt Sarah, who moved from Sydney after the death of her first husband, convict William Redfern.I now deeply vainly deplore my want of a mathematical and classical education. In a prelude to his colonial career, critics stated that Wills ought to be no-balled for throwing—an illegal bowling action.
Controversy surrounds a theory that Wills incorporated features of an Aboriginal game into early Australian football.
The vintage transport photos in this section of the site are now spread over 18 pages.
Most are black & white or sepia, with just a few being early colour shots.
Mainly self-educated, Horatio worked in the Gazette office from a young age, rising to the position of editor in 1832, during which time he met Elizabeth, an orphan from Parramatta. The following year, in light of explorer Thomas Mitchell's discovery of "Australia Felix", the Willses, with shepherds and their families, were among the first settlers of the Grampians in the colony's Port Phillip District (now the state of Victoria).
After squatting on Mount William, they moved a few miles north through the foothills of Mount Ararat, named so by Horatio because "like the Ark, we rested there".