Born in Norfolk, England 18th December, 1823, died at Grafton, N.S.W., 25th February,1876.
Arrived in Sydney in 1843 in charge of plants for one of the Macleays (Alexander or William Sharp). On 29th April, 1848, Edmund B. Kennedy, Assistant Surveyor, left Sydney in the barque Tam 0' Shanter to explore the country lying between Rockingham Bay and Cape York . Carron was botanist of the Expedition, and on its return (he and Jacky Jacky were the only survivors), he published a pamphlet "Narrative of Kennedy's Expedition," which is abstracted in Russell's “Genesis of Queensland." There is an addendum to MacGillivray's "Voyage of the Rattlesnake," entitled "E. B. Kennedy's Expedition for the exploration of the Cape York Peninsula " (1852) by Carron. Mueller in Trans . Phi l. Soc . Vict . ii, 159, may also be referred to." See also Woolls' "Lectures on the Vegetable Kingdom, p. 46; Royal Society's' Catalogue vii, 339.
" A beautiful marble tablet has just been received from England for erection in St. James' Church, commemorative of the fate of Assistant Surveyor Kennedy and his party. Kennedy was killed by the aborigines in the vicinity of the Escape River, December 13, 1848. The persons of the expedition who perished by disease were: Thomas Wall (Naturalist); C. Niblet, James Luft, E. Taylor, W. Costigan, E. Carpenter, J. Mitchell, J. Douglass and Dennis Dunn . The survivors were William Carron (Botanist), William Goddard, and Jackey Jackey (Aboriginal).”
('Sydney Herald' of 2nd March, 1852).
After some work at collecting he was permanently employed as "Collector," Botanic Gardens, Sydney, from 1st November, 1866 to 31st December, 1875. Mr. Carron reported to the Secretary for Lands, 28th December, 1871 (ordered by Legislative Assembly to be printed, 28th July 1872) on certain Timber Reserves newly formed in the Clarence River district. The reserves were Glen Ugle, Coldstream, Chambigne Creek and Pine Ridge. On 25 th April, 1872, Mr. Charles Moore, Director, Botanic Gardens forwarded a more voluminous report by Mr. Carron, Botanical Collector, on additional Timber Reserves in, the Clarence, Richmond and Tweed districts (ordered by the Legislative Assembly to be printed 10th December, 1872). It would appear that the setting apart of these reserves was in connection with the foundation of a Forest Department in the Colony, since it had been found that timber (especially cedar) had been so extravagantly cut, that further control was necessary. Mr. Carron uses the following names which are useful to trace synonymy (a) Flindersia Greavesii , "Bulboro" or "Teak," (b) Eugenia Jambolana, "Durobbi." In the "Gardeners' Chronicle" of 27th Jan., 1872, Dr. George Bennett wrote that Carron had gone to Lord Howe Island in H.M.S. Rosario. Mrs. Pryce (Mr. Carron's, daughter) mentions that her father arranged the flowers (named after Cunningham), for the litho-portrait in the "Sydney Mail" (Portrait Series No. 7) of Allan Cunnjngham which is so well known. She also states that her father selected the New South Wales timbers prepared at the Botanic Gardens for the Philadelphia Exhibition. He left the Botanic Gardens to take up the post of Forester on the Clarence River, but died shortly after taking up his duties. [For portrait, see Plate 12.]
…"well known for his extensive and accurate acquaintance with the flora of Australia, as also for his readiness to impart to others his valuable stores of information."
(Prof. W. J. Stephens, President, Proc. Linn. Soc. ,N.S. W ., iii., 442)
Mueller named the genus Carronia (Bauhinia ) after him.
He is also commemorated by the following :-
Bauhinia carronii , F.v.M.;
Fagus carronii , C. Moore = F moorei , Benth.;
Phaius carroni, F.v.M..= P. grandifolius , Lour.
Carron also collected the following plants in the ill-fated Kennedy Expedition:-
Nepenthes kennedyi , F.v.M.;
Goniopteris kennedyi , F.v.M, = Meniscium kennedyi , F.v.M;
Polypodium kennedyi , F.v.M.;
P. urophyllum , Wall.
Maiden, J.H. (1908) Records of Australian botanists- (a) General, (b) New South Wales. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales for 1908 . 42:60-132