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Fremantle Cemetery Tour 2018

The Fremantle Heritage Festival Week tour of the Fremantle Cemetery Saturday 26 May 2018 was conducted as usual by Don Whittington, a member of the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board. The theme was Merchants and Industrialists of the Port City.


James Hagan as C.Y. O'Connor during the Heritage Tour of 2016, with Don Whittington (in the hat) in the background. Thanks to the Board for the photo.

HWT# refers to the map reference in the Fremantle Cemetery's map for their Walk Trail One. [There is no Walk Trail Two.]

Fred Instone (1865-1934), stove-manufacturer, Anglican MON A339 (HWT#29).
James Lilly (1845-1905), shipowner, Anglican A 476, died by self-poisoning (HWT#28).
William Dalgety Moore (1834-1910), explorer, Anglican A700 (HWT#25).
William Watson (1864-1938), of Watsonia fame, Methodist B167 (HWT#23).
John Bateman, (1789-1855), whose sons set up J&W Bateman, memorial at Cong D3 (HWT#20).
John Wesley Bateman (1852-1907), Chamber of Commerce, Cong D83, 'ptomaine poisoning'.
Mary Higham (1819-1883) ran the family business; memorial at Cong D266 (HWT#18).
Elias Solomon (1839-1909), Federal MP, Jewish F1 (HWT#15).
Michael Samson (1844-1907), mayor, Jewish section at F27-28 (near HWT #16, 17).
William Frederick Samson (1855-1900) same grave as father Lionel Samson, Jewish F2 (HWT #16).

1. Fred Instone (1865-1934), stove-manufacturer, Anglican MON A339 (HWT#29). 'Fred Instone is remembered for his handsome wood-stoves, some of which are still in Fremantle houses today.'

2. James Lilly (1845-1905), shipowner, Anglican A 476, died by self-poisoning (HWT#28). His handsome monument is right on Samson Avenue, opposite the mausoleum. He died 18 April 1905 after taking strychnine. 'Around Fremantle he was known as the “father of WA shipping”. He built a vast Federation bungalow, Ivanhoe, overlooking Fremantle Prison.'


James Hagan channelling James Lilly, 2018

3. William Dalgety Moore (1834-1910), explorer and successful merchant, is buried at Anglican A700, on McKenzie Avenue (HWT#25).

4. William Watson (1864-1938), of Watsonia fame, Methodist B167 (HWT#23). 'Watson opened his first grocery and tea rooms at the corner of High and Market Streets. More shops followed. He switched his major interest to manufacturing bacon, hams and smallgoods at a factory and abattoir in Hamilton Hill. The enterprise also diversified to making butter and cheese under the Watsonia label. ... He was elected as the independent Federal member for Fremantle in 1922 and again in 1925 when he defeated Labor’s John Curtin by 6000 votes.'

5. John Bateman, (1789-1855), whose sons set up the firm of J&W Bateman, has a memorial at Congregational D3 (HWT#20).

6. John Wesley Bateman (1852-1907, third in the line from the John Bateman who arrived in 1830) died of 'ptomaine poisoning' 17 May 1907 at 54. He is buried in Fremantle Cemetery, Congregational MON D 83. His father John Bateman II (1824-1909) and his uncle Walter are buried there at D 28 and D 3 respectively (HWT#20). He was chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for a number of years.

7. Mary Higham (1819-1883) ran the family business after her husband died young, and is memorialised at Congregational D266 (HWT#18). Her husband John was buried in Skinner St Cemetery, and the gravestone was later brought to Fremantle Cemetery where it is GG#42 on the 'Heritage Trail'. Her son John Joseph (called Jack by Patricia Brown), died 1927 and is buried in Fremantle Cemetery, Congregational D 255.


James Hagan in song in the character of Mary Higham, 2018

8. Elias Solomon (1839-1909), who was the first MP to represent Fremantle in the Federal parliament, is interred in the Jewish Orthodox section at F1 (HWT#15).

9. There are at least four considerable Samsons: Lionel Samson, (1799-1878) interred in Fremantle Cemetery, Jewish Orthodox, F2 - he established the oldest continuing family business in Australia (HWT#16); Michael Samson (1844-1907, eldest son of Lionel) was mayor 1905-07, dying in office, buried in a Samson family plot in the Jewish section at F27 and F28 (near HWT #16, 17); William Frederick Samson (1855-1900, youngest of Lionel's children) mayor 1892-93, buried in the same grave as his father; and William Frederick, son of Michael, knighted as Sir Frederick Samson (1892-1974, who holds the record for mayoral office - 21 years, 1951-72 (HWT#17).

References and Links

Brief quotations in the entries above by Ron Davidson, from the Board tour guide.

Brown, Patricia M. 1996, The Merchant Princes of Fremantle: The Rise and Decline of a Colonial Elite 1870-1900, UWAP.

MCB History Walk of Fremantle Cemetery, and map

Heritage Trail

Council page for the 2018 tour as part of the Heritage Festival

Garry Gillard | New: 11 March, 2018 | Now: 9 April, 2019