Fremantle Stuff > Early Days: Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society
de Mouncey, P. E. C. 1930, 'Births, marriages and deaths records of Western Australia, with reference to other states, (Part 2)', Early Days, vol. 1, part 8: 19-34.
See also: Part 1.
[Read before the Society, October 30, 1930. Research, March 1, 1928]
A. Births in 1829, with references to a few of later date. (Excluding Albany.)
B. Some Early Marriages. 1829-1840.
C. Early Deaths. 1829-1840.
E. Addenda and Corrigenda.
The first study on this subject appeared in the Journal and Proceedings of the Western Australian Historical Society, Vol. I., Part III., 1928.
A.—BIRTHS IN 1829
The hired barque transport, Parmelia, of 443 tons, arrived at Cockburn Sound on June 2, 1829, with the first band of settlers to found the Colony of Western Australia. Six days later, on June 8, H.M.S. Sulphur arrived.
The Home Authorities had previously been notified that Cockburn Sound was a good shelter for ships. On board the Sulphur was a detachment of the 63rd Regiment of Light Infantry, consisting of three subalterns, one staff officer, five non-commissioned officers, one bugler and 46 men, under the command of Captaiu Frederick Chidley Irwin. The members of the detachment had brought with them their wives and families, who were also on board the Sulphur. The following is a list of births in the Colony in 1829:—
1. —On June 10, 1829, there was born at the Sound, Joseph, the son of John and Jane Mitchell. The father was the bugler of the detachment of the 63rd Regiment of Light Infantry. This is*the earliest birth that can yet be traced.
2. —On July 30, 1829, at Perth, Henry, the son of Robert and Ann Budden. The father was a sawyer.
3. —Dr. Charles Simmons, the Colonial Surgeon, reporting in a letter dated at Garden Island, August
4, 1829, to the Colonial Secretary, stated that on the third “a fine boy” was born to one of the soldiers’ wives. The names of the parents are not given.
4. —On September 10, 1829, at Perth, William, the son of Thomas and Mary Mullighan. The father was a private in the 63rd Regiment.
5. —On September 12, 1829, at Perth, Thomas, the son of Phillip and Isabella Corrigan. The father was a private in the 63rd Regiment.
6. —On September 17, 1829, at Perth, Sophia, the daughter of David and Harriott King. The father was a labourer.
7. —On October 5, 1829, at Perth, Henry, the son of Henry Charles and Ann Sutherland. The father was the assistant surveyor to the Colony.
8. —On October 18, 1829, at Perth, Mary Ann, the daughter of Michael and Maria Studsor. The parents wrere employees of Mr. John Septimus Roe, the Surveyor-General of the Colony.
9. —On October 26, 1829, at Garden Island, Thomas, the son of Joseph and Eliza Cox. The father was a seaman of the H.M.S. Sulphur.
10—On October 31, 1829, at Perth, Ellen Stirling, the daughter of Peter and Caroline Brown. The father was the first Colonial Secretary to the Colony.
11. —On November 7, 1829, at Fremantle, John Fremantle, the son of John and Sarah Purkis. The father was a baker.
12. —On November 15, 1829, John, the son of Owen and Margaret Jones. The father was a seaman of the H.M.S. Sulphur.
13. —On December 25, 1829, at Perth, Sophia, daughter of John Septimus and Matilda Roe. The father was the first Surveyor-General of the Colony.
14—On December 31, 1829, at Perth, Mary Ann, the daughter of William and Lucy Glover. The parents were employees of Mr. Peter Brown.
The foregoing are taken from original records still extant, but it cannot be said for certain that these white children were the only ones born in the Colony in 1829.
A known complete list can never be compiled, as the Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths Act, did not become law until 1841.
Many births took place at sea, during the voyage of the many vessels on their way from England to Western Australia in 1829. Some of these births are recorded in the Colony.
During the year 1830 many more children were born here. Among them was a daughter, Jane Eliza, to Commander Mark John Currie, R.N. and Jane his wife, on January 27, at Perth.
There was also born a son, William Lane, to Dr. William and Elizabeth Sybil Milligan on February 21, at Perth. The child was baptised by the Reverend J. B. Wittenoom, but he died four days later. Dr. Milligan was surgeon to the forces.
Arthur, a son of Captain William Townsend Dance and Helen Barbara Dance was born on August 23, 1830, on board the H.M.S. Sulphur at Cockburn Sound.
A daughter, Jane Frances, was born to Daniel and Frances Scott on May 30, 1831. Captain Scott was the Deputy Harbour Master at Fremantle.
A son, Mark Riddell, was born on August 17, 1831. near Guildford, to Mark John and Jane Currie. Mark Currie was the Harbour Master.
Another son was born to Bugler John Mitchell, of the 63rd Regiment, and his wife Jane, on September 20, 1831, at Perth.
On December 8, 1831, twins were born to James and Mary Bodin, of Fremantle.
Four hundred and eighty-nine births can be traced as having occurred from June 10, 1829, to February, 1841, in the districts of Perth and Fremantle, including a few for Guildford, but these figures cannot be taken as conclusive as there were probably many more.
B.—SOME EARLY MARRIAGES
Of marriages none have yet been traced as having occurred in 1829, while the earliest of which any information is available, is the marriage, after banns had been called, of James Knight, aged 22 years, to Miss May A. Smith, aged 21 years, both of Perth. They were married
at Perth on January 18, 1830, by the Venerable Archdeacon Thomas Hobbes Scott, M.A., Rector of Whitfield, in the Diocese of Durham, England. The witnesses to the ceremony, were Peter Brown, Secretary to the Government, and Sarah Blakey, of Perth.
George Eyre and Catherine Bamber, were married by special licence from the Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony, on Saturday, March 13, 1830, by the Reverend J. B. Wittenoom at Fremantle.
Daniel Scott and Frances Davis, both of Fremantle, were married by special licence at Fremantle in the Harbour Master’s Office on board the ship Marquis of Anglesea, on Saturday, March 18, 1830, by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom, Chaplain of the Swan River Colony, in the presence of Mary Ann Lamb and John Okey Davis.
Among other marriages of interest of a later date was that of George Layman, bachelor, and Mary Ann Baylis, spinster, both of Perth, married by licence on April 18, 1832, by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom in the presence of John T. Cook and Sarah Blakey.
John Weavell, of Fremantle, widower, and Sophia Logan, were married at Preston Point on September 7. 1832, by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom.
William Nairne Clark, of Fremantle, solicitor, and Eliza Lockyer, of Fremantle, spinster, were married by licence at Fremantle on January 14, 1833, by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom, in the presence of W. Harris, Mary Ann Harris, and — Harris. It was William Nairne Clark who killed George French Johnson in the duel fought between them on August 17, 1832.
Wallace Bickley, of Canning, bachelor, and Marian Amelia Carolan Thomson, of Rottnest, spinster, were married at Fremantle by licence, on April 23, 1833, by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom.
William Alfred Manning, bachelor, and Jessy Ferres, widow, were married at Freshwater Bay, on July 30, 1833, by the Rev. J. B. Witenoom, in the presence of John Butler, Tames Davey and W. B. Habgood.
William Henry Drake, aged 21, of Perth, bachelor, and Louisa Purkis, spinster, were married by licence at Perth on September 23, 1833, in the presence of John Lewis and Peter Brown. William Henry Drake became afterwards Sir William Henry Drake, K.C.B. There
were two families of Purkis living here in the very early years of the Colony, but were of no relation to each other.
John Burdett Wittenoom, Colonial Chaplain, widower, and Mary Watson Helms, of Perth, spinster, were married at Perth by licence, on January 3, 1839, by the Rev. W. Mitchell, in the presence of Thomas Helms, E. B. Wittenoom, C. H. Helms, and H. E. Helms.
William Kernot Shenton, bachelor, was married to Jessica Cameron, spinster, at Perth, by licence, on November 24, 1841, by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom in the presence of George E. Cameron, M. A. Leake, and J. Browne.
One hundred and thirty-one marriages, celebrated according to the rites of the Church of England, can be traced as having occurred in the districts of Perth and Fremantle from January 18, 1830, to March 17, 1841, but these figures cannot be taken as conclusive.
Of deaths, none are yet known to have occurred in 1829, although it is thought that a Charles B. Garrett, single, born in Thorpe Malson, who arrived on the ship Lotus on October 6, 1829, died before the end of that year from drowning. The date of death and other particulars have not been traced.
The earliest authenticated death known at present to have occurred in the Colony, is that of John Mitchell, of Perth, born in England, a private in the 63rd Regiment of Light Infantry. He died of dropsy, at the age of 22 years. He was buried by Archdeacon Scott on January 6, 1830, but of the burial place no record is available. This John Mitchell, however, was not the Bugler John Mitchell whose son was born on June 10, 1829, at Cock-burn Sound. Bugler Mitchell lived to have other children.
On February 25, 1830, Mary Ann Burrett Skipsey, spinster and servant, was buried by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom. She was 27 years old when she died, was born at North Minns, Herefordshire, England, was a Par-melia passenger, and late of Perth. The place, the date
and the cause of death, and the place of burial are not recorded.
On February 27, 1830, William Lane, the son of Dr. William, and Elizabeth Sybil Milligan was buried, and the service was conducted by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom. The child was born on February 21, 1830, and died four days later. Dr. and Mrs Milligan lived in Perth.
On December 22, 1830, John Hester, infant, who lived at the Canning, was buried. No burial ceremony was conducted.
Louisa Jones, aged 29 years, died on December 23, 1830. She was late of Perth, and was the wife of Richard Jones. The grave is to be seen to-day in the East Perth Cemetery, marked by a headstone.
On December 30, 1830, Sophia Hester, aged 35 years, who resided at the Canning River, was buried. Captain Thomas Hester and his wife Sophia, and five children arrived in the Colony on October 6, 1829, in the ship Lotus.
On January 4, 1831, Ann Budden, aged 20 years, and Henry Budden aged 17 months, both of Perth, were buried in the same coffin. Henry Budden was born on July 30, 1829, at Perth.
On January 6, 1831, Emily Gawler, aged 15 years, and on January 7, 1831, William Gawler, sawyer, aged 52 years, were buried by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom. Both were residents of Perth.
Ann and Henry Budden, Emily and William Gawler were all drowned in Melville Water on Sunday, January 2, 1831. The Buddens were drowned as a result of the capsizing of a boat. The Gawlers were probably in the same boat.
On April 16, 1831, William Stirling, gentleman, late of Perth, was buried by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom.
On May 2, 1831, William Stirling, infant, late of Perth, son of the Lieutenant-Governor, was buried by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom.
On October 25, 1831, Charles Simmons, M.D., aged 28 years, was buried. He died on or about October 23, 1831. He was the first Colonial Surgeon and arrived in the Parmelia. He was born in Beverley, Yorkshire, England.
On December 17, 1831, William Hokin, publican, aged 42 years, and late of Perth, was buried. William Hokin was the father of a numerous family, who arrived in the Parmelia and whose names in the passenger list of that vessel, as given in various local authorities, are incorrectly recorded as “Hoking.”
Charles Blisset Churchman, aged 43 years who resided at the Canning River, died of apoplexy or paralysis, and was buried on May 25, 1833.
The following six entries are records of burials at Fremantle.—The first entry is that of a George Mackenzie, aged 19 years. He was speared by the natives at the Murray River and was buried on July 22, 1830. The burial service was conducted by Lancelot Taylor Cook. George Mackenzie was clerk to Thomas Peel.
It was in May, 1830, that the first trouble with the natives occurred in this Colony. While attempting to commit a robbery, one black was killed and three wounded. In retaliation they murdered, two months later, the youth Mackenzie.
Anion Entwistle, aged 30 years, speared by the natives, was buried on August 5, 1831, by Lancelot Taylor Cook.
William Owers, cooper, aged 35 years, died of inflammation, and was buried on April 11, 1832, by J. Duffield.
John and Thomas Velvich, or Velvic or Velvick, two white men, aged 25 and 22 years, respectively, and employed by Mr. J. Phillips, of Maddington, farm, on the Canning River, were both speared by natives during the early afternoon of April 30, 1833, and were buried by Daniel Scott on the same day. These two men, while driving a cart on the road from Fremantle to the Canning, and at a spot two miles beyond Bull’s Creek, were ambushed by about 50 natives. The notorious Yagan, and two other aborigines, named Midgegooroo and Munday were recognised as of the band and Yagan was seen to spear one of the men. As a direct outcome of this outrage, the Lieutenant-Governor, Capt. Frederick Chidley Irwin, outlawed by a proclamation dated May 1, 1833, these three natives, and offered a reward of £30 for the body of Yagan dead or alive and £20 each for the apprehension of the natives Midgegooroo and Munday
dead or alive. Midgegooroo was captured on May 16, 1833, and executed in the same month at the Perth gaol by a volunteer firing party of soldiers from the 63rd Regiment.
On July 11, a youth named William Keats, 18 years old, shot the outlaw Yagan when he (Yagan) was in the company of other natives, while James Keats, aged 13, a brother of William, shot another aboriginal. The surviving natives attacked the two whites, and the elder Keats was killed by spear thrusts. The younger brother escaped.
Nicholas Were Langley, surgeon, aged 34 years, died of apoplexy at Fremantle. He was buried by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom on April 14, 1834. Dr. Langley was the surgeon who attended George French Johnson, after injuries he (Johnson) had received as a result of the duel fought with Clark in 1832, and from which Johnson subsequently died.
Other burial services were conducted at times by Robert M. Lyons, Robert Maydwell, Richard Maxworthy and J. B. Pengilly, apparently all laymen.
I was unable to trace any record of a burial of a William Gaze, killed by the natives at Freshwater Bay in June, 1832.
The burial places of some of the early Colonists are traceable only by the memorial stones in the cemeteries, and of their death apparently no other record exists.
In some instances where memorial stones have not been erected, no trace can be found of the burial place of persons known to have died in the Colony, nor at times can a record of death be found, as in the case of William Gaze. Without a record of the death or burial places of persons who might have died here, it will never be known for certain perhaps if many of the early Colonists actually died here or left the Colony. Three hundred and thiry-one deaths can be traced as having occurred in the districts of Perth and Fremantle from January, 1830, to the twenty-eighth of September, 1840, but these figures, in the absence of complete records, cannot be taken as conclusive.
The memorials in the early cemeteries and elsewhere of this State have proved to be an additional and valu-
able source of information of the pioneer settlers oi Western Australia.
In a dispatch dated December 30, 1828, from Sir George Murray, the then Secretary of State for the Colonies, to Captain James Stirling, R.N., lengthy instructions were set out for the establishment of the settlement at the Swan River. Among these, Captain Stirling was instructed that, “In laying the foundations of any . . . town, care must be taken to proceed upon a regular plan, leaving all vacant places which will in future times, be required for thoroughfares, and as the site of churches, cemeteries and other public works of utility and general convenience.”
The following extracts are taken from records of the Colonial Secretary’s Department, for the months of November, and December, 1829:—
November 12 and 14: Surveying back part of Town of Perth.
19 and 21: Surveying back part of Perth.
23: Surveying back part of Perth.
Marking out allotments in Section L.
24 and 25: Marking out allotments in Section L.
26: Marking out boundaries of Section M for burial ground.
26, 27, 28: Marking out allotments in Section L.
Marking out allotments in Section L.
30: Mr. Sutherland [the Assistant Surveyor] absent from office unwell.
December 24: Marking out part of burial ground in Perth.
[Note.—Sections M and L are the site of the old East Perth cemetery.]
The following Government notice was issued from the Colonial Secretary’s Office, Perth, dated February 13, 1830:—
The Lieutenant-Governor directs it to be notified that to prevent indiscriminate Burials and unpleasant consequences arising therefrom, in a warm climate, a Burial Ground will be set apart in Every Township or Parish; and that interments must take place in them only, and a Register of the Names, Age, Professions and place of Birth be transmitted to the Colonial Secretary’s Office,
All Burials by the Chaplain must take place as soon after sunrise as possible, or an hour precisely before sunset: and at no other time, unless circumstances should render it absolutely necessary; and twenty-four hours previous notice must be given to the Chaplain.—(Signed) P. BROWN, Colonial Secretary.
Great numbers of persons who died in the early days of the Colony, were not, however, buried in cemeteries. At Northam, two men speared by the natives in 1837 lie buried in the one grave on a hill overlooking the town. Another grave, that of John Morrell, yeoman, who died on October 18, 1843, is to be seen about 100 yards distant from the other, in the middle of a thoroughfare. Both these graves are now protected as public property, and are to be permanently preserved. Other early
graves not in cemeteries are to be seen in various parts of the State.
The earliest date on any tombstone in the East Perth Cemetery, appears to be that of Joshua William Gregory, who is recorded to have died on September 20, 1830. The tomb is also to be seen there of Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Clarke, who, alone of all the State Governors, died and was buried in the State. He held office as Governor for under 13 months, and died on February 11, 1847, aged 54.
As donations and subscriptions had been given or were promised by many individuals for the erection of a church or churches in the Colony, by Act I., Victoria No. I., June 15, 1838, James Stirling, Governor, appointed the following, as trustees of Church of England property, including burial grounds: The Rev. John Burdett Wittenoom, Frederick Chidley Irwin, Peter Brown, John Septimus Roe, George Leake, Henry Willey Reveley, George Fletcher Moore, and Marshall MacDermott. Section 7 of the Act reads: “And be it further enacted, that the said trustees shall direct their clerk or other officer, to keep a book or books in which shall be entered Minutes of all Proceedings and Transactions, and an Account of Receipts and Disbursements and the General State of the Funds in their charge; and such Book or Books shall at all reasonable times be open to the inspection of the Public, without fee or reward.” Trustees by the Act could sue or be sued. Andrew Stirling signed the Act as Clerk of the Council.
This Act was amended and extended from time to time until entirely repealed. Various other Acts of Parliament, apart from these, were also promulgated in reference to the Church of England, trustees, and lands including burial grounds. Later Acts of Parliament were also introduced for the benefit of other religious bodies in the State.
On April 5, 1842, the Governor, John Hutt, granted to the Trustees of church property, their heirs and assigns, Perth Town Lot R. (Reserve) I. of four acres, for the purpose of being applied and used as a general burial ground. Henry Willey Reveley’s name does not appear in this grant as one of the trustees. Perth Town Lot R. I. is the site of the old East Perth Cemetery.
In the Government Gazette of April 29, 1842, a notice dated April 26, 1842, stated that the burial ground at Perth had been “assigned by Deed of Grant in fee-simple to the Trustees of church property for the purpose of being placed under their immediate charge as a ‘Public Cemetery’ and all persons trespassing or entering upon the same without a proper authority trom the Trustees, or committing any damage,” etc., “will be liable to the penalties attaching to such offences.”
It was during the governorship of Frederick Chidley Irwin that on August 12, 1847, specific legislation appears to have been enacted for the first time in the Colony in connection with cemeteries. It provided for the proper burial of the dead in definite places by the establishment of cemeteries. The Act was called “An ordinance to provide for the establishment of proper places for the burial of the dead,” and was numbered 10 Vic. No. 12.
Mr. Walkinshaw Cowan signed the Act as Clerk of the Councils.
It became lawful for his Excellency the Governor from time to time to appoint, by proclamation in each district and as deemed expedient, reservations for cemeteries.
The Act also provided a penalty of £50, for persons conducting burials within a mile of any townsite, other than at the proper burial place appointed. But the Governor had the power under the Act to give permission in writing for interments in places within the limits of any townsite other than the cemetery, should a special occasion arise or be deemed necessary.
By proclamation dated August 18, 1847, and printed in the Government Gazette of August 27, 1847, the following reserves were officially allotted as public cemeteries:—
Albany allotment....................S. No. 51
Bunbury allotment....................No. 294
Busselton allotment....................No. 9
Fremantle allotment..................No. 392
(This was at Alma Street, the first cemetery in Fremantle, and had been consecrated in 1831.)
Guildford allotment....................No. 29
Rockingham allotment...................No. 50
Act 52 Vic. No. 2. 1888. incorporated new trustees and vested Church lands in the Diocesan Trustees.
Act 52 Vic. No. 14, 1888, amended the Act of 1847 and dealt with the closure of cemeteries and the proclaiming of new ones.
It became lawful for the Governor in Executive Council to declare by proclamation the closure of any cemetery or burial ground, and give permission for the burial of the dead in those that had already been closed. Penalties were provided should interments take place without permission in closed cemeteries— the same penalties as were set out in the Act of 1847.
Act 61 Vic. No. 23, December, 1897, by Governor Sir Gerard Smith, repealed the Acts of 1847 and 1888 and vested cemetries in three or more trustees and placed the control of cemeteries under the Minister for Lands. It extended the limits of interments to not less than 10 miles of any cemetery and any one offending against this law was liable to a fine of £50. The Act provided for the closure of cemeteries by proclamation published in the Government Gazette, and also for the separation of cemeteries in denominational areas. But this custom was in vogue many years before, as in the case of the Skinner-street cemetery, Fremantle. Trustees were given the power to lay out the grounds with roads, paths and walks, plant trees, shrubs and flowers. They could make by-laws, but these were to be approved by the Governor and later published in the Government Gazette. It became compulsory to give to each grave a distinguishing number, and to keep also a plan of a cemetery show-
ing the situation of each grave and the number, besides keeping books and indexes giving the distinctive numbers in numerical order and the names and the description of the persons buried. These records were to be available to the public, and for each search a fee was to be charged not exceeding one shilling. Section 35 provided a penalty of £20 or three months’ imprisonment for persons damaging graves or other cemetery property. Certain burial fees were provided for, but these could be waived in the case of poor persons.
By Act 62 Vic. No. 25, October 28, 1898, Trustees were given power to borrow money on security of any property vested in them, except on any land used as a burial ground. The consent of the Governor had to be first obtained before money could be raised on vacant land which trustees controlled.
Act 62, Vic. No. 37, October 28, 1898, The Land Act, gave the Minister for Lands power to set aside any ground for use as a cemetery or burial ground.
Act 63 Vic. No. 38, December 16, 1899, set out that trustees could sue and be sued and could impose pecuniary penalties. Five pounds was the fine for each breach of the by-laws in respect of cemeteries and £1 for each succeeding day during which the breach continued.
Act 2 Edward VII., No. 42, 1902, by the Administrator, Sir Edward A. Stone, further amended the Cemeteries Act of 1897. It empowered trustees to permit the exhumation of a deceased person for the purpose of being buried in another portion of the cemetery. Under the same Act disused burial grounds could be vested in trustees with the consent of the trustees. The Governor was also empowered to direct that out of any moneys appropriated by Parliament for the purpose of the upkeep of burial grounds, a sum of money might be paid to the trustees for the upkeep and repair of any disused burial ground vested in them.
Act 1 George V., No. 22, February 16, 1911, is the last amendment in reference to cemeteries. It refers to the finances controlled by the trustees of burial grounds.
Disused cemeteries were officially closed by proclamation from time to time.
The Church of England cemetery at York fronting on Avon-terrace was closed by proclamation dated August 20, 1890.
By proclamation dated March 7, 1892, all cemeteries existing within the Guildford Municipality were closed on and after April t 1892.
The Church of England cemetery at Alma-street, situated on Town Lot No. 392, within the Municipality of Fremantle, was closed by proclamation dated December 18, 1895.
An Order in Council of July 12, 1899, ordered the closure of the Skinner-street cemetery, Fremantle, on and after November 1, 1899, except for burials in vaults and in other cases where special permission of the Governor had been first obtained. A further order of 1908 stated the permission of the Minister for Lands was to be obtained.
Burials in the East Perth cemetery were, by an Order in Council dated July 12, 1899, discontinued, except in vaults, and in other cases where the permission of the Governor was obtained. Interments were wholly discontinued there, on and after May 18, 1916.
It is to be regretted that our old cemeteries, existing memorials to the pioneers of this country, are allowed to fail into disrepair and decay, and there is no doubt that some scheme is urgently required for their preservation and upkeep. Perhaps municipal councils and road boards, in co-operation with the parishioners of the district, could evolve some organisation for their care.
Parts of the East Perth cemetery are now in a very dilapidated and neglected condition. Long grass, weeds and rushes grow luxuriantly, while fallen and broken headstones are to be seen. Whole sides and sections of the boundary fences have collapsed or have entirely disappeared, that allow of the egress of sheep, cattle, horses, and goats that browse upon the vegetation growing so profusely there, while dogs belonging to the residents of the district have found the area a splendid playground, and a convenient site for their gambols. Nor does a trace of some of the graves now remain, the mounds having become level with the surroundings and no indication official or otherwise marks the spot where once a person was buried. Even relations do not now know in some instances of the last resting place of their deceased kindred.
The Anglican section of the cemetery, has, however, been looked after by a small committee of ladies and gentlemen for over 20 years, in an endeavour, with the meagre funds it has available, to keep the grounds and fences in some semblance of order. The boundary fences have been kept in repair by the committee, while the graves, in many cases, have been attended to by persons becoming interested, as the result of the encouraging activities of the committee, and several headstones have been repaired and replaced. Many graves have now a distinguishing number, while Mr. Octavius Burt, the sometime treasurer of the committee, has endeavoured to compile a list of the names of the persons buried there. But it is far from complete. The church in the cemetery, at one time a small mortuary chapel, but made larger, has been used for many years as a place of worship. But a suggestion has been made to remove it and build another in a more populous centre of East Perth.
As with the chaotic conditions of portions of the East Perth cemetery, so with other cemeteries, notably the one at Skinner-street, Fremantle. It was dedicated in 1852, and was officially closed as already noted in 1899. The oldest tombstone in it is that of Lieutenant Edward Colvin Oakes, of the 28th Bengal Infantry, who died at Fremantle on October 7, 1852. Many of the headstones have fallen from the upright, others are broken and are scattered in pieces from their original foundations, and in the absence of other record the particular graves to which the memorials belonged are now unknown. Wooden and iron fences are broken, rusted and decayed. Wooden memorial panels are worn and the information obliterated by time and the ele-
ments, while there is evidence of persons having camped under the trees. An iron fence around one grave has partially disappeared, and tins and rubbish mark the spot.
A tin notice at one of the entrances through the low stone wall that surrounds the cemetery area informs visitors and passers-by that the Fremantle Cemetery Board will remove the “graves” for re-interment at a low charge; three or four other notices read: “No thoroughfare, trespassers will be prosecuted.”
The old cemetery facing Terrace road, Guildford, is in a bad state of disrepair and neglect. The ground being of clay formation, it is still possible to distinguish the graves that do not possess headstones. The mounds have solidified and remain.
Cemetery Memorials.—Few memorials are to be seen marking the last resting places of the early pioneers. Marble is little in evidence on the earlier graves in the older cemeteries, timber, slate, and lime stone appear to have been mostly used. The timber panels, although much weather worn, ant eaten and burnt, have otherwise lasted nearly a century. A memorial in marble in the East Perth cemetery to the late Louisa Jones, and dated 1830, is to be seen, but it is too new in appearance to be over one hundred years old. It has probably replaced an older tombstone. A marble slab to the memory of Richard Wells, and dated 1838, shows the name of the mason as “Daniels, Highgate, England.” A lime stone memorial to the children of Captain Frederick Chidley Irwin and showing the dates, 1847 and 1853 gives the name of the mason as “Bates, Pinjarrah.” Few epitaphs are to be seen on the early memorials, but biblical quotations are noticeable on most of the headstones of later and more recent years. Local granite of a grey colour is now used rather extensively, and to a lesser degree pink granite, as memorials in cemeteries, and is capable when polished, of a surface like glass.
E.—ADDENDA and CORRIGENDA
On re-checking the paper on Births, Marriages and Deaths, appearing in the Journal and Proceedings of the Society, Volume 1, Part III, pages 33 to 45, 1928, from sources other than those originally referred to, many inaccuracies were discovered.
It is, as well, I believe, to bring before the notice of the Society, the origin of many of those errors, should members wish to refer to the same authorities for purpose of research, and consider such information as authentic. It is also to save to some extent the perpetuation of historical discrepancies, that the paper has been corrected, and reference made for that reason to some of the authorities consulted:
Many inaccuracies exist in the Western Australian Year Books, but mention will only be made to those that occur in connection with the paper. In the Commonwealth Year Books discrepancies also occur, but some of these have been corrected in later editions of that publication. Others still exist.
In research, it is not always possible to sight original manuscripts for information, but where it is possible, indecipherable bad writing is frequently met with, and on that account very
often, errors occur in information extracted from them. Contemporary records of any period, are often inaccurate and contradictory, especially with newspapers and other publications.
The following additions and corrections should be read into my paper of 1928:—
Page 33, line 3.—For “February’’ read 30th “September.”
Page 34, paragraph 3.—Tasman, after leaving Van Di^man’s Land, discovered in the same year, New Zealand, “this he named Staaten Land thinking it might be a part of Staaten Land near Tierra del Fuego” but in 1643 he proved it to be an island and the name New Zealand was then given to it.
Page 34, paragraph 6, line 1.—The Commonwealth Year Book, for 1923 states “2nd May, 1770.” The Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. I, Part I., Botany Bay; Lieutenant James Cook’s private log, entry for Tuesday, May 1, 1770, reads, “Last night departed this life Forby Sutherland, seaman, who died of a consumption, and in the a.m. his body was entard [interred] ashore at the watering place. This circumstance occasioned my calling the south point of this bay Sutherland’s Point.”
Page 35, paragraph 2, lines 8 and 9.—For “in 1803 by an Imperial Act a civil court” read “In 1824 by an Imperial Act of 1823 a Supreme Court.” For “In the same year (1803)” read “In the year 1803.”
Page 35, paragraph 3 (as in the Commonwealth Year Book 1923).--Captain Matthew Flinders, R.N. in his book “A Voyage to Terra Australis,” Vol. 1, page iii. Introduction, Published in 1814, records in a footnote: “Had I permitted myself any innovation upon the original term [Terra Australis], it would have been to convert it into Australia, as being more agreeable to the ear and an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth.”
Page 35, paragraph 4, line 2.—For “8th,” read “28th.”
Page 36, paragraph 3, line 5.—The Western Australian Year Book, 1902-1904, page 14, states 75 persons, and on page 31 of the same publication, 40 persons are said to have landed. The Commonwealth Year Book, 1923, page 4, states about 75 persons. The Historical Records of Australia, Series III., Volume Vi., page 460, gives the number as 21 officers and men, 23 prisoners and 1 assistant surgeon, making a total of 45 individuals. Others may have landed from the “Fly,” “Amity” and “Dragon,” the ships of the expedition.
Page 36, paragraph 5, line 1.—The Commonwealth Year Book, 1923, page 5, states “1827,” but this is corrected in late editions to “1824.” “Captain James J. Gordon Bremer, of H.M.S. ‘Tamar* .... took possession, on the 20th September, 1824, of the coast from the 135deg. to the 129deg. east longitude.”
Page 37, paragraph 4, lines 8 and 9.—For “at least twice, once in 1791 and in 1827,” read “at least once in 1827.” Captain George Vancouver R.N., in 1791, “formally took possession of the country from the land we saw north-westward of Cape Chatham so far as ‘he’ might explore its coasts.”
Page 39, paragraph 2, line 6.—For “Jurisdicature” read “Judicature.”
Page 39, paragraph 4, line 1.—For “February” read “27th May.” The first official record is that of a birth, registered September 8, 1841. The first annual report of the Registrar General is that for the year ended September 30, 1842. Vide Government Gazette, No. 326, October 15, 1842.
Page 39, paragraph 6, line 2.—For “Nos. 17 and 18,” read “No. 17.”
Page 40, paragraph 2, line 2.—After “before” read “30th Sep-
tember.” For “fifty-one” read "forty-nine.” Line 5.—For "Ferris” read "Ferres.
Page 40, paragraph 2, lines 6, and 8.—Delete "But application,” etc., to "1833" and read instead "Application for Letters of Administration in his estate was made at the court in 1832.” Line 16. It has since been ascertained that William Temple Graham died on June 27, 1841, and that Harry Rolles, Captain of Her Majesty’s 51st Regiment of foot and son of the late Rear-Admiral Rolles, died on Saturday, August 21, 1841. This record appears to be the last at the court before September 30, 1841.
Page 40, paragraph 5, line 3.—For "Mucclecote” read “Hucclecote.”
Page 41, paragraph 2, line 3.—For “six” read "eight.” Lines 6 and 6. For "one or two,” read “five.” Line 7. For "1093” read "1099.” Line 10. For "13,764,” read "14,256,” for “8,755” read "8,418.” Line 11. For “22,039” read "22,674.” After paragraph 2, add, "Act 47 Victoria No. 20; assented to September 8, 1883, established an office of a Curator of Intestate Estates to deal with property liable to waste. From that date until the year 1891 inclusive, over eight years, no statistics or indexes were kept of the estates administered by the Curator. In 1892, 101 estates were administered, and a total of 11,981 for 35 years, from 1892, to the end of the year 1926, is recorded.
Page 4, paragraph 3, lines 1 and 2.—For “Green Hills” read “Greenhill Farm, near Australind.”
Page 4s. paragraph 4, line 1.—For “23rd” read "3rd.”
Page 42, paragraph 2, line 7.—For “February” read “30th September.”
Page 44, paragraph 2, lines 5 and 6.—For "every English Death Certificate” read "many English death certificates.”
Page 44, paragraph 4, line 11.—After "Registrar” insert “of the.” Line 13. For “vested,” read “recited.”
Page 45, line 20.—Delete "Certificate and Fees,” and read instead "Compensation to Compiler.’
Garry Gillard | New: 18 October, 2020 | Now: 18 October, 2020