Fremantle Stuff > people > John Bateman Snr (1789-1855)
John Bateman (1789-1855) was born in Denton, Buckinghamshire, England, the son of Willliam John Bateman (c.1740-1806) and Martha Meeks. He died 3 May 1855 in Fremantle. He married Mary Ann Benningfield (daughter of Thomas Timothy Benningfield and Mary Ellington) 4 March 1824 in Hutton, Essex, England. She was born 21 September 1798 in St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London, England, and died about 1879 in Fremantle. Having arrived via Medina 1830, JB bought town lots, set up business. Memorial in Fremantle cemetery, Congregational D3.
Erickson: BATEMAN, John, b. 1789, d. 3.4.1855 (Frem), arr. 6.7.1830 per Medina with family, m. 1st 26.2.1816 (England) Elizabeth SHERIFF d. 1821 Eng. m. 2nd 4.3.1824 Mary Ann BENNINGFIELD b. 1799 d. 10.11.1866 (Hanover). Chd. Elizabeth b. 1817, Henry b. 1818 d. 1818, Mary Ann Fell b. 1819 d. 1822, Marie b. 1820, son d. soon after birth 1821, John b. 1824 d. 1909, Walter b. 1826 d. 1882, Charles b. 1828 d. 1830 at sea during voyage to W.A., Mary Ann b. 1830 (at Table Bay Sth.Afr.), Emma b. 1832, Jessie Martha b. 1835, Eliza Esther b. 1837, Myra b. 1840. Merchant. Frem: Whaler: Deputy Postmaster 1833-1855. Member of Town Trust 1848-1853: wife apptd schoolmistress at Frem. 11.1836. Widow was postmistress 1855-1856. (Erickson) Photo from Hitchcock.
John Bateman (1789-1855) with his second Mary Ann BENNINGFIELD, arr. Medina 1830, was granted town lots, set up business. Sons include: John (1824-1909), Walter (22 June 1826-24 September 1882), Charles (b. 1828).
The patriarch John Bateman (1789-1855) arrived on board the Medina 6 July 1830. He bought town lots 53 and 54, at the southern end of Mouat St, among the second group of buyers to do so. He also (according to Hitchcock: 110, 111) owned lot 59 (in Henry St), lots 274/5, and lots 294/295. (John Jnr bought lot 297, and Mary Ann Bateman (JB Snr's wife) lot 418.)
According to Tuckfield, Bateman's first venture was as licensee of the Black Swan Hotel in Cantonment Street, in partnership with Anthony Curtis.
Bateman was appointed the first postmaster 31 January 1835. He was also in the business of whaling. He died in 1855 (by which time his (second) wife Mary Ann had taken over as postmistress - her son Walter then took it over) and could have been buried in either the Alma or Skinner St Cemeteries. I don't know if he was reinterred in the new Fremantle Cemetery, but there is a memorial to him on his son Walter's gravestone there. His sons took over the family business, as J&W Bateman.
Of those names two - Samson and Bateman - are still  prominent in the town and they were the founders of the two oldest established commercial houses in the State. ... Although the firm of J. and W. Bateman was not established under its present name until 1860, its genesis dates back to 1830, when John Bateman, the great-grandfather of the present  principals of the firm, arrived from England by the Medina and founded a business which is now in the front rank of commercial houses and which has played its part in the development of the State. Hitchcock: text/image, 16/14.
On January 31, 1835, John Bateman was appointed as the first postmaster at Fremantle. The first post office was in a little vine-clad cottage that stood well back from the street on lot 59 in Henry Street. Hitchcock: 23, 25.
... in the fifties and sixties [1850s, 1860s]. The rival crews then were those of John Bateman and Joshua J. Harwood, and when whales were sighted the boats of the two firms were manned immediately, while the townspeople congregated at various vantage points to watch the race for the prizes to be won. Hitchcock: 25.
The original John Bateman, who came to the colony in 1830, was the first postmaster in Fremantle and was a member of the first Town Trust formed in 1848. His eldest son, John, became the largest shipowner in the State and employed a large number of men in the whaling and timber industries. Another son, Walter, was Fremantle's first representative in the semi-elective Legislative Council which came into being in 1868. A grandson, John Wesley Bateman [right], succeeded to the business established in 1857 under the firm name of J. & W. Bateman, which he had previously managed for many years after the death of his uncle, Walter, and the retirement of his father. He took an active part in everything appertaining to the trade of the port and promoted the West Australian Shipping Association in 1884. For five years in succession he was president of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce. Hitchcock: 104.
Many thanks to Robert Ward for a comprehensive genealogy of the family.
Bolton, Geoffrey 1966, entry for John Bateman 1789-1855 in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.
Bott, Bruce 2001, 'Some of John Bateman's houses in and around Fremantle', Fremantle Studies, 2: 17-35.
Brown, Patricia M. 1996, The Merchant Princes of Fremantle: The Rise and Decline of a Colonial Elite 1870-1900, UWAP.
Erickson, Rica et al. 1987 (etc.), Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians, UWAP.
Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council.
Tuckfield, Trevor 1971, 'Early colonial inns and taverns', Part 1, Early Days: Journal and proceeedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, 7, 3: 65-82; Part 2, 7, 7: 98-106.
Wikipedia entry for John Bateman 1789-1855
Walter Bateman's gravestone in Fremantle cemetery, at Congregational D3, also remembers his father John Bateman Snr >
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