Among those who arrived by the Rockingham, which may be regarded as the Mayflower of Western Australia, were the heads of many families whose names and their descendants are well known to-day in all parts of the States, including, among others, the following: Edwards, Padbury, Mews, Glyde, Tuckey, Adams, Read, Stirling and Leeder. Hitchcock: 19.
An event recorded in 1859 was the escape of five convicts from the Fremantle prison. One of the Rockingham immigrants, James Read, who, old residents will remember, occupied a small cottage on the beach in Russell Street, at one time farmed a portion of Garden Island known as Sulphur Town. His wife and family resided there with him. The escaped convicts landed on the island, robbed him of £150 and brutally maltreated him as well as destroying his boat so that he was unable to communicate with the mainland until the harbour authorities visited the island a fortnight later. Meanwhile the convicts had cleared off in their stolen whaleboat and reached Shark Bay where subsequently four of them were arrested by the Fremantle Water Police who had gone in pursuit of them. After their terrible experience the Read family left Garden Island, but the old man never fully recovered from the severe handling he received from the runaway convicts. Hitchcock: 43.
Descendant Marjorie Burton writes that
... he lived over there (Garden Island) for quite some time - about 20-25 years. One of his sons died over there: his name was George James Read, born 1834 WA and died 1852, buried St John’s Anglican Fremantle.
James's grandson (from his daughter Jane Read an illegitimate son William James Read) who is my great grandfather was born on Garden Island in 1847 and he became a farmer at Walebing and he married one of the Broads from Walebing/Round Hill.
Photo courtesy of Marjorie Burton, to whom many thanks for the family information.
Hitchcock, J.K. 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia, 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council.
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