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Early duels of Fremantle

Allen Graham

Graham, Allen 2005, 'Early duels of Fremantle', Fremantle Studies, 4: 95-106.

In most books on the early history of Western Australia there seems to be the inevitable reference to the duel that was fought in Fremantle in August 1832 between two well-known identities of the town namely William Nairne Clark, a solicitor and George French Johnson, a merchant.

This could well be regarded as an iconic event in the early history of the Swan River Colony where the drama of the tale is embellished when commentators describe it as Western Australia’s only fatal duel. While that statement is true it deflects from the fact that duelling, or at least the challenge to a duel, was a rather insidious part of early Swan River colonial life. This social phenomenon has been overlooked in the written history of Western Australia.

The duel as a social phenomenon has a history that goes back to medieval times with its origins found in the jousts between two Knights. It was that noble connection and tradition that gave rise to the Code of Honour and its popularity with the upper classes of society or the military, which in the heyday of duelling in the 17th and 18th centuries were one and the same class of people as all the senior military officers were those who had bought their commissions in the King’s services.

In the 17th century most duels were fought with swords. By the 18th century, with pistols becoming a far more reliable weapon, the pistol gradually took over from the sword as the duellist’s weapon of choice. One commentator suggests that as a consequence of this change not only did duelling become more deadly it also became more egalitarian. Pistols were accessible to those who did not have military training or expertise with edged weapons, and so duels were resorted to as much by the middle class as they were by the upper or military class. 1

The same commentator also notes that

Duelling had long been considered the honourable way of settling disputes between gentlemen, but with the rise of the middle classes the institution was extended. All members of the genteel and professional classes participated, including army officers, judges, politicians and surgeons. Even reverend gentlemen of the cloth were not averse to calling out a man to gain ‘satisfaction’. 2

While politicians were shown in the list, it could have been more expansive and nominated Prime Ministers, for William Pitt the Younger was one Prime Minister who fought a duel and in 1829 one of England’s most famous sons and then Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington also took part in a duel. Although it was not the Duke who had caused the original ‘affront’, he issued the challenge, writing to his adversary: ‘I now call upon your lordship to give me that satisfaction for your conduct which a gentleman has a right to require, and which a gentleman never refuses to give.’ 3

The challenge was accepted and was carried out with the protagonists facing off at twelve paces. No one was injured during this contest, but not all duels had such favourable outcomes. It is reported that between 1785 and 1850 there were 840 duels involving Britons at home or overseas and of these 229 resulted in the death of a duellist. 4

With such a high fatality rate, Wellington’s duel occurred at a time when the practice was losing its appeal amongst the traditional duelling class. By then both parliament and the courts were well established institutions and it was far more civil (and safer) to resolve disputes in the law courts with the lawyers facing off as the protagonists, then to attempt to obtain satisfaction by a lucky pistol shot.

Indeed, by now duelling was a fair target for both editors and caricaturists alike and both had fun in lampooning this anachronistic relic of the past. The London Morning Herald in their account of Wellington’s duel questioned the Prime Minister’s judgement in this matter by saying

Truly it is no wonder that the multitude should break the laws when we thus see the law-makers themselves, the great, the powerful, and the renowned, setting them at open def1ance. 5

So it was within this duelling tradition context that the Australian colonies were founded with New South Wales being settled at a time when duelling was at its zenith, while Western Australia was founded at a time when its popularity was waning. It is not known how widespread duelling was in the early years of Australia’s development and it seems that duelling was never practised with the same fervour in Australia as in the northem hemisphere possibly due to a lack of tradition and the egalitarian nature of Australian society. Still, there are a number of reports of duels being fought in the colony of New South Wales with one of the most notable duellists being John Macarthur, the great Australian pioneer, who is known to have fought three duels and dodged several more. 6

Duelling was not uncommon in the fledgling colony of the Swan River although it seems to have been overlooked in the written history of Western Australia with the exception of the often cited duel between Clark and Johnson. It is that Western Australian experience that this paper will now concentrate on. In fact, it appears that the early colonists took the view that if it was good enough for the Prime Minister of England to invoke the Code of Honour it was good enough for them. And it seems that the Colony had not been long in existence before it experienced its first duel. This purportedly took place between Thomas Peel and Captain Geary of the Gilmore, the ship on which Peel had come to the colony.

This challenge took place in December 1829 and, while there are no official accounts of this incident in any Western Australian publications, the event did somehow manage to be reported by the Hobart Colonial Times wherein it was announced ‘It appears that a duel was fought between Mr Peel and the Commander of the vessel in which that gentlemen came passenger.’ 7

Obviously no harm came to the protagonists for the matter did not make the official records of the colony, however there was some exchange of correspondence over the incident between Govemor Stirling and Captain Jervoise of HMS Success, in which the latter expressed his concern with

the outrage committed on board the Gilmore, and suggesting to me ‘the necessity which exists in the present circumstances of this Infant Settlement, to sepress [sic] by every proper means a tendency to insubordination and violence on the part of persons visiting its shores’. 3

Although the full particulars of this duel are not known, it is not hard to imagine Peel’s attitude towards Geary, for no doubt Peel resented the time it had taken him to reach the colony where the penalty for being late was to forfeit the vast estate that would have been his had they arrived before 17 December 1829.

The next recorded duel is the one that took place between William Nairne Clark and George French Johnson, who at the time were partners in the newspaper The Inquisitor.

All duels it seems are preceded by some exchange of offending language and in this case it has been reported that Clark on the morning of 17 August 1832 threw down his challenge to Johnson by saying ‘You are a scoundrel and a blackguard and if it was not for motives of prudence, I would give you a sound drubbing.’ 9 Johnson did not accept the challenge immediately, but later that night despatched his second, Thomas Yule (who was also a partner in The Inquisitor) to make arrangements for the duel to be fought the next day. Therefore, as sun rose the next moming, the two duellists faced off with pistols at the rear of Richmond House, a property owned by Captain William Graham who was Clark’s second. Johnson’s shot missed his target but Clark’s was accurate and fatal, with Johnson dying of his wound some 24 hours later.

The event caused considerable scandal in the colony and the Western Australian Chronicle wrote

We report with regret the death of a well respected Fremantle merchant, Mr George French Johnson, 33, by a means which we hope will never recur in the colony.

He was shot to death in a duel with William Nairne Clark, a solicitor, also of Fremantle.

It appears that there had been animosity for some time between the two men over alleged slander in business matters. Mr Johnson seems also to have anticipated a fatal outcome, for he made a will only one day before matters came to a head outside Mr Solomon’s house at Fremantle. 10

The Chronicle recorded that Clark and seconds Graham and Yule were also charged with manslaughter but ‘All were found not guilty - mainly, it appears, because the dying man had told Mr George Leake, JP, that he had no complaint against them.’ 11 The Chronicle concluded its story by saying

We would not quarrel with the verdict. However, we would point out that duelling is a brutal and barbarous aspect of European decadence which we hoped would never infect our young and aspiring society. 12

Still, the blunt language of The Chronicle was lost on the men of the Swan River Colony and in particular the men of Fremantle. The town continued to have its fair share of tensions and in January 1833 a shot was fired into the Plough Hotel.

The circumstances giving rise to this shot were that one man had called out another, but the challenge was dismissed; a slight which prompted the challenger to take a shot at his foe as he stood inside the hotel. This incident took place in January 1833 when a gentlemen by the name of Lewington was having troubles with his father-in-law, Robert Maydwell. The cause of the trouble was Lewington’s recent marriage to Maydwell’s daughter, who seems to have left Lewington at the active urging of her father.

This caused great aggravation to Lewington who at around 10 pm one Saturday evening had taken possession of a pistol and having pursued Maydwell to the Plough Hotel threatened to shoot him. The Perth Gazette provides a colourful account of the incident stating that once Lewington had acquired the pistol

He retumed immediately to Mr Coopers and seeing the prosecutor he exclaimed; you d-—d scoundrel, you have broke my piece of mind, if you are a man come out; to which the prosecutor replied. You foolish fellow, go about your business, the prisoner then raised the pistol and took a deliberate aim at the prosecutor, and said. If you don’t come out like a man here goes, he immediately fired the pistol, the contents of which lodged in the wall a few inches from the prosecutors head. 13

After firing the shot, Lewington bolted from the scene but was soon captured and taken to the gaol where in his defence

He said that the prosecutor had for a long time treated him in the most cruel and unkind manner, and that he only did it to frighten him; as he could easily have shot him dead, if he had any such intention. 14

A few weeks later Lewington was compelled to front the local Magistrate over this offence but here luck was on his side when the jury found him not guilty. 15 Perhaps ‘affairs of honours’ or matters of the heart were still accepted as a legitimate reason for firing a pistol shot at an adversary.

At the very time that Lewington was causing mayhem in the streets of Fremantle, a more conventional duel was being staged by two unnamed men, also of Fremantle. It was again The Perth Gazette that told how ‘On Monday morning last at 5 o’clock a meeting took place between two gentlemen, inhabitants of Fremantle, a short distance from Perth.’ 16 The paper reported that the duel was over a matter of ‘trifling importance’ and it was settled without any shots being fired on the active intervention of the seconds who used ‘every exertion to bring about a reconciliation on such a footing as would not compromise the honour of either party.’ 17 It added

We take this occasion to remark ‘affairs of honour’ as they are termed, have been of frequent occurrence, in this Colony, and in one recent and melancholy instance has proved fatal. 18

As has been stated above, duelling was now a practice that was falling out of public favour and The Perth Gazette concluded its report on this duel by saying

It must surely be more honourable and gratifying to the feelings of a man, to be the means of saving the life of a fellow being, than to tacitly wink at his destruction.

If we hear of any repetition of these affrays it shall be our study from henceforth, to hold them up to the contempt they merit, by giving full publicity to the circumstance which in most instances will be found absurd and frivolous. 19

The Perth Gazette continued to make clear its opposition to duelling, and in February 1833 reported on an arranged fistfight between two men at a Perth Hotel. In this article it made a subtle connection to duelling and, whether this was intentional or otherwise, this reflected the changing English attitude to duelling. About this period, historian V G Kiernan wrote in his The Duel in European History

While duelling was being little by little undermined, there was a growing cult of sport, in the newer and better meaning of the world. ... Boxing found many to extol it, as a more truly British and less unchristian thing than duelling. 20

Kiernan also reported that ‘when Wellington and Winchilsea were cocking their guns, some workmen in Battersea Fields came up and recommended them to use their fists instead.’ 21

So, perhaps with this view, The Perth Gazette was able to report that ‘A pugilistic encounter between a couple of top Sawyers took place at the back of the Perth Hotel, a few momings ago, and was well contested for an hour and twenty minutes.’ 22 The paper added

This was a perfect aflair of honour for the parties met to determine, which was the better Sawyer; a question long at issue between them. We would presume from the length of the time the decision of the interesting question occupied, they were well pited'. 23

In an earlier editorial, The Perth Gazette had threatened to give full publicity to any conventional duel. It did not have to wait long before it had the opportunity to carry out its threat for in March 1833 another duel was set to be fought at Mongers Lake between two Fremantle publicans. (Although not named, the reference to the Union and the Albion identifies the duellists as the publicans of those two Fremantle hotels, namely Charles Smith and William Smithers respectively.)

In reporting this event, The Perth Gazette adopted a writing style that lampooned both the duellists and their seconds. Much of this article is reproduced below. The article was captioned “The Union V the Albion or the Interrupted Sacrifice. A farce in 2 Acts” and described how the authorities frustrated the attempts of the two parties to settle their differences with pistols.

This piece in which the worthy Hosts, (‘each in himself a host’), of the Union and Albion were to have taken the principal characters, to the infinite disappointment of the laughter loving public, were suppressed a few days ago by the authority of the civil commissioner, the parties not having a license to perform in the open air. They were both bound over for a time not to get up any similar performances, but as they have retained their Arms, the public may still indulge the hope of being afforded this rational and fashionable amusement of the day. There was an underplot in which Mr Armstrong and Mr Darby were to have made their appearance, we believe for the first time in the character of seconds; they are represented to have felt most indignant at the intervention of the Magistrate, and therefore determined to get up a farce of their own which the vigilance of the Constables defeated;

In the present dearth of places of public amusement it is a pity to interrupt such diverting performances and more especially as the benefit of society would derive from these exhibitions would fully compensate for the degradation of the Actors. 24

This interrupted duel seems to have involved the settling of matters between Smith and Smithers’ daughter given Smithers’ demand to know ‘weather you mane to fancy the garl or not’. 25 This patemal protection was not uncommon at the time for, as another writer has suggested, with men outnumbering women two to one marriageable women were the scarcest commodity in the colony. 26

Despite the lampooning that Smith and Smithers received at the hand of the editor of The Perth Gazette, it was only a week later that it reported on another duel:

On Saturday last, Mr Wade was brought before the sitting Magistrate, .... ..for insulting Mr S G Henty, on the south beach, Fremantle on Thursday evening, and calling him a poltroon, and a coward, with an intent to incite him to a breach of the peace.”

The charge of attempting to incite a breach of the peace was the legal term for making a challenge to a duel and in this case the Court accepted that the charge was proved and imposed a heavy fine on Mr Wade:

The Civil Commissioner remarked, that one fatal instance of duelling having occurred. which was still strong on our memories, had determined him to prosecute the most rigorous measures to suppress this evil; and Mr Wade having been brought before him on a similar charge, he felt it his duty, to bind him over to keep the peace, in the penalty we have stated. 28

So while Wade felt the wrath of the Magistrate, he at least escaped the lampooning that had been served out to Smith and Smithers.

Certainly, this readiness to engage in a duel demonstrated just how much ill will existed in the colony at this time. The Perth Gazette also printed an editorial which while not directly referring to duelling, did nonetheless allude to the poor spirit of cooperation between the colonists and their readiness to seek legal redress over matters which in the opinion of The Perth Gazette could well have been settled more amicably. The paper reported that

The establishment of a Court of Civil Judicature in this colony was hailed with general satisfaction, but has tended to the diffusion of a spirit of litigation amongst us, which it is painful to see ‘growing with our growth’. The list, last court day, comprised 22 unimportant cases, and occupied the time, of our highly esteemed Commissioner of the Court, for two days. 39

It was not just The Perth Gazette that expressed this concem about a lack of goodwill between settlers. A few months later when a prospectus was launched which sought to interest settlers in settling at King Georges Sound, it made a particular point of how such acrimony would be relieved:

For the preservation of harmony, and speedy settlement of quarrels, which too often lead to duelling, we feel that it incumbent upon us to recommend the application of a moral check, by a suspension of the usual interchange of social intercourse with such persons as shall refuse to make such amends as the parties to whom the case may be referred to shall think fit to require. 30

After the challenge by Wade the frequency of duels (or at the least the recorded challenges to them) subsided for a time, but some of the residents of the colony were still prepared to resort to his misplaced concept of justice and honour. In December 1834 another example can be found of Fremantle citizenry again being involved in the makings of a duel.

In this case Mr William Lamb 31 was brought before the courts to face a charge of attempting to incite a breach of the peace where the complaint had been laid by his neighbour, Mr George Leake, a prominent member of the Fremantle Community. In his declaration to the Court, Leake stated that upon arriving home from a visit to Perth at around 8 pm and entering his garden

Mr Lamb came across the road up to my gate, with expression of great violence in his countenance, and used very insulting language, with the intention, according to the best of my belief to incite me to a breach of the peace. 32

Like all challenges the threat was couched in the traditional language. Leake reported the epithets Lamb used on this occasion were ‘scoundrel, villain, liar and I believe coward.’ 33

Both gentlemen had been amongst the very earliest settlers to the colony and both had established themselves as merchants, including trading in spirits and liquor. However, Leake had also been appointed a Justice of the Peace, Government Resident and Deputy Collector of Colonial Revenue and it was the amalgam of all these roles that lead to the above trouble. There were a number of people, particularly traders and publicans, who thought that Leake had a conflict of interest as his trade was so closely related to his official roles. Indeed, a number of the merchants of Fremantle had sent a memorial to the Govemor expressing their concern with such a situation. It was Leake’s opinion that the memorial had been instigated by Lamb and in reply penned his own letter, which he sent via the agency of his solicitor, William Nairne Clark, and which was very damning of Lamb.

So just what was said in these respective pieces of correspondence? Firstly, the memorial of the merchants was a rather lengthy document that plainly expressed their concems:

That if a Collector of the Revenue is allowed a license to deal in spirituous liquors, it is morally impossible that his fellow traders can meet him in business on equal terms, as, from the facilities afforded him, he has at all times the power of controlling the spirit market to his own particular purpose — Secondly, that, as Collector he is allowed to take a sample from each package of spirits imported into the colony, which sample, (although duty free), he can, by virtue of his license, dispose of by retail, thereby not only injuring the trader, but the Revenue!! — Thirdly, As Collector, he obtains an exclusive knowledge of the entire quantity of spirits in the market, and also their relative strength and qualities, thus possessing himself with a decided superiority over his fellow traders! — and lastly, that while others are compelled to have the strength and quantity of their spirits ascertained, and make payment of the respective duties thereon previous to having them released from ‘Bond’, the Licensed Collector has to account to himself, and to study his own convenience, in determining whether his spirits shall be gauged and subjected to the Hydrometer or not, or, indeed, whether they shall be placed in bond at all. 34

Leake had seen this memorial while it was being circulated and he subsequently wrote a letter to his solicitor wherein he clearly made known his feelings towards Lamb. It was the contents of this letter that Lamb later used in his defence for assaulting Leake in the first place. The part of the letter that Lamb took umbrage with read as follows:

The enclosed is an extract from the Petition or memorial mentioned ... and I have no hesitation in declaring my belief to be, that its scurrilous and calumnious contents originated with Mr Lamb, whose unremitted, groundless and useless malignity towards me, arising, I suppose from the low envy of a vulgar mind. has long been notorious, and it is always contemptible. 35

In the end it was left to the court to decide whether Lamb had committed the offence as charged, but there was an unusual outcome to this case as the Court found that

Mr Lamb should be bound over to keep the peace towards Mr Leake, for one year, in the sum of £100; and that in consequence of his very strong language used in the letter addressed to Mr Clark, Mr Leake should enter into like security to keep the peace towards Mr Lamb for one year. 36

This was not the finding that Leake expected. While the charge had originally been prosecuted against Lamb, Leake had also somehow finished up with a conviction against him and the effect of this decision was that Leake felt obliged to resign from all his official positions in Fremantle. Ironically it was to Mr Leake JP that George French Johnson had absolved William Nairne Clark and his colleagues from any blame for his death as he lay dying from his gunshot wound in August 1832.

Despite the evidence to the contrary, duelling was not confined exclusively to the people of Fremantle. In September 1835 a duel threatened to take place between two citizens of Perth, namely John Lewis, a storekeeper and Lieutenant William King of the 21st Regiment. In the statements issued by King in this matter, he recalls with confidence that after agreeing to meet within an hour - ‘as the sooner these things are settled the better’ - he ‘went out shortly after in search of a pair of pistols which I [he] procured at the extremity of the town.’ 37 As it transpired this duel became more a war of words and published denouncements than whiffs of gunpowder, but it does nonetheless show the propensity for duelling that these early settlers relied on to settle their differences. 38

The three principal towns in the colony at this time were Fremantle, Perth and Guildford and, while most of the challenges had taken place in Fremantle, Guildford too was to also have its own experience with a ‘challenge’ when in December 1835 the usual drama that typified a duel was played out in the streets of Guildford and later in its courtroom.

In this case the principal protagonist was a gentleman by the name of Will Shaw and he was driven to seek satisfaction over a property dispute in which he had felt unfairly treated. His nemesis in this matter was Peter Brown, the Colonial Secretary. Shaw on passing Brown in the street showed his feelings to him in a most expressive manner where ‘he had raised his stick and shaken it about his shoulders bidding him to consider himself ‘horsewhipped’ and naming him a ‘blackguard’ and a ‘scoundrel’.’ 39

As this was clearly understood to be a challenge to a duel, Brown referred the matter to the authorities and Shaw was subsequently summonsed to appear before the Guildford Magistrate where he was fined five shillings with costs and cautioned not to commit such an offence again. However, this did not deter Shaw from wanting satisfaction. Four weeks later, when Shaw was again in court, this time defending himself against a defamation charge arising out of the earlier incident, duelling was still foremost in his mind. Another commentator recorded that Shaw

Unable further to uphold his aspersions, entered into a defence of the time honoured practice of duelling which he suggested as the only honourable way of settling such a dispute. 40

With this outburst he was instructed by the Magistrate to sit down and when the case was concluded it was found by the jury that he had defamed Brown was and ordered to pay Brown £50 in damages.

But if Will Shaw had been impetuous in the above case, he had nothing on John Wade, who it is recalled had a history of throwing down challenges since 1833 and in July 1836 again made a challenge to a duel when he sought to settle a matter with the Sheriff of the Colony. Obviously, Wade was easily aggrieved, a fact well demonstrated in the following story.

Mr John Wade was placed on his trial on Saturday last, for sending a challenge to the Sheriff of the colony, G F Stone, Esquire. Owing to his offering some remarks disgraceful to the Jury, as well as offensive to the bench, the trial was stopped, as he was committed for contempt of court and sentenced to six weeks imprisonment. Mr Hall, the friend of Mr Wade, who was the bearer of the challenge was subsequently tried and acquitted. 41

As we can note from the earlier duels, duelling pistols appeared to be readily available within the colony and, if Wade did not have his own pistols, he may well have been going to use those owned by his second, Henry Edward Hall who had brought out a set from England. These were displayed at the Fremantle History Museum.

It was at around this time that duelling as a means of settling differences was taking its last gasp in England. It was therefore with some satisfaction that in September 1835 The Perth Gazette, which had been a vocal critic of duelling, was able to report that

This absurd practice is rapidly declining in England, for one duel that we now see recorded in the press, we, a few years since, saw twenty. The opinion seems to spread more and more, that ill language and brutal manners reflect only on those who are guilty of them; and that a man’s reputation is not at all cleared by shooting at the person who had reflected upon it. 42

Perhaps it was the gaoling of Wade that finally brought a halt to the indiscriminate challenges that had from time to time been thrown down since the earliest days of the colony for there is little more reported of duels after this incident.

Yes, Fremantle did have a fatal duel, but perhaps it may be more proper to say that given the above examples it is lucky that it did not have any more.

First Prize Winner, Open Award - unpublished, Fremantle and East Fremantle Local History Awards 2005


1 R Magee, ‘Surgical History - Duels, Doctors and Death’, Brisbane. Qld, (date unknown) p2, at

2 ibid

3 R Baldick, The Duel - A history of Duelling, Chapman & Hall, London, 1965, p 105

4 R Magee, ‘Surgical History - Duels, Doctors and Death’

5 Morning Herald, 23 March 1829, cited in Baldick, The Duel, p 106

6 M Duffy, A Man of Honour - John Macarthur, Macmillan Australia, Sydney, 2003, p 2

7 M Berson, Cockburn: The Making of a Community, City of Cockbum, Spearwood, 1978 (reprinted 1998), p 9

8 CSR 4/30, State Records Office of WA, Acc 36

9 R K Ewers, The Western Gateway, UWA Press, second edition, 1971, p 15

10 Western Australian Chronicle, circa 1833, p 4

11 Ibid

12 Ibid

13 The Perth Gazette, 5 January 1833

14 Ibid

15 The Perth Gazette, 6 April 1833

16 The Perth Gazette, 5 January 1833

17 Ibid

18 Ibid

19 Ibid

20 V G Kieman, The Duel in European History, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 1988, p 213

21 Ibid, p 214

22 The Perth Gazette, 16 February 1833

Z3 Ibid

24 The Perth Gazette, 16 March 1833

25 Ibid

36 Durack, M, To be Heirs Forever, Constable, London, 1976, p 98

27 The Perth Gazette, 23 March 1833

28 Ibid

29 The Perth Gazette, 13 April 1833

30 The Perth Gazette, 19 October 1833

31 This gentlemen may well have been one of the duellists that was engaged in the duel in January 1833 (see The Perth Gazette, 5 January 1833). The Perth Gazette at that time reported ‘Mr L we are informed retracted his challenge on the ground, and the affair of honour was settled.’

32 The Perth Gazette, 5 January 1835

33 Ibid

34 Ibid

35 Ibid

36 Ibid

37 The Perth Gazette, 5 September 1835

38 For more detailed discussion on this duel see Blackburn, G, Conquest and Settlement, Hesperian Press, Carlisle, WA, 1999

39 M Durack, To be Heirs Forever, p 141

40 Ibid, p 143

41 The Perth Gazette, 9 July 1836

42 The Perth Gazette, 26 September 1835 106

Allen Graham

Allen Graham is a long standing resident of Fremantle, having been born and bred in the town and growing up in South Street, Beaconsfield where he attended Beaconsfield Primary School and later Hamilton High School.

Allen has always been very involved in the affairs of Fremantle and was a Councillor with the City from 1985 to 1990 during which time Fremantle experienced the frenetic activity associated with the America’s Cup. (Allen sharing that Council experience with two brothers who have also served as Councillors with the City of Fremantle.)

After leaving high school Allen completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at WAIT (now Curtin University) and has more recently completed a Master of Industrial Relations degree from the University of Western Australia. Today Allen works as a Human Resources Manager.

Allen has always had an interest in the history of Fremantle and has for a long time been researching the history of the Fremantle Hotels between the years 1829 and 1929. He found the material contained in this essay as he pursued that primary objective of publishing a book on the early history of Fremantle’s hotels.

Garry Gillard | New: 12 February, 2018 | Now: 14 September, 2020