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George Leake (1786-1849) was a wealthy landowner in the Swan River Colony and a store keeper in Fremantle. He was the first resident Magistrate of Fremantle in 1839, and the uncle of Sir Luke Leake and George Walpole Leake. He arrived via Calista in 1829, followed some months later by his family, including his brother Luke.
LEAKE, George, b. 1786. d. 29.5.1849, son of Luke Leake & Anne (nee Heading) & brother of Luke, arr. 5.8.1829 per Calista. m. 1st Anna GROWNES (GROWSE) d. 1815, m. 2nd 7.10.1840 Georgiana Mary KINGSFORD, Chd. Ann Elizabeth b. 1815. George L. was granted 15.000 acres & 'later 10,000 & 20 acres. Financed many settlers. Director of WA Bank 1837. MLC 1839 until death. Chairman Perth Town T.rust etc.. Merchant Perth. Widow employed a T/L man 1853. C/E.
George Leake (1786–1849) was a wealthy landholder in the early days of the Swan River Colony. Backed with considerable assets, Leake supported many of the early settlers of the colony who were struggling financially.
George Leake was born in 1786 in London, England. His father was Luke Leake, and his mother, Ann (née Heading, 1758–1836). He arrived at Fremantle, Western Australia in the Calista in August 1829 and quickly established himself as a merchant.
He was instrumental in the establishment of the first Bank of Western Australia which was established in June 1837, becoming its first chairman of directors. In 1839, he was one of four unofficial nominees of the Western Australian Legislative Council, retaining his seat until his death. He was appointed magistrate in 1839 and was made chairman of the Perth Town Trust (later to become Perth City Council).
He married Anne Growse, who died in 1815 leaving him with one daughter, Ann Elizabeth.
His nephew, George Walpole Leake, was a prominent Western Australian barrister and magistrate and father of George Leake, Premier of Western Australia from 1901 to 1902.
He died in 1849 in Perth, Western Australia.
Margaret Medcalf's article in ADB:
George Leake (1786-1849), merchant, was born in England, the son of Luke Leake and his wife Ann, née Heading. He married Anne Growse, who died in 1815 leaving him with one daughter, Ann Elizabeth. He sailed for the Swan River settlement in the Calista, arriving in August 1829. He was followed some months later by his mother, his daughter and his brother Luke. He brought with him six servants and considerable property which entitled him to 15,000 acres (6070 ha), most of which he selected on the Upper Swan. He was later granted a further 10,000 acres (4047 ha).
He set up in business as a merchant backed by large funds, and while the colony was struggling his sensible advice to Governor (Sir) James Stirling and financial assistance to settlers were a great asset. Lieutenant Henry Bunbury noted in his diary in 1836 that Leake had it in his power to ruin two-thirds of the settlers by foreclosing his mortgages. Leake's public activities were many and varied. He was one of the initiators and an original director of the first Bank of Western Australia, formed in 1837. In 1839 he was one of four unofficial nominees to join five official members of the Legislative Council and retained his seat until his death. His commercial experience and ability to assess facts made him a practical legislator of great value. He was appointed a magistrate for the territory in 1839, the first to hold this position. In the same year he was chairman of the Perth Town Trust and later became chairman of the General Roads Trust. Also in 1839 he was appointed a commissioner to act as guardian to emigrant minors sent out by the Children's Friend Society. He was an early director of the Agricultural Society, an original member of the Central Board of Works constituted in 1847, and a large subscriber and member of the committee for building the Anglican church in Perth.
In 1840 he married Georgiana Mary Kingsford; there was no issue. He died on 31 May 1849, survived by his wife and daughter, who had married Richard McBride Broun in 1837.
W. St Pierre Bunbury and W. P. Morrell (eds), Early Days in Western Australia: Being the Letters and Journal of H. W. Bunbury (Lond, 1930)
A. Burton, ‘George Leake at Sea, 1829’, Journal and Proceedings (Western Australian Historical Society), vol 1, part 10, 1931, pp 25-34
Perth Gazette, 10 Oct 1840, 8 June 1849
Inquirer (Perth), 13 June 1849
P. U. Henn, genealogical notes (State Library of Western Australia).
Medcalf, Margaret 1967, bio in ADB.
Page about George Leake's grave in East Perth Cemetery.
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