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The barque Parmelia brought the first European settlers to Western Australia in 1829, under the command of Captain J.H. Luscombe.
Built in Quebec, Canada in 1825, 117 feet long and of 443 tons, Parmelia was hired to transport Lieutenant-Governor James Stirling and the first group of free settlers to Swan River to establish a colony there in 1829. Escorted by HMS Sulphur she left England in early February 1829, and hove to off Garden Island on 31 May.
Two days later Parmelia was nearly lost when she ran aground on the sandbank which bears her name.
She was destroyed by fire in an English dockyard 1 May 1839.
Passengers in 1829 included James and Ellen Stirling, colonial secretary Peter Broun, storekeeper John Morgan, harbourmaster Capt Mark Currie, surveyor J.S. Roe, his assistant Henry Sutherland, Broun's clerk Wm Sheldon, horticulturalist James Drummond, surgeon Charles Simmons, a cooper, Alex Fandam, a bricklayer, William Hoking, a smith, Thomas Davis, and a boatbuilder, James Smith.
Foundation Day has always been observed on June 1, although it was on June 2, 1829, that Captain James Stirling, with Surveyor-General Roe and the first contingent of 68 settlers, arrived at Fremantle in the transport Parmelia. The Parmelia grounded on a bank that still bears her name, but was floated off the next day and the Governor and his fellow settlers landed on Garden Island. On June 18 Lieutenant-Governor Stirling landed on Rous Head, and it was from there that his first proclamation annexing the colony to the British Empire was made. A detachment of the 63rd Regiment from H.M.S. Sulphur had landed the previous day to be in readiness for the ceremony. Hitchcock: 10.
The transport Parmelia arrived at Fremantle on June 2, 1829, and as a matter of historical interest the official list of passengers is given hereunder, the ages of junior members being shown in parentheses:
Captain Stirling, R.N. (Lieutenant-Governor), Mrs. Ellen Stirling and William and Andrew (3) Stirling; P. Broun (Colonial Secretary), Mrs. Caroline Broun and MacBride (2) and Ann (6 months) Broun; Commander M. J. Currie, R.N. (Harbour Master), Mrs. Jane Currie; John S. Roe (Surveyor-General) and Mrs. Matilda Roe; H. C. Sutherland (assistant surveyor) and Mrs. Ann Sutherland; W. Shilton (clerk to the Colonial Secretary); Charles Simmons (surgeon); Tully Daly (assistant surgeon); Mrs. Jane Daly and Jessie Jane (8), Joseph T. (6), Henry John (4), Edward N. (2) and Elize Rose (2 months) Daly; Alex. Fandam (cooper) and Mrs. Mary Fandam; William Hoking (artificer), Mrs. Mary Hoking and John (14), William (12), Mary (10), Thomas (8), David (6), and Charles (2) Hoking; James Morgan (storekeeper), Mrs. Rebecca Morgan and Rebecca Morgan (12); James Drummond (agriculturist), Mrs. Sarah Drummond and Thomas (18), Jane (16), James (15), John (13), Johnson (9) and Euphemia (3) Drummond; Thomas Davis (smith), Mrs. Catherina Davis and John (3), Charlotte (2) Davis; James C. Smith (boatbuilder) and Mrs. Sarah Smith; George Mangles; George Eliot; Thomas Blakey and Mrs. Sarah Blakey; John Kelly and Mrs. Elizabeth Kelly; James Morgan (11); Richard Evans; Margaret McLeod; Mary Ann Smith; Ann Shipsey; Patrick Murphy; Frederick Ludlow and Mrs. Mildred Kitts Ludlow; Jane Fruit; Charles D. Wright; Elizabeth Gamble and James Elliott. Hitchcock: 14-15
Calista, Orelia, Medina, and Parmelia are southern suburbs of Perth named after four early ships.
Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council.
WAGS page for this ship.
Garry Gillard | New: 16 January, 2015 | Now: 5 May, 2020