1784 - 1860





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Edmund Lockyer
Edmund Lockyer


Edmund Lockyer was born in Plymouth, England in 1784 and was the son of Thomas Lockyer and his wife Ann Grose.


He joined the British army in 1803 and served in India and Ceylon before being sent to the colony of New South Wales. He also explored the upper reaches of the Brisbane River in Queensland. (Sailing to the area aboard the cutter Mermaid, that became the fist sea-going ship to enter the Brisbane River)


When it was decided that a military post was to be established at King George Sound in W.A. (to forestall any French settlement of the west) Governor Darling told Lockyer that if he found any French settlers that they were to be informed that all of New Holland was now 'subject to His Britannic Majesty's Government.'


On the 9th of November 1826 the expedition set sail aboard the Amity. 23 convicts, 20 troopers and Lieutenant Festing and Captain Wakefield made up the members of the party. They arrived at King George Sound on Christmas Day.


On January 10th 1827 a boat load of sealers arrived. Lockyer had evidence that there man had been 'committing outrages' against the local Aborigines and promptly arrested two of them and had them transported back to Sydney aboard the Amity.


On January 21st 1827, Major Edmund Lockyer formally took possession of the western third of the continent for the British Crown. This is the real foundation day for Western Australia not the one celebrated for the Swan River Colony (Perth).


Lockyer spent 100 days overseeing the initial work and during that time the expeditions blacksmith (Dennis Deneen) was speared and killed (one source says he actually survived the spearing) by Aborigines after rescuing a group of 4 who had been stranded (probably by whalers) on Michaelmas Island.


As the convicts outnumbered the troopers there was always the possibility of a revolt and this came very close to happening when the prisoners (led by a man named Ryan) claimed their meat ration was short and refused to take it. Lockyer ordered punishment for Ryan but no one would agree to inflict it and so as not to lose control of the situation, Lockyer had no choice but to administer the lash himself.


Wanting to find out if the French were secretly setting up a base at the Swan River Lockyer led a party north overland in an attempt to reach the area. When one member of the party fell ill they were forced to return to Albany.


After 100 days Lockyer returned to Sydney aboard the ship Success (Captained by James Stirling) leaving Captain Joseph Wakefield in command.


Edmund Lockyer retired to Australia and became a Magistrate in Parramatta and in 1828 he was appointed principal surveyor of roads and bridges. He was granted land but was never very successful as a farmer. In 1852 he was appointed sergeant-at-arms to the Legislative Council


Lockyer died in 1860. He had been married 3 times and had a total of 13 children.




1784 - Born January 21st.

1803 - Became an ensign in the 19th Regiment in June.

1805 - Promoted to lieutenant.

1805 - Purchased a captaincy in August..

1806 - Married the widow Dorothea Agatha Young on 12 August.

1816 - Wife dies on September 13th.

1816 - Marries Sarah Morris on October 6th.

1819 - Promoted to Major in August.

1824 - Transferred to the 57th Regiment in August.

1825 - Arrived in Sydney aboard the Royal Charlotte in April.

1825 - Explores the Brisbane River aboard the Mermaid.

1826 - Sails for the west coast aboard the Amity on November 9th.

1826 - Reaches King George Sound on December 25th.

1827 - Set out to walk overland to Swan River but turned back due to bad weather and sickness.

1827 - Sailed to Sydney aboard the Success on April 3rd.

1827 - Sold his commission, was given a land grant and appointed police magistrate at Parramatta.

1828 - Appointed principal surveyor of roads and bridges.

1829 - Re-appointed police magistrate at Parramatta.

1830 - Appointed superintendent of police.

1852 - Appointed serjeant-at-arms to the Legislative Council.

1853 - Second wife dies on July 11th.

1854 - Married Eliza Colston on November 18th.

1856 - Appointed usher of the black rod.

1860 - Died.


Links to more information:


Lockyer, Edmund (1784-1860)

Edmund Lockyer

Lockyer, Edmund (1784-1860)




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