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EDMUND LOCKYER

1784 - 1860

 

 

 

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, which 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

 

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

 

 

I'm lost please take me home...


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