John was offered the position of Governor of Western Australia and he arrived in W.A. aboard the Brother on January 1st 1839 and took over as Governor after Stirling resigned and
returned to England.
He had previously been Governor of North Arcott, Madras but his close adherence to regulations made him much less popular than his predecessor.
When Hutt replaced Stirling as the Governor, there was a change in policy toward the Aboriginal people with Hutt declaring; 'the absolute necessity which exists, for not allowing
any outrage, either on the part of the white population towards the Natives, or vice versa to pass unnoticed.'
One of Hutt's first actions on taking over the Governorship was to increase the number of people on the Legislative Council by adding 4 appointed un-official members.
Hutt was impartial in his decisions and although not liked by the general populace he was at least respected. He was blamed, somewhat unfairly, for policies that were forced on
him from London. One of these was for the resumption of unimproved land within the time allotted. Hutt tried to alleviate this by allowing the retention of 25% of an unimproved
grant and granting a remission certificate to the value of 1s 6d an acre for the balance of the resumed land to be used for buying crown land in other locations.
Hutt also had instructions to raise the price of crown land from 5s to 12s and acre but he resisted implementing this rise until London made it clear that it had to be done and the
price was finally increased in 1840. Just a year later the price rose to 1 pound an acre.
He resigned from the Governorship before his tenure was complete but he had the satisfaction of seeing the area under cultivation in the colony double during his administration
and over 1 million acres held in clear title. The population of the colony also more than doubled during this time.
His private secretary said of him:
'I cannot but admire the Governor's unwearied attention to every department of the colony from the most minute to the highest, and I may say the strict impartiality of his conduct
looking to the well being of the community and disregarding individual interest, but at the same time he is too austere a turn of mind, brought on by too much solitude and study,
wanting the kindlier feelings, sympathies of our nature and as he himself has stated without generosity he is too much inclined to stretch the law to the utmost'.
John Hutt never married and one source says that he died at Chelsea Hospital in 1880. We have been given information from a descendant of John Hutt's eldest sister that John did not
actually die at Chelsea Hospital but at home on the family estate at Appley in Ryde on the Isle of Wight.
Our thanks to Frank Grenfell for supplying some information about John Hutt.
1795 - Born July 24th.
1813 - Joined the East India Company.
1815 - Inherited the family estate.
1818 - Registrar of one of the provincial courts at Chittoor in North Arcot.
1826 - Retired from service with the East India Company.
1839 - Took up his appointment as Governor of Western Australia on January1st.
1846 - Resigned as governor as of February 19th.
1848 - After returning to England Hutt joined the Canterbury Association.
1850 - Resigned from the Canterbury Association.
1880 - Died April 9th.
Links to more information:
Hutt, John (1795-1880)
John Hutt 1839 - 1846