- Letter Writer
- History - pre-Federation, Letter to the Editor
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Stirling (Shore establishment)
- December 1994 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
I was surprised to read on page 15 of the March 1994 Naval Historical Review in the article on HMAS STIRLING that, and I quote “…and returned in June, 1829 to found not only the first European settlement in Western Australia …” when referring to Captain James Stirling RN.
Whilst not wishing to detract from the deeds of that distinguished gentleman, the honour of establishing the first European settlement must go to Major Edmund Lockyer. He, accompanied by 1 Captain (army), 1 sergeant, 18 privates and 23 convicts, sailed from Sydney on 9th November, 1826 in the brig AMITY.
I leave the plaque, as shown in the accompanying photograph taken in Albany, to tell the rest of the story:
“This is a full size replica of the brig AMITY the ship which carried the party which established the first British settlement in Western Australia. This party, under the command of Major Edmund Lockyer landed near this spot on December 26th, 1826. The original AMITY was completed in New Brunswick, Canada in 1816. After some years as a trader she sailed to Hobart and in 1824 was bought by the Colonial Government in Sydney to assist in supply and exploration. She was important in the establishment of settlements at Moreton Bay Queensland and King George Sound, Western Australia. The AMITY was wrecked off Flinders Island on June 18th, 1845”. The party was despatched by Sir Ralph Darling, Governor of NSW (1825-31) and it annexed all the land in the vicinity of Albany in the name of the Crown well before Captain Stirling’s initial visit to the Swan River area in 1827 and of course some 2½ years before Captain Stirling’s return with the free settlers in June 1929.