Fremantle Stuff > Early Days: Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society

Early Days: Volume 1, 1927-1931

The historic duel at Fremantle between George French Johnson, a merchant, and William Nairne Clark, a solicitor, in the year 1832

P. E.C. de Mouncey

de Mouncey, P. E.C. 1929, 'The historic duel at Fremantle between George French Johnson, a merchant, and William Nairne Clark, a solicitor, in the year 1832', Early Days, vol. 1, part 5: 1-15.

[Read before the Society, April 26, 1929]

Of recent years there has appeared in the Press and elsewhere so many contradictory statements and apparent and glaring inaccuracies relating to the duel fought in Western Australia, between William Nairne Clark and George French Johnson in the year 1832, that the whole episode has been more or less distorted from the facts. Various dates, localities and details of the duel itself, and of how Johnson actually died, have been related from time to time, while the spelling of the names of the persons who were connected with the event have on occasions been inaccurately given.

As a result of the mass of inaccuracies that have appeared publicately at intervals, an endeavour has been made to unravel the whole story and set down the facts relating to this event among the young colonists of a former generation in England’s new Colony of Western Australia.

Stories relating to the duel in modern publications, such as the Press, in history books, and elsewhere have been studiously avoided at all times, and for the correct spelling of the names of the individuals connected with the duel, their actual signatures have been referred to.

In the month of August of the year 1832 and in the second year of the reign of King William IV., and just over three


years after the foundation of the Colony of Western Australia, and when the population of the three-year-old settlement at Fremantle is said by a colonist living there in that month, to have been about five hundred inhabitants and nearly one hundred and twenty houses, and about five hundred people living in Perth; there were two men in particular who resided at Fremantle with whom our story deals.

It would appear that some misunderstanding had existed between these two men for some little time past, but as to the actual cause of the quarrel at this late date, no record seems to exist, or, at least, the cause appears to be very obscure frofn the details available.

George French Johnson, a merchant, of Fremantle, a man in the prime of life, or to be more exact, 33 years of age, had quarrelled with William Nairne Clark a solicitor, also of Fremantle. Some correspondence had been exchanged betwen the two, and Clark had used the terms clandestine transactions in a letter to Johnson in an allusion to a matter of business that Johnson was engaged in, and in a letter to Clark, Johnson had made use of some strong, if not offensive, language. In a subsequent letter Mr. Clark wrote:—

“It is to be regretted that so much angry feeling should be mixed up with business matters, but I have to say once and for all that no threat on your part shall deter me from doing my duty to those who employ me and trust to my exertions.”

As if in anticipation that a duel might result as a consequence of the existing disagreement, Johnson wrote two letters on Wednesday, 15th August, 1832, in the form of a will, that is to say, disposing of his property in case of his death. One was addressed to William Henry Drake and Charles Frederic Leroux conjointly in the following terms:—

Fremantle, August 15, 1832.

My dear Sirs,—

In case of my decease I beg of you jointly and severally and hereby empower you to act as my executors and to take charge of my estate and effects, and to collect and get in all my outstanding debts for the benefit of those concerned, and to sell my estate, real and personal, and to apply the proceeds to pay all my just debts, and any residue to jje handed over to Joseph Tice Gellebrand,

of Hobart Town, Van Dieman’s Land, Esquire, to hold the same in trust for his children, share and share alike. I am,

My dear Sirs,

Yours very truly,


The other letter was addressed to Charles Frederic Leroux only:—

My dear Leroux,—

Do with my papers as enclosed as mentioned—make the best of my a/cs. the goods charged to Solomon, are to be settled as any other a/cs. I am to have half the profits since he commenced.

The same with Lacey’s concern, Drake is to have half the profits, carry these on for the benefit of my crs., pay Pitman at McDermott’s £6 for me without fail. Keep the dressing case yourself and give my watch to Drake.

Yours ever.

15th Aug., 1832.


The letters were written on grey coloured foolscape sized unruled letter paper, in a well written business-like style of handwriting.

On Thursday, the 16th August, 1832, that is, the day following, the writing by Johnson, of the two letters to Drake and Leroux, several persons might have been seen standing in a street, opposite Mr. Soloman’s house at Fremantle, conversing together, one of whom was Mr. Johnson, who while thus engaged, Clark approached and addressed in these terms:—

“You are a scoundrel and a blackguard, and that if it was not from motives of prudence, I would give you a sound drubbing.”

Johnson to these words of aggression made no reply, but merely detached himself from the group, turned on his heel and walked away followed by a companion, Charles Frederic Leroux, of Perth, a surveyor, and formerly a clerk to the Board of Counsel and Audit of the Colonial Administration. Leroux considered a duel would result as a con-


sequence of Clark publicly calling Johnson a scoundrel and blackguard, while the quarrel between the two men was brought well to a climax as a consequence.

Clark later in the afternoon informed a friend of his, William Lamb, a merchant of Fremantle, of the words he (Clark) had used to Johnson earlier in the day.

As a sequel, there may have been seen the same evening three men together in company at Richmond House, near the Cantonment, not far from Fremantle, and in the vicinity of where the Richmond Hotel now stands on lot Number 286, at the north end of Victoria-road, formerly called Cantonment-road. It was the residence of William Temple Graham, said to have been one time Governor of England’s West African Crown Colony of Sierra Leone, formerly a Captain in the Royal African Corps of the British Army, but now a solicitor, a journalist and newspaper proprietor, for he owned, printed and published a weekly newspaper at Fremantle called the "Western Australian Colonial News.” His companions were William Lamb and William Nairne Clark, the man who had made the insulting remarks to George French Johnson earlier in the day.

The Challenge

About eight p.m., then quite dark, a visitor called at the house in the person of Thomas Newte Yule, of the Canning. After some delay he called Mr. Clark out of the room, and Clark walked outside, where Mr. Yule delivered to him a letter from Johnson. It proved to be a challenge to fight a duel. Johnson demanded satisfaction from Clark for the insults offered by Clark earlier in the day.

Mr. Clark returned to the room almost immediately and told Captain Graham—who was usually called by his friends and acquaintances by this designation—that Mr. Yule wanted him outside, where the matter of the challenge and the duel was discussed.

The challenge accepted, arrangements were necessary as to the time and the place the duel was to be fought, and the weapons to be had and used, and Yule to take back to Johnson, the challenger, the answer and final details of the arrangements.

Captain Graham returned to the room and informed his companions that the time for the duel was fixed for seven the following morning, and the place, in the vicinity of Rich-


mond House, and he—Captain Graham—was to act as second to Clark.

In the meantime Clark begged of Mr. Lamb to act as the executor of his will in case the forthcoming hostile meeting should prove fatal to him. Lamb assented, and the will was handed over. Clark also requested that Lamb might be near the scene of the duel on the morrow, but not in the capacity of a second.

About sunrise the following morning, that is, Friday, 17th August, 1832, two horsemen rode up to Richmond House; both dismounted and fastened the bridles of their horses to the palings of the fence. These two men, George French Johnson, the principal in the forthcoming duel, and Thomas Newte Yule, his second, walked towards the house conversing together..

Already waiting were Clark, the other principal, Captain Graham, his second, and Lamb, Clark’s friend. Yule advanced to meet Captain Graham, standing near a lime-kiln, and both shook hands. The two then entered Richmond House, while the other men walked about the grounds. Clark and Lamb strolled to and fro on the path near the lime-kiln in conversation, while Mr. Johnson walked backwards and forwards alone at the rear of Richmond House. Presently Captain Graham and Yule emerged from the house; Lamb withdrew to a convenient distance away, and the four men, duelists and their seconds, were left to themselves. Graham and Yule who had been conversing together apart by-and-by approached the principals. In the neighbourhood and conveniently at hand awaited in readiness Dr. Thomas Harrison, of Fremantle, a spectator of the proceedings, while Mr. Charles Frederic Leroux might have been seen not far away, and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lockyer, servants of Captain Graham, the former also caretaker of Richmond House, lived in a residence adjoining. Lockyer, for some reason, walked down to the lime-kiln and back.

About twenty minutes past seven, with final arrangements apparently complete, the four men, principals and seconds, had meantime retired behind an enclosure at the rear of Richmond House out of sight of Dr. Harrison and about twenty-five to thirty yards from where Lamb was standing on the hill near the house, and who also partially lost sight of the principals and seconds behind an outhouse. He immediately afterwards heard the sound of two shots almost together, but did not actually see the pistols fired.


It might as well be mentioned here that no record appears to exist as to what arrangements were entered into by the men concerned governing the conditions of fire or choice of weapons, and if over a certain measured distance both men had fired on some indication from one of the seconds, such as, for instance, on the fall of a handkerchief, or if the two men first stood back to back, stepped so many paces on an order from a second, turned and fired, or whether some other arrangement was adopted, these details appear to be unavailable. If a story of fiction were being written such items could be included, but where historical facts are the objective, missing details throughout must be left to conjecture.

It is certain, however, Clark and Johnson faced each other at a short distance, and to present the smallest possible target turned sideways—as was usual in such encounters—and fired together in time as possible, as the reports of the pistols indicated. Johnson’s aim missed Clark, but the latter’s was true, and Johnson fell to the ground. Clark immediately rushed up and rendered every possible assistance to his antagonist, after which Clark, who was very agitated, left the group and walked to where his friend, Mr. Lamb, was standing, and who did not approach the group after the firing. Clark, still very agitated, expressed his deepest regret to Lamb, and both men walked to Fremantle.

Meanwhile Dr. Harrison hurried to Johnson’s assistance, while Yule carried the wounded man in his arms, with Captain Graham assisting into the nearby Richmond House, and laid him on a table.

On examination by Dr. Harrison, it was found that Clark’s bullet had penetrated Johnson’s right side just above the hip-bone, making a wound an inch in breadth, to a depth of twelve inches into his body. Dr. Harrison considered the wound very dangerous. Leroux arrived at the house from the vicinity to see his friend lying on the table desperately wounded, while Mr. Yule rode away and returned about eight a.m. with Dr. Nicholas Were Langley, from Fremantle, a surgeon thirty-two years of age. He examined the wound and gave Johnson every assistance possible. Mrs. Lockyer was ordered by Captain Graham to be in constant attendance on Mr. Johnson, and to render him every assistance possible. Whilst so employed the injured man remarked to Mrs. Lockyer, that he thought he would not live long, and could have prevented the duel had he wished, but it was then too late. Leroux also attended Johnson nearly the whole time


of his illness, and who remarked at one period to Leroux as he had remarked to Mrs. Lockyer, that he—Johnson— believed himself dying, but did not make any reference to the duel.

Later, Johnson was conveyed to his own house, situate, I believe, but am not certain, also in Cantonment-road, some distance south of Richmond House, by means of a litter, where Drs. Harrison and Langley went in attendance upon him at intervals, and Mrs. Lockyer acted as nurse, while Leroux, Johnson’s friend, gave what assistance he could.

The Law Moves

Shortly after the duel had taken place, Messrs. Clark, Graham and Yule appeared before George Leake, a Justice of the Peace. Leake questioned Clark; but other than. Clark expressing the deepest regret at the occurrence, declined saying anything to commit himself.

Yule was asked if he acted as a second in the duel, but declined to answer the question, while the same question was put to Graham, but he likewise declined to answer.

Clark was bound over in his own recognisance in the sum of £100, and Graham and Yule £50 each, to appear at the Petty Sessions of the Civil Court on Monday, the 20th August, 1832, at twelve of the clock, for examination and to answer any questions put to them, and any charges that may be made against them.

William Lamb, Paul Lockyer, Charles Frederic Leroux, William Samson, a merchant of Fremantle, Drs. Thomas Harrison and Nicholas Were Langley were summoned to appear as witnesses.

Mr. Leake during the day visited Johnson at his residence, but found the wounded man in no state to be questioned to any length; but in answer to the question of Leake if Johnson had any communication to make or a complaint against anyone, Johnson replied: “Decidedly none.”

In spite of every care and attention by Dr. Harrison and the surgeon. Dr. Langley, and of Mrs. Lockyer and Leroux, Johnson gradually sank and died, probably from shock and internal hemorrhage, caused from the laceration of some of the internal organs. His death took place just over twenty-four hours after the duel had taken place, viz., at nine in the morning of Saturday, the 18th August, 1832


Dr. Harrison was with the deceased at his death, and Dr. Langley until about a quarter of an hour before, and Leroux nearly the whole time prior to and until ten minutes of Johnson's demise.

The same day a full enquiry following the death of Johnson was held before Mr. George Leake and Captain Daniel Scott, Acting Government Resident of the town of Fremantle. After the body had been viewed and all the evidence heard, the Coroners came to the opinion that death was caused by a bullet from a pistol fired by William Nairne Clark.

Contemporary records tell that Johnson was of the highest respectability and talent, and that on Sunday, the 19th August, his remains were conveyed to the silent tomb, attended by a host of sorrowing friends. The burial service was conducted by the Reverend John Burdett Wittenoom, the Colonial Chaplain of the Colony.

Clark was also described as of equal respectability with Johnson, and after the death of the latter, Clark was left in a state of mind, so it is recorded, beyond power of description.

Where Johnson’s remains were laid no record seems nowr to exist; but there is a small area of ground at the corner of Alma and Brennan streets, opposite the Public Hospital at Fremantle, that was once a cemetery, and it may have been here that Johnson, and other deceased colonists of those early days of the settlement were buried.

No trace of that cemetery survives. It is a children’s playground and reserve, and Brennan-street running along one side of it was formerly called Cemetery-road. The present shape of the reserve is more rectangular than originally, as houses appear to have been built on a part of it, a corner facing Alma-street marking the site more oblong than of a more or less triangular shape as formerly.

Johnson appears to have died as a good many other colonists have died in the early days of the Colony, that is, with no relatives to mourn his loss, and there are, therefore, no descendants probably in the State. Hence one of the reasons so few tombstones exist as memorials to the pioneers who died in the Colony the first ten years or so of its existence: their friends did not apparently bother.

* * * *

On Monday, the 20th August. 1832, the three accused, William Nairne Clark, William Temple Graham and Thomas


Newte Yule, appeared before the Hon. William Henry Mackie, J.P., Commissioner of the Civil Court, Mr. George Leake, and the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom, J’s.P., at the Petty Sessions of the Court. A patient investigation of the whole affair was gone into, after which the three men were committed to prison until the next Sessions of the Court of General Jurisdicture, to be held in October, to stand their trial for the murder of George French Johnson.

An express was immediately dispatched by the accused to the Lieutenant-Governor, Captain James Stirling, R.N., at Perth, for permission to be allowed their liberty on bail. The request was sanctioned by His Excellency in the case of Graham and Yule, who were charged with murder as principals in the second degree.

Both men appeared before Messrs. Mackie and Leake. Captain Graham entered into his own bond for £100 to appear for trial at the next sessions of the Court of General Jurisdicture, sessions of the peace; while Messrs. Richard Lewis and William Lamb, both of Fremantle, merchants, stood as sureties for £50 each of good and lawful money current in the Colony or goods, chattels, lands and tenements. The like conditions were entered into by Mr. Yule on his own bond, while William Lamb and William Samson stood as sureties for £50 each. Both prisoners were liberated the same evening.

Messrs. Lamb and Lewis offered themselves as sureties to the value of £1,000 each for the release of Clark, but the offer was declined by the Lieutenant-Governor, and Clark had to remain in prison until the October Sessions of the Court for trial.

The greatest commiseration was evinced by the Magistrates and all parties, so we are told, for the survivor of the unhappy occurrence.

* * * *

Not long after the duel had taken place Captain Graham was obliged to suspend the publication of his journal, “The Western Australian Colonial News,” for a time owing, it was stated, to a serious defect in sight occasioned by the powerful refraction of the sun on the white sand and water in the neighbourhood of Captain Graham’s domicile at Fremantle.

* * * *

On the 11th September, 1832, George French Johnson’s two letters—those he wrote two days before the duel—were


proved for probate as a will in the Civil Court at Perth, by William Henry Drake (afterwards Sir William Henry Drake, K.C.B.), and Charles Frederic Leroux, at the time when Alfred Hawes Stone, a solicitor, was Registrar of the Court.

It was the second will to be lodged in the Civil Court since its (establishment by Act dated the tenth of February 1832.

The Trial

On the first day of October, at Fremantle, at the October Sessions of the Court, held ,before the Honourable William Henry Mackie, the Chairman, and a Bench of Magistrates, bills of indictment against Clark, Graham and Yule for the wilful murder of George ,French Johnson, was preferred to a Grand Jury, of which Walter Boyd Andrews was foreman.

The iwordy indictment, reproduced in a more concise form here, stated, that the jurors, for our Lord the King upon their oath present that William Naime dark, late of Fremantle, in the said Colony, Notary Public, (pot having the fear of God before his eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil on the seventeenth day of August, in the second year of the resign of our sovereign Lord William the Fourth, King of Great Britain and Ireland, with force and arms at Richmond House, near Fremantle, upon George French Johnson, merchant, in the peace of tGod and our Lord the King, did feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought make an assault with a certain pistol tof the value of five shillings, charged with gunpowder and one leaden bullet, and by holding the pistol in his right {hand did shoot off and discharge the pistol against George French Johnson, the bullet penetrating the right side of him a little above the right hip-bone, inflicting one mortal wound of the breadth of one inch and to a depth of (twelve inches, and did languish from the seventeenth day of August One thousand eight hundred and thirty-two to the Eighteenth day of August One thousand eight hundred and thirty-two at Fremantle and then died. The jurors aforesaid do further present that William Temple Graham of Richmond House near Fremantle and Thomas Newte Yule of the Canning River, Esquire, on the day and year aforesaid at ^Richmond House witn force and arms were feloniously present aiding abetting and assisting the said William Naime Clark to do and commit the felony and murder. And the jurors upon their oatlv


say that William Nairne Clark, William Temple Graham and Thomas Newte Yule in manner and force aforesaid did feloniously wilfully and of their malice aforethought did kill and murder the said‘George French Johnson against the peace of our said Lord the King his crown and dignity.

The Grand Jury found no true bill for murder, but a true bill for manslaughter against all three, and the case was sent on to the lesser jury for hearing.

This form of indictment had survived for centuries, and was in use in the days of Baron Jeffreys, of Wem, of infamous memory, when Lord Chief Justice of England, under King James II., and perhaps before this time.

The earliest legal records and Acts of Parliament within this country always referred to the Colony of “Western Australia,” never as '“New Holland,”- the “Swan River Settlement,” or the “Swan River Colony.”

The following day the three accused stationed themselves nt the Bar and were invited to say whether guilty or not guilty of the charge, and all three individually pleaded not guilty, and the trial proceeded.

We are told “a very respectable jury was selected,” and the twelve men, John Randell Phillips, William Smithers, William Dixon, John Bateman, Dr. John Prendergast, Lyttle-ton, James Wood, Captain Daniel Scott, Henry Edward Hall, James Purlris, John Davies, ’Henry Chidlow, and George Bouglas, were sworn.

The Court proceeded to examine the witnesses for the prosecution. Mr. Lamb’s evidence was first heard, then Dr. Harrison’s, Charles Frederic Leroux’s, then Paul Lockyer’s, all eye-witnesses to the duel Mrs. Lockyer, who nursed the deceased duting his illness, also gave evidence. It is not clear whether William Samson and Dr. Nicholas Were Langley, the surgeon who attended Johnson after the duel had taken place, actually gave evidence at the trial or not; it is recorded, however, that both were to be called as witnesses.

The case for the prosecution having closed, Captain Graham addressed the jury. He stated he stood in that peculiar position which precluded him from entering fully into those matters connected with the late melancholy event as there did not appear to him that the evidence would warrant a conviction. It was clear that the challenge emanated from


the deceased, and that many of the friends of Johnson knew his intentions the previous day.

Captain Graham read extracts from James Boswell’s life of Dr. Samuel Johnson on duelling, where at the age of 63 Dr. Johnson’s opinion on this custom is fully set out.

Clark read a lengthy and admirable address to the jury,, while Yule shortly stated he rested quite satisfied that he was in honourable hands. Mr. George Leake examined on the bench, stated that hearing Mr. Johnson had been wounded, he waited on him as a Magistrate, and asked if he had a complaint against any person, to which deceased replied, as already stated, “Decidedly none.”

The Chairman charged the jury in a clear, plainly expressed manner. He stated the law of the case most ably. The jury retired, and after some delay returned a verdict of not guilty for all the accused.

The three men were immediately discharged, and left the Court surrounded, so it is recorded, by a crowd *of “most respectable friends.”

There is no rule more distinctly stated in English law than the slaying in a deliberate duel is wilful murder; yet at all times considerable difficulties have arisen in this admission and construction, and in spite of the severity of the law against duelling, in most cases the survivor of a duel when one of the combatants had been killed were frequently by a jury, and very often at the direction of the presiding Judge, found not guilty.

In the “Perth Gazette” of the 26th January, 1833, there appeared a proclamation, by the Acting Governor, Captain Frederick Chidley Irwin (who had relieved Captain Stirling on proceeding to England), and the Honourable Peter Brown, the Colonial Secretary, offering a reward of £40 for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons who set fire to and were entirely consumed on the 19th January) 1833, Richmond House, near the Cantonment, in the neighbourhood of Fremantle, the property of Captain Bamber.

Police in 1829

It may be interesting to note before closing the account of this duel that the Lieutenant-Governor, Captain James Stirling R.N., “was obliged before the conclusion of the


year” 1829, owing to causes of lawlessness mostly through drunkenness in the Colony by irresponsible persons, chiefly among the servants selected haphazardly in the towns of England, by well-to-do colonists, “to appoint a magistracy and a body of constables, the first from among the wealthy and prudent of the settlers, and the latter including the steady and more respectable part of the working class."

Thus was selected in the first year of the infant Colony, a body of men from the civilian population to keep order and uphold the dignity of the law, independent no doubt of the military establishment. The police force is therefore one of the -oldest institutions in the State.

Very little appears to be known of these 1829 West Australian constables, either as to their organisation or as individuals,. but painstaking historical research will no doubt penetrate the gloom eventually.

This, the Centenary Year of the State, is also the Centenary Year of the police force.

Even a few colonists in a wilderness, founders of a great State and part of a great. Empire, could not agree among themselves, but for a difference of an opinion on a principle must needs have recourse to dangerous weapons and risk life and limb or to maim and kill each other by the barbarous and foolhardy system of a duel, abolished not so much by the law itself as by the aid of an efficient police force to enforce the paramount authority of the law, which prior to the establishment of the modern organisation of police the law seemed powerless to suppress.

The modern police force was established by Robert Peel in the year 1829, a statesman of note at that time in England,, and who succeeded to a baronetcy on the 3rd May, 1830, on the death of his father, the first baronet.

The system that Lieutenant-Governor Stirling adopted for Western Australia was probably not similar to the police force established in England by Peel, the same year.

The arrangement for maintaining order previous to that date in England was in the hands of Sheriffs''and their assistants, called Sheriff’s officers and runners, and was of a most inadequate character.

The members of the police force were for a time called “Peelers” and “Bobbies,” after Sir Robert Peel himself, but the former word has now become obsolete.


The fashion of duelling after centuries of maiming and slaughter appears to have at last been quite subdued by the help of an adequate police system.

In France and some other countries, duels under certain circumstances are still {Permitted by law, but are of very infrequent occurrence, and in Great Britain and America, besides being of course quite illegal, are now looked upon as a childish and foolish method of settling disputes.

Duelling Weapons

In the police museum to-day, among other things may be seen a group of early pistols of all sorts and sizes, and of {many makes and patterns, hung on the wall there, and said to have been brought out to this country by colonists in the earlier days of the Settlement. Included among these weapons may be seen two small pistols having large bore barrels of short length and of hexagon shape. In the indictment charging Clark with the murder of Johnson in the duel of 1832 the pistol used by him is said to have been of the value of five shillings. The two referred to and preserved in the police museum, would be of about this value in those days perhaps, they are very small, made of iron or steel, and without any expensive mountings or decorations, but plain, unattractive, small looking firearms. It is said that these pistols were the two used by the duellists at Fremantle.

No authentic documentary record is said' to exist, however, as to whether these were the actual weapons used in the duel or not, the information is said to have been verbally handed down only.

The W. H. Drake mentioned in George French Johnson’s will, was the William Henry Drake who had entered the Commissariat Department of the Army in 1831. He was born in 1812, and was therefore twenty years of age in the year of the duel of 1832. He was the son of Commissary-General John Drake, of Devon, England. William Henry Drake married Louisa, daughter of James Purkis, of Western Australia, and a daughter, Louisa Maria, was born at Perth on the second of January, 1837. While in Perth he was Deputy Assistant Commissary General for the British Army. He later served in various colonies .and the Crimea, and married a second time, Elizabeth Lucy, daughter of the Hon. George Wood, of the Cape of Good Hope.


William Henry Drake became Controller of the War Office, Great Britain, in 1869, and was appointed Director of Supplies and Transport, War Office, in 1871. He received various foreign and British Orders, and was raised to the dignity of a Knight Commander of the Bath in 1871. Sir William Henry Drake died in England on the 28th January, 1882, he having previously willed all his property to his wife, who survived him, including much real estate in Western Australia. His English estate was valued at over £27,000.

A letter received by me from the Colonial Office, London, re William Temple Graham, and dated February 28, 1929, reads:—

The Editor of the Colonial Office List has handed to me your letter of the 23rd January, in regard to Captain William Temple Graham. Though the Colonial Office List does not contain a full list of Governors of Sierra Leone, a list covering the whole period 1792 to 1924 is‘given in the “Handbook of Sierra Leone,” published in 1925, but the name of Captain Graham does not appear therein.

Yours faithfully,

(Signed) E. E. WILKINSON,


Colonial Handbooks do not always include the names of Lieutenant-Governors, Acting Governors, or ‘Administrators.

William Temple Graham died at Perth on the 27th day of June, 1841.

See also: Bray, F. I. 1930, 'New light on the Johnson-Clark duel', Early Days, vol. 1, part 8: 85-86.

Garry Gillard | New: 14 September, 2020 | Now: 13 August, 2022