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

Early Days, Volume 10, 1989-1994

Fremantle: the man and his family

Ruth Marchant James

James, Ruth Marchant 1994, 'Fremantle: the man and his family', Early Days, vol. 10, part 6: 659-669.

Were it not for the port bearing his name, Admiral Sir Charles Howe Fremantle’s part in State history might well have been overshadowed by other early participants and other events. Yet, not only did he take formal possession of Western Australia and select the site for the first mainland camp of the Swan River Colony, but his presence, prior to and after settlement, was of prime importance to Captain Stirling and the first colonists.

Since Fremantle’s contact with the young Colony, several other members of his family have had associations with Australia. His younger brother, Stephen, who was appointed to the 26-gun frigate Juno in 1853, was attached to the Australia station whilst serving in the Pacific. Charles Fremantle’s nephew, the future Admiral Sir Edmund Fremantle, was not only attached to the Australia station during the Maori Wars, but in 1866 he married Barberina Isaacs in Sydney. Barberina, affectionately known as Ci-Ci, was the daughter of Robert McIntosh Isaacs, former Attorney-General of Antigua in the West Indies, Solicitor-General of New South Wales, Crown Prosecutor in the Western Districts and a friend of Sir Archibald P. Burt, Chief Justice of Western Australia. In 1876 another daughter, Emma Isaacs, also married into the Fremantle family. Long after Charles Fremantle’s sojourns in 1829 and 1832, several members of later generations have also made visits to the city named after him. [1]

The port city’s name is just one of several links that Western Australia has today with the family’s name and titles. In 1886 the growing seaside town of Cottesloe was named for Charles Fremantle’s elder brother, Thomas, the first Baron Cottesloe of Swanbourne and Hardwick, and likewise the coastal suburb of Swanbourne in honour of his birthplace in Buckinghamshire. In addition, both the City of Fremantle and the Town of Cottesloe have incorporated the family’s motto, Nec Prece, Nec Pretio—Neither by Entreaty, Nor by Bribery—and part of the Fremantle family Coat of Arms in their armorial bearings.


Charles Howe Fremantle was born in the ‘Old House’ at Swanbourne Buckinghamshire, on 1 June 1800. He was the second son of Captain (later Admiral Sir) Thomas Fremantle, and his charming wife, the former Miss Betsey Wynne. Betsey, petite and lively, was the daughter of wealthy parents. She spent most of her childhood abroad and met her future husband during the evacuation of the English from Tuscany. In describing her early acquaintance with Thomas she wrote: ‘How kind and amiable Captain Fremantle is—he pleases me more than any man I have ever yet seen’. [2] In 1797 eighteen-year-old Betsey married Thomas in a private ceremony held in the drawing-room of the British Minister in Naples, Sir William Hamilton, and his wife Emma, the much celebrated Lady Hamilton. The bride was given away by Prince Augustus, a son of George III. The numerous diaries she wrote from the age of ten reveal many of her thoughts, both during her life on the continent, and later as a contented wife and mother at Swanbourne.

Thomas Fremantle began his naval career at the age of twelve. He later took part in the successful blockade of Cadiz and saw action in the battles of Copenhagen and Trafalgar. Long years as a colleague made him a close friend of Horatio Nelson, whom he often referred to in private as Nelley. It was the unsuccessful attack on Santa Cruz in 1797 that resulted in the loss of Nelson’s arm, and a severe wound to Fremantle’s arm. When the two wounded men returned to England they travelled aboard Fremantle’s ship, H.M.S. Seahorse. Betsey, who was on board at the time, acted as nurse, and in recognition of her kindness, the first note allegedly written by Nelson with his left hand was addressed to Mrs Fremantle. A framed copy is displayed in the family seat at Swanbourne.

When Charles Fremantle was just ten years old his father introduced him to life at sea. On the boy’s first voyage he was given a pug puppy which slept with him at night and became his constant companion. The boy was a natural sailor and his father noted with pride: ‘Charles had not been on board five minutes ere he was at the Mast Head, and he climbs the Rigging as if he had been at sea for years’. [3] After being away for almost a year the boy was taken ill at Toulon, and on the advice of physicians was sent home. In 1812, as a young midshipman, he served under his father’s long-time friend, and Lord Nelson’s one-time flag captain, Sir Thomas Hardy, on the Ramilles. Whilst serving on the West Indies station Charles was taken prisoner by the Americans after being engaged in several encounters against them.

In times before the Admiralty acquired control of entry into the Navy, it was extremely important for a young ambitious officer to have a patron. The premature death of his father deprived young Charles of his keenest supporter. He was fortunate to have as his guardian, however, an influential uncle. Over a period of years Charles’s uncle, Sir William Fremantle, was the Member of Parliament for Buckingham, a Privy Councillor, Commissioner for the India Board, Ranger of Windsor Great Park and Treasurer of the Household during the reigns of three monarchs.

Charles Fremantle was not only an excellent seaman, he was reliable, well liked and courageous. In March 1824, whilst serving in the south of England


with the Coastguard Service, he was awarded the first gold medal presented by the Royal Institute for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck. Disregarding the risk to his own life, Charles had bravely swum out through rough surf with a line to rescue sailors on board a Swedish brig wrecked off Hampshire. In 1824 Charles Fremantle took command of his first vessel, H.M.S. Jasper, and, until he was promoted to the rank of captain two years later, he was daily involved in protecting the fishing industry off the south coast of England.

Captain Fremantle’s involvement with Australian history began in 1828, when the Duke of Clarence recommended that he take command of the 603-ton, 28-gun frigate, H.M.S. Challenger. Delighted with his new charge, Fremantle looked forward to a posting in the East Indies. To his surprise, he received instructions to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope to relieve Captain John Churchill aboard H.M.S. Tweed who was under orders to take possession of the whole of the western coast of New Holland in the name of King George IV. Charles wrote to his mother before he left Simons Bay:

My ship is so full of provisions, including plenty of Cape Madeira, that I have no room to stow anything away, and now I am bound on such a Robinson Crusoe voyage that she is like a deep laden Collier full of everything in the world... I sincerely trust that I may not be forgotten there and remain unnoticed till I have devoured all my provisions .. [4]

Fremantle sighted Rottnest Island on 25 April 1829. The Challenger's entry into Cockburn Sound, however, was fraught with danger, and two days were spent marking the channel between the perilous shoals and reefs. Despite these precautions the vessel struck a rock. Fremantle, a strict disciplinarian who did not suffer fools gladly, was furious and he noted in his journal:

Never since I have been at sea have I ever witnessed anything to equal the carelessness and stupidity of the Master; he placed a buoy on a rock and then steered for the buoy and ran the ship immediately on it. It was a thousand chances that we escaped being knocked to pieces, which must have been the case had it not been beautiful weather. The Master deserves to be hanged immediately ... Nothing has annoyed me so much since I entered the Service. [5]

After taking several days’ leave to fish, hunt and explore the off-shore islands, the party crossed to the mainland where, on 2 May, Captain Fremantle hoisted the Union Jack on Arthur Head and took possession in the name of the Crown. Pulling the long boat over the treacherous river bar, the men explored up-river as far as Point Heathcote, returning to spend the night at Rous Point. The party’s encounter with indigenous people was a mixture of curiosity and friendliness on both sides. The first mainland camp was pitched near Bathers Bay at a clean grassy place in the neighbourhood of the Mineral Springs. There the sailors built huts, planted vines from the


Cape and dug ditches, in a rough attempt to fortify the camp. Meanwhile, in anticipation of Stirling’s arrival, some of Fremantle’s carpenters from the Challenger were employed in making a more permanent flagstaff for the colony from suitable trees found on Garden Island.

Charles Fremantle’s birthday on Foundation Day, 1 June 1829, however, nearly ended in tragedy, when an over-confident James Stirling ignored Fremantle’s advice and made an ill-timed run for the sound. His decision put the lives of 300 men, women and children at risk and nearly wrecked the Parmelia. For almost eighteen hours, in wintry conditions and gale-force winds, Fremantle and his men successfully fought to save the vessel as it floundered towards the shore near Woodman’s Point.

After spending four months at the Swan River, during which time he assisted in the foundation of Perth, and completed repairs to the Parmelia, Captain Fremantle finally set sail for Trincomalee on 27 August 1829. Recognising the monumental part the 29-year-old captain had played in establishing the settlement, colonial store-keeper John Morgan noted, ‘Fremantle has been the greatest service to us in the affect [sic] of this colony’. In recognition of the services the young naval officer had rendered, Governor Stirling not only named the port Fremantle, but rewarded him with a grant of land.

This would have been much appreciated, for, from the start, Captain Fremantle had been keen to acquire property in the new colony. A letter earlier sent to his mother from the Cape of Good Hope stated:

I have taken with me a bull, two cows and a some English sheep to start stocking my estate, so there will after all be a Fremantle villa, as I intend taking a grant. Indeed I shall help myself and build ahouse ready to let to the Governor, Captain Stirling. [6]

The original allotments on the Upper Swan were parcelled out by Stirling when he accompanied the Surveyor-General, J.S. Roe, in September 1829. Portion 5, a grant of 5,000 acres, was allotted to Captain Fremantle in an area now part of the flourishing vineyard district of Baskerville. Lieutenant Henry from the Challenger also had a grant nearby, although his name does not appear on Roe’s 1829 Eye Sketch of Swan River. Two months before Captain Fremantle re-visited the colony, the Surveyor-General acknowledged the naval officer’s request to exchange his allotted Swan location for an equivalent-sized grant in ‘the interior’ or ‘supposed upper Murray’, a term then applied to the Williams River area. A letter, sent from the Survey Office at Perth on 4 July 1832, stated:

His Excellency the Governor having been pleased to grant the application of your agent, the late W. [William] Stirling Esquire, for a better location in exchange for that which has been assigned you on the Swan River, amounting in extent to 5,900 acres;—and also having approved of such location being assigned you to the north of W. Burges Esquire, and to the east of W. Tanner Esquire, on the supposed upper Murray


River ... The period established by His Excellency for your performing the location duties on this land is considered to commence from 30th day of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine.

When the rich, fertile river banks, so highly praised by Fraser [Frazer] and Stirling in 1827, were promptly taken up by a handful of colonists, the remaining settlers were left to fend with poor quality soil and years of bitter disappointment. Until 1837, when the practice ceased, land swapping was not uncommon. As exploration parties pushed further into the hinterland, new areas became more accessible, and the temptation to request an exchange of land became more prevalent. Sometimes, due to prior knowledge about the results of exploration, Governor Stirling, the possessor of huge tracts of land, and some of his officials often took unfair advantage of the scheme.

By 1832 Fremantle was restless. On 27 March that year he wrote: ‘Sick of China, but would not have missed seeing it for anything’. From Madras he confessed to his mother on 10 June 1832:

I was very near getting some passengers to the Cape, I offered to take Mr Elliot, his wife and daughter, a young lady about 19 from Calcutta. They are such nice people. Perhaps it is well I did not. I know I should have lost my heart to the young lady. [7]

After three years in the Persian Gulf, India and the China Seas, Fremantle set out on his return voyage to England via Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Pitcairn Island and Valparaiso. On 5 September 1832 the Challenger approached Rottnest Island and the following day anchored in Gage Roads. Charles Fremantle spent less than a week on the mainland, and surprisingly, during that time, recorded nothing about his grant at Williams; yet he must surely have discussed the fulfilment of location duties, and appointed an agent to act in his absence. Having returned to England to discuss the colony’s problems, Captain Stirling was absent during Fremantle’s visit to Western Australia. Had both he and his delightful wife Ellen been present it is quite possible that Fremantle might have extended his stay to include a visit to Williams.

James Stirling and Charles Fremantle later met in London and one of the topics discussed was the existence of the Certificate of Title for the land at Williams. Stirling had originally promised to bring the document back home with him, but when he billed Fremantle on 20 May 1833 for expenses involved in establishing the title, he explained that although the parchment was almost completed before he left Perth it could not be expedited in time to accompany him. Instead he had made arrangements for John Lewis, land owner and former Commissary-General, to make the delivery when he visited England. For some reason this never occurred, and it was many years before Fremantle set eyes on the certificate.

When the Challenger returned to England on 12 June 1833, at the conclusion of a voyage that had lasted four and a half years, the crew were paid


off, and without a suitable command Fremantle spent the next ten years ashore on half-pay. Three years later, on 8 October, 36-year-old Charles Fremantle married Isabella (nee Lyon), the wealthy widow of James Wedderburn and the mother of an adult son. Isabella’s sister had earlier married into the Fremantle family and Charles had known them both for some years. Isabella, affectionately nicknamed Dumps by her new husband, was the heiress to a considerable fortune. Besides 10,000 pounds of her own money and 3,600 pounds in cash, she had a life interest in four amounts of 20,000 pounds, two of which were invested in West Indian properties. In her father’s will Isabella had also been left a 10,000 pounds investment. This sum could be passed on to future children, and in the event of a childless marriage, and her son by Wedderburn dying, her husband stood to benefit. Judging by the many fond letters that passed between the couple, their marriage was a most amicable and lasting arrangement. [8]

Meanwhile, back in the colony, the need to open up new grazing lands, and establish an overland communication route between the Swan River Colony and King George’s Sound, became matters of prime importance. In the course of events the Hotham and Williams Rivers were inspected and, more importantly, a new inland route was marked through what Stirling described in the mid-1830s as ‘fair sheep country’.

John Hutt, the colony's second governor, appointed in 1839, was apparently more rigid than his predecessor, and one of his first moves was to enforce the ten-year improvement conditions on grants. On 12 March 1839 he eventually issued a Certificate of Title for Location L on the Williams River in the name of Charles Fremantle. Unfortunately the value of the land had not increased in ten years, and some sixteen years later, when Fremantle began to make further enquiries about its worth, there were still no signs of improvement. At Fremantle’s request, former survey clerk F.D. Wittenoom issued a report on 21 August 1855:

From Mr Gregory, the Surveyor who marked out the boundaries, I learn that neither the soil nor position are such as could be wished. Indeed the grant is almost worthless—the greater part of it producing a poisonous plant which destroys both sheep and cattle. I very much regret having to give you so sorry an account, and am quite unable to point out any way by which the land can be turned to your advantage—all the other grants in the neighbourhood are still unoccupied ... if your grant was offered for sale in the Colony I am sure it would not realise the sum you appear to have paid for performance of the Location Duties. [9]

In April 1855 Charles Fremantle, by then a Rear-Admiral, was appointed Flag Officer at the Battle of Balaclava. A disciplined leader, he showed his administrative skills by bringing order out of chaos. This opinion was confirmed by an article that appeared in The Times:

Admiral Fremantle displays the greatest energy and zeal, as well as a perfect capacity for the duties of a post which requires no ordinary


application and ability, and he has brought the harbour of Balaklava into as good order as any dock in London or Liverpool.

On 29 December 1856 he was made a Knight Commander of the Bath in recognition of his services.

By the time Fremantle was appointed Vice-Admiral in June 1860, he appeared to have lost interest in his Western Australian estate. He no longer employed an agent, and Bishop Mathew Hale, in an attempt to assist two applicants hoping to lease or purchase the property, wrote to his cousin John B. Hale in London. John Hale was secretary to Charles Fremantle’s elder brother, Thomas, former Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary at War, Chief Secretary for Ireland and, at the time, Chairman of the Board of Customs. One of the men, John Fleay of Gilgering near York, applied for information about the property in Williams. Having a sheep station bordering on Fremantle’s grant, he was keen to rent a portion of the land for 12 pounds per annum. Six years later, Malcolm Hamersley, the nephew of prominent land owner Edward Hamersley, wrote direct to John Hale to make a similar proposition. Enclosing Hamersley’s letter to Hale, Thomas Fremantle wrote to his brother Charles in Portsmouth on 22 May 1866:

... about your extensive property in Western Australia... it looks as if it is increasing in value—perhaps if Eddy marries and becomes an Australian, he may one day be able to make you a bid for it.

The said Eddy, Thomas’s fourth son, indeed married his Australian bride three months later, but, instead of settling in the Antopodes, continued his successful naval career. Furthermore, Thomas himself became owner of the distant estate when Charles predeceased him in 1869, and certainly young Eddy took a good deal of interest in it, clearly with paternal blessing. In 1876, not long after his father’s elevation to the peerage, he was on leave in London and sought the advice of two men well acquainted with conditions in the 47-year-old colony. Fred Barlee, former Colonial Secretary, was pragmatic and far from encouraging when he wrote:

If I owned land at the Williams River in Western Australia and that land had remained unoccupied for some forty years, I should not be inclined (as an absentee from the colony) to sell or expend money on it.

On the other hand, Captain Frederick Stirling, the second son of former governor Sir James Stirling, was more optimistic. He based his judgement on the fact that the Stirling lands in Western Australia were at long last beginning to show promise. Lord Cottesloe decided to accept the advice given and wait until such time as the value of the grant increased. In the meantime, Fleay offered to lease the property, commencing on 1 November 1879, for a period of two years at five pounds per annum. Similar arrangements followed, until the third Lord Cottesloe finally decided to sell the freehold property in 1908. After waiting 79 years for the land to prove its


worth, the transfer of location L, Williams, on 22 April 1908 to John Muir, a miner from Marble Bar, was certainly understandable. It is only now in retrospect that one can question the wisdom of the sale, for today the flourishing Williams district supports some of the finest grazing lands in the State. [10]

As Commander-in-Chief at Plymouth, Charles Fremantle took up his final naval position on 27 October 1863, and was promoted Admiral the following year. Three years later he was the made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. Sir Charles, who spent the last period of his life in London, suffered occasional lapses of memory towards the end and, to the amusement of his visitors, often issued orders, believing that he was still at sea. One of the many stories passed down through subsequent generations involved the elderly admiral’s habit of removing his naval coat at family prayers and hiding the gold lace in its folds. This was done as an act of humility, for he wished not to be reminded of his high office whilst in the presence of the Almighty. Admiral Sir Charles Howe Fremantle died at his Grosvenor Street address on 25 May 1869 and was buried six days later in the Brompton Cemetery, London.

* * * * *

Although there is no conclusive evidence to support the claim, there is a possibility that Charles Fremantle, like his confrere James Stirling, has direct descendents living in Perth. Ann Parry, author of The Admirals Fremantle (and great-great-great-grand-daughter of the first one), received a letter in 1974 from an elderly Perth resident, Miss Farris, who claimed to be the grand-daughter of Charles Howe Fremantle. She wrote that, although she could never publicly acknowledge the connection, she was proud that both she and Miss Parry shared the same ancestry. Being elderly, and the last of her generation, she could not resist breaking a confidence that had been a closely guarded family secret for three generations. The writer died soon afterwards, but was heartened by the kind and encouraging response she received to her letter.

The information passed on by Miss Farris suggests that the childless Admiral Fremantle might have formed a romantic attachment with an attractive young lady during the time he was stationed at Plymouth. According to details provided, the alleged liaison resulted in the birth of a son on 17 February 1862. The child was registered in the district of Marylebone, Middlesex, and although the name of the mother Elizabeth Cronin appeared on the birth certificate, the name of the father was omitted. The boy was christened Cornelius Edwin Cronin in the church of St Martin’s-in-the Fields, and when Thomas and Elizabeth Farris adopted him shortly afterwards, his given names were reversed. At the age of eight Edwin accompanied his parents to Brisbane, Queensland, and it was not until he was a young man that he learnt the story of his background.

Unable to bear the separation, Edwin’s natural mother came out to Brisbane


and remained in Australia until her death in 1894. She had apparently kept in touch with his adoptive parents and could not resist the urge to see her son. The revelation about his parentage was a great shock to Edwin, and had an effect on his whole life. He married in 1886 and had four children, two boys and two girls, one of whom was Miss Farris. Private papers and photographs connected with the claim were passed on to the eldest son Thomas who was sworn to a lifetime of secrecy.

Thomas eventually settled in Kalgoorlie, and for safe-keeping the documents were placed in the care of well-known Anglican cleric Canon Collick. Today, unfortunately, those papers are missing. Before she died Miss Farris acquainted her nephew, coincidentally a resident of Fremantle, with the facts, and also supplied him with photographs of Sir Charles Fremantle, his wife Isabella and Elizabeth Cronin, originally in the possession of Lady Elizabeth Cronin. All three likenesses were taken by the same photographer in a studio at Stonehouse, Devon, in the vicinity of Plymouth. Unless the absolute proof, left with Canon Collick, comes to light in the future the claims are open to doubt. Even so, some members of the present Fremantle family admit that the contents of the elderly lady’s letter, supported by the possession of an assortment of private family photographs, and a reluctance to seek publicity, gives the story an air of credibility. [11]

* * * * *

The Fremantle family holds the rare, probably unique, distinction of having produced four admirals in four successive generations, each of them honoured as Knight Grand Cross of the Bath. As already mentioned, there was first Sir Thomas in Napoleonic times, and next his son Charles, the chief focus of this article; then followed Charles’s nephew Edmund, and fourth was Edmund’s son, Sir Sydney Fremantle, so aptly named. Moreover, Sydney’s son and grandson have likewise been naval officers of high rank, and thus the family’s record of service with the Royal Navy extends well over two centuries.

The first admiral, Thomas, was the first in the family to be accorded a title stemming from a British order of chivalry, and he was also made a Baron of the Austrian Empire for his exploits in the Adriatic. He was posthumously honoured further when his eldest son was created a baronet in 1821, and the same son, the second Thomas, himself earned a peerage as first Baron Cottesloe in 1874.

Many other members of the family have served their country well in the army, in government in other spheres of life. A most commendable record of public service has been continued by the younger Thomas’s successors at the head of the family. Moreover, the first four Lords Cottesloe have all been remarkable for their longevity, attaining an average age of ninety-one years.

In April this year (1994), John Walgrave Halford Fremantle, 4th Baron Cottesloe of Swanbourne and Hardwick (etc.), died at the age of ninety-four. He was an outstanding oarsman in his youth and, like his father before


him, a champion shot at long range. Indeed, father and son dominated the Bisley Match Rifle scene for sixty years and were chairman in turn of the National Rifle Association. In World War II the late Lord Cottesloe served in the army with rank of lieutenant-colonel, and for many years devoted his talents to a wide range of public authorities, charitable causes and the arts. The Grand Cross of the order of the British Empire was conferred on him in 1960, specifically in recognition of his contribution to the arts. In this realm he served as a governor of the Old Vic and of Sadler’s Wells, as chairman of the Tate Gallery, of the reviewing committee on the export of works of art, of the Arts Council of Great Britain, and of the board appointed to build the National Theatre on the South Bank in London. A small auditorium in that great complex is fittingly named the Cottesloe Theatre in his honour. [12]

The fourth Lord Cottesloe visited Western Australia in 1964, and always treasured the gold chain and medallion presented to him on that occasion by members of the Cottesloe Council. When he died he was succeeded by his elder son, the Hon. John Tapling Fremantle, Commander R.N. (retired). In 1979 John Fremantle, accompanied by his wife Ann, represented his father when the port celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the proclamation of Fremantle as a city. During his brief visit he launched a facsimile copy of Captain Fremantle's Diary and Letters, first published in 1928. On behalf of the Fremantle family, the visitors presented a magnificent set of silver goblets as a gift to the City. Other members of the immediate family have also enjoyed visits to Western Australia In 1986 young Tom Fremantle, future heir to the title, spent some time in Western Australia, and in 1993 the late Lord Cottesloe’s daughter, the Hon. Ann Brooks, and her husband Tim, present Lord lieutenant of Leicestershire, visited the State.

In 1958 Captain Fremantle’s birthplace, Swanbourne in Buckinghamshire, and the entire Swanbourne estate, together with farms amounting to 2,500 acres, were handed over to the present head of the family. Altogether six generations of Fremantles have lived in the Georgian-style manor house, known as the ‘Old House’. Swanbourne House nearby, the impressive stately home built by Thomas, the first baron, in 1869, was considered too large after the death of the 2nd Lord Cottesloe in 1918, and has since been used as a preparatory school. [13]

An interesting link was forged recently between the Fremantle family and the City of Fremantle when it was announced that it had been chosen as a port of call for the Whitbread Race. Mrs Sarah Fremantle, the former Sarah Whitbread, is the daughter of the one-time Chairman and Managing Director of the International Brewing Company which has sponsored the yacht race since its inception in 1969. Sarah’s husband Edward is the great-great-great nephew of Captain Fremantle, who, as commander of the Challenger, encountered the same off-shore hazards around this part of the coast.

It is fitting that Fremantle, a port and city that has gained an international reputation through its association with the America’s Cup, the Whitbread Race and Australia’s important westerly Naval Base at nearby Garden Island, bears the name of a naval officer, rather than some obscure official


who more than likely would never have set foot in the colony. Although Charles Fremantle’s conviction that he would one day own a flourishing estate and Fremantle villa in the Swan River Colony went amiss, no one can deny that he had foresight when he predicted that the town he helped found would one day be a place of consequence.


1. David Fremantle, A Fremantle Chronicle (privately published), London, 1983, pp. 46-7.

2. Anne Fremantle (ed.), The Wynne Diaries 1789-1820 (Oxford, 1952), p. 196.

3. ibid., p. 492.

4. Ann Parry, The Admirals Fremantle 1788-1920 (London, 1971), p. 143.

5. Lord Cottesloe (ed.), Diary and Letters of Admiral C. H. Fremantle, GCB (London, 1928), p. 33.

6. Fremantle Papers, Buckinghamshire County Archives, Aylesbury.

7. ibid.

8. Ann Parry, op. cit, p. 171.

9. Material initially researched by Prof. R. T. Appleyard, and completed by author.

10. ibid. Transfer of Titles, Vol. 402, Folio 83, Dept of Land Administration.

11. Material supplied by Lloyd Farris and Ann Parry.

12. David Fremantle, op. cit, pp. 7-8.

13. ibid., pp. 51-2.

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