Fremantle Stuff > people >

Collet Barker

Collet Barker (31 December 1784 – 30 April 1831) was a British military officer and explorer. He explored areas of South Australia, Western Australia and Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory.
Barker was born in Hackney, England, and lived in Newbury as a child. He joined the British Army on 23 January 1806, as an ensign by purchase in the 39th Regiment of Foot; he became a lieutenant in 1809 and a captain in 1825. Barker was a veteran of the Peninsular Wars, serving in Sicily, Portugal, Spain, and France. He also served in Canada and Ireland before embarking with his regiment, the 39th Regiment of Foot 1st Battalion, on the prison hulk Phoenix for Australia, arriving Sydney 18 July 1828.
... Barker then moved on to become commandant of the British settlement at King George Sound [Albany], stopping off at the new settlement of Swan River, Perth, on the way. The following year [1829] Barker was commander at King George Sound in Western Australia. Barker was an excellent administrator and proved to be a humane friend to the Indigenous people at both commands. He recorded Aboriginal place names, people, traditions and beliefs which otherwise might have been lost.

Mount Barker in the Mount Lofty Ranges, SA, was named for him, and the town after that, as is the electoral division of Barker in SE South Australia.

References and Links

Acott, Kent 2019, 'Albany: archaeological find of Collet Barker’s quarters could rewrite WA history books', The West Australian, Tuesday, 19 March.

Bach, J. 1966, bio in ADB.

Mulvaney, John & Neville Green, 1992, Commandant of Solitude: The Journals of Captain Collet Barker 1828-1831, MUP.

Garry Gillard | New: 10 April, 2022 | Now: 10 April, 2022