Freotopia > people >

Edward and Jane Barron

Edward Barron was born in London in 1793 and married Jane Pearson (born 1800) in 1819. They arrived via Sulphur 8 June 1829, with three of their children, Jane, Elizabeth and Mary Ann, another eight being born here.

He was colour sergeant (the senior NCO) in the 63rd Regiment, and was discharged in 1834. However, he was engaged in hospitality before that, Jane holding the licences of first the Wheat Sheaf Tavern, at 1 Murray Street, on the NW corner with Barrack Street, and later the Criterion, perhaps in Howick (now Hay) Street between Barrack and Pier Streets. Jane also ran the first dairy in Perth. She placed this advertisment in the first newspaper printed in Perth, in January 1833.

Jane Barron respectively intimates that having renewed her licence, she has opened her house, No. 1 Murray St., Perth as the Wheatsheaf Tavern where by assiduous attention to the comfort of her guests and from the quality of her liquors, she hopes for a continuance of the patronage with which she has been hitherto favoured.
J.B. continues her dairy and having made arrangements for a regular supply of flour, she has commenced baking and will at all times, make it her study to supply her customers with the best bread on the most reasonable terms. Breakfasts, dinners etc. on the shortest notice.—Perth, Jan. 5th 1833.

Jane was the wife of Edward Barron, a colour-sergeant in the detachment of the 63rd regiment which was sent out with the first settlers for their protection. While Barron was still in the army, his wife ran the business. The inn was situated on the north-west corner of the intersection of Barrack and Murray streets. For many years, Murray street ran westward only from Barrack street, while from there eastward the street was called Goderich; hence the Wheatsheaf Inn being located at No. 1 or lot no. VI.
Despite complaints that military personnel were carrying on outside business, i.e. they held two jobs, Barron owned also lot Nos. V2, 3 and 4 as well as other blocks elsewhere, but of course it was his wife who was running the business. Today there is a branch of the Bank of New South Wales where the Wheat Sheaf once stood, while on Barron's adjacent blocks now stand the Grand Theatre, a chain store, a fruit shop, and portion of Boans' department store.

In other firsts, it's possible that Jane Barron was the first European woman to set foot in the Swan River Colony (Oldman), and that her eldest son Edward George was the first such child to be born here in 1829. The date of his birth is disputed, and may have been as early as 10 June or as late as 18 August.

In July 1834 Edward Barron was involved in one of the incidents which led up to the Pinjarra Massacre, when he was wounded by Aboriginals in an attack in which Private Hugh Nesbit, 21st Regiment, was killed.

Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847), Saturday 26 July 1834, page 326


It it again our painful duty to record an art of barbarity and treachery scarcely equalled, and certainly not excelled, by any of the numerous outrages by the Natives. We are indebted for the particulars to Lieut. Armstrong, of the 21st Fusiliers, who was stationed at the Murray at the time, and whose servant fell a sacrifice to the brutal ferocity of the lawless savages.

On Tuesday, the 15th inst, it appears Barron, of Perth, (late serjeant major in the 63rd, who, on the departure of the regiment for India, obtained his discharge and has settled amongst us), proceeded to the Murray River to effect some exchange with Thomas Peel, Esq., for a valuable mare; but on his arrival it was intimated to him, to his infinite disappointment, that the mare had got loose and was in the bush. Reluctant to return without accomplishing the object of his journey, on the following morning he made some further inquiries about the probable distance to which the mare had strayed, when two natives, Monang and Unah gave him to understand that they knew where to find her, and would go in search of her. They accordingly went out, but after a time returned, saying they could not find her. They were importuned to make further search, and Barron offered to go with them, but they refused, as they said they would not go with Barron alone, but if Mr. Peel would accompany them they would show him the spot. Mr. Peel refused, when Mr. Armstrong's servant, Nesbit, volunteered, if he could be furnished with a horse, to go out in company with Barron. A horse was provided for him and whilst they were preparing to start, two natives, Gueirup and Ye-dong, (the young man who was flogged a short time back at Perth for breaking into the mill under Mount Eliza), were observed standing at a distance off, and pointing out Barron as soldier-man," whom they would not approach. After this, the party, consisting of Barron, Nesbit, and the two natives Monang and Unah, proceeded, relying upon the latter as their guides, in the direction the mare was supposed to be. They had not gone far before one of the natives “cooeed” (called), and they were soon afterwards joined by two or three more natives, who, in their turn, cooeed again, and as they continued on they were overtaken by several small parties until their numbers were increased to nineteen. Not liking the appearance and gestures of this increased force, Barron proposed to Nesbit that they should turn back, to which the poor man replied, apprehending no danger, "that it was not necessary—that they all knew him well, as he had fed them, and always had been on ths best of terms with them.” Accordingly they continued on with them, conversing in. the most friendly manner, Nesbit being a short distance in advance with about half the natives walking by his side, the remainder walking in company with Barron. The natives kept up with them for about three miles, frequently pointing to the ground, where they indicated the horse’s tracks were visible. Finding they succeeded by this ruse in attracting their attention to a particular object, one of the natives, Mout, in a spot favourable for their purpose, stopped and pointed to a track, when, on Barron’s leaning down to look at it, a spear was instantly driven through his back ;—he spurred on his horse endeavouring to escape when several other spears were hurled at him, one of which penetrated his side, and another his arm. At he was riding away he heard Nesbit utter a dreadful shriek. After gallopping far enough to be out of reach, he stopped and drew out the spears, and, looking back, saw the horse which Nesbit had rode gallopping after him with a spear sticking in his side, pursued by six natives. In an exhausted state, about dusk, he reached Mr. Peel's house, where every attention, and assistance was offered which humanity and prudence could dictate. Two of the privates of the 21st Regt. were immediately dispatched to Fremantle by Lieut. Armstrong for medical aid,—and, on the following morning, Mr. Harrison, surgeon of that place, accompanied by several gentlemen mounted and armed, repaired to the Murray, when the wounds of the suffering survivor were dressed, and he was pronounced to be out of danger.

A party of the military were dispatched at daybreak in the direction pointed out by Barron, in search of the body, no hopes being entertained of finding the unfortunate man alive. About three miles and a half from the Settlement the body was found, presenting a most frightful spectacle,— the head was lacerated and mangled as though beaten in with their hammers,— and many bruses [sic] and contusions were found on the body which has led to the conjecture that he must have made a most violent resistance. It is supposed that he was also first speared in the back, most of the other spear wounds, between twenty and thirty, being jagged and torn as if inflicted alter he had received the fatal spear. The soldiers in search of the body, were directed to the spot were the corpse was found by the howling of the deceased's favorite terrier dog, which had gone out with its master, and had stopped by liis lifeless remains during the night.

The corpse was carried home, and intered [sic] on the following morning by the side of Budge, a soldier of the 63rd regt., who was speared by the natives about two years since.

Barron is prepared to swear that the first spear was thrown at him by a man of the name of Gueirippe.

In almost every instance of aggression by the Natives, we have been enabled to trace the act as a consequence of some latent animosity or ill-usuage [sic]; in this particular case, if we except the disinclination evinced by the two natives to approach Barron, we can find no clue to the perpetration of this premediated and brutal outrage,— and even the prospect of sacrificing one life seems not to have been sufficient to appease their thirst for blood, as there can be no doubt they designedly refused to accompany Barron alone. We earnestly and bitterly lament that another is added to the list of the murdered at the hands of the natives,—and, although we have ever been the advocates of a humane and conciliatory line of procedure, this unprovoked attack must not be allowed to pass over without the infliction of the severest chastisement; and we cordially join our brother Colonists in the one universal call—for a summary and fearful example. We feel and know from experience, that to punish with severity the prepetrators of these atrocities will be found in the end an act of the greatest kindness and humanity.

BARRON, Edward. b. 1796, arr. 8.6.1829 per Sulphur with family. m. Jane PEARSON b. 1800 d. 23.2.1878. Chd. Jane b. 1824 d. 1837, Elizabeth Matilda b. 1825, Mary Ann b. 1828, Edward George b. 1829 (Perth) d. 1901, Edmund b. 1831, John Joseph b. 1833 d. 1898, Ellen b. 1835 d.? 1886, William George b. 1838, Robert b. 1839, Charles b. c.1840, Thomas Mark b. 1841. Colour Sgt. of 63rd Regt. Discharged 3.1834 & opened United Services Hotel Perth, where he was responsible for handling Govt. stores. His wife ran 1st dairy in Perth & was licensee of "Wheatsheaf Inn" 1.1833 & later of "Criterion Hotel." Had a grant of 26 acres & owned or leased also 400 acres in "interior"' as well as Perth Lots. He (or his son) joined Police Force & took up land on road to Williams opening a wayside inn there.

BARRON, Edward George, b. 18.9.1829 (Perth). (some descendants claim this was the bp. date & his birth was 10.6.1829), d.4.3.1901 (Cuballing), son of Edward & Jane, m. 1.1.1855 (Perth RC) Ann Johanna Jane Margaret BRADSHAW b. 1831 d. 27.8.1915, dtr. of David & Ann (Tipperary). Chd. John b. 1855, Mary b. 1856, John William b. 1858, Joseph Thomas b. 1859, Edward b. 1861 (Albany), Anne b. 1863, Teresa Alice b. 1864, George b. 1869 (Perth RC), Robert James b. 1872 (Perth RC), John b. 1874 (Perth RC). Policeman 1850-1865: stationed at Kojonup for 15 yrs service was granted 50 acres Narrogin. Applied for Land "Minigin" - freehold, later increased to 2500 acres & also pastoral leases. Employed 6 T/l men 1855-1866, 4 from Perth & 2 from Toodyay (1865).

References and Links


Garry Gillard | New: 18 November, 2020 | Now: 8 September, 2023