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George French Johnson

JOHNSON, George French, b. 1799, d. 18.8.1832, arr. 12.10.1829 per Orelia from Tasmania. Merchant, asked permission to build a store on Garden Is. Allocated 766.5 acres free grant & selected 746 in Avon district & 20.5 in South West. He died from a gunshot wound after fighting a duel with William Nairne Clark, the only WA duel to result in death. His estate was left to friends in Hobart.

According to Hitchcock (1929) he was the first owner of Town Lots 73, 104, 105, 113, 114. However, it seems that Robert Thomson was the owner of Lots 104 and 105 in 1832, when Johnson bought them from him (Mitchell). Thomson had been granted a licence (on 1 January 1830) to run the Stirling Arms, which was on Lot 105, on the NW corner of Pakenham and High Streets. Johnson therefore bought that also, but did not own it for long, as he was soon dead.

References and Links

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

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.

Ewers, John K. 1971, The Western Gateway: A History of Fremantle, Fremantle City Council, with UWAP, rev. ed.: 15-16.

Graham, Allen 2005, 'Early duels of Fremantle', Fremantle Studies, 4: 95-106.

Hitchcock, 1929.

Lovelady, Shannon, 'The first (and last) fatal duel on the Swan', Museum of Perth.

Mitchell, Peter, Thomson descendant and researcher, personal communication.

Garry Gillard | New: 7 December, 2022 | Now: 8 March, 2024