Freotopia > people > Keziah Brooks (b. 1787) m. Paul Lockyer

Keziah Lockyer

Dodgy Perth:

An Unfortunate Marriage

Keziah Lockyer was not a woman to meddle with. She had arrived in Perth with hubby Paul and their many [seven] children in early [12 February] 1830 [on the Hooghly - one of the three Thomas Peel ships]. Keziah had to finance the trip herself, since Paul was broke and, it turns out, feckless.

The worthless husband immediately abandoned his family and took up his favourite hobby: drinking. Mostly in the Sailor Jim Inn at Fremantle.

For the next two years he kept up the boozing and saw nothing of his family. Worse, his grog was bought by selling the few clothes the family owned. Eventually, Paul cruelly announced he no longer needed to be troubled by a wife and children at all.

Keziah’s daughter Eliza [Mary Elizabeth b. 1813] struck lucky when she married William Nairne Clark, a lawyer and journalist, while Keziah sought comfort in the bed of her employer, William Temple Graham. These two men had once been friends, but had fallen out. Unfortunately, Clark befriended his drunken father-in-law and the two schemed to embarrass their mutual enemies.

In March 1838, they placed an advert in the paper:

Paul Lockyer hereby intimates that he will not be responsible for any debts contracted by his wife, Keziah Lockyer, who resides with Mr W. T. Graham.

How they must have chuckled. But they had underestimated Keziah. She got mad. And she got even.

The following week, a large advert declared: “Paul Lockyer ought to have stated that I have not resided with him since 1832, previous to which he deserted me and my children, as is well known”.

Paul is well aware I never had any debts for which he was troubled; he would do well to think of his own.
Paul is requested to pay the cash borrowed from me since he deserted me; also the doctor’s bill for the cure of his dislocated shoulder (got in a drunken brawl) under which he lay thirty weeks at Mr Graham’s expense.

Dodgy Perth wish we could say her story ends well. It doesn’t. Her employer-lover sought his own revenge by seducing Eliza, the wife of his mortal enemy. Naturally, this did not go down well with Keziah. While Graham was sneakily at Eliza’s house, Keziah arrived in a fury. “You old villain,” she screamed, “you have had enough of me, and now you want to make a whore of my daughter.”

Unfortunately, Keziah had now embarrassed one of Perth’s leading citizens, so was told to leave on the first available ship and never return. On 6 May 1839, Keziah arrived in Tasmania to begin a new life, and vanishes from our view.

Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, 31 March 1838, p. 49:
PAUL LOCKYER ought to have stated, that I have not resided with him since 1832, previous, to which, even, he deserted me and my children at Clarence to amuse himself with "Sailor Jim" at Fremantle, as is well known. Government removed me and children to Fremantle, but he left us in sickness again and to starve near the Thames ; but chance making the horrid case known, we were rescued from a cruel and impending death. In 1832, he declared his determination not to be troubled with wife and children and cruelly kept his word, which compelled me and my daughter, Mrs. William Nairne Clark, to go to service, where Mrs Clark continued until her marriage. Since that, I have been forced to earn my bread in service, at Mrs. MacDermott's and at Mr. Curtis's, Fremantle, with Mrs. Captain Byrne, and others and now in the same capacity with Mr. Graham. My age, sufferings from sickness, and my being a cripple, leaving aside "conscience" ought perhaps to have protected me. PAUL LOCKYER is well aware I never had any debts for which he was troubled ; he would do well to think of his own. He detained all mine and my childrens' clothes, and sold them or exchanged them for grog. And I solemnly declare I have not had a shilling from him since I came to Swan River, although I sold a freehold in my own right to bring him and family out here. I will, however, relieve the poor man from some of the odium of his foolish, unnecessary, and uncalled for effusion, by saddling the right animal with the malicious suggestion—my interesting son-in-law, William Nairne Clark, late Sheriff's Officer in a village in Scotland and now in the law here, whose strange peculiarities are too well known to need further comment. KEZIAH LOCKYER.
N.B. PAUL is requested to pay the cash borrowed from me since he deserted me ; also the doctor's bill for the cure of his dislocated shoulder (got in a drunken brawl), under which he lay thirty weeks at Mr. Graham's expense. K. L.
A CARD. MRS. GEORGIANA COLLINS begs most respectfully to return her sincere thanks publicly to the Gentlemen of Perth for the liberal manner in which they have voluntarily contributed to pay the Fine levied on her by the Magistrates for horsewhipping OLD GRAHAM, late Captain of the Royal African Corps, and now, a Practitioner in the Civil Court of this Colony. Yes, I am proud ! I must be proud to see A big man, not afraid of God, afraid of me !
PAUL LOCKYER hereby intimates, that he will not be responsible for any Debts contracted by his wife, KEZIAH LOCKYER, who resides with MR. W. T. GRAHAM, late of the Royal African Corps, and now a Practitioner in the Civil Court. Mill Point Belches, March 22.
Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, Saturday 31 March 1838, p. 49.

The trial of Keziah Lockyer in early April 1939 (and William Temple Graham's, beforehand)

Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, Saturday 6 April 1839, p. 55.

QUARTER SESSIONS. Perth, April 3, 4, and 5, 1839. W. H. Mackie, Esq, Chairman; Rev. J. B. Wittenoom, George Leake, R. M. B. Brown, P. Brown, and J. R. Phillips, Esquires, Justices of the Peace. The Chairman addressed the Grand Jury at some length ; our report is, however, necessarily confined to a mere recital of the cases brought to trial.

Regina v. W. T. Graham.—This was a charge of wilful and corrupt perjury. The Court being of opinion that the evidence adduced had no reference to the perjury assigned in the indictment, and, it being admitted on behalf of the prosecutor that his further witnesses could only speak in confirmation of the evidence already given, the Jury, under the direction of the Court, returned a verdict—Not guilty.

Reg. v. Keziah Lockyer.—The prisoner was charged with wilful and corrupt perjury.

Mr. Bond deposed—Some few days before Christmas, Captain Graham preferred a charge of perjury against me for having sworn, amongst other things, (in a trial in the Civil Court, wherein a Mr. Clark was plaintiff, and Captain Graham defendant) that I had heard Captain Graham say to the prisoner, "I have nothing to do with you— there is your house—this is Mrs. Clark's house— don't approach the fence;" and that Mrs. Lockyer answered, "You old villain, you have had enough of me, and now you want to make a w—e of my daughter." The prisoner was brought forward as a witness by Captain Graham in support of the charge against me, and she then swore that Captain Graham never uttered such expressions. She also swore that Captain G. never, upon any occasion, warned her off his house or premises, and that she had never made use of any of the expressions I had sworn to, and to the best of my belief, she swore that she had never used words to the same effect as those sworn to by me.

The fact of the words having been used by the prisoner was positively sworn to by Mr. Nairn, James Nairn, and William Walker.

In defence, Mrs. Clark and Maria Lockyer were called. They were in the house at the time, and did not hear the expressions, but could not swear that they were not used by the prisoner. She was in a great passion for two days at the time referred to, and refused to eat anything, and they had no means of accounting for it, unless it was that Mrs. Clark was in the house, and that Captain Graham had taken upon himself to conduct Mr. Clark's business during his absence at King George's Sound.

Verdict—Guilty, but recommended to mercy by the prosecutor. Sentence—7 years' transportation.

The sad conclusion

Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, Saturday 13 April 1839, p. 58.

Keziah Lockyer, the female who was found guilty of perjury at the last quarter sessions of the peace, has been allowed the same indulgence as that extended to Mr Turner, namely, that she should leave the colony in the first vessel, never again to be allowed to visit  these shores. Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, Saturday 13 April 1839, p. 58

References and Links

Dodgy Perth: 'An Unfortunate Marriage'

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

Hasluck, Alexandra 1955, Georgiana Molloy: Portrait with Backgound, OUP, Melbourne; republ. FACP 1990.

Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, Saturday 31 March 1838, p. 49.

Statham, Pamela, Dictionary of Western Australians 1829-1941, Vol. 1: Early Settlers, 1829-1850.

Perth Dead Persons Society: the Warrior.

Garry Gillard | New: 28 October, 2015 | Now: 13 March, 2024