Freotopia > people >

Walter and Elizabeth Pace & family

Elizabeth Fennie (1792-1874) married Captain Walter Pace of the East India Company. He had arrived as the master of the immigrant ship Medina in 1830, and probably returned to England with the ship, as he arrived again, apparently as an immigrant himself, on the Ann, in 1832. His wife travelled here independently, arriving in 1834 on the Quebec Trader.

He was granted Lot 45 & 46, High Street & Mouat Street, probably in 1832, and built a stone house on Lot 45 (see the map below). At some point, probably after Elizabeth's arrival, it was decided to trade there as a hotel. The site has had a hotel on it ever since, making it the oldest hotel site in Fremantle.

PACE, (Capt) Walter M., Captain of Medina, arr. 6.7.1830 & returned per Ann 1832 followed by his wife & 3 chd 19.4.1834 per Quebec Trader, m. Elizabeth b. 1792 d. 5.1874 (Vic). Chd. Jane b. 1818, Mary Ann b. 1824/5, son E. b. 1826, ?son, Mary Elizabeth d. 1860 (SA). Formerly in service of East India Co. Trader at Frem. Selected 5,000 acres in Avon district & 12 acres in Swan district in 22.2.1831. Master of Monkey trading with Mauritius & East Indies. His wife was licensee of "Crown & Thistle Hotel" [but see Graham, below], leased to P. W. Marmion 1837. She conducted a store at Frem. with assistance of her dtrs. Shareholders in Frem. Whaling Co. Mrs Pace visited her dtrs in Eastern Australia in 1845.

Western District Families:
PACE, Jane – Died 3 February 1906 at Hamilton. Jane Pace was born on 8 February 1816 at Stokesley, Yorkshire, England to Walter Pace, a captain with the East India Company and Elizabeth Fennie. In 1832 Walter, on hearing of good land in Western Australia, left his family in Yorkshire and set off on an exploratory trip. Finding Western Australia to his liking, Walter built a stone house for his family and wrote to his wife Elizabeth he would return to collect her and the children. However, Elizabeth was an independent woman, a trait later seen in her daughter Jane, and without telling her husband she boarded The Quebec Trader with daughters Jane and Ann and travelled to Western Australia. After a treacherous voyage, broken with a visit with friends in South Africa, Elizabeth and her daughters arrived in Fremantle much to Walter’s surprise. Western District Families website.

Another thwarted customer in Guildford was Dr. G. S. F. Cowcher. But at least he did get command of the Guildford ferry. In July 1830, Cowcher arrived in the ship Medina (Capt. Pace) as did several other notables, including Anthony Curtis, John Bateman and Alfred Waylen, and all of these men pursued their colonial destinies along similar lines, and possibly at the instigation or stimulation of Capt Pace. It is possible that the conversation at the captain's table may have dwelt overlong on the possibilities of pubs, because Pace had already opened a store at Fremantle, which he kept supplied with merchandise, while his wife kept a hotel. Tuckfield: 69.

Hitchcock records that Walter Pace was granted Lots 45 and 46, site of Mrs Pace's hotel, the Crown and Thistle (now the site of the P&O Hotel).

The Paces' eldest daughter Jane married Stephen Henty in Fremantle in 1832 (or 14 April 1836) after which they went to live in Portland (Vic.) - which at that time was still part of the Colony of New South Wales. A niece of hers, Dora Jane Pace, was married to G.C. Knight, who was the first owner of Birkdale House at the top of Solomon Street Fremantle.

Jane Pace, Mrs Stephen Henty, c 1870-80
Jane Henty (1817–1906), née Pace, is believed to be the first European woman to settle permanently in Victoria. Jane was the daughter of Captain Walter Pace of the East India Company’s fleet, who immigrated to Fremantle, Western Australia with her parents and two siblings. The family met twenty-two-year-old Stephen Henty (1811–72), who would marry eighteen-year-old Jane two years later. Stephen and Jane departed Fremantle and arrived in Portland Bay in December 1836, of which she writes:

My husband and I arrived at Portland Bay in 1836, though he had made some trips previously with stock, etc. It was on a Sunday night when we landed, by moonlight; I was carried on shore through the surf by a sailor, and safely landed on terra firma. On reaching the homestead, a comfortable dwelling composed of four rooms with kitchen and dairy, a bright log fire was burning, table spread with a large pot loaf, butter, piles of eggs, and tea. My brother-in-law, Frank Henty, met me at the door saying, “Welcome Mrs. Stephen.” I said “My name is Jane Henty, your sister.”

Jane Pace gravestone

Captain James Cook's mother was Grace Pace, said to be of the same family.

References and Links

Cammilleri, Cara 1971, 'Walter Padbury (1820-1907): Pioneer Pastoralist, Merchant and Philanthropist'Early Days, Volume 7, Part 3: 51-64.

Carter, Jennie 1986, Bassendean: A Social History 1829-1979, Bassendean Town Council: 121, 133.

Graham, Allen 2023, Inns and Outs of Fremantle: a Social History of Fremantle and its Hotels 1829-1856, Xlibris. Graham is quite explicit in writing that Mrs Pace's boarding-house was never called the Crown & Thistle during her two tenures, pace Erickson. It had that name only during the brief ownership of Alex Francisco, who then took the name with him when he opened a new hotel in High Street, on the site on which the Cleopatra Hotel now stands.


Swan Guildford Historical Society page for Walter Padbury, from which much of the above is 'borrowed'.

Tuckfield, Trevor 1971, 'Early colonial inns and taverns', Early Days: Journal and proceedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, 7, 3: 65-82; Part 2, Early Days: Journal and proceedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, 7, 7: 98-106.

Garry Gillard | New: 18 August, 2019 | Now: 25 August, 2023