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Frederick Pearse

Frederick Pearse (1841-5Apr1922, buried Karrakatta) was a merchant, and a JP in Cossack (Roebourne) and later Rottnest Island Resident (Governor/Superintendent) 1898-1905.
(He was NOT a member of the W.S. Pearse family.)

He was born August 1841 at St John’s Rectory, Bedford, Bedfordshire, England to the Rev. Henry Pearse and Maria Taunton. Henry Pearse was vicar of St Johns for 54 years and the Pearse family had a strong presence in Bedford. Maria was the daughter of Sir William Elias Taunton, of the King’s Bench and Maria Atkinson who was the daughter of Henry Atkinson, Moneyer of the Royal Mint.

The Tauntons had a strong presence in Oxford and Freeland, West Oxfordshire. They had settled in Oxford several generations prior when Rev. Elias Taunton moved from Liskeard, Cornwall to Brampton, Oxfordshire.

Frederick Pearse travelled to the colony at about 17 years of age on the Nile under the guidance of Bishop Hale, who was a family friend of his parents. On arrival he became a jackaroo and later settled in Cossack where he became a merchant and pearl lugger owner until wiped out by a cyclone. He married Gertrude Octavia Frances Davis, daughter of John Okey Davis at St Matthew’s Church, Guildford, in 1875 (The Inquirer, 11 August 1875). They had eleven children. Gertrude was a descendant of John Okey Davis Snr and Robert Thomson (an early settler on Rottnest Island) who arrived on the second and third ships into the settlement in 1829.

As well as his other roles and involvement in local government and business, he became a J.P. in Cossack. He entered the Public Service in January 1894 as resident magistrate at Wyndham and was transferred as Superintendent to Rottnest in September 1898 at a salary of £450.

PEARSE, Frederick, b. 10.8.1841 (Eng). d. 4.4 .1922 (Perth , son of (Rev) Henry & Maria, arr. 1.1.1858 per Nile in care of Bishop Hale, m. 2nd 13.7.1875 Gertrude Caroline Octavia DAVIS b. 25.12.1854 d. 27.3.1926. dtr. of John Okey & Eleanor (nee Thomson). Chd. Maria Ethel bp. 1876, Norma Gertrude b. 1877, Lucy Laura b. 1880, Henry Taunton bp. 1883. Frederick Leslie b. 1886, Wilfred Arthur b. 1888 d. 1944, Constance Mabel b. 1890. Reginald Taunton b. 1892 d. 1892, Algernon Theed b. 1898, Isabella Edith Taunton bp. 1900. Educ. at Bedfoxd Grammar School, he was employed at first as a jackeroo on a Hamersley Station at Gingin. Became a partner in firm of F. MacRae & Co. Sworn in as JP 1872, & was acting Govt. Res. at Roebourne. Chairman of Rd. Bd. & Bd. of Educ. Became partner with Owston, the Fremantle shipowner & importer. Owner of cutter Albert in 1877 which was wrecked 1.1880 at Lacapede Is. He was at Wyndham until 1898 & at Rottnest until 1905 where he was Supt. C/E. (Erickson.)

The last child was actually Edith Isabella, and known as Bobbie. She was born on Rottnest. Her dates are 1900-1983.

References and Links

The photo is from, from a lodge website, posted by Gill Nelson.

Many thanks to Gill Nelson for most of the data above, and also to Jasmin Leuthold. Also to Peter Mitchell, a Robert Thomson descendant.

See also: Rottnest Island.

Garry Gillard | New: 11 February, 2016 | Now: 15 March, 2024