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William Preston

William Preston was on the Success with Stirling in 1827, and was made Lieutenant on the Sulphur in 1829. He was given command of the Ellen by Stirling a year or so later, but had returned to the Sulphur as first officer by 1832. The two men (and Dr Alexander Collie) explored the Murray and Leschenault areas in 1929 and 1830. Preston later married Stirling's sister-in-law Hamilla Mangles.

Preston was granted land in West Guildford adjacent to Success Hill, probably named by him after his first ship, but he was not interested in farming, and possession passed first to James McDermott and then to William Tanner. Preston's Creek (now called Bennett Brook) flows southwards into the Swan at the Success Hill bend, aka Devils Elbow.

He is still remembered by Preston Point in the Swan River (not to mention Preston Point Road) and Preston River and Preston Beach (Yalgorup) in southwest WA.

... Mary was now 77 [in 1850] and living with her youngest daughter Hamilla and husband William Preston at Borde Hill, a 350-acre farm in Cuckfield, Sussex. William Preston had given away the sea and was now a magistrate with a large house providing ample accommodation, and it was obvious that he and Hamilla were very happy. (Statham-Drew: 455)

Preston died suddenly 12 December 1851 aged only 50.

References and Links

Erickson, Rica 1987, Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians, UWAP:
PRESTON, William (Lt. Royal Navy), b. 1803. arr. 8.6.1829 per HMS Sulphur. He was granted 2,260 acres having imported a horse, a sheep. 2 guns & a servant with his half pension to value of £91.5.0. The land was transferred to Tanner. Explored Geographe Bay in 1829 with Dr Collie, Preston River was named in his honour. He led an overland expedition from Augusta in 4.1831. Appointed master of colonial schooner Ellen 17.2.1831, dep. 1832. Received titles to Plantagenet Loc 17 in 1841.

Statham-Drew, Pamela 2003, James Stirling: Admiral and Founding Governor of Western Australia, UWAP: 201. Image Battye 599P from her p. 244.

Garry Gillard | New: 19 August, 2019 | Now: 7 September, 2023