Fremantle Stuff > people > Edmund Stirling (1815-1897)
Edmund Stirling was a printer and journalist.
Excerpt from an address by Rod Read given 5 June 2016 at East Perth Cemetery about the Read and related families ...
On [Ethel Read's] 18th birthday, she married a dark-haired journalist by the name of Edmund Stirling in the Bullrush church in Hay Street. Family history suggests that Edmund asked for his inheritance early and headed for Australia, arriving in Fremantle in 1830. It seems he changed his name from Starling to Stirling at some point.
In 1831 the colony's first printed newspaper, the Fremantle Observer, Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, was published by Macfaull and W.K. Shenton, with Edmund Starling as reporter. Printed on a small hand-operated Ruthven Press in a flour mill in Fremantle, the ink was made from lamp-black and oil and the rollers dressed with treacle and glue. From Patricia Reynolds' wonderful biography of Edmund Stirling, we understand this printing press is now in the W.A. Museum, Fremantle. Horace Stirling wrote, in his Recollections of Early Perth that Edmund went on to become the owner of the Inquirer, one of the first newspapers of the colony. Another newspaper, the Perth Gazette, was produced by Arthur Shenton and there was much rivalry between the two men. However, in 1870, united by their journalistic principles, they clashed with the authorities over articles printed in their respective newspapers. Edmund Stirling, his son John and Arthur Shenton were jailed, with only a joint apology securing their freedom.
Edmund was a respected member of society, a member of the Town Hall Trust, City Councillor and part-owner of the WA Telegraph Company, becoming [jointly] responsible for the construction of the first telegraph line from Perth to Fremantle in 1869.
Ethel and Edmund had eleven children – six girls and five boys. ... Ethel lived to 68 after a long, useful and eventful life. She is buried here at East Perth with her husband. (Rod Read)
STIRLING, Edmund John, b. 15.8.1815, d. 2.11. 1897 (Perth), son of Edmund John & Judith (nee Massingham), arr . 24. 8.1830 per Edward Lombe. m. 1st (Perth) 9.11.1836) Ethel READ b. 1819 d. 4.10.1887 (Perth), dtr. of George & Ann (nee Coward), she arr. per Rockingham, m. 2nd 7.1.1889 Emma Amelia MEARES (widow, nee Wright) b. 1841 d. 17.5.1923. Chd. Amelia Elizabeth b. 1838 d. 1887, Mary Anne b. 1839 d. 1897, Sarah Maria b. 1841 d. 1926, James b. 1842/3, Edmund John b. 1843 d. 1904, Laura Hannah b. 1846, Frederick Robert b. 1848, Emma Naomi bp. 1851, Agnes b. 1853 d. 1854, Horace George b. 1855 d. 1927 (SA), Louis James b. 1857, Madeline King b. 1859, Baldwin Knight. At 15 yrs printer & reporter for McFaull [Macfaull] & Shenton's Fremantle Observer, Perth 1840 printer of Tanner's Inquirer, proprietor 1847. Retired in favour of sons Edmund John & Fred Robert in 3.1878. Printed WA Almanak 1.1845. Employed a T/L man 1851 & 1854. Qualified as juror 1860; £1.500 personal estate. Formed WA Telegraph Co. building 1st line in WA Perth-Frem 1869-70. Miss M.A. Stirling to SA 2.10.1856 & returned 24.11.1856 per Frances. Miss S. Stirling to London 1.2.1857 per Frances. Misses Stirling from London 28.12.1865 per Daylight. Visited Victoria 8.12.1880 per Otway & 6.6.1888 per South Australian. C/E. (Erickson)
Battye, O.K., entry in ADB, 1976.
Stirling, Edmund 1894, A Brief History of Western Australia: from its earliest settlement, vol. 1, Sands & McDougall, Perth. [14 pages]
Stirling, Horace 1925, 'Recollections of Perth', Western Mail, Friday 25 December, p. 31.
Rod Read address about the Barnard, Read and Edmund Stirling families, given 5 June 2016 at East Perth Cemetery.
Many thanks to Rob Ward for an invaluable, comprehensive genealogy of the Edmund Stirling family.
Image from Hitchcock (Nixon).
Garry Gillard | New: 10 January, 2020 | Now: 2 November, 2023