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William Frederick Turton was the elder brother of Arthur Turton, Fremantle Mayor. He was born 22 June 1857, Sheffield, England died 5 February 1922, in the Presbyterian manse (not extant) at 35 Moss Street East Fremantle.
Having studied Theology at Rotherham and then Bristol, he began his pastoral career at Appledore in Devon, and was then 'called' c. 1885 to go to South Australia, as the minister of a Congregational church. He later worked for the Presbyterians. From South Australia he went to Victoria, and briefly to NSW, before a position at the Johnston Memorial Church in Fremantle became available in 1896.
This was when the Pearse family connection began as James and Jessie Alice Pearse (née Armstrong) were active in this church – James was Head Deacon and later the Mayor of North Fremantle and his oldest daughter Jessie May was obviously an attraction for the Reverend’s young brother. At the same time Arthur’s young sister Ada caught the eye of up-and-coming shipping magnate and businessman Robert Lynn. Robert and Arthur were close in age and became closer friends. Robert registered a barge built in Fremantle in Arthur’s name in 1897. (Love: 14)
In 1899, William was required to go to Kalgoorlie. Other parish churches followed, including Northam and Maylands Presbyterian Church (the sunday school of which I attended in my youth). His last church was East Fremantle Presbyterian.
Love, Judith with Alan Thompson, Three Gentlemen from Yorkshire: A Voyage to Western Australia by the Turton Family, privately published.
Heritage Council page for Turton House (known in the family as Rockdale House)
Many thanks to Alan Thompson, great-grandson of Arthur Turton, and grandson of Jack Grigg, for much of the information above. Thanks also to Rob Garton Smith, who owned Turton House 1970-1981.
Garry Gillard | New: 29 April, 2020 | Now: 30 January, 2023