Edmund Lockyer

Last updated

Edmund Lockyer
Edmund Lockyer Photographic Portrait.jpg
Edmund Lockyer in uniform of Captain of the Sydney Volunteer Rifle Corps [1]
Born(1784-01-21)21 January 1784
Plymouth, Devon
Died10 June 1860(1860-06-10) (aged 76)
Burial placeCamperdown Cemetery
Known forFounder of first British settlement in western half of Australia
Replica of the brig Amity. Amity replica Albany.jpg
Replica of the brig Amity.

Edmund Lockyer, (21 January 1784 – 10 June 1860) was a British soldier and explorer of Australia.

Born in Plymouth, Devon, Lockyer was the son of Thomas Lockyer, a sailmaker, and his wife Ann. Lockyer began his army career as an ensign in the 19th Regiment in June 1803, was promoted lieutenant in early 1805 and made captain in August 1805. Lockyer was promoted to major in August 1819 and in August 1824 transferred to the 57th Regiment. Lockyer arrived at Sydney, capital of the British Colony of New South Wales, aboard the Royal Charlotte in April 1825 with men from the 57th; also with his wife and ten children. [2]

In August 1825, Lockyer was asked to lead an expedition to explore the upper reaches of the Brisbane River, which had only recently been settled by Europeans. On 2 September, Lockyer sailed from Sydney in the cutter Mermaid, arriving at the settlement of Brisbane on 7 September. Leaving the Mermaid at Brisbane, he travelled in a small boat up the river. Lockyer saw coal in deposits on the banks, becoming the first person to identify coal in Queensland. Lockyer arrived back in Sydney on 16 October 1825, and made a report to Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane.

In late 1826, Lockyer led an expedition to claim Western Australia for Britain. He sailed on the brig Amity, arriving at King George Sound on 25 December, with twenty troops and twenty three convicts. [3] This was the beginning of the first European settlement in Western Australia. [4] On 21 January 1827, as instructed by the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies Earl Bathurst, the Union Jack was raised and a feu de joie fired by the troops, formally annexing the territory, in assertion of the first official claim by the Imperial Government to British possession over the whole continent of Australia. [5] [6]

The military base established by Lockyer was named Frederick Town, later renamed Albany, and would become an important deep water port. His interview with two sealers, arrested for crimes against local people, revealed intelligence of Dumont D'Urville's survey of King George Sound. Lockyer had planned an overland journey to the Swan River region in February, but learned that James Stirling had already examined the area. Lockyer was to remain in the settlement until command could be given to Captain Joseph Wakefield. Lockyer returned to Sydney on 3 April 1827, sold his army commission and settled in Sydney.

In 1852 Lockyer was appointed serjeant-at-arms to the New South Wales Legislative Council and on 16 May 1856 he became the council's first Usher of the Black Rod. [7] In September 1854 he was commissioned a captain on the formation of the Sydney Volunteer Rifle Corps, a citizens' militia force. [8]

On 18 November 1854, Lockyer married Elizabeth Colston. Elizabeth's brother William Edward Colston (1839-1895) was to be great-great-great-grandfather of Queensland senator Mal Colston. [9] [10] [11] [12]

Lockyer died from the effects of influenza on 10 June 1860 at his home in Bay Street, Woolloomooloo and was buried in Camperdown Cemetery, Sydney. [2] [13]

The Sydney suburb of Ermington is named after Lockyer's residence, "Ermington House". A suburb of Albany, Western Australia, commemorates the city's founder. Lockyer Creek, Lockyer Valley and Lockyer Valley Regional Council in Queensland were named after Major Lockyer. His name and image were utilized in the Centenary of Albany, Western Australia and the booklet published at that time. [14]

Related Research Articles

Thomas Brisbane

Major General Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, 1st Baronet,, was a British Army officer, administrator, and astronomer. Upon the recommendation of the Duke of Wellington, with whom he had served, he was appointed governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825.

History of Western Australia

The human history of Western Australia commenced between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago with the arrival of Indigenous Australians on the northwest coast. The first inhabitants expanded across the east and south of the continent.

The Swan River Colony, also known as the Swan River Settlement, or just Swan River, was a British colony established in 1829 on the Swan River, in Western Australia. This initial settlement place on the Swan River was soon named Perth, and it became the capital city of Western Australia.

Phillip Parker King Australian politician

Rear Admiral Phillip Parker King, FRS, RN was an early explorer of the Australian and Patagonian coasts.

New Holland (Australia) Historical name for the island continent of Australia

New Holland is a historical European name for mainland Australia.

Ermington, New South Wales Suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Ermington(formerly "Field of Mars") is a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Ermington is located 19 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Parramatta. Ermington lies on the northern bank of the Parramatta River.

Nineteen Counties

The Nineteen Counties were the limits of location in the colony of New South Wales, Australia. Settlers were permitted to take up land only within the counties due to the dangers in the wilderness.

Saxe Bannister was a writer and the first Attorney-General of New South Wales, Australia.

Convicts in Australia Transportation of convicts to Australia

Between 1788 and 1868, about 162,000 convicts were transported from Britain and Ireland to various penal colonies in Australia.

Commander Peter Belches RN (1796–1890) was an early explorer in Western Australia.

Charles Fraser or Frazer or Frazier was Colonial Botanist of New South Wales from 1821 to 1831. He collected and catalogued numerous Australian plant species, and participated in a number of exploring expeditions. He was a member of the Stirling expedition of 1827, and his report on the quality of the soil was instrumental in the decision to establish the Swan River Colony.

The following lists events that happened during 1826 in Australia.


Mokare was a Noongar Aboriginal man from the south-west corner of Australia, who was pivotal in aiding European exploration of the area.

<i>Amity</i> (brig)

Amity was a 148-ton brig used in several notable voyages of exploration and settlement in Australia in the early nineteenth century.

Isaac Scott Nind (1797–1868) was an early colonial doctor, artist and pharmacist. He qualified LAC in London on 13 July 1820. He arrived in New South Wales in 1826. Within three weeks of his arrival he was appointed an Assistant Colonial Surgeon and sailed with the 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot under Major Edmund Lockyer on the Amity to establish a convict-supported military garrison at King George Sound on Australia's south-west coast.

HMS <i>Mermaid</i> (1817)

HMS Mermaid was a cutter built in Howrah, India, in 1816. The British Royal Navy purchased her at Port Jackson in 1817. The Navy then used her to survey the Australian coasts. In 1820 she grounded and in 1823 was condemned for survey work. The Navy sold her to the colonial government which used her to run errands until she was wrecked in 1829.

History of Albany, Western Australia

The coastline of the Albany area was observed by Europeans for the first time in 1627 by the Dutchman François Thijssen, captain of the ship 't Gulden Zeepaert, who sailed to the east as far as Ceduna in South Australia and back. Captain Thijssen had discovered the south coast of Australia and charted about 1,768 kilometres (1,099 mi) of it between Cape Leeuwin and the Nuyts Archipelago.

Alluring Albany

"Alluring Albany" was a book published between 1910 and 1913 by the Albany Advertiser about the town and port of Albany, Western Australia. The printing company, a part of the Advertiser operation, had been founded by William Frear Forster – the founding editor of the Advertiser, who however by the time of publication had moved to work on The Mercury in Hobart, Tasmania.

Centenary of Albany, Western Australia

The Centenary of Albany in 1927 commemorated the founding of Albany, Western Australia with a number of events.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


  1. "Major Lockyer, 1886?/William Macleod". Manuscripts oral history and pictures. State Library of New South Wales. 1886. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Major Lockyer Inscription on Tomb. Founder of Western Australia". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 12 January 1931. p. 10. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  3. "Australasian Politics". The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser . XXIV (1258). New South Wales, Australia. 11 November 1826. p. 2.
  4. "Criminal Court". Hobart Town Gazette . XI (551). Tasmania, Australia. 25 November 1826. p. 2.
  5. "King George's Sound Settlement". State Records. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 24 June 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  6. "Hoisted the Flag - Claim for Major Lockyer". The Argus . Melbourne. 12 January 1931. p. 6. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  7. "Friday, May 16, 1856". The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser . Maitland, New South Wales: National Library of Australia. 20 May 1856. p. 3. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  8. "Sydney Volunteer Rifle Corps". Colonial Times and Tasmanian . Hobart, Tasmania. 19 September 1854. p. 3. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  9. "James Forsyth Colston". Colston and Wenck genealogy pages. Archived from the original on 8 July 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  10. "William Edward Colston". Colston & Wenck Genealogy Pages. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  11. "Arthur Alfred Colston". Colston & Wenck Genealogy Pages. Archived from the original on 8 July 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  12. "Douglas Thomas Colston". Colston & Wenck Genealogy Pages. Archived from the original on 9 July 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  13. "Latest Intelligence". Bendigo Advertiser. Bendigo, New South Wales: National Library of Australia. 12 June 1860. p. 2. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  14. Albany Centenary Committee; W.F. Forster & Co (1927), Centenary of Western Australia : Albany, 1827-1927 : to commemorate the first settlement of Western Australia by Major Lockyer, H.M. 57th Regiment, who hoisted the British flag at Albany on 21st January, 1827, W.F. Forster, retrieved 4 February 2017

Further reading