Thomas Watson (surveyor)

Last updated

Thomas Watson was a surveyor and early settler of the Swan River Colony in what is now Western Australia.

Surveying The technique, profession, and science of determining the positions of points and the distances and angles between them

Surveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, art and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them. A land surveying professional is called a land surveyor. These points are usually on the surface of the Earth, and they are often used to establish maps and boundaries for ownership, locations, such as building corners or the surface location of subsurface features, or other purposes required by government or civil law, such as property sales.

Swan River Colony British colony which later became Western Australia

The Swan River Colony was a British colony established in 1829 on the Swan River, in Western Australia.

Western Australia State in Australia

Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east, and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres, and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.

Contents

Little is known of his early life, but he was trained as a surveyor before arriving at the Swan River Colony as part of Thomas Peel's settlement scheme, on board Gilmore in December 1829. He brought surveying instruments with him, but at first he did not seek surveying work, preferring to establish himself as a farmer upon his grant. [1] He was independently wealthy and had brought servants with him to work his land grant. But in February 1830 his camp was burnt out in a bushfire and he lost £600 worth of goods, including most of his surveying tools. He used his remaining capital to support himself and his servants for the next year, but in 1831 he had no money left and had to release his employees from their agreements. In April 1831 he married Ann Smythe. [2]

Thomas Peel Australian settler

Thomas Peel was one of the very early settlers of Western Australia. He was a second cousin of Sir Robert Peel. He was part of the military force behind the Pinjarra Massacre in 1834, which saw 50–100 of the indigenous Binjareb people murdered.

Gilmore, was a merchant ship built at Sulkea, opposite Calcutta, British India, in 1824. In 1829-30 she made a voyage delivering settlers to the Swan River Colony in Western Australia. She then made two voyages transporting convicts from England to Tasmania.

Timber merchant and saw-miller

Early land grants in the Swan River colony, 1839. Thomas Watson's grant is in the lower left, beside Thomas Peel's. Swan River Colony land grants map.png
Early land grants in the Swan River colony, 1839. Thomas Watson's grant is in the lower left, beside Thomas Peel's.

Watson was granted 1000 acres of land at the southern end of Thomsons Lake, which he used to source timber. It corresponded roughly with today's Wattleup. [3] In May 1833 he was advertising his timber for sale as "30 tons of very superior mahogany, in the log, well seasoned". [4] The timber was tuart. [2] He obtained an order for 50 tons of timber, but could not find the men to cut it and by the time he had enlisted a labour force the men who had placed the order had already left the colony. He attempted to obtain a government contract for his timber, and in the meantime transported planks to Thomas Peel's Clarence settlement to be exported. The export ships never arrived, and Watson gave up his attempts to work his timber grant. [5] In 1839, his entire grant was bought for £60 by George Leake, a Fremantle solicitor. [6]

Thomsons Lake Nature Reserve is a lake nature reserve around Thomsons Lake in the City of Cockburn, Western Australia, approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of the central business district of Perth, the state capital, and on the southern fringes of the Perth metropolitan area. It is in the suburb of Beeliar, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) south-west of Jandakot Airport. It is a still largely natural wetland, with adjoining native vegetation, surrounded by land developed for housing and agriculture, that regularly supports large numbers of shorebirds and other waterbirds.

Wattleup, Western Australia Suburb of Perth, Western Australia

Wattleup is a southern suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located within the City of Cockburn. Since 2001, it has been part of the Hope Valley-Wattleup Redevelopment Project, which has meant the demolition of most of the houses in the area for future industry. Wattleup had many market gardens in the past. They provided agricultural produce for the town of Fremantle.

Surveyor

Due to his financial hardships, in 1831 he applied to the Governor for a job and was offered the position of temporary chainer in the Survey Department, which he carried on side by side with his timber enterprise. Later he worked for the Department of Council and Audit, assessing settlers' property holdings to calculate how much land to grant them, but this position became redundant as the flow of settlers fell to almost zero. Finally he took a position as a clerk in the Colonial Secretary's office for a very small wage, but eventually gave up his hopes of living in the Perth area and quit to head south. [2]

In 1834, Watson moved to the town of Mandurah, in order to participate in the extensive surveys scheduled for the Leschenault district. He was involved in several large surveys, including the original survey of the Bunbury town site, along with work in York and Mandurah itself. Evidence suggests that at least some of Watson's work was inferior in quality. Some of his surveys had to be re-done by others, and his Bunbury plans were discarded. [1]

Mandurah City in Western Australia

Mandurah is a coastal city in the Australian state of Western Australia, situated approximately 72 kilometres (45 mi) south of the state capital, Perth. It is the state's second-largest city, with a population just ahead of that of Bunbury.

Leschenault, Western Australia Suburb of Bunbury, Western Australia

Leschenault is an outer suburb of Bunbury, Western Australia 16 km to the north-east. Its local government area is the Shire of Harvey. Leschenault is generally considered to be a higher socioeconomic area, with higher than average real estate prices.

Bunbury, Western Australia City in Western Australia

Bunbury is a coastal city in the Australian state of Western Australia, approximately 175 kilometres (109 mi) south of the state capital, Perth. It is the state's third-largest city, with a population just behind that of Mandurah.

In October 1835 he took a group of people intending to settle new land to the Murray River, near Thomas Peel's land. From there he continued on and completed a partial survey of the Murray River east to the Serpentine River and Pinjarra, recording the type of land, bush, flora and fauna he encountered along the way. [7]

Murray River (Western Australia) river

The Murray River is a river in the southwest of Western Australia. It played a significant part in the expansion of settlement in the area south of Perth after the arrival of British settlers at the Swan River Colony in 1829.

Serpentine River (Western Australia) river in Western Australia, Australia

The Serpentine River is a river in the South West region of Western Australia.

Pinjarra, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Pinjarra is a town in the Peel region of Western Australia along the South Western Highway, 85 kilometres (53 mi) from the state capital, Perth and 21 kilometres (13 mi) south-east of the coastal city of Mandurah. Its local government area is the Shire of Murray. At the 2011 census, Pinjarra had a population of 4,255.

The late 1830s saw Watson paid for two surveys; one unspecified in connection with roads and bridges to the southern districts, and one for a road from Fremantle to the Dandalup ford. It was stated that the roads that Watson and others had surveyed in these districts were "perfectly impassable for 7 or 8 months of the year" due to flooding . [8]

Watson is credited as having recorded the Aboriginal word "Kougee" in 1841, which became the word Coogee and refers to a lake and settlement area in Cockburn. [9] Similarly he is credited as recording the name Banganup Lake in the Cockburn area during his 1841 surveys. [5] He is also credited as naming The Spectacles in modern-day Kwinana in the same year. [10] The maps of these surveys are held in the State Records Office of WA. [11] [12]

Mail carrier

Watson became the first mail contractor for the Murray District in 1841 [13] , receiving £80 for the year to travel between Pinjarra and Bunbury. He surveyed the Pinjarra-Fremantle Road in the same year. He lost the tender in 1842, and focused on working the ferry crossing and running a hotel at Mandurah. [14] [15]

In 1847 Watson's tender to carry mail between several south-west settlements was accepted by George Fletcher Moore, the Colonial Secretary. [16] He was to carry mail once a month "from Fremantle to Albany via Mandurah, Australind, Bunbury, Busselton, and Kojonup; also a branch mail between Mandurah and Pinjarrah". Until this time, it had been assumed that the journey between Fremantle and Albany took two weeks. Watson discovered a new route and managed the journey in five days. He guarded the specifics of his new route for fear that the government would undercut him and he would lose his contract. [17] Later that year his diary of one of these journeys was published in the colonial newspaper, describing the hardships of bushland, weather, and poor roads encountered along the way. [18] He also took passengers on this route, and advertised his prices for parcels and transport between the towns he visited. A return trip between Fremantle and Mandurah cost 15 shillings, and a return trip between Fremantle to Albany cost £8. Parcels under 1lb cost 1/6 to send to Albany, parcels over 1lb cost 4 shillings. [19]

During his time as mail carrier he continued to survey roads and build bridges, using soldiers stationed at Albany and Kojonup to carry out the work. In 1848 his report on the improvements of roads outside Albany was published in the newspaper. [20]

He was generally held to have performed his role well and was highly regarded at the end of his contract in 1849. [21]

Related Research Articles

John Septimus Roe first Surveyor-General of Western Australia and explorer

John Septimus Roe was the first Surveyor-General of Western Australia. He was a renowned explorer, and a Member of Western Australia's legislative and executive councils for nearly 40 years.

Peel (Western Australia) region of Western Australia

The Peel region is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is located on the west coast of Western Australia, about 75 km (47 mi) south of the state capital, Perth. It consists of the City of Mandurah, and the Shires of Boddington, Murray, Serpentine-Jarrahdale and Waroona.

The Western Australian Legislative Assembly is elected from 59 single-member electoral districts. These districts are often referred to as electorates or seats.

Waroona, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Waroona is a town located in the Peel region of Western Australia along the South Western Highway, between Pinjarra and Harvey. The town is the seat of the Shire of Waroona. At the 2016 census, Waroona had a population of 2,934.

<i>Australind</i> (train) passenger rail service operated by Transwa between Perth and Bunbury on the South Western Railway

The Australind is a passenger train in Western Australia operated by Transwa between Perth and Bunbury.

North Dandalup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

North Dandalup is a small town in the Peel region of Western Australia along the South Western Highway between Serpentine and Pinjarra. Its local government area is the Shire of Murray. At the 2011 census, North Dandalup had a population of 346.

South Western Highway highway in Western Australia

South Western Highway is a highway in the South West region of Western Australia connecting Perth's southeast with Walpole. It is a part of the Highway 1 network for most of its length. It is about 406 kilometres (252 mi) long.

Electoral district of Murray-Wellington state electoral district of Western Australia

Murray-Wellington is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of Western Australia. The seat's current member is Labor MLA Robyn Clarke.

The Pinjarra Massacre, also known as the Battle of Pinjarra, was an attack that occurred at Pinjarra, Western Australia on a group of up to 80 Noongar people by a detachment of 25 soldiers, police and settlers led by Governor James Stirling in 1834. After attacks on the displaced Swan River, Whadjuk people and depredations on settlers by a group of the Binjareb people led by Calyute had, according to European settlers, reached unacceptable levels, culminating in the payback killing of an ex-soldier, Stirling led his force after the party. Arriving at their camp, five members of the pursuit party were sent into the camp to arrest the suspects; Whadjuk community resisted. In the ensuing melee, Stirling reported 15 killed ; police superintendent Theophilus Tighe Ellis later died of wounds and a soldier was wounded. Stirling warned the tribe against payback killings and arranged a peace between the warring tribes, but Calyute continued to break it by raiding the Whadjuk until his demise.

South Western Railway, Western Australia main railway route between Perth and Bunbury in Western Australia

The South Western Railway is the main railway route between Perth and Bunbury in Western Australia opening in 1893.

Mandurah Road road in Western Australia

Mandurah Road is the name given to two roads in the cities of Perth and Mandurah, Western Australia, which link together at Stakehill Road, Karnup.

The Peel Football League (PFL) is a country football league based in the Peel region of Western Australia. The competition was formed in 1992 when teams from the Metropolitan Football League and Murray Districts Football League merged. There are currently eight clubs fielding a league reserves and colts team.

The Daily News, historically a successor of The Inquirer and The Inquirer and Commercial News, was an afternoon daily English language newspaper published in Perth, Western Australia, from 1882 to 1990, though its origin is traceable from 1840.

Forrest Highway highway in Western Australia

Forrest Highway is a 95-kilometre-long (59 mi) highway in Western Australia's Peel and South West regions, extending Perth's Kwinana Freeway from east of Mandurah down to Bunbury. Old Coast Road was the original Mandurah–Bunbury route, dating back to the 1840s. Part of that road, and the Australind Bypass around Australind and Eaton, were subsumed by Forrest Highway. The highway begins at Kwinana Freeway's southern terminus in Ravenswood, continues around the Peel Inlet to Lake Clifton, and heads south to finish at Bunbury's Eelup Roundabout. There are a number of at-grade intersections with minor roads in the shires of Murray, Waroona, and Harvey including Greenlands Road and Old Bunbury Road, both of which connect to South Western Highway near Pinjarra.

Rockingham, Western Australia City in Western Australia

Rockingham is a city and primary centre in Western Australia south-west of the Perth city centre and south of Fremantle. It has a beachside location at Mangles Bay, the southern extremity of Cockburn Sound. To its north stretches the maritime and resource-industry installations of Kwinana and Henderson. Offshore to the north-west is Australia's largest naval fleet and submarine base, Garden Island, connected to the mainland by an all-weather causeway. To the west and south lies the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park.

References

  1. 1 2 Parks, Raymond G. (1990). "The Bunbury Town Survey—A Surveyor's View". Early Days. 10 (2): 157–68.
  2. 1 2 3 Richards, Ronald (1978). The Murray district of Western Australia : a history. [Pinjarra, Australia]: Shire of Murray. p. 31. ISBN   0959616802. OCLC   7176449.
  3. Berson, Michael (1978). Cockburn : the making of a community. Cockburn, W.A.: Town of Cockburn. p. 17. ISBN   0959653309. OCLC   6917991.
  4. "Classified Advertising". Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847). 1833-05-04. p. 72. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  5. 1 2 Berson, Michael (1978). Cockburn : the making of a community. Cockburn, W.A.: Town of Cockburn. p. 13. ISBN   0959653309. OCLC   6917991.
  6. Berson, Michael (1978). Cockburn : the making of a community. Cockburn, W.A.: Town of Cockburn. p. 27. ISBN   0959653309. OCLC   6917991.
  7. "EARLY RECORDS OF EXPLORATION". Inquirer and Commercial News (Perth, WA : 1855 - 1901). 1898-10-28. p. 10. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  8. "CORRESPONDENCE". Inquirer (Perth, WA : 1840 - 1855). 1841-08-25. p. 3. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  9. Sprott, [Squiz] Angus. "Perth suburb names". www0.landgate.wa.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  10. Sprott, [Squiz] Angus. "Perth suburb names". www0.landgate.wa.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  11. Watson, Thomas (1841). "Road from Dandalup Bridge to Fremantle by T. Watson". State Records Office of WA. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  12. Watson, Thomas (1841). "Road from the Dandalup Bridge to Fremantle, Sheet 3. From 32 mile peg to Fremantle by T. Watson". State Records Office of WA. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  13. "Colonial Secretary's Office, Perth, January 10, 1841". Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847). 1842-01-15. p. 4. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  14. Richards, Ronald (1978). The Murray district of Western Australia : a history. [Pinjarra, Australia]: Shire of Murray. pp. 175–178. ISBN   0959616802. OCLC   7176449.
  15. "Advertising". Inquirer (Perth, WA : 1840 - 1855). 1844-08-07. p. 6. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  16. "Colonial Secretary's Office, Perth, April 17, 1847". Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847). 1847-04-24. p. 4. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  17. "THE INQUIRER. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1847". Inquirer (Perth, WA : 1840 - 1855). 1847-11-10. p. 2. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  18. "PERTH TOWN TRUST". Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847). 1847-09-04. p. 3. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  19. "Advertising". Inquirer (Perth, WA : 1840 - 1855). 1848-11-08. p. 1. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  20. "THE INQUIRER. Occulta vitia inquirere. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9,1848". Inquirer (Perth, WA : 1840 - 1855). 1848-08-09. p. 2. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  21. "CORRESPONDENCE". Inquirer (Perth, WA : 1840 - 1855). 1849-03-14. p. 4. Retrieved 2018-04-12.