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William Moriarty

William Moriarty was born around 1814 in County Kerry, Ireland to William Moriarty and Margaret Godsil. Margaret was sister to Sir Arthur Godsil. She came from a wealthy family but was disowned by her English Protestant families when she married an Irish Catholic. 

When William (Snr) died quite young, William and his two sisters, Mary and Margaret, were reared by their father's brother Michael, who owned a glove factory in Sheffield, England. William attended college and the girls boarded at a convent in Ireland. Family tradition includes mention of William's part in the Carlist War in Spain. 

Whilst her son William was away fighting the war, Margaret's needlework was her only means of support. Sadly when William returned home he found that his mother had starved to death (unsupported by her brother and siblings). 

Aged 26, William boarded the Island Queen and sailed for Port Leschenault, Australind where he landed on December 10, 1840. The ship's master, in his letter to the Governor, claiming the emigrant bounty, describes William as a bricklayer. More specifically, he was part of a surveying team - either an assistant surveyor or a "chainer". The "Perth Gazette" of 19th December 1840 lists the men passengers as "Mr Austin, nine assistant surveyors and 13 chainers". Rations on the Island Queen were distributed every second day and were alternately "a bottle of wine or a bottle of porter". Chainers' pay was 2/6 per day. 

A land grant at Australind was made to William but he did not develop the land. The inn he built at Australind was destroyed by flood waters. Then, probably because it was decided to move the main settlement to Bunbury, he did not remain at Australind. 

He had paid his bounty (passage) by 1843 and was working as a labourer at Picton where on 29th January 1843, he married Ann Wear at the Picton Church. The marriage was solemnized by the Rev. Wollaston, in his capacity as Colonial Chaplain. This marriage was childless and Ann died within a few years in December 1847 of enteritis. Ann (18 years) had arrived on the Trusty with her parents in December 1842. 

On 27th October 1846 William advertised for 20 acres at Wonnerup near Forrest Beach and in 1848 he requested a depasturing license for land in the Sussex district. Life was hard in those years and in 1850, whilst working for James Knight of Capel River, he returned home to find his house had been broken into and robbed. William, with others, ferried goods to ships out from Forrest Beach thus saving the shipping companies the expensive fees to dock in Bunbury. 

Around 1853, and after several letters to the Colonial Secretary it was agreed that the haphazard manner of allocating land without planning for roads resulted in a new road being laid to allow William access to his farm. In 1860 William acquired a further adjoining 100 acres. He later purchased other parcels of land including 762 acres around the Yallingup area. 

After being on his own for about 10 years, in 1851 he travelled to Fremantle where an immigrant ship was due. He declared his intention to marry "the first girl off the ship", and this he did, so it is believed. 

The Skeleton Page 14 December 2018 Julia (Johanna) Wilde had left the ship at Fremantle when her brothers continued on to the Eastern States. She obtained a position as "Ladies Companion" to the Harbour Master's wife. Colonel Bruce's family were staunch protestants and changed Johanna's name to the English version Julia. She stayed with them until she married William in Perth on 3rd November 1851 and was later blessed with ten children: William, Michael, Sarah, Edward, Thomas, John, Arthur, Margaret, Richard and Mary Angela. Their property was near Forrest Beach and the Kinsella family lived opposite. In April 1868 William purchased another 50 acres of land. 

Julia, with neighbouring women and the children, would often walk from Ludlow to Busselton to attend church. 

Stories were often told of how Ned and Tom Moriarty were riding their horses along Forrest Beach when they heard a baby cry. They found a young Aboriginal woman and baby hiding in a tree. There had been some skirmishes in the area and she had been there 2-3 days. The men coaxed them down and took them back to the farm where they were cared for until well enough to travel to look for her tribe. Tom was to come across the young Aboriginal boy several times over the years. 

William was, for some time, working with a gang of convicts on the roads near the Cokelup Swamp close to Busselton. During that time he helped in the escape of the Irish political prisoner and famous poet, John Boyle O'Reilly in 1869. Being both educated men and enjoying poetry, they had become quite friendly. It is believed that William may have helped in hiding O'Reilly down the well in Dardanup, near where Ann's family had their farm. William also spoke of how he gave O'Reilly civilian clothes and drove cattle across the road to hide the convict's boot prints (an arrow was carved into the sole of convict boots so they could be easily tracked by the Aboriginal trackers).

(Whilst holidaying in Ireland many years later, great grand-daughter Grace met friends of the great granddaughter of Captain Anthony who sailed the "Catalpa" to free the other Fenians from Fremantle Prison.) 

William later retired from farming to run the Ludlow Post Office. Bridget (Kinsella) who married his son Thomas, took over as Post Mistress some years later. William and Julia purchased a wattle and daube house and farming land as a wedding present for childhood sweethearts Bridget and Tom who were blessed with 9 children. 

William and Julia's daughter Sarah (Rutherford) was the first lady school teacher at Karridale around 1873. She also taught in other Government schools at Bunbury, Augusta, Boranup and Hamelin. Sarah, with her sister Mary Angela, used to ride horseback from Karridale to Ludlow in one day.

 William and Julia moved to Bridgetown where they both died - William (abt. 79 years old) on 16th March 1893 and Julia (68 years old) on 27th October 1897. Both are buried in the Catholic portion of the old Bridgetown cemetery. 

"Part of the above account is according to what Grace (Moriarty) Lloyd, the great grand-daughter of William and Julia Moriarty remembers." 

Ref: State Archives of WA, Colonial Secretary's Office.
Bunbury, Busselton & Capel Historical Societies (Inc.)

 

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