by Gil Hardwick
ISBN 0 85905 322 9, (2003 New), Soft Cover,100pp illustrated, 150 grams
$22.00 + POST
Not just another history of Margaret River, but one that examines the political, social and military background to British expansion into the Indian Ocean region and the circumstances in which the Western Australian Swan River Colony, and the lower South West of the State in particular were first settled.
Alfred Pickmore Bussell at 14 was the youngest boy and the youngest of nine children altogether, of a comfortably middle class Anglican family from Hampshire, England, that came out to accompany the domestic establishment of Rifleman and hero of Waterloo, Captain John Molloy, appointed Resident Magistrate and HM Controller of Customs for the Sussex District.
Finding himself impoverished by the colonial depression of the 1840s, and ostracised for having married 'beneath his station in life', the development of young Alfred Bussell's estate is examined in light of the experience of Scottish and Irish farming stock brought out by Governor Stirling, Thomas Peel, Henry De Burgh, the Brockman & Lefroy families, and the Western Australian Company of Bengal, to manage their own estates.
The story is told of Ellensbrook homestead and his residence Wallcliffe House on the Margaret River, and the people involved with their building, domestic and farming operations against the commercial opportunities available in the whaling, cattle and timber industries; all contributing in various ways to the accumulation of Alfred's wealth and the restoration of his social position among the colonial elite.