George Fletcher Moore

 


W.A. POETS FROM THE PAST

 

His Poems

 A Native Karobberee

Western Australia For Me

No More Let Us Roam : A Song of Western Australia  

 

 

 

His Books

 

George Fletcher Moore

Born: 17 December 1798  Bond's Glen, Donemana, Ireland

Died: 30 December 1886

Biography:  (extract from Wikipedia)

George Fletcher Moore was a prominent early settler in Western Australia, and "one of the key figures in early Western Australia's ruling elite". He conducted a number of exploring expeditions; was responsible for one of the earliest published records of the language of the Australian Aborigines of the Perth area; and was the author of Diary of Ten Years Eventful Life of an Early Settler in Western Australia.

He was educated in Ireland, graduating in law in 1820 and spent the next six years at the Irish Bar, but seeing little prospect of advancement he decided to pursue a judicial career in the colonies.

Moore sailed from Dublin aboard the Cleopatra, arriving at Fremantle on October 30, 1830.

Unfortunately for hime, there were no judicial postings available, so he transferred his ambitions to farming, being allocated a land grant (sight unseen) in the Avon Valley.  He was also able to get a smaller grant at Upper Swan

In September 1831, Moore joined the expedition to open up the Avon Valley for farming.  The information he gathered on this expedition guided him in relocating his inland grant to an area with vastly better pasture land.

In February 1832, Moore obtained the judicial appointment he had hoped for, being appointed a Commissioner of the Civil Court. With good land and a regular salary, Moore rapidly consolidated his position as a leading farmer. By 1833 he had one of the largest flocks of sheep in the colony.

Moore was unusual amongst his contemporaries in that he developed friendly, lasting relationships with the local Indigenous people, taking a scholarly interest in their language and customs.   He advocated compensating the natives for the loss of their land, and also promoted the idea of Christianising them.

He was part of several exploration trips in the area to the north and east of Perth, discovering good pastoral land near the Garban River (later re-named the Moore River)

He was appointed Advocate-General, which accorded him a seat in the legislature. Many of his views were in conflict with those of  Governor Stirling.

He, along with the new Governor John Hunt compiled a dictionary of the aboriginal language, "A Descriptive Vocabulary of the Language in Common Use Amongst the Aborigines of Western Australia" which was published in London where Moore went for two years extended leave.

Returning to WA, Moore's views on land reform often had him in conflict with his contemporaries and ridiculed by the press and the Legislative Council, but having the confidence of successive governors, he remained a figure of influence.

On 29 October 1846, Moore married Fanny, stepdaughter of Governor Clarke.   He was then for a time, Acting Colonial Secretary, but his influence waned with the appointment of Governor Irwin

Early in 1852, Moore took leave and returned to Ireland. His claimed reason for taking leave was to visit his sick father, his chief reason was likely concern for the mental health of his wife. Her condition deteriorated in Ireland, and she refused to return to Western Australia. Moore was forced to resign his seat; his request for a pension was denied. Fanny Moore died in 1863, but Moore still did not return to Western Australia.

In about 1878, the editor of The West Australian,  sought and was granted permission to serialise Moore's letters home to Ireland. These appeared in the West Australian in 1881 and 1882. On seeing them in print, Moore decided to republish them in book form. They were published in 1884 as A Diary of Ten Years Eventful Life of an Early Settler in Western Australia, some poetry which he wrote in that early time being part of that "diary"

Moore died in his London apartment on 30 December 1886. "apparently friendless", and  " a sad end to a worthwhile colonial career."

 

 

 

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