top of page
Old Colonist William Loose Beare SAL B-4

William Loose Beare, early Colonist


William Beare was an 'old colonist', since he landed as a child of ten, with his parents, from the ship "Duke of York", on July 27, 1836, on Kangaroo Island, in South Australia.


The 17th of April linked the history of Clare with that of the State of South Australia, as on that day the 'Duke of York', the first ship to bring colonists to South Australia set sail from Tor Bay in the South of England.

  • On board was a boy of 10½, William Loose Beare, son of T. Hudson Beare, first manager of the S.A. Company.

  • W. L. Beare's mother died 13 months after the ship's arrival on Kangaroo Island, July 27th, 1836, and is buried in the old Kingscote cemetery, near the historic mulberry tree.


W L. Beare managed Bungaree for the Hon. G. C. Hawker for many years, and some of his children were born there.

  • He married a sister of Mrs. J. W. Gleeson, a Miss Alston from the Burra.

  1. His eldest daughter became Mrs. Carnie, and one of her children, a cripple, Charlie Carnie is buried in the Churchyard surrounding St. Michael's, Bungaree.

  2. Another daughter, Margaret Doris Beatrice Beare is now Mrs. Maclagan, and lives in the West.

  3. Another daughter Lucy Emmie Charlotte Beare was married to George Klewitz Soward, architect. Dr. Otto Wien-Smith, just out from Scotland, was. one of the groomsmen, as was also Archdeacon Hornabrook, then a lay man; the six bridesmaids were chosen from the bride's sisters, her cousins, the Filgates and Mary Gleeson, and Miss Soward, the bridegroom's sister.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Soward long lived in their handsome house in the Mall, Glenelg;

  • Charlie Beare settled in Mauritius, but sent his sons to be educated at Queen School; one of these, Dr. Frank Beare is well-known in Adelaide cricket.

  • Mrs. J. W. Gleeson and Mrs. W. L. Beare were sisters.


On his retirement from Bungaree, W. L. Beare built Bleak House. Thomas Goode, the pastoralist, purchased "Bleak House" (built 1878) in Clare and renamed it "Ava Weanah". Later owners called it "Sunnyside". Now Weroona, the former residence of Mrs. Christison ("Clare's Finest Citizen").


(Bleak House, later Weroona, illustrated below, SA State Library photographs)

Bleak House from Noye 'Clare'.jpg
Beare W L.jpg

He also had a great deal to do with the building of St. Barnabas Rectory in 1877. He was a warden and lay reader of the Church, though he would never wear robes when officiating in that capacity.

  • Mr. Beare spent his later years at Glenelg.



Chronicle (Adelaide, SA) Sat 23 Jul 1910, Page 45

A link in the earliest history of South Australia was broken on Saturday evening by the death of Mr. William Loose Beare at his residence, 'Netley,' Glenelg.


Left: The late Mr T. Hudson Beare


The deceased, who was in his 85th year, was a son of the late Mr. T. Hudson Beare. (pictured at left) the second officer of the South Australian Company.


The first manager of the company the late Mr. S. Stephens, married the aunt of the deceased, Miss G. H. Beare. the ceremony taking place onboard the schooner John Pirie while at anchor in Nepean Bay.

The master of the vessel, Captain John Martin. officiated as chaplain, and the ceremony is of especial interest as it was the first marriage solemnised in South Australia.


Mr Beare was the last survivor of the ship's company of the Duke of York, which arrived in Nepean Bay on July 27, 1836.

Duke of York 1815.jpg

Above: The Barque, Duke of York, a three-masted brig

The vessel left London on February 26, 1836. but owing to adverse conditions had to put back twice, taking her final departure from Tor bay on April 17.


On arrival the first official act, after acknowledgment to the Almighty for His beneficence in bringing the voyage to a successful conclusion, was the proclamation of Kingscote as a township by Mr. Stephens.


A return was made to the Duke of York, but owing to the captain having anchored in too shallow water the. vessel careened over on her beam ends at about 11 o'clock at night and gave the whole ship's company a terrible scare. The passengers were transferred to the boats and put ashore, but as it afterwards turned out , there was nothing to be afraid of, as the vessel righted herself on the making of the tide, and no material damage was done.


Left: Hon. B. T. Finniss 1st Premier of South Australia


The deceased gentleman assisted his father in the erection of a house at Kingscote with bricks which had been brought from England. At the time of the proclamation of the province Mr. Beare was at Rapid Bay, at which place, the late Hon. B. T. Finniss (pictured at left) was engaged in surveying the country.


After remaining on Kangaroo Island for two years Mr. Beare, sen., accompanied by his family, came to the mainland and took up the section of land known as 'Netley,' on the Adelaide plains. Mr. Beare assisted his lather in agricultural pursuits for eight or nine years, after which he went on a dairy farm at Myponga with his brother-in-law, the late Mr. Francis Duval, and acquired considerable knowledge of dairy, cattle, and butter and cheese making.


In 1846 the late Mr. John Taylor engaged Mr. Beare as manager of the station Ryelands (near Kapunda), where he remained till 1854. On leaving the latter station he took over the management of Koolunga for the late Mr. J. Hope.

Early sketch of Oraparinna Station, Flin


In 1856 he was engaged by the late Hon. G. C. Hawker to take the supervision of Bungaree, and during his management the foundation of the famous Bungaree sheep stud was laid.


At the. time he took over the station there were but 21,000 sheep on the run, but after the lapse of 18 years the numbers had increased to 90,000. Simultaneously he managed the Paralana and Carriewerloo stations in the Flinders Ranges for the same owner.


While at Ryelands Mr. Beare had the honor of entertaining the late Lord Salisbury, and giving that distinguished nobleman an insight into Australian station life. After his return to England the marquis wrote to Mr. Beare, thanking him for his hospitality, and sent him an autographed photograph to show that he had not forgotten the pleasant time he had spent outback. On leaving Bungaree Mr. Beare, in conjunction with the late Mr. J. W. Gleeson and Mr.


Left: Sketch of Oraparinna Station


Thomas Scott, bought the Oraparinna and Mount Searle stations, but owing to adverse seasons the speculation proved unsatisfactory, and Mr. Beare severed his connection with the pastoral industry of the State.


In 1882 Mr. Beare left the north and took up his residence at Glenelg, where he was highly esteemed.

During his long residence at Bungaree he sat on the bench in the Clare Magistrates' Court and adjudicated on nearly all the cases heard during that period, his judicial mind and his appreciation of British fair play assisting him in giving decisions which never had to be appealed against.

Mr. Beare received an appointment on a Parliamentary Railway Commission, and on more than one occasion acted as arbitrator on behalf of the Government of the day in land disputes.


Above: Bungaree Homestead in 1863


For a number of years he responded to the toast of 'The Pioneers' at the luncheon held annually on Commemoration Day (December 28), in the Glenelg Town Hall.


The New Land

On one such occasion he said on their arrival they had no trouble with the natives; indeed they got on well with them. It was delightful to hear the blacks in their wurlies close by laughing heartily often till midnight, probably at the peculiarities of the white people. He was almost ashamed at times of the fact that the white people had taken their country from them.


Mr. Beare said it was wrong to suppose that the country was desolate when the first bands of pioneers landed in South Australia. It was nothing of the sort, for it looked beautiful when they saw it.

On still, hot nights they heard thousands of birds join in joyous choruses, and they alternated with the notes of the mocking birds, parrots, and cockatoos. At times the music of bird-life was so loud that one could not hear himself speak.


Pictured at left: Kangaroo Grass

The hillsides were covered' with beautiful trees and flowers, and across the plains there was an abundance of kangaroo grass, the finest in the world.

The New Land
Bleak House Clare.jpg


In 1854 Mr Beare was married to Miss Agnes Charlotte Alston, daughter of the late Mr. George Alston, who arrived in the province in 1840. She died 18 years ago.


Professor Thomas H. Beare, of Edinburgh, in Scotland, is a brother of the deceased gentlemen, who with three sons —

  1. Mr. WilIiam Beare, of Western Australia;

  2. Mr. Charles Beare, manager for Messrs. C. Jacobs & Sons. Mauritius; and

  3. Mr. Noel Beare;

and five daughters, ten grandchildren, and, twelve great-grandchildren.


The funeral took place at the Brighton Cemetery.

Read More:
Read More:
bottom of page