Edward Hamersley (Junior)

1 September 1835 – 14 January 1921

Edward Hamersley was born in Paris on 1 September 1835. His father was one of the leading Western Australian landholders of his day; his brother Samuel and nephew Vernon both became Members of the Legislative Council;  William Locke Brockman was his uncle; his sister Margaret married Sir John Forest; and his wife Jane was sister to Andrew and Charles Dempster.

Hamersley Junior’s family had emigrated to Western Australia in 1837, where his father, Edward became a wealthy and prominent pastoralist. In 1843, the family returned to France, before returning once again to Western Australia three years later, and building a home in Guildford.

In 1853, he took charge of his father’s horse station Richmond, in the Williams district. He was extremely unhappy at being sent away from the social scene at Guildford. As a result, he managed the station poorly, prompting a contemporary John Walloston to write

“Hamersley’s horse station… seems to me quite an apology for a breeding establishment… not a bit of hay nor handful of corn to be had…. The native dogs destroy the foals as soon as dropped.”

In 1858, his younger brother took over the station, and Hamersley was transferred to Wilberforce, another of his father’s stations, located in York.

He married Jane Dempster in February 1867. They had seven sons and three daughters.

Hamersley stood for election in September 1874 and was elected to the Legislative Council seat of Toodyay, only to resign the following year. He was elected again to the Legislative Council seat of York on 11th February 1880.

He was widowed in April 1913, and died on 14 January 1921.

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