In 1825 Major Edmund Lockyer, 57th Regiment, was sent to Moreton Bay by Governor Brisbane to investigate a report that John
Gray, during an expedition out from the settlement, had come across a tribe of white-skinned people who carried bows and arrows. He had with him Thomas Robinson, a sailor who had been in Gray's party earlier that year, and Robinson was able to lead them to the place in the Brisbane Valley where the sighting was supposed to have occurred, but no light-skinned tribe could be found.
While on this expedition up the Brisbane river by boat, Lockyer came to a large creek running in from the west and marked this on his map. Cunningham later referred to this as Lockyer's Creek, and the name became official. He also gave Lockyer's name to a plain which he discovered on his travels in the area.
Edmund Lockyer had been in the army about twenty-two years, most of it spent in India and Ceylon, at the time of this expedition. He had come to the New South Wales colony
earlier that same year.
In the year following his visit to Moreton Bay,
in a move that was to forestall the French, he was sent by the Governor to choose a site for a settlement
on the South-West Coast of the continent. The
harbour where he landed the Brig Amity (on 26 December 1826)
is known as Princess Royal Harbour. The Princess Royal Harbour opens out
into King George Sound. The settlement that was established circa 20
January 1827 was originally named 'Frederickstown' in honour of the Duke of
Albany at that time, but was later changed to 'Albany'. He was recalled after a short period, and the
Swan River settlement was developed instead.
In 1827 Lockyer exchanged his army life for that of a property owner and government official. He acquired lands around New South Wales, and served as Police Magistrate and Superintendent of Police at Parramatta, Sergeant-at-arms in the Legislative Council and Usher of the Black Rod in the NSW Parliament.
He married Dorothea Agatha de Ly, 12
August, 1806, in Ceylon. They had one child. When he came to Australia he was
accompanied by his second wife, Sarah Morris. She had eleven children. After
Sarah died in 1854, he married Eliza Colston and she bore him three
children. He died 1860 at the age of 76.
The Aboriginal name for Loder's Creek
at Southport was Biggera, meaning ironbark.
What sort of man was Captain Patrick Logan, third Commandant of the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement? Lean, physically fit, energetic, determined, a heavy drinker, smoker of cigars, aloof, class conscious, reckless. Drove himself hard, so not surprisingly drove others similarly. Both critics and supporters agreed on one word - indefatigable. He and his wife, like the other officers and their wives, took great interest in building up their collection of local insects. He maintained a running quarrel with the chaplain who refused to fit into the system of military command.
In his thirties, he was a veteran of the Napoleonic and American wars, and had served in Ireland where he met and married Letitia O'Beirne of County Sligo. He had been an officer in the British Army for 16 years when he was sent by Governor Darling to pull the 18-month-old subsidiary settlement at Moreton Bay into shape.
When he arrived, there were no permanent buildings in Brisbane Town, only buildings of slab construction. He built in brick and stone and saw the beginnings of a town plan. He made the settlement agriculturally self-sufficient.
He expected his orders to be carried out and had no hesitation in administering discipline to see that they were. This included floggings for the prisoners who did not put in the work demanded of them, were insolent, tried to escape, or committed a crime. When available he also used solitary confinement, the treadmill and reduction of rations.
He won the admiration of the Governor and his peers for his administration of the settlement and for his exploration of the surrounding country. It was in the course of these explorations that he discovered a major river to the south which he called the Darling after his boss, the Governor of New South Wales. The Governor re-named it the Logan in his honour.
From the river has come the names of
Logan City, Logan Village, Loganholme and Loganlea.
His term as Commandant was almost at an end, his successor had already arrived, when he was killed while exploring in the Brisbane Valley, October, 1830. Officially he was killed by Aborigines, but a rumour has persisted that it could have been done by aggrieved convicts.
When William Castles migrated from Northern Ireland he went to Kyneton in Victoria. After the death of his first wife he married Isabella and they came to live in Queensland where, after a time in Brisbane, they moved to Pimpama. After being badly affected by flood there, they moved to new land on the Logan River in 1879 to which they gave the name
Loganholme. The ferry that crossed the river nearby had from the late 1860s been known as Holme's Ferry. It is said that Castles was a 'big and blustery fellow', stern but kind, an active layman in the Methodist Church and while not a qualified doctor had some considerable skills in medicine. He had to sell
Loganholme land on which he had build a substantial home, he called
Castledean, after costly court action. He died during the 1917 influenza epidemic.
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