The Strange Career of William de la Poer Beresford

  • Geoffrey Bolton


In the late 1860s and 1870s Western Australia was a stagnant backwater of the British Empire. Convict transportation ceased there as late as 1868; the white population numbered fewer than 25,000 and economic progress was slow. In this isolated and conservative community one of the few stimulating forces for change was an ex-convict Fremantle newspaper, the Herald, whose main columnist wrote under the pen-name of ‘A Sandal-Wood Cutter’. Under the guise of a shrewd if semi-literate working man, the writer tilted at the pretensions of Western Australia’s ruling class, those officials and merchants and pastoralists who cherished their invitations to Government House, those would-be colonial politicians who, with the coming of representative government in 1870, vied to cut a figure in the Legislative Council. ‘A Sandal-Wood Cutter’ was long remembered as a vigorous and entertaining critic of the privileged.


Trinity College Young Brother Legislative Council Life Assurance Noble Family 
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Copyright information

© Bob Reece 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Bolton

There are no affiliations available

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