August 2021










Located at the Old Schoolmaster's House, Edenvale Heritage Precinct, Pinjarra. 

Our volunteers are there to greet you on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am – 3 pm, or by appointment.


The aim of the Historical Society is to research, collect, maintain and share stories of the Murray District that stretches from North Dandalup to Coolup, from West Murray to Dwellingup – and including the vibrant town of Pinjarra.  We have a well maintained local history library, interesting displays and a large collection of photographs, documents, and display books.


We also have a strong membership of enthusiastic people and are always looking for additional members to join us.  If you have a love of history, in particular of the Murray District, or if you have information to share, please visit us.  And if you like what you see, consider becoming a member of our group.  Our general meetings with a guest speaker are open to visitors.  Other events, including bus trips, are available to members.  All visitors are welcome to browse our collections during our ‘open’ hours or by appointment.


NOTE:    for All interested persons and All Members

A most interesting programme of coming events includes:



¨ AGM - 24th August 2021 (Tuesday)

Annual General Meeting – Murray Districts Historical Society

7pm – 9pm @ The Lesser Hall – between the Council Offices and Library, Pinjarra Road, Pinjarra.

Guest Speaker: Richard Offen (Heritage Consultant, Author)

will speak on the subject of “Beginnings - A Brief History of WA from the first human settlers to 1890’s Gold Rush”.

If you would like to join us please contact Anne Cubitt on:

Mob. 0422 516 283 or email


Familiarisation Morning Tea 30th August 2021 (Monday)

10am @ The Old Schoolmasters House, Edenvale Precinct

Thinking of Volunteering?


Are you already on the Volunteer List for Murray Districts Historical Society

and would like to learn how you can assist as a Volunteer?

If that is you … come along and join us!


     Anne Cubitt (Secretary)

     ph: 0422 516 283




(excerpt only)

WA’s Oldest Convict



(alias THOMAS KING),

CONVICT (1831 – 1836) (Reg. No. 9489)


On Tuesday, at the Old Men’s Home, Claremont, a unique birthday party, with cake and all was held.  The festivities were in honour of the 100th anniversary of Edward Fox’s natal day. Born in Nottingham on May 24, 1832. Edward came to Western Australia in ’69 in the “good ship Norwood”. The handsome 3-decker cake that bedecked the festival board, was the gift of Mills and Ware, of Fremantle, and in addition, Mr Fox was the recipient of hundreds of messages of congratulations.


Later it was found that Edward Fox was actually a year older than he thought.  He lived on to celebrate his 104th birthday in 1936.  Journalists were keen to spend time with him and learn the secrets of a long life.

Note: The transcript  of the Journalist’s interview is available at the Murray Districts Historical Society – it confirms his name, date of birth and interesting facts of his life.


Behaviour in WA –

  • 4 March 1868 at Swan – creating a disturbance by throwing away his meat, saying that it was not fit to eat – 3 months hard labour at Depot.
  • 23 March 1868 at Swan – breaking a goose’s leg – dismissed.
  • 17 Dec 1868 at Swan – mutinous conduct – 7 days  B & W.
  • 13 Sept 1869 – ticket of leave to R.M. Swan.
  • 14 Sept 1869 – discharged to ticket of leave.
  • 18 Jan 1870 – R.M. Swan – absconding from service of Duval – 1 month H.L. – not free before 24/11/71.
  • 9 Dec 1870 – ticket of leave to R.M. Swan.
  • 20 Dec 1870 – drunk, fined 5/-.
  • 23 Nov 1871 – Certificate of Freedom to R.M. Guildford.
  • 3 Jan 1872 – Ticket of Leave Certificate returned & destroyed.


Employment Record –

  • 19 Sept 1869 – Cooking at Swan District, 30/- per month, John Dewar of Guildford.
  • 31 Dec 1869 – Labourer, piece work, 4/- per diem, ditto.
  • 4 Jan 1870 – Bootmaker at Swan, 30/- per month, John Picken, Swan. (an expiree)
  • 19 May 1870 – Shoemaker, piece work, Swan District, W. Halliday, Swan.
  • 30 June 1870 – ditto, ditto.
  • 15 July 1870 – Shoemaker, 30/- per month, J Picken, Swan.
  • 15 Nov 1870 – ditto, ditto, Job. Shenton, ditto.
  • 23 Nov 1870 – General Labourer, 35/- per month, Swan John Picken.
  • 30 Dec 1870 – Shoemaker, 40/- per month, Job. Shenton, Swan. Reported 31/12/70.
  • 13 Jan 1871 – Labourer, 40/- per day, John Hill, Swan.
  • 27 Jan 1871 – Shoemaking, 35/- per month, John Picken, Guildford.
  • 25 May 1871 – Tinman, piece work, … (indecipherable) Jones, Guildford.
  • 30 June 1871 – Shoemaker, 40/- per month, ditto, ditto.
  • 10 July 1871 – ditto, ditto, Stephen Brown, Gingin.


Edward Fox married Emily Bateman at Pinjarra in 1873.

Emily was the daughter of his employer, bootmaker William Calverley Bateman, a former ex-convict (No. 6238), who arrived in the colony in 1862 on an earlier voyage of the Norwood. Edward and Emily Fox had seven children, listed as follows:

  • Louisa, born Pinjarra, 1874.
  • Ernest, born Pinjarra, 1877.
  • Emily, Born Dandalup, 1878.
  • Mary Emma, born Bunbury, 1880.
  • Elizabeth, born Albany, 1883.
  • Alice born Albany, 1886.
  • Lucy, born Albany, 1890.

Edward’s wife, Emily Fox, of South Guildford, passed away on 9 October 1915, at the age of 64 years. Her husband was to outlive her by more than 20 years, dying at the age of 104 years and six months. The death of Edmund Fox, aged 104, from suburb unknown, is listed in the WA death registers in 1936.  His daughter Mrs. Lucy Sanders and her husband were t the Old Men’s Home when he passed away.  He was buried in the Methodist Cemetery at Guildford.

 (excerpt above from information Submitted by Irma Walter, 2021)

The entire submission can be read at the Murray Districts Historical Society.


At the Old Schoolmaster’s House in Henry … Come and look through the House as there is much more history to see and learn about!


Do you have an interest in the history of Pinjarra and the Murray Districts?

If you would like to become one of our volunteers, please advise Jill on 0408 846 567 or by email


Follow our monthly articles in the Community Newspaper for more information about the history of Pinjarra and the heritage buildings of the Murray District.  And we always welcome any stories or photos you are willing to share with us.


And we welcome new members.

For information about the Murray Districts Historical Society, its membership and its activities, please contact

Anne Cubitt – Secretary


For assistance with research or general questions about local history, contact Merv Beacham on 0417 986 838, or Val King on 0458 673 608


For more photos and stories of the rich history of the Murray, look at our Website or visit us at the Old Schoolmaster’s House within the Edenvale Heritage Precinct.


You can also Like us on Facebook here


We are grateful to all of our Sponsors, Supporters and our Volunteers

and we look forward to All Visitors during 2021.


Murray Districts Historical Society • Old Schoolmaster's House, Henry Street • Edenvale Precinct • Pinjarra Western Australia