Thomas Peel

Thomas Peel ( * 1793 in Lancashire, United Kingdom, † December 22, 1865 in Mandurah, Western Australia, Australia ) was a colonist and one of the first settlers and land owners of the Swan River Colony, later Western Australia. Peel tried to establish a new British colony without the use of public capital, which failed and earned him fierce scorn.

Early life

Thomas Peel was the second son of Thomas Peel and his wife Dorothy, nee Bolton. He went to Harrow School and worked for a lawyer. In 1823 he married Mary Charlotte Dorking Ayrton. After the birth of their children, Julia and Thomas they went to Carnoustie in Banffshire, Scotland, where their second daughter, Dorothy was born in 1827.

Colony founding

Thomas Peel went in 1828 to London, where he planned his emigration to New South Wales. There he founded with three other shareholders an association to establish a British colony on the Australian continent.

The intention was to send 10,000 settlers with all the necessary goods and materials to be founded for the Swan River Colony, later Western Australia. From the British Colonial Office to him ( about 16,000 km ²) 4,000,000 acres of land should be guaranteed.

The British Colonial Office, in the then British colonial government, then under the political pressure of James Stirling, who had the area on the Swan River explored in 1827 and from the Colonial Office demanded the right to development of this area and the appointment as governor of the new colony. When George Murray, the Colonial Office took over in May 1828 as Secretary of State, but he would give no binding commitment, because he had little interest in the establishment of the new colony. Perhaps through the influence of the cousin of Thomas Peel, the then Home Secretary Robert Peel (1778-1850) and by offering the corporation by Thomas Peel, he changed his attitude, because that was without the use of public capital a new British colony founded and at the same time the initiative of Stirling be followed. The Colonial Office declared himself ready, peel assure under certain conditions the country, but only 1,000,000 acres ( 4000 km ²). As Peel hesitated offered him Solomon Levey, who already owned land in New South Wales, a longstanding partnership as a donor, since he economic opportunities in the new colony figured itself. Levey, who had formerly been a convict himself, sent rid of a ship with 179 convicts from London, which, however, six weeks later than agreed because of adverse weather, on 15 December 1828 arrived. In other sources 300 or 400 prisoners are called. Levey led the shops in London, and Peel should lead them in Australia.

Because of this delay, the guarantee of the country by the British Colonial Office lapsed and 250,000 acres of land (1,000 km ²) was reduced in the area of ​​Cockburn Sound and Murray River. The agreement of Peel and Levey, more goods and material with the firm Cooper & Levey of Sydney to ship out, was not complied with. The cargo never arrived, even though she was paid. Peel never reported the problems to London, which meant that he ruined the lender Levey.

Failure of colony founding

Peel was a bad organizer, also lacked sufficient labor for the settlers and plenty of good farmland for successful farming. The livestock was difficult; the sheep were eating poisonous plants and died or were attacked by dingoes. There were also several attacks on the settlers and Aboriginal devastating bushfires. Peel became ill during this difficult time; He had a gunshot wound to his right hand, which he had probably contracted in a duel with the captain of Rockingham, which destroyed his last ship during a landing in Cockburn Sound. The colonists protested and refused to make payments. Thomas Peel had in the first two years of expenses of £ 50,000, many settlers, including James Henty, left him and went to Port Phillip or to Tasmania. 1833 died his partner Levey. Thus, the first settlement of the colony had failed.

After this attempt by the private development of a state colony had failed, Karl Marx railed in a dispute over the modern theory of colonization against the British colonial politician Edward Gibbon Wakefield:

" " First of all, Wakefield discovered in the colonies, that the ownership of money, food, machinery, and Andren production means a person not yet stamped for capitalists when the supplement is missing, the wage-worker, the other man who is forced themselves voluntarily to sell. He discovered that capital is not a thing but a social relation mediated by things between people. Mr. Peel, he moans in front of us, took food and inputs for Belauf of £ 50,000 from England to the Swan River, New Holland, with. Mr. Peel was careful addition 3,000 persons of the working class to bring men, women and children. Once arrived at the destination place, " was Mr. Peel, without a servant to make his bed or to draw him water from the river. " Unfortunately Mr. Peel who provided for everything except the export of English relations of production after the Swan River! "

Late life

On July 31, 1832 Peel was pledged 250,000 acres of land, and in 1833 he began the construction of a farm house on the Serpentine River, which was completed in 1839. Peel's family arrived with his wife's mother and a maid in April 1834; 1838 Thomas Peel founded with a partner, a company for whaling. In 1839 he was elected to the Legislative Council, gave this mandate but already in 1841, after fourteen months, again. In 1839 his family returned to England, he was denied the return. 1856 died Peels oldest daughter Julia, in the following year his wife. Thomas Peel died impoverished in 1865 in Mandurah, Western Australia.


After Peel were in Western Australia, the Peel region and an estuary, the Peel Inlet named. He is, despite his failure, in addition to the first Governor James Stirling as one of the founding fathers of Western Australia.