NAME James BLYTHName variations: Blythe
Birth Date and Place1812 Mains, Dundee, Forfar, Scotland [Parchment Cert].
Baptism Date and Place
Marriage Date and Place19 Mar 1843 Bunbury, Wellington District, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.68].
SpouseComfort STANTON [WABDM Reg.68].
ChildrenMary Elizabeth b. 1843 Bunbury, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.225].
Albert Ogilvie b. 1844 Australind, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.453].
Charlotte Matilda b. 1846 Australind, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.753].
Roland b. 1848 Australind, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.1115].
Joseph b. 1850 Belvidere, Western Australia [WABDM Reg. 1467].
James Drummond b.1852 Fremantle, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.1880].
Comfort b. 1854 Swan, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.2508].
Esther b. 1856 Guildford, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.3483].
OccupationsApprentice Wheelright 15 Jun 1827 to 28 Jun 1831, Kirkton [BLKB p.135].
Wheelwright.
Police Constable 1840-1841.
Convict Establishment Cook, Gatekeeper, Nightwarder [BARK p.20].
Carpenter, Joiner and Farmer, Bunbury, Australind, Yalgorup.
Farm Management, Scott Property, 1852.
Wheelwright and Joiner, Swan Districts, Mt Pleasant (on Guildford Road) 1854.
Land Acquisition in WATown Lot 63 Bunbury [BLKB p.139].
Death Date and Place16 May 1857 [BLKB p.139].
Burial Date and PlaceGuildford Church of England Cemetery, Western Australia (now Guildford Grammar School) [BLKB p.139].
Death, Funeral, Obituary Notices
Will and ProbateNone.
BRITISH ARMY
Regiment21st (Royal North British Fuzileers) Regiment.
Soldier No. and Rank#870 Private [Parchment Cert].
Attestation Date and Place9 Jul 1831 [Parchment Cert].
Arrival Australia State: Ship and Date28 Dec 1832 embarked for NSW a Convict Guard – ship unknown [BLKB p.269 not verified].
4 Jul 1833 in Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land [WO12-3802-17]. Research continues.
Arrival Western Australia: Ship and DateJane 9 Sep 1833 from Hobart [TROVE].
Military Postings within Western Australia
Note: The term ‘On Detachment’ recorded on a Muster & Pay List
usually indicates that the soldier
has been posted to a military post
in the Colony. In the case
of 21st Regiment, the place is unfortunately
not often specified.
Murray River Oct to Dec 1833 [WO12-3802].
On Detachment Jan to Dec 1834 [WO12-3802/3803].
Perth HQ Jan to Sep 1835[WO12-3804].
Attending Surveyors Oct to Nov 1835.
Perth HQ Dec 1835 to Jan1836 [WO12-3805].
On Detachment Feb to Mar 1836.
Perth HQ Apr to Jun 1836.
On Detachment Jul 1836 to Sep 1837 [WO12-3805/3806].
Coulston Oct 1837. Perth HQ Nov 1837.
Leschenault Dec 1837 to Sep 1838 [WO12-3806/3807].
Perth HQ Oct 1838 [WO12-3807].
Leschenault Nov 1838 to Mar 1840 [WO12-3807/3808].
On Detachment Apr 1840 [WO12-3809].
Swan River May to Jul 1840 [WO12-3809].
Courts Martial in Western AustraliaNone.
Discharge Date and Place31 Jul 1840 [WO12-3809-69].
Age at Discharge29 years [deduced].
Length of Service9 years 22 days [Parchment Cert].
Discharged at his own request.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS
In December 1835 James Blyth, according to the Musters, was on ‘detachment’. This newspaper report indicates that he was assisting Charles Norcott, Superintendent of Mounted Police, another policeman and two aboriginal trackers: Migo and Molly-dobbin, in the search for a missing child. The youngster, son of a Mr Hall of the Murray settlement, was only five or six years old, yet the search party had found him on Clarence Beach, some forty miles away.

Norcott, a young man of 25 at the time, had made a name for himself at the incident between aboriginals and settlers, the police and some 21st Regiment soldiers at Pinjarra. It is thought that James Blyth may have been present at this affray, but cannot be verified.

On 15 Jul 1837, the Perth Gazette published a lengthy article about escaped native prisoner, Goodap. Click here for an excerpt that records James Blyth’s involvement.

Blyth clearly had some experience in policing, thus joined the WA Police Force at Bunbury after he was discharged from the Army in 1840. He spent about a year in the Force and left in November 1841 to work as a carpenter, joiner and farmer.

Further information about James Blyth’s life and that of his descendents can be found in Geoff Blackburn’s book Conquest and Settlement which covers the men of the 21st Regiment who served in Western Australia 1833-1840.

Other documents can be found in the Battye Library’s material [SLWA Acc 386A]:
Envelope containing Parchment Certificate; three pieces of house plans:  Verandah, Sitting Room, 3 Bedrooms and a Store (but no indication of where the house was located).
Accounts Book for James Blyth 1842, 1846, 1850. Hard Cover (front and back).
Diary and Accounts, James Blyth: Australind – Yelgerup – Mt Pleasant; entries for 1847, 1848, 1849, 1850, 1855, 1856, 1857.
Front Cover (damaged), detached Back Cover, 19 pages written both sides and on covers.