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John Wellstead [courtesy Graham Leader]
St Mary’s Parish Church, Rye, Sussex
John Welsted baptism entry 1821
51st Regiment Lieutenant and Private
John Pullen’s Army Enlistment
John Pullen’s Army Discharge
The Wellstead Memorial, Bremer Bay
West Australian 10 Mar 1896 – Probate
NAME John PULLEN aka John WELLSTEADName variations: Wellsted, Welstead, Welsted, Millstead
Birth Date and Place13 Jan 1820 Rye, Sussex, England – not verified.
Baptism Date and Place04 Mar 1821 St Mary’s Church, Rye, Sussex, England [West Sussex County Council].
Marriage Date and Place15 Mar 1849 St John’s Church, Albany, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#256].
SpouseAnne CRAWFORD.
The Next Generation

Mary Ann b.1850 Albany, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#1408].
Elisabeth b.1851 Three Mile Plain, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#1776].
John b.1854 Albany, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#2234].
Rebecca b.1856 Albany, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#3100].
Barbara b.1857 Albany, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#3905].
Jane b.1857 Albany, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#3905].
Emma b.1860 Three Mile Plain, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#5249].
Ellen b.1861 Kent District, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#6143].
George Edward b,1863 Kent District, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#7244].
Robert Allen b.1865 Albany, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#8604].
Roderick Joseph b.1867 Albany, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#10338].
Margaret Laura b.1869 Kent District, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#11800].

OccupationsMail Carrier Contractor.
Farmer and Grazier.
Land Acquisition in WASee Land identified in The Will (link below).
Death Date and Place13 Feb 1896 aged 76 Albany, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#1774].
Burial Date and PlaceFeb 1896 Albany Cemetery, Western Australia.
Memorial Bremer Bay Pioneer Graves, Jerramungup Shire. Western Australia [Findagrave].
Death, Funeral, Obituary NoticesAustralian Advertiser (Albany) 20 Feb 1896.
Daily News 25 Feb 1896.
Inquirer and Commercial News 28 Feb 1896.
Will and ProbateWill: 25 May 1892 altered 27 May 1893.  Probate: 28 Feb 1896. Supreme Court Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Western Australia. Value of Estate: £8328 9s. 11d.
Click here to read Will.  Probate files comprise 28 pages in total [Cons 3403-1896-12].
Regiment51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding, The Kings Own Light Infantry) Regiment.
Soldier No. and Rank#1317 Private.
Enlistment Date and Place16 Feb 1839 Chatham HQ.
Age 20 years. Bounty paid to recruit £3 0s. 0d. [WO12-6200-561].
First Muster at Chatham [WO12-6200-561].
Physical DescriptionHeight: 5 ft. 10 ins. [WO12-6200-561].
Medals, Clasps and BadgesNone.
Arrival: Van Diemen’s Land Ship and DateLayton. Embarked 22 Jun 1839, London [WO12-6201-205].
Arr. 07 Dec 1839 from Portsmouth, England dep. 13 Jul 1839 [DPS].
Arrival Western Australia: Ship and DateRunnymede 25 Jun 1840 from Hobart [TROVE].
Military Postings within Western AustraliaYork 25 Jun to 31 Dec 1840.
Perth HQ 1 Jan 1841 to 1 Apr 1842 inc. 6 days in hospital.
On Command 1 May to 31 May 1842.
King George’s Sound (KGS) 1 Jun 1842 to 30 Sep 1843.
Kojonup 1 Oct 1843 to 30 Jun 1844.
KGS 1 Jul 1844 to 30 Sep 1844.
Kojunup 1 Oct 1844 to 31 Jan 1845.
Perth HQ 1 Feb to 28 Feb 1845 when discharged.
[All sourcing from WO12-6202 TO 6206].
Courts Martial in Western AustraliaNone.
Discharge Date and Place28 Feb 1845 Perth, Western Australia [WO12-6205-346].
Age at Discharge25 years – deduced.
Length of Servicec. 6 years – deduced.


The Qualup Bell (Pimelea physodes) indigenous to Western Australia was present on the Wellstead Property.

Working as I do with primarily War Office records, it took me only a short time before I realised that John PULLEN and John WELLSTEAD was the same man. It took me longer to discover why John Wellstead, well known farmer of Bremer Bay, used the name Wellstead after his discharge from the Army and Private Pullen during his Army career. Here is a tentative explanation:

John Wellstead was born in Rye, Sussex on 13 Jan 1820. I am sure this has been verified by his family from a family document that has eluded me. He was baptised in St Mary’s Parish Church, Rye on 4 Mar 1821 as son of John and Elizabeth Welsted by Rev. R Knott (see left sidebar). On 12 Sep 1825 John Wellsted (Senior) aged 30 died at Playden, Sussex (for which I have a burial record). Playden is approximately one mile from Rye. On 29 Jun 1827, a William Pullen married Elizabeth Welsted at Cranbrook, Kent This couple appears on the 1841 Census in Cranbrook along with a ‘man servant’ by the name of George Welsted – could this have been the brother of our John Pullen/John Wellstead, born to Elizabeth just before the death of her first husband? Indeed, a further check of the 1851 Census records a George Welsted residing in Cranbrook, Kent but born in Rye, Sussex. This suggests that the children of John and Elizabeth Welsted were brought up by their step-father William Pullen in Cranbrook, and that John Pullen used his step-father’s name on his Army enlistment and reverted to his birth name once he discharged from the Army and settled in Western Australia.

Wellstead was not an uncommon name in the Swan River Colony. There are examples of an E Wellstead, cabinetmaker; Thomas Wellstead an enrolled pensioner guard and warder at the convict establishment; S Wellstead who donated money to the Lancashire Cotton Fund. When the newspaper frequently does not give an initial, let alone a complete given name, it is difficult to identify who is whom in the Wellstead newsprint. I therefore tended to ignore the advertisements and shipping news in favour of ‘sure-things’ when seeking news stories from TROVE, the National Library of Australia’s digitised newspaper archive.

John Pullen, before he discharged from the Army, was the holder of a dog licence in January 1842 (Perth Gazette). John Wellstead of Bremer Bay was clearly a successful farmer and responsible citizen when his name appeared in newsprint advertising 700 cattle for sale (West Australian February and March 1881) and a lambing of 98% (Inquirer and Commercial News August 1881). Thereafter, he was consistently concerned about the state of the country roads when he wrote to the Editor of the Albany Mail in April and November 1883.


For a further overview of Wellstead’s life in Australia, see John Wellstead the Elder, pioneer settler at Bremer Bay by Robert Stephens.

Diane Oldman 2021