For well over 100 years, the Seymours were recognised as the leading family in the local Dunsborough community.
William Frederick Seymour, who arrived from England as a whaler in 1838, established his Dunsborough farm around 1850 while managing the nearby Castle Rock whaling station. He married Mary Scanlon, a bride-ship girl from famine-stricken Ireland. Mary had the first white child born in Dunsborough, and eventually bore eight more children.
For ten years William and Mary enjoyed an idyllic lifestyle on their new farm, next to the gorgeous Dunsborough beach. Then disaster struck. During the following few years, they lost their three eldest children in tragic circumstances. And William was charged with the murder of one of his employees. He died not long after, at the age of only 54. Mary survived her husband by 45 years, astonishingly raising her young family while successfully maintaining the farm.
Out of this desperate family crisis arose the leader of the next generation of Seymours; second son Robert John, who was only four years old when his father died. He expanded the farm on to adjacent property resulting in the Seymour dynasty owning over 400 priceless acres with extensive beachfront.
This land entirely encompassed the area now occupied by the Dunsborough shopping and business precinct; today some of Western Australia’s most sought after real estate outside the Perth metropolitan area. Robert John built the first Dunsborough store and the first bakery as well as starting the first garage; initiating the birth of the present township.
This book places on record the absorbing stories of this remarkable family whose contribution to so much of the history of Dunsborough now goes unnoticed.
The author, Errol Seymour, is a great grandson of William Frederick Seymour. Errol spent his early childhood on the Seymour farm until he was nine years old, when his parents moved to Perth. His story reflects a world changing at a frantic pace: from nineteenth century whaling off Western Australia’s coast to today’s challenging extraction of its offshore oil and gas reserves.
"Scandals, secrets, tragedies and heroes are the basis of a book The Boy Who Told Stories: The Seymours of Dunsborough written by Errol Seymour " by Emma Kirk Busselton Mail 25/7/19.
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