(1816 - 1882)Alfred Bussell was born on the 21st of June, 1816 at Portsea, Hampshire in
England. Alfred's father, Reverand William Bussell, died when he was only 4 years old. This left Alfred's mother,
Frances Bussell, to educate and raise nine children. Frances, not too concerned about her daughters, struggled to
properly educate her sons John, William, Lennox, Charles, Vernon and Alfred so they could make a better life for
themselves. In the late 1820's Charles Bussell and his mother pursuaded the eldest son, John Bussell, who had plans
of entering the Church, to emigrate to the new Swan River Colony in Western Australia. Both had different reasons
for pursuading John to leave both country and Church to live in a new colony. Frances saw it as a golden
opportunity for her sons to aquire land and make a future for themselves and her family. Charles on the other hand
had a speech impediment that he feared would hinder his prospects in a professional career. The opportunity to
settle in a new country was the perfect solution for him.
In March, 1830, 27 year old John boarded the "Warrior" with three of his brothers, Charles (19),
Vernon (16) and Alfred (14) to find a new future in Western Australia.
On arrived in Fremantle, on the 12th of March, 1830, the brothers, like many new settlers who had
arrived at the Swan River Colony, discovered that all the fertile land near the colony was already taken.
Lieutenant-Governor James Stirling persuaded the new settlers to move 320km south, to an area near Cape Leeuwin.
Captain Molloy with a small military detachment and about thirty settlers headed south and arrived in an area near
the Blackwood River in Augusta. Among the new settlers from the "Warrior" were Captain John Molloy and his wife
Georgiana, James Woodward Turner and his family and the four Bussell brothers.
For four long years the brothers tried to establish a farm, initially at Augusta and then furthur
up along the Blackwood River near Alexandra Bridge. The years were hard for the brothers, especially for Alfred
who was still just a teenager. Most of the trees in the area were either Jarrah or Karri and it could take up to a week to cut one tree and remove the roots. If that wasn't enough
they would also discover, having cleared the land, that the soil was quite unsuitable for farming. The brothers
built their first home in Augusta and it was named "Datchet'. The house was built from stone and mortar with the
thatched roof made from local rushes. However it wasn't long before John became frustrated with the poor farming
conditions and began conducting several expeditions into the Vasse region, looking for more suitable farming
land. The Bussells by then had built a new homestead which they named "Adelphi" (meaning; the brothers) near
Alexandra Bridge. Charles, however continued to live in Augusta.
In 1833 the brothers were joined by another brother Lennox and two of their sisters, Frances and
Elizabeth.On the 5th of November (Guy Fawkes Day) a fire that began in the wooden chimney, swept through the
Adelphi Homestead, destroying all but a few poccessions. With no reason to rebuild, John and the family
re-established themselves at the Vasse. The brothers were soon to be reunited with their mother, who arrived late
in 1834, with their sister Mary.
In 1850, Alfred Bussell married sixteen year old, Ellen Heppingstone. The couple lived for a short
time at Broadwater (Vasse) before moving to their new property, Ellensbrook,in 1857. The area would later become
the townsite of Margaret River.
Alfred, with the help of Aboriginal labour, built the Ellensbook Homestead . Ellen established a dairy, whilst Alfred established a cattle and timber
business. Ellen would use the nearby cave to store and preserve her butter, as the temperatures were
consistently low. Alfred became extremely friendly with the local Aboriginals ( Wardandi Tribe ) and could speak their dialect fluently. He also became an expert on bush
medicine, taught to him by the Aboriginals.
In 1865, Alfred and Ellen still grieving over the loss of their three infant sons, left
"Ellensbrook" and moved to "Wallcliffe", near the mouth of Margaret River. Alfred who was now a prosperous farmer
purchased (in addition to Ellensbrook and Wallcliffe) Burnside, Fairy Ring and Woodyche and aquired land holdings
that stretched from Cowaramup to the Donnelly River.
Alfred also became a prominent Member of the Western Australian Legislative Council for several
In 1876, one of Alfred's daughters, sixteen year old Grace, was involved in the rescue, of fifty
passengers from the sinking ship S.S. Georgette . The shipwreck survivors were later taken to Wallcliffe where they were fed and
sheltered. Grace would become a hero and be ever known as "Australia's Grace Darling".
In 1877, at the age of 43, Ellen died, she was followed five years later by Alfred, in 1882. Alfred
and his wife would have six sons and eight daughters.