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Herbert William Hancock (1852–1936)

Mr. Herbert William Hancock, an outstanding identity in the Northam district for many years and a pioneer of the North-West, died yesterday at his home in Northam. He was aged nearly 84 years.

Born at Boyadine, near Beverley, on June 24, 1852, he was the son of the late George Hancock, who came to Western Australia from Devonshire in the sailing vessel Warrior in 1830, about a year after the founding of the Swan River Settlement. When only 14 years old he accompanied the first party which left the Beverley district to take stock overland to the North-West.

The party took with them 2000 sheep and two teams of horses, and, passing through unexplored territory, arrived at the Sherlock River, about 35 miles in an easterly direction from Roebourne, 13 months after leaving Beverley. He and a brother also went with the party that founded Woodbrook station. Subsequently he took up farming interests at Beverley and then at Northam. As a sheep farmer he carried off many prizes at the Royal Agricultural Society's shows and at country shows and he was one of the founders of the Northam Agricultural Society. He was selected by the Government to proceed to the Eastern States to choose breeding ewes to supply settlers on the newer areas. He took a leading part in the formation of the Northam Race Club and for more than 40 years was actively interested in horse racing and breeding. He was a life member of the Northam Racing Club.

Nearly 50 years ago he raced two mares, Lottie and Effie at the Spencer's Brook meeting. At that meeting, the colors of Mr. P. A. Connolly were carried in this State for the first time. The late Mr. Hancock maintained his keen interest in horse racing up to the last, and only last Wednesday attended the Northam Club's meeting.

In local governing work he had also evinced a keen interest and for many years served on the Northam Road Board. He was appointed a justice of the peace by the Wilson Government. He is survived by the widow, three daughters, Mrs. J. W. Anderson, Belmont; Miss Nina Hancock, and Mrs. Stott, Wickepin; and one son, Mr. G. Hancock, of the Northam district. The funeral will take place tomorrow in the Northam Cemetery. It will leave the private mortuary of J. W. Purslowe and Sons, Fitzgerald-street, Northam, at 3 p.m., proceeding to St John's Church and thence to the cemetery.

Original publication

Citation details

'Hancock, Herbert William (1852–1936)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


24 June, 1852
Beverley, Western Australia, Australia


1 March, 1936 (aged 83)
Northam, Western Australia, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.