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Robert Ferdinand Pries (1821–1905)

The past week has seen another of our oldest and best respected residents, in the person of the late Mr. Robert Ferdinand Pries, pass over to the great majority, the sad event taking place at his residence in Albert street, at about 4 a.m. on Monday last. Born at Rostock, North Germany, in the year 1821, the deceased gentleman had reached the ripe old of 84 years, a very large portion of which has been spent in Western Australia. Mr. Pries was a man of considerable culture, having been educated at the famous old college of Heidelberg, and numbering amongst his associates there the late Baron von Mueller, the celebrated botanist, whose many works in that particular science are so well known to all Australians; until parted by death the two school fellows kept up a constant correspondence upon topics concerning this as well as their home land. It is to the older generation who settled between the Vasse and Perth, that Mr. Pries will be especially remembered. In the early times mails had to be conveyed through the bush on horseback and many were the fatiguing journeys undertaken by the deceased between the two settlements; experiences of which he often related in after years. In addition to possessing a first class education, deceased was an accomplished musician, and with unfailing regularity devoted portion of each day to his cherished musical instrument. Mr. Pries retired from commercial life some twenty-five or thirty years ago, and has since resided with his sons at Busselton. Notwithstanding deceased's advanced age he endured with the utmost patience a long and painful illness, though happily his last moments were quiet and painless. All the members of his family were able to assemble at his bedside, and say farewell. Deceased retained all his intellectual faculties with perfect clearness until the end. In addition to his widow, deceased leaves one daughter and four sons, the latter all holding positions of trust in the service of the State.

The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon in the Anglican portion of the local cemetery, the Rev. W. A. Darling conducting service both at the church and graveside. A large number of old friends, from all parts of the district attended the funeral, Messrs. R. Gale, J.P, Jas. Forrest, J.P., G. W. Barnard, sen., and O. Stafford acted as pall bearers. Many beautiful floral tributes were laid upon the grave, amongst them being those from Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Yelverton, "Blanche," Miss Guerin, Mrs. Vines and Miss Bussell, Mr. and Mrs. R. Gale, Mrs. Macpherson, Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Ost, " Wonnerup." Mr. and Mrs Ed. Carson, Carnarvon, the Knapton family, Mrs. Yelverton, sen., Corporal and Mrs. Purkiss, Mr. and Mrs. L. H. Nicholls, Mrs. Winwood, Mr. and Mrs. H. Yelverton, and others.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Pries, Robert Ferdinand (1821–1905)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Preis, Robert Ferdinand

26 July, 1821
Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany


20 March, 1905 (aged 83)
Busselton, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

general debility

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.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Convict Record

Crime: forgery
Sentence: life
Court: Old Bailey, London
Trial Date: 31 January 1853


Occupation: general merchant
Married: Yes
Children: Yes (2)