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George William Mangles (1798–1833)

by Sandy McGie and Xavier Reader

This article was published:

George William Mangles (1789-1833) was a member of the wealthy, prominent Mangles family, and briefly lived in the Swan River colony between 1829 and 1832.[1] George arrived in the Swan River colony aboard the Parmelia in 1829, along with his cousin, Ellen Mangles (1807-1874), and her husband, Governor Sir James Stirling (1791-1865). Together, they formed part of the ‘first fleet’ of emigrants to the Swan River colony.[2]

George was born on the 28th of June 1798 in Hambledon, Surrey, England.[3] He was the son of Reverend Timothy Mangles (1770-1803) and Allee Hall (1773-1861), and had at least three other siblings: Timothy (1794-1819), Allee (d.1828), and Susanna (1800-1880).[4]  Many of George’s relations became vicars, soldiers, sailors, bankers and traders — all occupations intimately involved in the British colonial colonisation of the world from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.

Two of George’s uncles, James Mangles M.P. (1762-1838) and John Mangles (1759-1837), derived wealth from investments in the Atlantic slave trade.[5]  His uncles were part owners of the Rio Nova, a slaving vessel constructed in 1785 with a 333 tonnage capacity.[6]  Whilst under part-ownership of the Mangles, the Rio Nova made two trans-Atlantic slave voyages between West Africa and Jamaica in 1792 and 1793, transporting over 400 enslaved persons each. The latter voyage also reported the deaths of four enslaved persons during the Middle Passage.[7] 

George entered the British Army in 1819, aged twenty-one, and served in the rank of Lieutenant in the 15th Light Dragoons.[8] His father, Timothy, died on the 5th October 1803 when George was four years old. George’s elder brother Timothy, an outstanding student at Westminster school and Cambridge University, was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple but died in June 1819, aged twenty-five.[9]  This was followed by his sister Allee’s death in 1828.[10]  By the time George decided to emigrate to the fledgling Swan River colony in 1829, he only had one surviving sibling, Susanna.[11] 

Mangles was granted 2,500 acres of land on the Swan River, in addition to 3,200 acres in the Plantagenet district.[12] This was a new land grants system, where settlers were apportioned land according to the value of assets and labour they introduced.[13] He was also appointed to the position of Superintendent of Government Stock on the 16th of May 1829.[14]

Mangles years in the colony were likely difficult, despite his privileged family connections. A lack of supplies and acute labour shortages meant the fledgling colony nearly perished. In the muster book of 17th of January 1830, he is listed as having only three servants, twelve horned cattle and one horse.[15] He was never paid for his civil position as Superintendent of Government Stock, and was wholly reliant on his own resources to survive.[16] These conditions may have contributed to his decision to leave the colony for England just a few short years later in 1832. In a letter written by his uncle Frederick Mangles, it was reported that George “returned from Swan River the first opportunity he could find.”[17] Historian Malcolm Uren, however, attributes Mangles departure to his plans to start his own shipping service.[18] In any case, as per Colonial Office policy, the ‘unimproved’ land Mangles was originally allocated was taken back by the colonial administration. The Swan River grant was subsequently acquired by James Walcott and Charles Ridley (who had also occupied the house whilst Mangles had lived in there), and his Plantagenet land grant was transferred to his uncles at Frederick Mangles and Company.[19]

George Mangles appears not to have married or had any children. He died six months after his return to England in early December 1833, aged 35.[20] He was buried on the 18th of December at St John the Baptist in Egham in Surrey.[21] He was survived by his mother, Allee, who died on the 26 September 1861 in London, and his remaining sister, Susannah, who died in 1880.[22]


[1] ‘George William Mangles,’ England Select Birth and Christenings 1538-1975,

[2] Sir James Stirling, The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians, pre-1829–1988, ed. Rica Erickson (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1987), p.2949; ‘The Barque Parmelia and its Passengers,’ Celebrate WA,, p.1; Georgina Arnott, Zoë Laidlaw and Jane Lydon, ‘Introduction’, Australian Journal of Biographical History (Special Issue) 6 (2022), p.8.

[3] ‘George William Mangles,’ England Select Birth and Christenings.

[4] ‘Timothy Mangles (1770-1803),’ Cambridge University Alumni 1261-1900,; ‘Timothy Mangles,’ England Census, Online Database, tree/person/tree/180260226/person/222343601027/facts; ‘Timothy Mangles,’ England and Wales Civil Registration Death Index 1837-1915, vol. 3, p.1, Online Database, tree/person/tree/180260226/person222343601027/facts; ‘Allee Hall,’ England Census 1851, Online Database, tree/person/tree/180260226/person/222343601027/facts; England and Wales Civil Registration Death Index 1837-1915, Online Database, tree/person/tree/180260226/person222343601027/facts.

[5] Georgina Arnott, “Slavery, trade and settler colonialism: The Stirling family and Britain’s empire, c.1730-1840,” Australian Journal of Biographical History (Special Issue) 6, no. 1 (2022), p.74; Rice University, ‘Trans-Atlantic Slave-Trade Database,’ Voyage ID 83336, 83337, Online Database,; ‘James Mangles,’ UK and Ireland Find a Grave Online Database, https//, ‘John Mangles,’  Somerset England Church of England Burials 1813-1914, Online Database, tree/person/tree/180260226/person/222348134766/facts. James Mangles was also the father of Ellen Mangles Stirling (1809-1874), who married Sir James Stirling, Governor of the Swan River colony.

[6] Rice University, ‘Trans-Atlantic Slave-Trade Database,’ Online Database,; Kenneth Cozens, London Slave Ship Voyages Database,

[7] Rice University, Trans-Atlantic Slave-Trade Database.

[8] London Gazette, 7th October 1823. British Newspaper Archive, Further details of his military career are yet to be determined.

[9] ‘Timothy Mangles (1794-1819),’ Cambridge University Alumni 1261-1900,

[10] No birth details can be found for Allee. Probate was proved 8 December 1828. ‘England &Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858. The National Archives; Kew, Surrey England, Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury,’ The United Kingdom National Archives,

[11] ‘Susanna Mangles Iles (1800-1880),’ England and Wales Civil Registration Death Index, Online Database, tree/person/tree/180260226/person/222343601084/facts. Susannah married Thomas Hedgson, and they had eight children. See Ross Patrick Mangles, The Mangles Story,

[12] ‘Return of property on which land has been claimed from 01/06/1829-30/06/1830’, State Records Office of Western Australia, Consignment 5000, 683/02; ‘Return of Lands in Western Australia assigned up to the 20th day of July 1832’, SROWA Cons5000, 683/03.

[13] Arnott, Laidlaw and Lydon, ‘Introduction’, p.8.

[14] Pamela Statham, Ed. Rica Erickson, Dictionary of Western Australians 1829-1914 Vol1 Early Settlers 1829- 1950 (UWA Press Nedlands W.A. 1979.), 221; Preston, Captain Charles Edward Mangles, p.5.

[15] General Muster Book 1831, Returns relative to the Settlement on the Swan River, State Library of Western Australia,

[16] Hal Colebatch, A Story of a Hundred Years: WA 1829-1929 (Government Printer: Perth, 1929): p.25.

[17] Mangles, The Mangles Story, p.30-31.

[18] Malcolm Uren, Land Looking West: the story of Governor James Stirling in Western Australia, (London: Oxford University Press, 1948), p.221.

[19] Ian Berryman, Swan River Letters Volume 1 (Swan River Press: Glengarry, WA, 2002), p.263.

[20] The Morning Post, 21 December 1833. The British Newspaper Archive,; ‘George William Mangles,’ London Church of England Parish Registers, Online Database,

[21] The Morning Post, 21 December 1833.

[22] ‘Allee Hall,’ England and Wales Civil Registration Death Index 1837-1915, tree/person/tree/180260226/person222343601027/facts

Original Publication

Citation details

Sandy McGie and Xavier Reader, 'Mangles, George William (1798–1833)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


28 June, 1798
Hambledon, Surrey, England


December, 1833 (aged 35)

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