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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Eastwood, John (Constable)

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1818
Place of birth Prestwich, Manchester, England
Date of arrival 1839
Principal occupation Policeman, Farmer
Date of death 1854
Place of decease Adelaide Gaol

John Eastwood was born in Prestwich, Manchester, England in 1818. He was the son of Robert and Cisely Eastwood. He arrived in South Australia on the ship Lady Lilford in September 1839 with his younger brother Simeon. John Eastwood joined the Mounted Police on September 30, 1840 and served at Willunga with Daniel Swaffer around the end of 1843 and during the beginning of 1844. He then served at Encounter Bay, Mt Remarkable and Moorundie (near Blanchetown) and resigned in November 1846.

John married Anna/Hannah Fisher at the Holy Trinity Church, Adelaide, on October 28, 1847. He then became a farmer at Currency Creek. He and Anna/Hannah had three children, all born at Currency Creek:

  • William (b. 17/8/8`48),
  • Cecilia Jane (b. 27 June 1850) and
  • Charles (b. 27/8/1853).

His brother, Simeon, also owned land in the area. But in 1852, a notice could be seen in the newspapers that a partnership between the brothers was dissolved. In February 1854, a newspaper article in the SA Register noted that:

INSANITY. — A man named John Eastwood was yesterday remanded for a week as a dangerous lunatic. (21/2/1854, p. 3) Only around two weeks later, an advertisement for land sales noted: Ngankgita: near Currency Creek. – Section 2043, known as Eastwood’s Section. Good Water and well Timbered. (Adelaide Observer, 4/3/54 p. 1)

It is likely that this land belonged to John and Anna, and was being sold to support the family. John was to stay under restraint in the Adelaide Gaol for the next ten months and Simeon made representations to the Colonial Surgeon that he be released. Unfortunately, John was found to be a danger to the public and was recommitted. One week later, on December 18, 1854, he died at the gaol. According to the SA Register, Coroner's Inquest. —George Stevenson, Esq., Coroner, held an inquest on Monday afternoon, at the Gaol, on the body of John Eastwood, a lunatic, deceased. It appeared that the deceased had been under restraint since February last, and was incurable. He had gradually sunk to the last stage of exhaustion, although throughout that term he received the most constant attention and every comfort. The Jury, under the direction of the Coroner, found a verdict of "Natural Death." (19/12/1854, p. 3)

He is buried at the West Terrace Cemetery.

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