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australian rowers profiles and history

Wilbraham Frederick Evelyn Liardet


Liardet was a hotel keeper, water colourist and pioneer of Port Melbourne who was also instrumental in arranging some of the early regattas in Melbourne.

He served in the British navy and army reaching the rank of Lieutenant before retiring on half pay. In 1839, he and his family migrated to Australia. En route to Sydney, his ship stopped in Port Phillip and so did he.

He settled in Port Melbourne and commenced several businesses including collecting mail from ships and delivering to Melbourne thrice daily, established a hotel and also a carriage service to Melbourne. He was not a businessman and often failed. Fortunately his children were far more competent. Described by some as impetuous and a romantic, he was entertaining being a musician and sportsman. It has been suggested that his hotel guests were hospitably entertained but probably not billed.

He built a substantial jetty at Liardet's Beach, Port Melbourne to which passengers could disembark from their long journeys to Victoria.

As a promoter of early regattas in Victoria, he could claim to be a pioneer of rowing in Victoria.

Compiled by Andrew Guerin
February 2024

Source: 'Liardet, Wilbraham Frederick Evelyn (1799–1878)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 14 May 2022

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