THE LAYMANS OF WONNERUP. Pioneer's Centenary. TO commemorate the centenary of the birth of the late Mr. George Layman, of Wonnerup House, near Busselton, his descendants are having a stone tablet placed in the wall of the homestead, now occupied by his daughters Misses Ida and Stella Lay- man. The inscription on the stone gives the date of birth, May 9, 1838, and states that Wonnerup House was built at the time of his marriage in 1859 to Amelia Harriet Curtis. Mr. Layman died on December 13, 1921. Mrs. Layman died in 1916. There were 11 children of the marriage, four sons and seven daughters. Five daughters are still living, Mrs. F. O. Maitland, Mrs. F. P. Cammillerl, Mrs. Alfred Webster, Miss Ida and Miss Stella Layman, Miss Clair Layman, who was a member of the Sussex Road Board, died last year. Born at the Wonnerup property, taken up by his father in 1832, the late Mr. Layman spent practically his whole life in the Sussex district, which he represented for some years in the Legislative Council. He lost his father, who was speared by natives in 1841, when he was a child and his step- father, Mr. Heppingstone, was drowned, so that he was no more than a youth when the responsibilities of looking after his mother, sisters and brothers devolved upon him. His education was received from a Mr. Kemp and, later, from Mr. Sholl (father of the late Mr. R. A. Sholl, Deputy P.M.G. of Western Australia) at Bunbury. When still a lad he was sent around from house to house to gather information for the first census taken in this State. During the 50's, he owned and con- trolled a whaling plant at Cape Nat- uraliste. The sea, about which he could tell many tales, always fascin- ated him and his greatest hero was Nelson. One of his proudest posses- sions was a copy of a letter from Nel- son to the Admiralty in praise of one of his ancestors, a Captain William Layman, quoted in Sellar's "Life of Nelson." An Exciting Chase. The late Mr. Layman was a fine horseman and with Smiler, his horse, claimed to be able to run to earth any wild horse in the district. He was beaten, however, on one occasion by Ben Bolt, the horse written about by Adam Lindsay Gordon. This famous horse belonged to Mr. Locke, a neighbour, and one day it broke into the Layman crop. Mounting Smiler Mr. Layman gave chase but failed to catch the speedy culprit. Persuading Mr. Locke to allow him to train Ben Bolt, Mr. Layman entered the horse against all local comers and won easily. Ben Bolt also proved unbeatable in Perth, and later did well in Mel- bourne. Mr. R. Heppingstone, of Brunswick, went to Melbourne to ride the horse. Other horses bred by Mr. Layman included Southerner and Var- site, two animals well-known to early racing men. Several shipments of horses were sent from Wonnerup to India and the first mob of horses sent to the North-West were picked from the Layman property. A keen follower of public affairs Mr. Layman was one of the foundation members of the Southern Districts Agricultural Society, a member of the first volunteer corps, one of the direc- tors of the Busselton butter factory (the first in the State), president of the original Wonnerup Progress As- sociation and an active mover in other societies. He was elected member for Sussex in the Legislative Council in December, 1884, and resigned owing to ill-health in 1888. For 50 years he was a member of St. Mary's Anglican Church, Busselton. His interests were not confined to State politics, for he was an ardent imperialist. While in Parliament he supported the Wo- men's Property Act and fought for re- sponsible government in Western Aus- tralia. He married on July 28, 1859, Amelia Harriet, daughter of the late Anthony Barnabas and Susanna Curtis, of Fre- mantle, and they were the second couple of Western Australian-born citi- zens to marry. Their son George, who predeceased them by a number of years, was the first Western Austra- lian born of Western Australian-born parents. The latter's son, also George Layman (of Kimberley), was the fourth genaration of George Laymans born in Western Australia. Mr. and Mrs. Layman celebrated their golden wed- ding at St. Mary's Church (where they were married) in 1909 and afterwards at Wonnerup House. They had been married for over 57 years when Mrs. Layman died in 1916. The Layman Family. Wonnerup House is a white-walled colonial home surrounded by trees, which stands on a rise not far from the sea at Wonnerup. The property comprises Locations Nos. 3 and 4, taken up by the grandfather of the present occupants, who arrived at the Vasse in 1832 with the Bussells and Chap- mans, pioneers of the district. Wrought iron gates open into a winding drive which skirts a paperbark swamp and stops under the cool shadows of tall pine trees. An inscription on the stonework of the gates states that they were erected in memory of George Layman, who was killed by natives in 1841, an episode famous in the his- tory of the South-West and told in detail in the Bussell letters. This George Layman was a son of Dr. James Layman, a surgeon of the East India Company, who had married a lady of fashion, Harriet Milner. George Layman arrived in Western Australia in 1829 from Tasmania, where he had gone with his brother. While in Tas- mania he had a trying experience with convicts, who sacked and burnt his home, leaving him bound and gagged. Arriving in Western Australia he went to Augusta with Colonel Molloy and later moved to the Vasse with the Bussells and Chapmans. In 1832 he married Mary Bayliss, who arrived in the Parmella with Captain Stirling in 1829. While at Augusta he walked to Perth on two occasions, a distance of over 200 miles through dense bush and in constant fear of natives. On one of these trips he was attacked by natives and carried a spear head in his side for two years. He was eventually speared by a native named Quibian at his home on February 22, 1841, leaving a widow and five child- ren. The original Wonnerup House was destroyed by a tree falling across it and the present building was erected to receive the late Mr. George Lay- man's bride.