Robert John Sholl

Robert John Sholl

RJ Sholl, c.1880.

Government Resident, North District AKA;
Government Resident, Roebourne[1][2]

In office

Succeeded by
E. Hayes Laurence[3]

Personal details

(1819-07-16)16 July 1819

19 June 1886(1886-06-19) (aged 66)
Perth, Western Australia[1]

Resting place
East Perth Cemetery

Mary Ann Berckelman

Robert John Sholl (16 July 1819 – 19 June 1886) was a government administrator, magistrate, explorer, newspaper editor, entrepreneur, harbourmaster, customs official, postmaster and lay reader in Western Australia (WA), during the colonial era.[1][4]
Sholl was the most senior, and sometimes only, government and judicial official located within a vast jurisdiction – known at the time as the North District – between the Murchison River and Timor Sea, during the period between 1865 and 1881.[5] Because of his geographical isolation from his superiors and the colonial legislature,[6] Sholl wielded considerable, de facto executive power;[7] an obituary in The West Australian described him as having been “virtually a Lieutenant Governor” of the North District.[1]
Because of his multiple roles and significant political power, Sholl is regarded as a highly significant figure in the history of the region known later as the Pilbara, at an early stage of its settlement.


1 Family and early Life
2 Early career
3 Career as Government Resident

3.1 Camden Harbor
3.2 1866–1869
3.3 1870–1886

4 Posthumous honours and memorials
5 See also
6 References
7 Bibliography

Family and early Life[edit]
The Sholl family originated in Cornwall and had strong ties to maritime industries, the armed forces, international trade, public office and medicine, in both England and Australia.[8]
William Sholl (1736–1797), RJ Sholl’s paternal grandfather, was a Freeman (shareholder) of the Levant Company, represented it at İskenderun (Alexandretta) in Turkey and was vice consul of both the UK and the Netherlands in that city;[9] He married Maria Teresa Sholl, née Justa (1761?—1833) at Aleppo in 1778.[10]
Several members of the family had careers connected to the Royal Navy or British Army during the 19th century:

Robert Sholl senior (c. 1781–1832), the father of RJ Sholl, held the post of Naval Agent[disambiguation needed];[11]
Richard Sholl (1786–1836), an uncle of RJ Sholl, was the Purser on HMS Sulphur, when it was part of the 1829 expedition to establish the Swan River