Sproule, James

In 1858, when the complement of 20th Company soldiers dwindled to 67, a top-up arrived on the convict ship Nile on 1st January 1858. It had been a long and difficult voyage with the military men and warders being responsible for the good behaviour of the convicts on board. James Sproule was among the 27 sappers, 13 wives and 29 children on the ship.


As no WO97 Chelsea Pension discharge papers are extant for Sapper James Sproule #343 (occupation miner), personal and Army service details are limited.

Various records of James Sproule are cited below, but primary resources are not always available.

Muster Roll & Pay List [WO11-158] and Land Grants [CSR Vol.499-15] – see below
Royal Engineers Muster Roll & Pay List for 20th Company, Fremantle January 1858. [Primary source WO11-158].
Records Sproule’s arrival on the ship Nile.

The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians, pre-1829 – 1888, p.2915, compiled by Rica Erickson. [Secondary source].

Western Australian Department of Attorney General Births, Deaths and Marriages. [Online Index to Primary source].

Australian Births and Baptisms 1792-1981. [Online Familysearch Index to Primary source].

Grants of Land as per Minute of Executive Council 19th October 1861. [Primary source CSR Vol 499-15].
Records Sproule’s eligibility for £10 remission on 20 acres of land; no evidence that land was acquired.

Early Soldier Settlers in Western Australia compiled by F H Broomhall. [Secondary source SLWA Ephemera PR6547].
Records Sproule’s discharge date.

Royal Engineers Muster Roll & Pay List for 20th Company, Fremantle October to December 1861. [Primary source WO11-199].
Records Sproule’s discharge by purchase 21 Dec 1861.

Records of Death
No firm record of death for James Sproule has been found in death indexes in Australia : None in Western Australia, South Australia or Tasmania. Three that are indistinguishable in Victoria in 1881, 1898, 1912. Two indistinguishable in New South Wales 1896, 1913.

A South Australian record of death on 26 Sep 1911 for an Eliza Sproule (widow) aged 75 years has been identified; the deceased husband is recorded as James Sproule.