Henry Calvert Barnett

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Henry Calvert Barnett
(medical doctor in Fremantle, c.1832–1897)
Birth: , Belfast, Ireland
Death: , Barnett Street, East Fremantle, Western Australia
Parents: Richard Barnett
Sarah Barnett (née Craig)
Siblings: Henry Calvert Barnett
    medical doctor in Fremantle, c.1832–1897
Permalink: archives.org.au/HCB
Wikitree: Barnett-13332
FamilySearch: M7J5-RD3

Henry Calvert Barnett was a doctor in Fremantle.

He was born in Belfast, Ireland, in about 1832[1] to Richard and Sarah (née Craig) Barnett.

He was Superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum in Fremantle for 25 years until his death in 1897.[2] For a similar period, Government Health Officer at Fremantle Port.[2]

He was 66 when he died, and had spent about thirty years in the Colony. In his youth he had been a keen traveller and athlete. In the latter arena he was active in Western Australia, becoming the president (and later Patron) of the Fremantle Rowing Club.

Before moving to W.A. he spent time in Fuzhou, China where in 1858 he edited a newspaper (published only in manuscript form).[2]

He and his family left London on 7 Febuary 1868[3] and on 2 June 1868[4] he arrived in the Swan River Colony, and on board the ship (the barque Lady Louisa, from London) suffered an injury to his left knee. On arrival, he was giving the position of Government Medical Officer at York,[2] replacing Dr M'Coy (who was re-posted to Sierra Leone).[5] Shortly afterwards his injured knee became so bad as to require amputation of his whole leg.[2]

Barnett was one of the founders of the Fremantle Literary Institute.[2]

He married twice, having two sons and two daughters with his first wife (with whom he emigrated to the Colony[4]). Both daughters were married by 1897.[2]

In the months before his death he suffered from insomnia, and had thought to relocate to Singapore for possible relief from this.[2] But on Tuesday, 2 November 1897 he took dose of Sulfonmethane to help with sleeping, and unfortunately took too much.[2] There was no indication that it was suicide.

On the Wednesday morning, Dr Wheeler, Paget, and Birmingham all attended. Despite some improvement, Barnett was administered artificial respiration, and suddenly just before 7 p.m. he died. He had not regained consciousness all day.

Barnett Street, Fremantle is named in his honour.


  1. Western Australian civil register (1897), Death registration #1171. No registration district given; likely Fremantle.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 DEATH OF DR. BARNETT. (1897, November 5). Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved July 30, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article33146178
  3. THEATRE COMIQUE. (1868, March 21). The Herald (Fremantle, WA : 1867 - 1886), p. 2. Retrieved July 30, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110068189
  4. 4.0 4.1 Shipping Report. (1868, June 6). The Herald (Fremantle, WA : 1867 - 1886), p. 2. Retrieved July 30, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110069025
  5. Arrival of the Mails. (1868, March 20). The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times (WA : 1864 - 1874), p. 2. Retrieved July 30, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3751357
This page is part of the Fremantle archives.