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Gabriel Louis Marie Huon de Kerilleau (1769–1828)

by G. P. Walsh

This article was published:

Gabriel Louis Marie Huon de Kerilleau (1769-1828), soldier, tutor and pioneer, was born on 17 April 1769 at St-Pol-de-Léon, Brittany. He fled from France during the revolution, joined the New South Wales Corps in London and arrived in Sydney 'in the reduced circumstances of a private Soldier' in the Surprize in October 1794. A contemporary and persistent rumour that he was a member of the Bourbon family seems to be without foundation, although he claimed to be a French nobleman, 'having served as Such three years under the King of France'. He also claimed, in a memorial to Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1810, that his discharge from the army in 1807 had been ordered by the Duke of York 'at the instance of [his] Eminent Relation the Bishop of St Paul De Leon and the Most Noble the Marquis of Buckingham'. After his discharge he was tutor to John Macarthur's sons, James and William, in 1807-09. 'A Catholic Gentleman and Scholar' he was held in high esteem by most of the early governors and regularly visited Government House. He received several small farms and other indulgences from both Governor William Bligh and Lieutenant-Governor William Paterson and in January 1810 Macquarie granted him 400 acres (162 ha) at Narellan which he called Buckingham. In 1823 Huon de Kerilleau with his eldest son and his son-in-law, William Mitchell, received a ticket-of-occupation for an area of 3000 acres (1214 ha) near Bungonia; in 1825 he was allowed to buy 1000 at 5s. an acre at near-by Corrundaroo. One Sunday in mid-December 1828 he started out on a walk from his property, book in hand as was his custom, evidently to visit his son's property at Campbelltown. He was later seen and spoken to, and twice put on the right road, but apparently became lost in gullies of the Shoalhaven River: he was never seen again.

He had married Louise Le Sage at St John's, Parramatta, on 7 February 1801; they had at least four children. The eldest son, Paul (d.1849), was an early settler in the Campbelltown and Airds districts, and with his brother Charles was among the pioneers of the Wodonga district. At Parramatta on 16 March 1812 his daughter Elizabeth married William Mitchell (1786-1837), a retired officer of the Kent Militia who came to the colony in 1811; they lived on a property near Bungonia called Brisbane Meadow, where both Mitchell and de Kerilleau's widow were buried.

Select Bibliography

  • Australian, 6 Feb 1829
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 31 Jan 1935
  • Colonial Secretary's in-letters, 2/1821, 1810 (State Library of New South Wales).

Citation details

G. P. Walsh, 'Huon de Kerilleau, Gabriel Louis Marie (1769–1828)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1966, accessed online 24 May 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (Melbourne University Press), 1966

View the front pages for Volume 1

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Huon de Kerillac, Gabriel Louis Marie

17 April, 1769
St Pol-de-Leon, Brittany, France


1828 (aged ~ 58)
Bungonia, New South Wales, Australia

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