William James Barratt

The First Mormon “Down Under”



Although William James Barratt was an active Latter-day Saint for only a few short years, William Barratt indirectly brought many into the LDS Church through his only known convert, Robert Beauchamp. It is possible that he converted others. Assistant Church Historian Andrew Jenson made a trip to Australia in 1896 and recorded: “From Private sources I have learned that Elder Barret [sic] did baptize a few.” William James Barratt died 10 September 1889 at Bald Hills and is buried some twelve miles away in the churchyard cemetery at Victor Harbor. He was a remarkable man whose name continues to hold a certain mystery and excitement. Despite the fact that he had no further contact with the Church after 1841, his humble introduction of Mormonism into Australia has evolved into a current membership of more than seventy thousand in the land Down Under.


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