Around 1829 as a few of the first settlers arrived at the Swan river Colony (SRC), many disliked the colony. Even though many moved on or remained at Fremantle for further instruction or guidance, Joseph Hardey who arrived at the SRC in 1830, saw this is as an opportunity. He was a fastidious, strong-willed man and managed to persuade Stirling to grant him and his family land by the Swan River. This in turn, allowed Joseph Hardey to contribute to the early developments of the SRC.
Although not much is known about his social life, one may derive from his diary entries that although he was not a passionate man in regards to his family, he was rather passionate about his religion as he was a methodist lay preacher. This is highlighted throughout his rather short diary entries. "I spoke in the evening to upwards of 50 people, I believe the first time they have been addressed by the Methodist at Fremantle."
His role as a lay preacher allowed him to be able to give sermons, which many people attended at the time.
At this early time in founding the SRC, he helped the people have faith and set an example through his strict morals and teachings.
Through his rural grant, Joseph Hardey managed to build a house on the Peninsula. Originally this was intended for a race-course. But by leasing the grant, it was in a way encouraging other settlers to stay and build the infant colony. Although he was a Methodist, he and his brother John Wall Hardey decided to develop and grow grapes which evolved into a wine business. Eventually, he managed to open and run several shops in the area. He was successful in this area of business.
After a period of time, he managed to develop a new 'law' which benefited his business profusely. That is, after a set time, pubs would close early so as to prevent drunk husbands coming home to beat their wives. Instead, they could go to one of his shops and purchase a bottle of wine for home. One may conclude that ending result would be the same. However, Joseph Hardey apparently did not see it in this way. In this aspect, he contributed to the colony very negatively in order to ensure the well-being of his business.
However, Joseph Hardey had influenced the SRC greatly since he had arrived. One could almost say that he was the perfect example of how one should have lived on the SRC. He managed to raise a family whilst single-handingly building his first house on the Peninsula whilst also clearing the land. Between the first eight to nine years of his being there, the majority of his children were born.
By now, there were slightly more people within the colony at this stage. Although, the amount was little, the size of a large school, it benefited the colony.
By now, Joseph Hardey and his family were thriving along with the colony. As well as having the wine industry, he farmed, which was the main reason they persuaded Stirling to grant them land for.
Although Joseph Hardey and his family were just on the now growing families populating the colony, he managed to make an overall positive impact onto the colony. With his business, religion and social life all proved a background in which he thrived within. And just as he thrived, so too did the SRC.
Although some may see his social could be less than admired, he managed to provide his family with the essentials in which to properly within. Joseph Hardey was a patriotic, conservative, knowledgable and orderly man, amongst many other things. All this, which he managed to successfully use to his advantage.
Even today, although Joseph Hardey is now gone in the flesh, he still contributes to the SRC now known as Perth. His house which is situated near the Swan River has helped students and people alike to understand how people might have lived and survived in those days. And most importantly of all, how one man managed to contribute in the development of the early Swan River Colony through the role in which he played in as father, businessman and Methodist lay preacher.