Free Settler or Felon


Early Hunter Valley Settlers


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Hunter River - Glendon -  Darlington - Singleton - Patrick Plains - Corinda- Glenridding -  Glendon

Alexander Shand




Alexander Shand arrived in Hobart as a cabin passenger on the Deveron in June 1822. He and another passenger Mr Butcher, imported several sheep of the pure Merino breed which survived the voyage well. (6)

James Lachlan McGillivray was also a passenger on the Deveron. He had received a grant of land in Van Diemen's Land however transferred this to New South Wales.

Alexander Shand was in Sydney by November 1822. He was informed by the authorities that he would be granted land in proportion to the means he possessed to bring the land into cultivation and was requested to forward the number of convicts he would be able to permanently take off the stores. (7) He decided to make a selection on the Hunter River and made arrangements to proceed there.

Newcastle was still a penal settlement in 1822 and permission to land there was required. In correspondence dated 4th December 1822 Major Morisset, Commandant at Newcastle was informed that the following men were granted permission to proceed to Newcastle on the brig Minerva:

James Mudie, Leslie Duguid, Alexander Shand, Mr. Brown, Mr. Maxwell, Mr. Innes, Mr. Harper, John Rotton, Mr. Icely, and William Henry Manners (2)

On arrival in Newcastle the men would have stepped out onto a wooden wharf. They would have seen the handsome stone built church high on the hill and cottages dotted throughout the settlement. Convict chain gangs worked about the town with soldiers of the 48th regiment guarding them. Select here to find some of the buildings in Newcastle in 1822.

Alexander Shand decided on a selection of land on this excursion and on his return to Sydney informed the authorities of the number of convicts he could take off the stores. The location of his grant can be seen centre right on the map above and as Elderslie on Joseph Cross' 1828 map of the Hunter River.

On 17th January 1823 he was informed that he would be made a grant of 2000 acres together with convicts to be victualled from the store at Newcastle from the date he took up his grant. (4) Just two weeks later on 1st February 1823 Major Morisset was informed that the following people were granted permission to proceed to Newcastle on the Mariner.......Alexander Shand with his two assigned servants - Joseph Swales per Calder and James Jackson per Prince Regent; and two men both 'Free by Certificate' Joseph Burker and Edward Foster, were both proceeding in the service of Shand. Also settlers John Cheers, John Hickey, George Brown, Alexander Dickson, James McGillvray, Duncan Sinclair, Peter Sinclair (3)

In June 1823 Alexander Shand was provided with 2000 bricks purchased from government. They were perhaps used in part to construct the four room house and attached kitchen that was described at Elderslie in 1830.

Skilled workers were scarce in the colony and settlers were required to pay bonds for them. Alexander Shand was displeased to have been assigned a farrier (Joseph Swailes) instead of a blacksmith and requested his bond be returned, however this was denied. (5)

James Phillips at Paterson had a similar complaint about the convict carpenter who had been assigned to him and could not build a door or window.

Convicts assigned to Alexander Shand included:
James Tallent per Tottenham
James Jackson per Prince Regent assigned in 1823
William Holden per Ocean assigned in 1824
Joseph Swales per Calder assigned in 1823
William Hudson per Shipley assigned in 1823
John Middleton per Surry assigned in 1823
Michael McCabe per Lord Sidmouth in 1823
Henry Smith per Almorah assigned in 1823.

James Tallent, a plasterer who arrived on the Tottenham had been assigned to Shand however the assignment was disputed and Tallent was removed from Shand's farm in 1824 by bush constable Constable Joseph Sedgley.

By February 1824 Shand was applying to be supplied with cows from the Government herd and to be assigned more servants. He received a Newcastle town allotment in 1824.

In June 1824 Alexander Shand returned to Hobart on the Guildford. He gave his address at this time as Eldersly, Hunter's River. (1)

Dr. Henry W. Radford acquired this estate. He resided at Eldersly/Elderslie until 1829.    



References:

(1) Sydney Gazette 6 May 1824

(2) Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 937) Copies of letters sent within the Colony, 1814-1825 Item: 4/3507 Page: 26

(3) Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 937) Copies of letters sent within the Colony, 1814-1825 Item: 4/3507 Page: 310

(4) Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series:  (NRS 937) Copies of letters sent within the Colony, 1814-1825 Item: 4/3507 Page: 266

(5) Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series:  (NRS 897) Main series of letters received, 1788-1825 Item: 4/1810 Page: 18-9

(6) Hobart Town Gazette 29 June 1822

(7) Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series:  (NRS 937) Copies of letters sent within the Colony, 1814-1825 Item: 4/3506 Page: 466     


 

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