Early Hunter Valley Settlers


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  Archibald Little -   Map 9 
 


Archibald Little was born on 16th March 1803 at Cressfield, Ecclefechan, Scotland, son of Dr. William Little and Sarah nee Carlyle. He arrived in Australia on the Triton in October 1825.

Archibald's older brother Francis Little arrived in Australia in January 1823 on the Morley on which vessel their uncle William Bell Carlyle was surgeon superintendent.

Archibald's estate Cressfield was established on land adjoining his brother and uncle's estates. A stone mansion was built using convict labour and gardens and vineyards were planted. Archibald was appointed Magistrate in 1834 and there was probably a constant stream of visitors to the estate.

In recollections ninety years later a descendant remembered being told of a visit by Charles Darwin to Cressfield.  Two pack horses with saddle bags were prepared and Darwin was accompanied to collect fossils and visit the Burning Mountain at Wingen.(1) This is not confirmed, however Charles Darwin on the Beagle visited Sydney in January 1836.

In April 1839 Archibald married Susan Sophia Bell, daughter of Lieutenant William Bell of the Royal Veterans at Windsor. 

A few months later the estate was advertised for lease....The beautiful estate of Glencairn, containing three thousand three hundred and sixty acres of land situated nine miles from Invermein in the upper district of Hunter's River, formerly the property and residence of Archibald Little, Esq., J.P. and known by the name of Cressfield.

The Mansion is built of stone, and consists of handsome outer and inner halls, drawing room, dining room, bed rooms and other conveniences with detached kitchen and offices. The garden contains about five acres of ground, and almost every kind of fruit tree grown in the colony. Half a pipe of wine was made last year from the grapes. The paddocks are most excellent and abundant and the quantity of cleared and stumped land is very considerable. The mail from Sydney passes through the estate twice a week. The mansion may be had furnished and the tenant may have the option of renting sheep, cattle, horses, working bullocks, drays and every other necessary requisite on an establishment of respectability. Immediate occupancy offered (2)

The Ship News in the Australian dated 7 April 1840 reveals the reason that Cressfield was so hurriedly advertised - the entire family was soon departing for England - The Argyle will sail for London at daylight on Tuesday morning. The following is a list of her passengers: Mr. and Mrs. Archibald Little, Mr. Francis Little, Masters William and Archibald Little, Miss Sarah Little, Misses Frances and Caroline Bell, Miss Maria Fennell.

Back in Australia a daughter Susan was born in 1849 and son Francis in 1850. Both were baptised in St. Luke's Church, Scone.  In 1849 Archibald Little was appointed Coroner for the district a position he held for many years.

Archibald Little died on 9th August 1888 at Ferndale Gladesville age 85 years. Susan Sophia Little died at Ferndale in June 1897

Select here to find out more about Archibald Little and convicts who were assigned to him

Notes & Links:

 1).  Memories of Pioneers - Scone - by Mary Graham Sydney Morning Herald 6 April 1935  

2).  Cressfield Park....

Cressfield Park  

3). Rev. William Stack performed Divine Service at Cressfield four times a year.......

 

 

 

4). Pigot and co.'s national commercial directory of Scotland 1837    

References:

1). The Scone Advocate 21 April 1926

2). The Australian 24 October 1829  



Stephen Coxen Puen Buen - the Estate of John Bingle Alexander Livingstone Stephen Coxen

 

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