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
arrived in Australia in January 1823 on the
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
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
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
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
to find out more about Archibald Little and
convicts who were assigned to him
Notes & Links:
2). Cressfield Park....
William Stack performed Divine Service at Cressfield four
times a year.......
4). Pigot and co.'s national
commercial directory of Scotland 1837
1). The Scone Advocate 21 April
2). The Australian 24 October