James Phillips Webber and
Felix & Caleb Wilson
James Phillips Webber arrived in Sydney on the Minstrel in 1822 with £2000 capital. He was granted 2020 acres and later 720 acres were added to his holdings. In 1828 the estate was called Markham.
James Webber's brother John Phillips Webber arrived on the Hugh Crawford in 1826. He was granted land higher on the Paterson River called Penshurst and which he later sold to George Townshend; and also Guygallon on the Upper Paterson River. He returned to England in the mid 1830's and died of small pox in 1845.
James Phillips Webber decided to leave the colony in 1834 and the Estate was advertised for sale. It consisted of a total of 3320 acres of land, several acres of grape vines and orchards and a banana plantation. The land was sown with wheat, corn and tobacco and the fields stocked with cattle and sheep. There was a brick cottage and stable attached.
CALEB AND FELIX WILSON
The estate was purchased by Caleb Wilson and his son Felix in 1834 and re-named Tocal.
Caleb Wilson, a widower, and Felix had arrived in Australia in 1804 on the Experiment. They became landowners and merchants in Sydney. They also purchased the estate Brisbane Grove from George Williams.
In 1835 buildings recently constructed at Tocal by Caleb Wilson were destroyed by fire. Two convicts were seriously injured trying to extinguish the flames.
Felix Wilson resided at Leitrim in Camperdown, Sydney in the 1840's. Two of his daughters Alice aged 2 and four days later Esther Sarah aged 11 years died in an outbreak of scarlatina in 1848.
Later the property was leased to Charles Reynolds whose family, after many years purchased the property. It became famous for Hereford cattle and thoroughbred horses.
The pronunciation of Tocal was touched on in an article reminiscing about the old days on the Paterson.........
I was asked one day why I was stupid, why did I say "Tocal"? that that was not right, blackfellow call him "Tookle." This statement was confirmed not very long since by the oldest living resident now in this district; his name is Cooper, he lives at Woodville, is nearly blind, but I have no doubt retains a good recollection of very old times. What an interesting article might be furnished to the readers of the Maitland Mercury, if he were interviewed by one of those clever men who are now even to be found on the staff of papers of importance such as the Mercury. This man speaking to me a few years since of old times said " I was living then at Tocal, ' Tookle' we called it then," just as my black informant said (Maitland Mercury 25 August 1877)