Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Colonial Events 1826

Blue Books

First of the colonial blue books published, detailing statistics of NSW..................

Newcastle entry:

Samuel Dell - Master of Public School and Parish clerk.

Francis Allman - Commandant

J. Croft - Gaoler at Newcastle Gaol; appointed May 1822

George Muir - Chief Constable

Rev. George Augustus Middleton - Holds a glebe of 400 acres. forage allowance for one horse at the rate of 10/- per week or £26 per annum. Allowed a house

George Brooks in charge of hospital at Newcastle. Allowed a house

Estimate of native population of Newcastle in 1826 - Men 265, Women - 235, Children - 260,

Total 760 Baptisms at Christchurch - 25 Marriages at Christchurch 12 Burials at Christchurch 28


Robert Dawson's expedition north to Port Stephens and as far as the Manning.  Robert Dawson, company agent and pastoralist, was born at Great Bentley, Essex in 1782, the youngest son of Joseph Dawson. In December 1824 Dawson was prevailed upon by John Macarthur junior, an old school friend by whom he was highly regarded, to accept from the newly formed Australian Agricultural Co. the post of chief agent in New South Wales in which capacity he was to establish and administer a pastoral domain of 1,000,000 acres (404,609 ha)

January 3

Arrival of convict ship Marquis of Hastings. Master William Ostler. Surgeon George Shaw Rutherford

January 3

Arrival of convict ship Sir Godfrey Webster. Master John Rennoldson. Surgeon William Evans


Australian subscription library established

February 18

Arrival of the convict ship Mangles . Master John Coghill. Surgeon Thomas Braidwood Wilson

March 17

Bushranger Matthew Brady captured by John Batman near Launceston

March 17

His Excellency and Mrs. Darling entertained the largest party that had been seen at Government house for many years on Friday evening 17 March 1826. Nearly the whole of the Civil and Military Officers with their Ladies were present on this occasion

March 21

Arrival of the convict ship Sesostris. Master. J.T. Drake. Surgeon John Dulhunty


Vessel 'Gurnett' seized by escaping convicts at Newcastle


Vessel ' Mars' wrecked near Port Stephens


The Monitor newspaper established

May 17

Arrival of convict ship Lady Rowena. Master Bourn Russell. Surgeon Robert Espie


Lieutenant Nathanial Lowe in pursuit of natives who had killed shepherds in Hunter Valley


John Smith completed a brick built Store at Newcastle


Settlement formed at Illawarra under command of Capt. Bishop of 40th regt.,

July 8

Arrival of the John Barry bringing Lieutenant James Sweeney and other members of NSW Veteran Corp - The Australian 12 July 1826


Cutter 'Currency Lass' built for Thomas White Melville Winder at Hunter River


Australian Agricultural Company vessel Balberook wrecked off Port Stephens -  Intelligence has reached us of the loss of a vessel, a small sloop called the Balberook, belonging to the Australian Agricultural Co. She sailed from Newcastle last week, with a cargo of maize and sundries for the Company. When abreast of Point Stephens, and at about 8 miles of the land, one of her planks became started; the water poured in impetuously and the crew and passengers had barely sufficient time to take to their boats before the sloop foundered. All the crew and passengers we feel to add, have been saved. A boat, loaded with necessaries for Mr. Dawson, and which was intended to put in at Point Stephen, luckily, and more by chance than design, happened to be towing astern; she assisted materially in saving many, who might otherwise, probably from the smallness of the sloop's jolly boat, have perished....The Australian 5 August 1826.

August 5

Arrival of the convict ship Regalia. Surgeon James Rutherford

August 15

Port Macquarie was appointed by Governor Darling in 1826 as one of the three places to which offenders convicted in NSW sentenced to transportation should be sent. The other two penal settlements were Moreton Bay and Norfolk Island. The proclamation was dated 15th August 1826, it was made unlawful for any master, mariner or other person to touch at or interact with any one of the three places without the permission in writing of the Governor.


Large portion of Newcastle wharf washed away and the windmill damaged in a gale


Boundaries of authorised colonial settlement defined in an attempt to contain squatting in NSW (Governor Darling)

September 13

Arrival of Marquis of Huntley. Master William Ascough Surgeon William Rae.

September 13

Arrival of the vessel Orpheus.

The Orpheus departed England 6th May and called at Rio de Janeiro 22nd June with 213 men women and children of the NSW Veteran Corps. Officers Captain Robinson, Lieut. Warner, Lieut. North and Assistant surgeon Robertson of the 13th Light Infantry

September 18

Arrival of the convict ship England. Surgeon George Thomson

In England the vessel was visited by phrenologist Mr. Deville. He examined each of the 148 convicts and gave a memorandum of the inferred character of each individual, and of the manner in which the propensities were likely to manifest themselves.


Duel between Saxe Bannister and Dr. Wardell

October 19

Explosion in Storehouse in Newcastle. Two children, Mary Eckford, daughter of the pilot William Eckford, and an aboriginal boy later died from injuries


Patterson Plains Government Cottage destroyed by fire


St. Michael Storeship moored in Newcastle harbour

October 13

Appointment of William Henry Moore, solicitor, as Acting Attorney-General of NSW

October 19

Appointment of Rev. Charles Pleydell N. Wilton, Senior Assistant-Chaplain of New South Wales

October 28

Arrival of convict ship Boyne from Ireland. Captain Pope. Surgeon Superintendent Harman Cochrane. R.N.


Rev. Lancelot Threlkeld to abandon the mission at Reid's Mistake

November 24

Westernport settlement established

November 26

Arrival of Speke convict ship. Surgeon Superintendent Alick Osborne

December 2

Arrival in Sydney of the Astrolabe, Captain Jules Sebastian Dumont d'Urville.

December 21

Brig Wellington seized by convicts on the voyage from Sydney to Norfolk Island. Convicts included John Walton, William Douglas, Charles Clay, John Edwards, James O'Neil, James Smith, William Browne, Edward Colthurst, Charles Daly and William Ryan.

December 22

Death of poet laureate - convict Michael Massey Robinson aged 82.

Michael Massie Robinson was convicted at the Old Bailey in 1796. He arrived on the Barwell in 1798

December 25

Arrival of Phoenix III convict ship. Surgeon Joseph Cook

December 25

Arrival of Edmund Lockyer in King George Sound.