Grayson Hartley was born in May 1807, the second son
of Thomas Hartley of Giltfoot, Whitehaven.
arrived in the colony with another young man,
Joseph Rookin on the
Medway in December 1829, having departed Liverpool
on 28 June. The two men formed a partnership and
probably had high hopes for the future. Both were
granted land on in the Williams River district but
neither of them were destined for a long life.
Grayson Hartley resided at Minchinbury. On 19th December
1830, he and Francis Watkins were robbed while
travelling by gig to Parramatta. Two men rushed from the
bushes with fire arms at the ready and robbed them of
money and other belongings. The bushrangers were William
Webber and John Walmsley, former companions of the
notorious Bold Jack Donohue.
While Donohue had been shot and killed in 1830, these
two had escaped and continued with their robberies. This
was not a violent robbery and there was quite a
conversation between the two bushrangers and their
Francis Watkins when interviewed later
as a witness at the trial of Webber stated that when
they found out who Mr. Hartley was, they would not have
stopped them, but would have let them pass by
unmolested. He then returned Mr. Hartley's watch and
other articles which he had previously taken, although
he kept the money. When asked by Watkins what induced
him to lead such a life, Webber replied that starvation
and tyranny were the cause in the first instance, which
caused him to take to the bush and that it was then too
late to retire. (Walmsley was sent to Van Diemen's Land
in 1832).Webber was later hanged for his crimes.
Grayson Hartley married Sophia Peash in April 1835
and by 1837 had moved to Maitland. He was robbed by his
former assigned servant James Kelly during the night of
25th June 1837. For his crime, Kelly received a sentence
of death recorded with a recommendation that the
sentence by commuted to transportation for seven years.
Grayson Hartley died on 1st October 1838 at
Maitland and was buried in the Old Glebe cemetery. He
was about twenty-nine years of age.
The following convicts were assigned to
||Royal Sovereign 1835
||Dunvegan Castle 1830
A Genealogical and Heraldic
Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and
Ireland..., Volume 1 By Sir Bernard Burke