James Reid - Military Officer and Settler
Rosebrook - Map 2
James Reid was born in Newry, Ireland in 1799, son of Jane Moore and Samuel Reid. He was only 24 years of age and his new wife Rosanna 17 when they embarked on the Skelton in 1822 to begin a new life in Australia.
There were a total of forty-four passengers on the Skelton including William Gunn, Mr. Strachan and family, Rev. A. McArthur, Mr. R. McKrusty, Mr. L. Dickson, Mr. D. Maziere, Mrs. Larra, Mr. H. Cundell, Miss N. Cundell, Mr. T. Watson, Mr. and Mrs. Pearson, Mr. A. Dickson, Mr. R. Campbell, Mr. G. Scott, Mr. R. Doctor, Mr. J. Dickson and family, Mr. T. McClean, Mr. D. Dkirvin, Mr. J. Rae and family, Mr. G. Dobson and family, Mr. B. Yates, Miss Yates, Mr. R. Knotman, Mr. G. Brown, Mr. F. Rose, Mr. A. Downey and Mr. T. Knox.
Land GrantJames Reid applied for a land grant on arrival stating that he was a Lieutenant on half pay. He was granted 2000 acres by Governor Brisbane on 5th May 1823. 
In correspondence dated 24 September 1824 he requested to change the location of his grant.....
as it was nearly seventy miles by water from the settlement which was attended with much inconvenience as the boat was between two and three days on the passage up without having a safe place to stop and the chance of robbery and liability of having the supplies spoiled as also the grain going to market. He hoped to be granted about 300 acres and would not have requested such a large a grant were it not that the banks of the river were liable to be flooded and he had to retreat some distance from the banks to build a safe house.
James and Rosanna and six servants were granted permission for victualling from His Majesty's Stores for six months.
Convict ServantsTheir first assigned servants included:
James Innes per John Barry in 1821
Patrick Fannan per Recovery in 1823
William Horne (Horan) per Earl St. Vincent in 1823
Denis Horne (Horan) per Earl St. Vincent in 1823
John Brown per Morley in 1817
Richard England per Atlas in 1819
...Map of the River Hunter, and its branches : shewing the Lands reserved thereon for Church purposes, the Locations made to Settlers, and the Settlement, Joseph Cross 1828
RosebrookThe estate they eventually settled on he named Rosebrook which was Rosanna's place of birth in Co. Armagh, Ireland. It can be seen on the map below as 'Read'
Rosebrook adjoined the estates of Timothy Nowlan and William Hicks and was situated five miles from Wallis Plains. James Reid was also promised 560 acres, parish of Wolfingham by Sir Ralph Darling on 15th January 1829 as an additional grant, the deeds being re-advertised for Mr. Wentworth in 1839. There was also an allotment of land in the town of Newcastle granted in 1823 which can be seen on the map below in Pacific Street adjoining the allotment of Vicars Jacob; and later other allotments were acquired in Newcastle as well.
Rosanna Reid gave birth to a daughter Anna in October 1824 at Vicars Jacob's residence in Sydney. In 1826 another daughter Ann Australia was born at Rosebrook. Rosanna was born in 1829, Anna Maria born 1830, Margaret Adelaide Louise born 1836 and Jane Moore Reid born in August 1838. Their only son James Macartney Reid was born in 1835.
In 1824 James Reid was involved in a dispute with Captain Gillman of Newcastle when Gillman issued a warrant to search the house of settler Vicars Jacob. The much publicised case divided the little settlement at Newcastle with many taking up the side of Captain Gillman who was thought justified in his actions.
BushrangersIn 1825 Reid was requesting from the Government an advance of flour. This followed the burning of his house at Rosebrook by bushrangers 'Jacob's Mob' in August 1825, supposedly in revenge for Reid's treatment of convicts.
In 1827 the Rosebrook estate was offered for sale and James Reid was said to be returning to Europe. On the estate was a seven-room house with veranda 62ft in front; kitchen, store, barn and stockyards. Rosebrook does not appear to have been sold and James and Rosanna were living at Rosebrook when their daughters Rosanna and Anna Maria were baptised at Christ Church Newcastle in May 1830.
NewcastleJames and Rosanna resided at the township of Newcastle throughout the 1830's and 1840's. James Reid attended many public meetings and functions in these years including race meetings, political meetings and Odd fellow functions. He was a church warden and secretary for the Newcastle and Stockton Regatta. He was building a house in 1837 which was probably the one at the top of Watt Street. This building was demolished in 1939....
The Newcastle Morning Herald reported.....During the last two decades there have been striking changes in Newcastle East. Many landmarks have disappeared. In their places have arisen other buildings that bear striking evidence of the progress of the city on its sea-girt boundary...The site on which the flags stand has a history. Its brick and stone building which was removed a year ago linked Newcastle the city with Newcastle the township. F.A. Cadell remembered the property of Major James Reid who also owned a vast tract of country at Rosebrook, Lamb's Valley and Gosforth on the Hunter River. Reid was one of the early pioneers who crossed the Blue Mountains in 1826, Mr. Cadell said. He built in Newcastle later, the Caledonian Hotel, where now stands the Orient Hotel, in Watt Street, and a store in Pacific Street with the residence or mansion as it was then called at the corner of Church and Watt Streets. This he erected in 1824. He was also the owner of a large area of land at Wallsend. Major Reid married Miss Macartney a niece of Dean Macartney of Melbourne. When the Bank of Australia as distinct from the Bank of Australasia suspended operations in Sydney in 1844, Major Reid in common with others suffered severe losses. He then retired to his property at Rosebrook near Maitland. (NMH 11 November 1939)
James Reid must have been a familiar face around the town of Newcastle for many years. In 1847 a Ball was held at James Reid's premises in honour of Sir Charles Fitzroy's visit to Newcastle. Sir Charles had been enthusiastically received at Newcastle on 3rd February 1847. He was accompanied to Rouse's Hotel by many of the respectable townsfolk including Rev. C. P. N. Wilton and Major Crummer. Afterwards the town address was presented followed by presentations from the Odd Fellows and the Mechanics' Institute. A tour of the town took place when His Excellency was accompanied by his suite, Capt. Moriarty, and Majors Innes, Macpherson, and Crummer, Mr. James Reid, the Rev. C. P. N. Wilton, Mr. Charles Bolton, the sub-collector of customs, Captain Richard Furlong, J.P., Mr. John Allman, J.P., and a few other gentlemen. all on horseback. His Excellency visited Nobby's Island, the Stockade, and the Gaol, from which latter establishment Sir Charles discharged a confine, an aboriginal native, who was imprisoned for some trifling offence.
After lunch at Rouse's they proceeded to Stockton on the Stockade boat to inspect the cloth manufactory of Messrs. Fisher and Donaldson; also, their foundry; and the salt works of A. W. Scott, Esq. Later a dinner was held at Croft's Victoria Hotel in which the Governor travelled in the carriage of townsman, John Smith, Esq., After a sumptuous dinner in elegant surroundings with about forty five of the townsfolk including James Reid, Esq., who officiated as Vice; Captain Furlong,
Dr. Stacy, George Darby and Alexander Brown, Esqs., acted as stewards. Toasts were given and at about quarter past eleven His Excellency and suite left the table and proceeded to the house of James Reid to attend the Ball, which was numerously and fashionably attended. Sir Charles left Mr. Reid's at rather an early hour after his arrival there, owing to the fatigue of the day, and from not having had any rest the previous night on board the steamer.
The Governor left Newcastle the following morning on the steamer Tamar.
FamilyJames and Rosanna Reid's eldest daughter Anne married Maitland solicitor John Hawkes Valentine Turner in October 1842 at Christ Church Newcastle . Third daughter Rosanna Amelia married Alexander Ogilvie Grant on 21st April 1851 at Newcastle. Anna Maria Reid married George Hyde in 1852.
Court Case Darby v. ReidThe following court case of Darby v. Reid is interesting for the location and history of James Reid's premises situated in Watt Street next to the premises of Vicars Jacob and used for a school prior to the establishment of the Grammar School in 1859; and the description of the stores of Mitchell and Tully in the old stockade, both of which can be seen on the map below. 
Maitland Circuit Court. Saturday, March 6, 1852. (Before his Honor the Chief Justice and a special jury of four.) Darby v. Reid
This was an action for slander. The declaration stated that on the 1st January, 1851, the defendant maliciously uttered slanderous words respecting the plaintiff, as follows :
' That fellow Darby is a liar and a scoundrel, he has broken his promise ; I took him for a gentleman, as his father was, but I find I am mistaken ; he is a liar and a scoundrel ; he cannot get on without me, and I'll ruin his school.' The declaration contained three other counts, charging words of similar character as being uttered on three other occasions ; by reason of which defamation many scholars left the plaintiff's school. To these counts the defendant pleaded generally not guilty, and on this issue was joined. Counsel for the plaintiff, Mr. Darvall and Mr. Meymott ; counsel for the defendant, the Solicitor General and Mr. Purefoy.
Mr. Meymott opened the pleading. Mr. Darvall stated the case to the jury. This was a new trial of a cause tried at the last Maitland Circuit Court, and by the ruling of the full court certain evidence improperly rejected on the first trial would now be allowed to be given, the evidence being of other words spoken on other occasions than those named in the declaration, to show the animus of the defendant. The learned counsel entered into the case at great length, but as the general circumstances disclosed at the first trial will be fresh in the minds of the readers of the Mercury, a brief report of the principal points and new facts will be sufficient. The learned counsel contended that the words spoken were not only in themselves malicious and slanderous, but that he should prove such a continued series of malicious remarks and annoying acts against the plaintiff on the part of the defendant, that he was satisfied the jury would not only give a verdict for the plaintiff, but such damages as they thought the case merited. The witnesses called for the plaintiff were the Rev. C. P. N. Wilton, Mr. Simon Kemp, Mr. Alexander Flood, Captain Alexander Livingstone, Mr. George Tully, Richard Brownlow, Clarence Hannell, and Mary Cooper.
Mr. George Darby, a schoolmaster, residing at Newcastle, occupied a house belonging to Mr. Reid, and under the same roof and verandah with an adjoining house occupied by Mr. Reid. Mr. Reid told several of plaintiffs witnesses that he, wanting to let his own house, had arranged with Mr. Darby that the latter should move, by obtaining one of the vacant government buildings in the town, and that thus Mr. Reid could move with his family into the house then occupied by Mr. Darby ; no direct proof was given that Mr. Darby ever admitted that he had made such an arrangement, or made any promise to quit the house, but Mr. Reid, acting under the belief that he had done so, let his own house to Mr. Gaunson ; Mr. Darby appears to have failed in obtaining any government building, (assuming that he made the attempt, under the arrangement spoken of by Mr. Reid) and he refused to quit Mr. Reid's house ; Mr. Reid tried to induce or compel him to do so, but failing, he (Mr. Reid) quitted his own house to allow Mr. Gaunson to take possession, and removed with his family from Newcastle to Rosebrook, some 25 or 28 miles from Newcastle. Mr. Reid appears to have been very anxious not to be compelled to take this step, as one of his daughters was very ill, and the long and hot journey was likely to be very injurious to her. On the 30th December,1850, Mr. Reid employed Mr. Flood to serve a notice to quit on Mr. Darby, and went to the house with Mr. Flood ; Mr. Darby did not appear to be in but to his housekeeper, who took the notice, Mr. Reid, who was in an angry and excited state,-said that 'Darby was a d-d liar and a -scoundrel' and that he would injure his prospects for life.
Early in January, 1851, on a day he could not fix, the Rev. Mr. Wilton was at Mr. Darby's house, and was told by him of something Mr. Reid had said ; on leaving Mr.Darby's house, Mr. Wilton saw Mr. Reid at his window, and believing Mr. Reid beckoned to him Mr. Wilton went to the door, which was opened by Mr. Reid, and they went together into Mr. Reid's parlour, where two or three of the ladies of the family then were ; Mr. Reid appeared very angry about his dispute with Mr. Darby and said 'That fellow Darby is a liar and a scoundrel ; He promised to leave his house, .but he has 'broken his promise : I had taken him for a gentleman, as his father was, whom I knew, but I find that I am mistaken ; he is a liar and a scoundrel.' Mr. Wilton said it was a pity to use such expressions, as perhaps he might have mis understood the nature of Mr. Darby's promise. Mr. Reid then used similar words, adding ' He can't get on without me, and I'll ruin his school; he won't have any pupils; if he doesn't quit the house by Tuesday next, and so prevent my leaving Newcastle and going up to Rosebrook, I'll have him up to the police office, and ask in open court whether a liar and a scoundrel be a fit person to have the care and instruction of youth.' Mr. Reid also told Mr. Wilton about his having let his own house to Mr. Gaunson, who might bring an action against him if he did not fulfil his promise, and also about his daughter's being very ill, and that she would suffer great harm if he was compelled to go to Rosebrook ; that Darby had promised to leave the house for him, and he ought to keep his pro- mise. Mr. Wilton that same day went to Mr. Darby's, and repeated to him what had passed, and enquired if some arrangement could not be made by which he could quit the house, and let Mr. Reid come in.
On an early day in January Mr. Kemp was going into a public room at Messrs. Mitchell and Tully's stores, used as a kind of exchange room by the captains of ships in harbour, when Mr. Reid followed him, laid his hand on his shoulder, and said ' Your friend Darby is a d- d lying scoundrel ; I mistook him for a gentleman ; I am sorry I did.' Mr. Kemp told him he did not like to hear such words used of a man whom Mr. Reid styled his 'friend.' Mr. Reid then repeated the words, and stating the circumstances above related respecting the houses and his having to leave Newcastle himself to make room for Mr. Gaunson, Mr. Reid added, ' I've risen Darby's rent from 50 to 80 pounds, and I'll put an execution in every quarter for 20, and sell him off till I've ruined him.' Mr. Kemp told Mr. Reid he had himself (Mr. Reid) ; been the means of preventing Mr. Darby from .getting the government building, as he well knew. There were six or eight captains in the room at this time, writing, reading, and sipping grog, and this language, uttered by Mr. Reid in an angry and excited manner, drew the attention of these parties. On another occasion Mr. Reid told Mr. Tully of the circumstances about the houses, and said that ' Darby had disappointed him, that Darby was a liar, and had told him a lie on the occasion. It was also stated generally by different witnesses that Mr. Reid, when he met with them uttered similar expressions respecting Mr. Darby in reference to this transaction, appearing always full of it. Masters Brownlow and Hannell, who were formerly scholars in Mr. Darby's school, described noises that for about a week, soon after the return of Mr. Reid and his family from Rosebrook, use to almost stop the school business, and on one day obliged Mr. Darby to break up the school ; the school-room, situate at the back of Mr. Darby's house, was only divided from a room or outhouse on Mr. Reid's premise by a wooden partition, and on Mr. Reid's side of this petition a couple of bells were kept ringing with brief intervals, varied by the clashing of tin dishes, the throwing down of boards, and by singing performed by Mr. Reid to these musical accompaniments. Mr. Darby's servant girl, now Mrs. Cooper, one fine morning saw Mr. Reid sitting on his back doorstep, composedly pulling away at a ring fastened to the two bells, then giving forth sweet sounds. It was proved by Mr. Wilton that up to the time of the quarrel Mr. Reid had been always a warm friend of Mr. Darby's, assisting him in every way. Mr. Darby, it appeared, retained possession of the house until December, 1851, when he gave it up, and also gave up the school, getting an appointment as surveyor under the A. A. Company.
Mr. Kemp and Mr. Tully had boys at the school till it closed, and would still have them there if it were open, and neither of them were aware that any boys left the school in consequence of Mr. Reid's language. Mr. Wilton and Captain Livingstone endeavoured to prevail on Mr. Darby to accept a written apology from Mr. Reid, if they could obtain one, but Mr. Darby refused to take anything less than an apology to be inserted in the Sydney Morning Herald, which both Mr. Wilton and Captain Livingstone thought was not requisite, and refused to ask Mr. Reid to consent to. Captain Livingstone did, after the action had been commenced by Mr. Darby, obtain Mr. Reid's consent to offer to Mr. Darby a written apology, and each to pay his own costs ; but Mr. Darby declined. The Solicitor General addressed the jury for the defence, at considerable length etc.......The jury retired at four o'clock, and at seven o'clock returned with a verdict for the plaintiff; damages one farthing. Attorney for the plaintiff, Mr. Burton Bradley ; attorney for the defendant, Mr. Turner. 
Death of James Macartney ReidWithin three months of the finish of the above court case, James Macartney Reid son of James and Rosanna Reid had died aged 16 years and 8 months and 22 days. He was buried at Christ Church burial ground on 2nd May 1852.
This must have been a tremendous blow to the family and it seems that they may have retreated to Rosebrook to live for a time........In April 1854 James contributed two acres of land and £5 towards building a school and master's residence at Rosebrook. The school was attended by about sixty children.  In 1858 the Rosebrook Estate was be let to industrious enterprising tenants in small compact Farms. The advertisement stated that the proprietor at the homestead would point out the lands to be let. P. Hutchison, Factor on the Estate. 
In 1859 a Grammar School was established at Newcastle. They began accepting their first students in January...... The Business of the school to commence in the large family mansion of James Reid Esq., healthily situated on the Cliff, Newcastle on 14th instant. Classical and English Education, boarders etc. 
Return to EnglandBy 1861 James and Rosanna had returned to England.....In the 1861 census James Reid (Reed) age 70, Rosanna age 63 resided at St. Leonards on Sea, Sussex. His occupation was given as fund holder and land proprietor. Their grand daughter Anna Turner aged 16 resided with them. They employed a cook and a housemaid and there was a 22 year year old visitor Emily Macartney also residing with them.
Rosanna Reid died in Germany in 1871 and James Reid died at Brussels on 4th December 1878 age 89.
Probate of his Will was granted on 13th May 1879 at Dublin to Francis Norman, one of the Executors. 
Notes and Links1). John Armstrong's 1830 map of Newcastle - University of Newcastle
2). Hyde Family Papers - State Library of New South Wales
3). The following article with information about some of those buried in the Christ Church Burial Ground, was published in the Newcastle Morning Herald 5th April, 1902......
Over towards the western boundary there is a grave which contains the remains of the only son of James Reid, one of the early residents of Newcastle, and also those of his son in law Captain Hyde, and three grandchildren. The inscription on the stone reads - Sacred to the memory of James Macartney, only son of James Reid Esq., of Newcastle, who departed this life 1 May 1852 in the 17th year of his age.....James Reid, or as he was familiarly called, Long Reid, was an officer in the 56th regt., who retired from the service with the rank of major, and came to NSW in 1822, settling in Newcastle about that time.
He became interested in a squatting pursuits, and owned a large tract of country at Rosebrook, Lambs Valley and Gosforth, on the Hunter adjoining the present home of Mr. Beresford Hudson, in that locality and a station out west, being one of the early pioneers who crossed the Blue Mountains and took up land at Bathurst where he had a station for some years. It was he who built the present Baden Powell Hotel formerly known as the Caledonian, and his private house, which now stands at the top of Watt Street is one of the oldest buildings in the city. It is now divided into two residences but was originally one, and in its time was the best house in the district. A store used by Major Reid in his business still exists behind the offices of Messrs Dalgety and Co., which, together with the dwelling mentioned was erected somewhere about 1824.
It is interesting to note that he was the owner of two thousand acres of land where the town of Wallsend now stands. A portion of this property was sold to Mr. A. Brown, the father of Mr. J. Brown of the Hetton Coal company. The purchaser at once started boring for coal and about two years later disposed of the property to the founders of the Wallsend Company, receiving 25 thousand pounds, part in cash and part in shares, for what cost less then as many hundreds.
Major Reid married Miss Macartney, a niece of Dean Macartney of Melbourne, whose father sat in the Irish Parliament before the union. When the Australian Bank suspended payment, Major Reid, in common with others, suffered severe losses, and retired to his property at Rosebrook. There, one wild stormy night, on which one of his daughters (Mrs. Rooke) was born, the convict servants set fire to the house and Major Reid had to take his wife in the pouring rain to a tent from which he watched the destruction of the building. There were several children by the union, including Mrs. Rooke, Mrs. Turner, whose husband was the original owner of Minmi colliery, Mrs. Grant, whose husband was police magistrate at Bourke and Mrs Hyde, whose husband Captain George Hyde, and their three children, are buried in the grave mentioned. Major Reid's only son died of consumption contracted by hardships and exposure in travelling to the goldfields. His death was a great blow to the father, who returned to England in 1858 and died later on in Germany.
Mrs. Hyde who is the only surviving child was present with her sisters at old Government House, Parramatta, the night Lady Fitzroy was killed and left for Sydney to attend the identical ball to which the Governors wife was going by a vehicle which started just previously. Her husband, Captain George Hyde was well known in Newcastle shipping circles. He commanded a vessel which came to Melbourne about the time the diggings broke out, and later entered the pilot service at Sydney Heads. He was present when the Dunbar was wrecked, and took a leading part in saving Johnson, the only survivor, from his perilous position on the rocks at The Gap. When the position of the sailor was discovered a flag staff was unshipped and run out over the cliffs, to which a tackle was attached. Captain Hyde climbed out on the spar and swung the rope in to Johnson, who was then hauled up by the united strength of the crowd and sailors from a warship which was lying in the harbour. Subsequently he came to Newcastle, and for several years sailed out of this port commanding vessels for Dr. Bowker, W.H. Whyte, and the late John Dalton. It was while in this employ he had an experience with Bully Hayes, the pirate of the Pacific. The vessel was bound to Lytteltown and Hayes went as a passenger. His reputation was fairly well known, and Captain Hyde was warned of the character of the man he had on board. Before the passage was over, ample reason was afforded of Hayes crooked intentions. He had won over the second mate, and one morning made an attempt to get into the masters cabin. Fortunately Captain Hyde was awake and tackled the intruder who was kept confined to his cabin until the vessel arrived at Lyttelton. Once in port, the police flag was hoisted, but Hayes, who had been temporarily freed, took the hint and went over the side, swam ashore, and escaped into the bush. Captain Hyde died in 1878. His son Mr. J.M. Hyde is a well known resident of the city
References Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 937) Copies of letters sent within the Colony, 1814-1825 Item: 4/3509 Page: 333
 Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 899) Memorials to the Governor, 1810-1825 Item: 4/1839A Number: 811A Page: 343-6
 Index to map of the country bordering upon the River Hunter... by Henry Dangar (London : Joseph Cross, 1828). p15
 Ancestry.com. England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 Original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England
 Ancestry.com. 1861 England Census. Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives. Source: Class: RG 9; Piece: 561; Folio: 152; Page: 21; GSU roll: 542662
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 Map of the township of Newcastle - Cross, Joseph. Map of the River Hunter, and its branches [cartographic material] shewing the Lands reserved thereon for Church purposes, the Locations made to Settlers, and the Settlement and part of the Lands of the Australian Agricultural Company at Port Stephens together with the Station of the Mission to the Aborigines belonging to the London Missionary Society on Lake Macquarie, New South Wales 1828. MAP NK 646
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 1 April 1858 Maitland Mercury
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 Maitland Mercury 10 March 1852