John Howe arrived free on the Coromandel in 1802. He received a grant of 100 acres at Mulgrave Place dated 19 April 1803.
He became an auctioneer at Windsor and worked on road and bridge construction projects before being appointed Chief Constable at Windsor in 1814 and Coroner in 1821.
After the death of his first wife Frances, who had accompanied him to Australia, he married Jane Kennedy, daughter of James Raworth Kennedy.
John Howe received grants of land in the Hunter Valley after his expeditions in 1819* and **1820 to find an alternate route to the new settlements and to open up more grazing land to the north. In the Historical Records of Australia (Notes) the route taken is described .....
In October and November, 1819, John Howe, chief constable at Windsor, led a party from the Hawkesbury to the Hunter river, which followed in a general way the direction of the Bulga road. On the 26th of October, the expedition crossed the Colo river, a little above the junction of Wheeny creek. Six days later, after some difficult travelling, under the guidance of some natives, the party, keeping to the west of the Macdonald river, passed the neighbourhood of Yengo mountain, then crossed the upper Macdonald and encamped for the night on Wareng creek, at a spot a mile west of Wareng mountain. During this day, a party of about sixty natives were met, many of whom had never seen a white man. On the 2nd of November, the dividing ridge between the watersheds of the Hawkesbury and Hunter rivers was crossed, after finding it necessary to unload the horses to cross the hills. Two days later, a heavy fog, lying east and west, was observed from the top of some high rocks, and the presence of a river was suspected. On the following day, Friday, 5th November, the Hunter river was reached, a little above the present town of Singleton. The river was followed down for some distance, until the homeward journey was commenced on the following day. The return journey was accomplished after some difficulty in the rough country, and Windsor was reached after an absence of twenty-two days. In a letter, dated 17th November, 1819, John Howe reported the result of his journey to Governor Macquarie. On the 5th of February, 1820, a second expedition under Howe's leadership left Windsor, and spent five weeks in the examination of the valley of the upper Hunter river . As a reward for his discoveries, on the 18th of September, 1820, John Howe was granted a license by Governor Macquarie to graze his flocks and herds at "St. Patrick Plains" (now Patrick's Plains), which he had discovered, and subsequently a grant of seven hundred acres of land, known as Redbourneberry, was made to him. HRA, Series 1, vol. X p. 810.
For his services on the expeditions he was granted 700 acres of land. The town of Singleton embraces the greater portion of it. Howe called the estate Redbourneberry, after his native town in Lincolnshire, England. (centre on map below)
In 1839 John Howe moved to Raworth near Morpeth. This land had been a 200 acre grant to James Griffiths in 1823. His estates at Patrick Plains were managed by his family.
John Howe died at Raworth in 1852 and was buried in the Cemetery at Morpeth.
NOTES AND LINKS
1. *On John Howe's expedition which departed 24 October 1819 he was accompanied by George Loder junior,
Myles and Mullaboy natives - These two men actually guided the expedition, having been sent out beforehand by John Howe to locate an elderly aborigine who had told of a better route than the one previously found.
2). Interesting Memoirs - Ebenezer, Portland and Windsor Pioneers - Windsor and Richmond Gazette 11 November 1921