John Laurio Platt - was born
in 1782 in Nottingham, England (1). He joined the Navy when he was nineteen. In
1822 he emigrated to Australia with his wife Rosanne Dutton and children Frederick William
age 11, Robert age 9 and Jane 7½
on the ship
He received permission to travel to Newcastle on the
in February 1822 and took with him a letter to
Colonial Morisset at the settlement confirming permission to land and select
also made to voyage to Newcastle at this time. Having brought with him from
England letters of introduction, Platt was officially granted 2000 acres in
the County of Northumberland on 21 August 1822 (Iron Bark Hill).
On this land opposite
with the use of convict labour, he built a homestead, windmill and farm on a
rise east of Iron Bark Creek.
In 1824 fire destroyed Platt's crop and he
had difficulties with his workers as well as with the mill he had built. He
attempted to mine coal from his land, taking the coal to the harbour in a
barge. By 1826 circumstances may have improved for him as his land was
sown with wheat down to the river and he had been issued with twenty cows from
the Government Store in 1825. He was also in possession of a town allotment
in Newcastle. Overseer at Iron Bark Creek in the 1830's was
A daughter Mary was born to John and Rosanne in 1823 and Louisa (known as
Sally) followed in
1825). Son John Laurio was born c. 1827
A son William Thompson Platt was born in 1831 and in this same year
misfortune struck the family when their two sons Robert aged 13 and and John Laurio aged 4 were killed in a fire.
Their bodies were buried in the Christ Church
burial ground, the Church of which could perhaps be seen in the
distance from Platt’s farm.
By this calamity the family was thrown into a debilitating depression from
which it never recovered despite a daughter Roseanne being born the
Select here to read correspondence written by John Platt in January 1835
outlining his misfortunes....Transcribed by Gionni Di Gravio 27th June 2006
Cultural Collections (Archives), Auchmuty Library University of Newcastle.
John Laurio Platt died on 17th May 1836 aged 54.
Mr. Platt was one of the
first emigrant settlers on Hunter's River and was followed to his grave by
all the Military, Civil Officers, and gentlemen of the town. (SG)
Rosanne died in October 1836 leaving the remaining children orphaned.
The children were adopted by
Edward Collison Close of Morpeth. In
1838 daughter Roseanne Platt died age 5 years of age. She was buried
in the Glebe Burial Ground at Maitland. In 1847 Louisa aged 22 married Edward Close junior in
Morpeth and there were great festivities on the occasion with firing of guns
and ringing of bells. That
evening a huge bonfire was set alight and a procession with tar barrels made
round the town.
Another daughter Jane married
Rinaldo Schebberas in 1842 and Ann Lydia married John Norton Oxley son of
explorer John Oxley.
William Platt married Mary Eliza a daughter of surgeon
George Brooks in 1860.
Eldest son Frederick William Platt remained in Newcastle. In 1837 he was
at his Stores and an overseer, Mr. Godfrey was employed at the family
The land that had been granted to Platt was
sold to the
Australian Agricultural Company in 1839 for
however Frederick remained in the district. His house, nine miles from
Raymond Terrace, was robbed by four bushrangers who
escaped from Newcastle in 1842.
Select here to find
out more about these bushrangers.
By 1843 Frederick was residing in Morpeth.
Some of the convicts assigned to John Platt at
Iron Bark Hill included -
John Attwell per Neptune
Edward Bedford, soldier of the 48th regt.,
James Bennett per York
John Benson per
James Browne per Prince Regent;
Thomas Butler per
Edward Chapman per Morley;
Samuel Chapman per Neptune;
Thomas Collins per Almorah;
James Curtis per Prince of Orange;
James Gilroy per Mangles;
Thomas Glenny per
(Herod) per Minerva;
Mary Hart per Woodman;
John Kelly per Morley;
John Lewis per Marquis of Hastings;
James Limeburner per Sesostris;
George Mackin per Almorah
Anthony Murphy per Agamemnon
John Paine per Royal Admiral
James Rawlins per Coromandel
John Savage per England;
John Shutt per Earl St. Vincent
Lydea Smith per Louisa;
James Smith per Earl St. Vincent
Thomas Strattles per Little Mary
Richard Twycross per Marquis of Wellington
William Vallance per Adamant 1821
James Whitney per Hercules;
John Wilson per Elizabeth
Eli Wooton per