William Penn Blick arrived in Port Jackson on the John
Dennison in July 1835. He married Sarah Ross (nee Vine),
daughter of Captain Henry Loveday Vine, in 1838 at St. James
Church in Sydney.
He purchased land from Thomas Coulson
(junior) east of Thomas Coulson senior's original grant on Black
Creek. The grant was named Bellmont by the Coulsons.
son Francis was born to John and Sarah in 1839 followed by Louis
in 1840 and sons Wynter and William in 1843.
time Dr. Blick had fallen victim to the depression and was
undergoing insolvency proceedings, although he retained his
land. His daughter Alice was born at this time and three more
daughters and a son before 1853.
John Blick experienced
the usual problems of landholders with their employees. In 1846
Mrs. Blick charged employee Henry Pike with neglect of duty.
Pike, in Dr. Blick's absence had refused to work to the
satisfaction of superintendent William Russell. Pike's
employment agreement was cancelled and wages forfeited. In 1847
stockman Robert Fleming was sentenced to three years work in
irons after he was found guilty of stealing a horse from Dr.
Blick. Blick stated in Court that he sent stockman Fleming to
Black Creek with two horses to be shod, giving him strict
directions to return the same evening whether the horses were
shod or not. Fleming failed to return and later attempted to
sell the horses in Maitland.
As well as problems with
employees he suffered a setback in 1847 when a bush fire swept
through his property. The fire had appeared to be some distance
away from 'Bellmont' and thought not to be a threat however
'during the night a strong wind arose, increasing almost to a
hurricane after midnight, and so powerful was its effect in
forwarding the flames, that early on Sunday morning an alarm was
raised that the barn was on fire. All hands were roused up in a
few minutes, but in spite of every effort the flames gained
ground and shortly threatened the destruction of the dwelling
house and the whole establishment. Attention was turned to
preventing the advance of the fire and several panels of fencing
between the barn and house cut down, and the space between
cleared of loose stuff, while the horses and animals were driven
away from the buildings. These efforts were fortunately
successful, and the house was saved. A valuable thrashing
machine, and other implements, with fifty bushels of wheat, a
large quantity of straw and some other articles were, however
destroyed as was the barn and outbuildings'.
John Blick made a claim to lease
Crown Land in the New England district described as 17,280
acres named 'Tyringham'. Estimated grazing capability 800 cattle
or 5000 sheep. Bounded on the east by the Harness-Cask River 3
miles, running north to its junction with O'Connell's 'Main
Water'; on the north by the said 'Main Water' by a line north 3
miles to the top of a high range of hills' on the north by the
said range running west or thereabouts four miles and a half; on
the west by a line south 6 miles crossing the said 'Main Water';
on the south by a line east to the commencing point. The runs
adjoined - the Stockyard or Mitchell's on the east, Ward's (new
run) and Hyland's on the north west, O'Connell's on the west and
Freeman's and Henry Dangar's 'Bald Hills' on the south.
In December 1848
Bellmont, was advertised for lease. There were 1000 acres with
150 cleared that had been under cultivation. 300 acres were in
paddocks each with a frontage to Black Creek with a never
failing supply of excellent water. There was said to be a good
house upon the premises with a vineyard of two acres in full
bearing and a large orchard. The old road ran through the
property and there was an extensive back run. Dr. Blick was
still on the property at this time however he was able to offer
immediate possession. By 1849 he was undergoing insolvency
proceedings. Claims proved included that of William Henry Burne,
Leslie Duguid, and Michael & Eliza Savage. The creditors allowed
him to retain his household furniture and wearing apparel. All
remaining assets in the estate were to be realised as soon as
John William Penn Blick died on 24th May 1854
aged 42 years 'after a long and severe illness. The death notice
stated that he was the second son of the late Capt. Thomas Blick
of the Royal Bucks Militia and left a widow and nine young
Seven months later the Maitland Mercury
carried the following notice:
'To the deep grief of
their afflicted mother, on the 19th & 20th of cholera, after 12
hours severe sufferings, Emily Sarah, aged 7 yrs 8 months and
Alice Mary McMullan aged 9 yrs and 4 months; and on the 20th of
malignant scarlet fever, Louis Lawrence, aged 14 yrs and 2
months; the eldest son, and second and third daughters of the
late John W. Penn Blick'
Bellmont later became a
vineyard known as Belbourie.