|The wealth of coal and cedar to be
found on the banks of the Hunter River led to the
development of a regular coastal trade. About forty vessels
made Newcastle voyages between 1803 and 1821 although not
Simeon Lord was the first to gather
coal from this region for export in 1801. Other early
traders were James Underwood, Henry Kable and Isaac Nicholl.
In 1810 those trading with goods from the Hunter included
Solomon Wiseman, Mary Reiby, Garnham Blaxcell and James
Underwood's brother, Joseph Underwood.
Underwood was born in 1779 and arrived in New South Wales on
Cove in June 1807. On board the Sydney Cove
also were 109 female convicts and four boys who were
escorted by soldiers of the N.S.W. Corp.
Underwood was accompanied by his wife Charlotte and their
two sons. Their daughter Elizabeth was born on the voyage
out however died a few months after reaching Sydney.
The Sydney Cove was owned by Joseph's
brother James Underwood in partnership with other Sydney
traders Henry Kable and Simeon Lord.
Underwood owned several vessels. One, the Campbell
Macquarie was captained by
Richard Siddons. Another, the Elizabeth & Mary
which Joseph Underwood purchased from Thomas Abbott and
Samuel Thorley in 1814, was used for many years to carry
cedar and coal from the Hunter River.
Underwood abandoned his sea-faring life in 1820. In March
1821 he was granted 1500 acres of land in the parish of
Stanhope. The grant can be seen above adjoining the land of
John Gaggin. It is
unlikely that Joseph Underwood ever resided on this grant
and the land was
claimed by James Mitchell
In 1826 he purchased, for £670 the estate
Melville, formerly a grant to William Hicks and
situated three miles from Wallis Plains.
Underwood died in 1833 aged 54.