Early Hunter Valley Settlers

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William Carter - Joseph Horton Bettington - Piercefield -  Map 7 


William Carter arrived with his wife and daughter on the Prince Regent, Captain Lamb, in August 1824. They sailed from England on 28th February and called at Bahia in South America on the way.  Other passengers on the Prince Regent included John Stephen, Solicitor-General of NSW and family, Gregory Blaxland Esq., Alexander McLeod Esq., N. Lawson Esq., Mr & Mrs. Carlisle, Mr, Mrs. and Miss Ward, Mr. H. Stuckey and Mrs. H. Slade - all from England. (3)

William Carter was appointed Master of the Supreme Court on 25 August 1824 (4). He was granted 2030 acres on 8 November 1824 (5). He increased his holdings by purchase however ran into financial trouble after disastrous land and stock deals.

In the 1828 Census William Carter gave his residence as Piercefield. There were then 9000 acres with 200 acres cleared, 50 acres cultivated, twenty one horses, 150 horned cattle and 3900 sheep. The following men were employed on the estate.....

John Parker who arrived on the Courier was employed as a gardener at Piercefield in 1828.
Richard Clarke who arrived on the Lord Eldon was employed as a shepherd.
William Hudson who was 70 years old and arrived on the Archduke Charles was free and employed as a house servant.
Henry Hone who arrived on the Adamant in 1821 was free and employed as a groom.
George Wiggledon who arrived on the Earl St. Vincent was free and employed as a sawyer.
Christopher Flood was free by servitude and employed at Piercefield.

The following convicts were assigned to William Carter at the Piercefield estate in 1828:

In October 1830 Piercefield and Martindale were ordered for sale....

In the Supreme Court -

Wilson v. Carter, Josephson v. same; Pringle v. same

Unless the former sales satisfy these Executions on Thursday the 4th November the Sheriff will cause to be sold all the Right title, Interest and Estate of Defendant, in and to all that piece or parcel of Land situated on Hunter's River containing five thousand Acres, more or less known as Piercefield with all the Buildings erected thereon, consisting of a very handsome verandah cottage, and a large stone barn and store. Two hundred acres of this farm are cleared, stumped, and in cultivation. Also all Defendant's Right Title Interest and Estate in and to all that other piece or Parcel of land known as Martindale also situated on Hunter's River and adjoining the former farm of Piercefield, containing twelve hundred and eighty acres, more or less. On this farm there are erected a handsome little cottage and small dairy. Also all Defendant's right title interest and estate in and to that other piece of parcel of land containing twelve hundred and eighty acres more or less known as Baraba situated also on Hunter's River about 25 miles from Maitland with all the buildings and appurtenances thereon erected consisting of a capital house, a large barn a good store an extensive dairy, a tobacco shed, 120 feet long and an excellent five stall stable. One hundred and twenty acres of this farm are cleared and in cultivation (7)

After all William Carter's stock and land has been sold there were still outstanding debts. He became insolvent and was removed from office.(6)

 Three brothers Joseph Horton Bettington, James Brindley Bettington and John Henshall Bettington formed a partnership and acquired the Piercefield and Martindale estates as well as other land and spread their flocks and herds far and wide. (1)

After the Bettington family partnership was dissolved, John Henshall Bettington managed the estate Martindale. James Brindley Bettington retained Brindley Park at Gummun Plains and Joseph Horton Bettington took up the estate of Piercefield (2)      



(1) Wood, W. Allan, Dawn in the valley : the story of settlement in the Hunter River Valley to 1833, Wentworth Books 1972, p. 198

(2) Australian Dictionary of Biography Online

(3) Sydney Gazette 12 August 1824 /p>

(4) Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 898) Special bundles, 1794-1825 Item: 4/424 Page: 260

(5) Index to map of the country bordering upon the River Hunter... by Henry Dangar (London : Joseph Cross, 1828). p19

(6) Wood, W. Allan, Dawn in the valley : the story of settlement in the Hunter River Valley to 1833, Wentworth Books 1972, p.195

(7) Sydney Gazette 7 October 1830


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