Standish Lawrence Harris arrived in the colony
in November 1822.
He was granted 2000 acres
of land with an annual quit rent of £2 and selected
this land on the Hunter River.
According to an account of an 1833
civil court case printed in the Sydney Herald,
Standish Harris was engaged by Major Goulburn, then
Colonial Secretary, as Civil Architect in 1822 at
the salary of £100 per annum; this being considered
an inadequate remuneration he was also allowed 10
per cent commission upon the value of all works in
which he should be engaged.(1) ......
in dispute for many years as to the value of the
work and the remuneration he was entitled to from
Government, however seems never to have been paid
the amounts he considered he was owed. His petition
to Government can be found in the
Historical Records of Australia, Volume XIX, p.63.
In September 1824 he may have been at his
estate at the Hunter River as he had injured his
hand and was prevented from returning to Sydney by
land. He informed the Colonial Secretary that he was
awaiting the arrival of the vessel
Eclipse to convey him to
Sydney. In July 1825 his estate Goulburn Grove was
robbed by the bushrangers
Brigade who took away with them a brace of brass
By March 1831 his
estates on the Hunter River were offered for
Goulburn Grove -
That part of that valuable estate called Goulburn
Grove, known as Phoenix Park or Narrigan, the
property of Standish Lawrence Harris, Esq., and
situated on the Banks of the Hunter and Patterson's
River with frontage to both. This Estate contains
upwards of 1150 acres; is divided, and will be sold
in (10) lots. The various advantages which this
estate has over any other in the colony are so
numerous that it would be impossible to enumerate
them in the small scope of an advertisement.....
His land was situated about three miles from
Wallis Plains and fifteen from Newcastle....and
commenced at the North West corner of Brown's farm
known by the name of Bulwarra and bounded on the
South by an East line of one hundred and eleven
chains. On the East by a North Line of eighty chains
on the North by a West line of one hundred and sixty
chains and on the East boundary line of William
Innes' farm; and on the West by that boundary line
bearing south to the River Hunter and by that River
to the commencing North West corner of Brown's farm.
In September 1832 five labourers, four farming
servants and a blacksmith transferred from S.L.
Harris' service to Andrew Lang
estates were sold, a court case in which he was
called as a witness in August 1837 reveals that
Harris was imprisoned for his debts in the 1830's,
.....Standish Lawrence Harris, senior - I am an
architect and engineer, I got into embarrassment and
was in jail in consequence; Mr. Raine was in jail
with me; Raine and I lodged in the same room when
Raine was in custody for a libel on Mr. Roger Therry.
In 1846 Standish Lawrence Harris was
still petitioning government for a large sum of
money amounting to upwards of £1400 which had been
the means of involving him in debt and praying the
Council to take his case into consideration.
Convicts assigned to Harris' Hunter River estates
Notes & Links:
Map showing area between Hunter and William's Rivers,
N.S.W] [cartographic material]. 1830 - 1899. MAP F
436/E. - Digital Collections. Harris' land can be seen
in the top left quarter.
2). Cross, Joseph.
Map of the River Hunter, and its branches
[cartographic material] : shewing the Lands reserved
thereon for Church purposes, the Locations made to
Settlers, and the Settlement and part of the Lands of
the Australian Agricultural Company at Port Stephens
together with the Station of the Mission to the
Aborigines belonging to the London Missionary Society on
Lake Macquarie, New South Wales 1828. MAP NK 646 -
(1) Sydney Herald 1 July 1833)
(2) Sydney Gazette 12 August 1837