Free Settler or Felon?
Hunter Valley Settler
Map 2

Edward Gostwyck Cory
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Edward Gostwyck Cory arrived on the Allies in 1823. He was recommended as a free settler and received assigned convicts and a land grant of 2030 acres. He was given permission to proceed to Newcastle in the Fame. Also on board were Edwards's wife Frances and father John Cory. They were accompanied on the Fame by their friend from Devon, John H. Boughton who had purchased land on the Paterson after arriving the previous year.

Cory selected his land naming it 'Gostwyck'.  He and his wife and six convicts were to be supplied from the government stores for six months and they received eight cows from the Government herd. Two of the convicts who accompanied the Corys to Paterson in 1823 were twenty year old John Darling who arrived on the Ocean in 1823. Darling died in 1841 at Paterson; and Edward Donnelly who arrived on the Earl St. Vincent in 1823 and died at Paterson in 1837.

In 1825 Edward Cory recommended William Chapman for a land grant. Chapman had arrived on the Allies with Cory and had, with his wife Mary, been employed by John Boughton at nearby Tillimby. The Chapman's young daughter Emma was residing with the Corys in 1828.

Edward Cory owned other land also. In 1829 he selected 560 acres of land at Wangi Wangi on Lake Macquarie. This encompassed all of the peninsula.  Unlike his friend John Boughton, who attempted to develop his Lake Macquarie land, Cory did little to develop Wangi and cattle thieves often frequented the area.   He also purchased with other settlers, land at Murrurundi. In 1831 he traversed the Moonbi Ranges opening up the land beyond the valley. He squatted for a time on land near the Tamworth area, purchasing some at Uralla which he later sold.

In 1832 mention is made of Vineyard cottage being a former residence of Cory's but soon to be used as an Inn as Cory had built a new house called 'Gostwyck'. Vineyard Cottage was  on the estate that had belonging to George Frankland who died  in tragic circumstances in 1825, the property subsequently being purchased by the Corys

In July 1832 Sir Edward Parry entertained Mr. Cory at Tahlee. They dined with other Officers from the Australian Agricultural Company. No doubt the two had much to discuss as Sir Edward Parry had recently returned from his journey to the Liverpool Plains and passed through the Page's River area where the Corys owned land.

Edward Cory seems to have had more trouble than some with his assigned servants. James Cotton who arrived on the Mangles in 1824 and was first assigned to A.B. Sparke before being reassigned to Cory, absconded in 1826. Twenty six year old William Sampson who arrived on the Henry in 1823 also absconded in this year.

Silvester Grougan, a miller who arrived on the Hercules in 1830, absconded in 1831 along with Charles Burkham a thirty year old colt breaker who had arrived in 1829 on board the 'Norfolk'. In 1833 Thomas Holland also absconded.

In October 1833 Cory almost lost his life after being assaulted by one of his disgruntled servants. Joseph Coleman arrived on the Marquis of Huntley in 1830 when he was 21 years old. On the morning of the assault other convicts had been allowed to spend an extra ten minutes for breakfast as their flour had not been issued on time. When they did not come out to work when the horn sounded, Cory went to investigate. He directed Coleman, who had already eaten, to work in the quarry and obtained a spade for him from one of the huts. Coleman then struck Cory on the side of the head with the spade rendering him unconscious. Coleman stated that he had 'done it to get hanged as he could not stand the tyranny on the farm any longer; he said he had done his best to kill him, and if he had missed he was sure there were some others on the farm who would do it effectually'.  Despite objections, Coleman was later hanged at Bellevue. This did not deter more convicts from absconding however, James Kenney a 28 year old cloth maker from Plymouth who arrived on the Parmelia in 1832, absconded in 1834, and two years later Michael Johnson per Larkins  absconded and was apprehended just before Christmas in 1836.

In 1835 controversy was sparked in the colony when the editor of the 'Colonist' recorded that Cory had been accused of cattle stealing. Cory was apparently absent from Paterson at the time as he was establishing his property on the Liverpool Plains. A disgruntled employee, William Lucas (possibly constable William Lucas who had apprehended Joseph Coleman two years earlier), decided to steal a bullock from the bush and lay the blame on Cory who had not brought out Lucas' wife and children from England as promised. Lucas told a fellow farm worker Daniel Keating that he would rather be in an iron gang or road party than on the farm. Lucas was charged with cattle stealing himself when several workers  - John Taylor, Thomas Priest, Robert Fish and Thomas Holland - testified against him. He was later sentenced to a penal settlement for life.

At Gostwyck, Cory constructed a water mill in 1831. It was situated just above the navigation of the river and ground at the rate of 8 bushells an hour which was a great acquisition to the area as before hand mills were used or the grain was sent away to be ground.  No doubt he found his assigned servant Silvester Grougan useful on his farm as Grougan was a miller. Years later in 1848 when obtaining workers was not so easy, Cory had to advertise for a miller. Mr. Brewner was working the mill in the 1840's.

Cory became interested in raising blood stock and entered a blood horse in the Hunter river Agricultural Show in 1847. He also owned a copper mine 2 miles from Paterson in 1847

In 1836 Edward Gostwyck Cory worked on a committee to raise funds for a church to be built at Paterson.  He was buried in the grounds of St. Paul's Church with his wife thirty seven years later.

Read his Obituary here

Notes & Links:

Select here to find some of the convicts assigned to E.G. Cory at Paterson

B. White's rough sketch of the southern portion of E.G. Cory's 2000 acres grant at Paterson - National Library of Australia Digital Maps

Image at State Library NSW

Beginnings of Toowoomba

The Pioneers - by Wilfred Goold

Reminiscences of the Paterson District

Reminiscences of Aboriginal Tribes - Hunter and Paterson Rivers


James AdairJohn BoughtonEdward Collison Close  - Green HillsGeorge CobbEdward Gostsyck CoryGilbert CoryJohn Corywilliam cummingsAndrew DixonRobert Corum DillonLeslie DuguidWilliam DunWilliam EvansGeorge FranklandWilliam HicksBeresford HudsonWilliam InnesRichard JonesJames KellyAndrew Lang - DunmoreRobert LethbridgeAlexander LivingstoneJames McClymontThomas McDougallGeorge MuirFind out more about MaitlandTimothy NowlanHenry Dixon Owen - AberglasslynRichard PritchettJames PhillipsJames Read (Reid)George Shaw RutherfordWalter ScottGentleman John SmithJohn Galt SmithHugh TorranceJohn TuckerSusannah Matilda WardSusannah Matilda WardWilliam Charles WentworthJohn WightonGorge WilliamsCaleb and Felix WilsonMarie Steamer at Paterson


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