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Hamilton C. Sempill

Location of John Dow's estate Arden Hall - 1837

This land (top right of map above) was a grant of 2560 acres to Hamilton C. Sempill in 1831.

H.C. Sempill arrived on the Warrior in 1830 as Manager of Thomas Potter Macqueen's estate Segenhoe. Other passengers on the Warrior included John and Agnes Dow who were brother and sister of Mrs. Susannah Sempill.

Soon after arrival H.C. Sempill began acquiring properties in his own name, including 1150 acres at Ardenhall, 910 acres at the junction of Redbank Creek, a further 1200 acres near Taylor's Creek, 1280 acres at Huntingdon, opposite Donald's Creek, 715 acres at Aberfoyle on the junction of Brushy Hill Creek and 640 acres at the junction of the Page's Creek and the Hunter River which he named Elistoun.  As well as all these was the renowned Belltrees estate shown on the map below.

Thomas Potter Macqueen arrived in the colony in August 1834 and took up his residence at Segenhoe. The Sempills were then required to find other accommodation, first living in a smaller unsatisfactory building and then later building a permanent home at Belltrees.

The Northumberland Hotel in Maitland was built by Sempill in 1840, however like many others, he experienced financial difficulties in the 1840s. He sold his land and decided to return to Scotland. The Sydney Gazette reported on 16 April 1842 the Departure of the vessel Eweretta. Passengers included Mr. and Mrs. H.C. Sempill, Miss Sempill, Miss Agnes Sempill, Master F. and J. Sempill.  

Belltrees then passed into the hands of William Charles Wentworth. Wentworth did not reside at Belltrees and in the late forties the estate was leased by James White Junior  in 1848.  

In 1853 Belltrees was purchased by the White family.


1).  Find out more about the White family of Belltrees and Glenalvon, in 'Daisy in Exile, the story of an Australian schoolgirl in France 1887 - 1889 by Marc Serge Riviere

2). Belltrees - A Fine Estate - By "The Wanderer" - Australian Town and Country Journal 25 March 1893

3). Video of Belltrees Station    


White, Judy., The White Family of Belltrees, 150 years in the Hunter Valley, The Seven Press 1981. p. 16

Wood, W. Allan, Dawn in the Valley, The Early History of the Hunter Valley Settlement, Wentworth Books, Sydney 1972

Sydney Gazette 16 April 1842