Free Settler or Felon?

Hunter Valley Settler

James Brindley Bettington and John Henshall Bettington
Map 6
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James Brindley Bettington arrived in the Ionia in 1827.

One hundred years after his arrival an article published in the Muswellbrook Chronicle reflected on the contribution of the Bettington family to the sheep industry.....

For many years large estates have been the subject of much comment by politicians and others, who, while condemning their existence always fail to remember that the inclinations of the possessors of big holdings were the chief factors in numerous cases in the great work of nation building. The possessors of such character traits were men whose adventurous spirits prompted them to dare much in the search for golden treasure and the work of subdividing the wilderness in a new land for the raising of flocks and herds......The founding of the Brindley Park Estate at Merriwa is an admirable illustration of the forethought, enterprise, and general capability of a valiant pioneer.

Old records show that James Brindley Bettington accompanied by his brother came to New South Wales and took up the Brindley Park land in 1824. Five years afterwards he arranged a merino sheep stud, and in 1829 imported between 200 and 300 high class ewes from Saxony and afterwards a Silesian ram. James Brindley Bettington died in 1857 and his son also James Brindley Bettington became manager
. (1)

James Brindly Bettington was in partnership with his brother John Henshall Bettington who had been previously in the colony but resided in London until January 1836 when he arrived in New South Wales on the Lord William Bentick (2).

In the 1830's the Bettington brothers William, John Henshall, Joseph Horton and James Brindley acquired pastoral estates in the Hunter Valley that had formerly been in possession of William Carter. Piercefield and Martindale were added to the Brindley Park estate at Gummun Plains (Merriwa).

When the partnership was dissolved in 1835 John Henshall Bettington retained 'Martindale', Joseph Horton Bettington held 'Piercefield' and James Brindley Bettington retained Brindley Park. (3)  

Notes & Links:

1) Pedigree of Brindley and Williamson.....   .    

 James Brindley and the Early Engineers By Samuel Smile 1864


(1) Muswellbrook Chronicle 20 November 1928.

(2) Sydney Gazette 19 January 1836

(3) Australian Dictionary of Biography Online




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