Hunter Valley Colonial Medical Practitioners


John Edward Stacy



John Edward Stacy arrived in Australia on the Magnet in 1828 with his wife Jane (nee West) and their child. He was employed as company surgeon by the Australian Agricultural Company. Others employees of the A.A. Co., who made the voyage on the Magnet included Thomas Hewitt, Thomas Sawkins, Benjamin Stacey and John Swayne.

On his arrival at Carrington, Port Stephens, Dr. Stacy and his family resided with the other families, the hospital wardsman and the patients.  Sir Edward Parry thought the hospital no more than a shed.  John Stacy was also a botanist and early in his time at Port Stephens established gardens where he planned to grow Tobacco, Olives and Poppies.   Two of the convicts assigned to him at Port Stephens were  farmer's man Thomas Emmett who arrived on the Manlius in 1827 and Anthony Tunsil a gardener who arrived on the Roslin Castle in 1833.

John and Jane Stacy became friends with the family of Lieutenant William Caswell during their years at Port Stephens. Dr. Stacy attended Susan Caswell during her many pregnancies and the childhood illnesses of the family. Later, in 1859 his son Henry Stacy married William and Susan Caswell's daughter Caroline at Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle.

The following notice (advertisement) is from the Australian in 1835

'We understand that Mr. Stacy, Surgeon to the Australian Agricultural company, at Port Stephens, intends settling with his family at Peel's River, for the purpose principally of turning his attention to the culture of Medical plants; but we hope that he does not intend to give up the lancet for the spade, as his professional abilities will prove highly advantageous to the neighbouring settlers. While we admire the independence of Mr. Stacy's feelings, we cannot but regret that a pupil of Sir William Blizzard, and Mr. Headington under whom Mr. Stacy walked the boards of the London Hospital, and whose undeniable approbation he attained, should seclude himself with his family in the bush. We wish Mr. Stacy success in his undertaking, and hope he may never repent having thrown up a good practice in England, to become a settler at the Antipodes.'

Although convict servants were assigned to him at the Peel River in 1836/37, John Stacy does not appear to have settled there. He settled near Port Macquarie in 1839. He was visited there by traveller Clement Hodgkinson who was on an overland journey from Port Macquarie to Newcastle:

In the 1840's Dr. Stacy was established at Newcastle as Surgeon General. The family lived in Newcomen Street. In February 1847 he attended a dinner at the Victoria Hotel in honour of Sir Charles Fitzroy.

A few days later he was called to attend to immigrant Eliza Milner who was employed by Rev. Wilton in Newcastle. Benjamin Harris, also in Reverend Wilton's employ, had poured boiling fat over the girl's head. The wounds extended from the head and down the back over one side of the face terminating at the chest. Dr. Stacy attended her daily for over a month. Later, when Eliza appeared in Court  she was asked to remove her bonnet when a 'most frightful' scald was observed. One of her eyes was also disfigured and the girl's sight, Dr. Stacy said was only preserved by the extreme attention paid to the girl by the benevolent and watchful Wilton family.

John Stacy was appointed Magistrate at Newcastle in May 1848 and later that year he accompanied surveyor Mr. Charlton to Traverse the Newcastle boundaries

In 1847 their daughter Ellen married Mortimer William Lewis, son of the Colonial Architect.

In 1854 Jane Stacy and two of of their infant grandchildren died at the Stacy residence after suffering from scarlet fever.

On 4th February 1858 John Stacy married Elica Antonia, the eldest daughter of John Nicholas Beit. They had two sons together and in 1860 moved to Parramatta and then Toowoomba.

John Stacy died in London on 12th March 1881.


Notes & Links:

1). John Edward Stacy elected Fellow in the Royal College of Surgeons - The Lancet.......


2). Boys admitted to Rugby in Midsummer 1807 - The Rugby register



3). Departures from Madras for Europe 0 Asiatic Annual Register 1807.......


4). Australian Dictionary of Biography

5). Australian Medical Pioneer Index




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