Free Settler or Felon?
Hunter Valley Settler
Map 2

Robert Corum Dillon
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Robert Coram Dillon arrived on the Jessie  in 1821 when he was 30 years old. Other settlers arriving on the Jessie included Henry Dangar and Alexander Livingstone (Alexander Livingstone later married Ann, sister of Robert Dillon). 

Robert Dillon brought with him property amounting to 1200 which he intended to use to invest in stock and cultivate the land. He received a land grant of 600 acres on 6th September 1821 and was assigned three convicts to be victualled from the stores at Newcastle to work the land.(1) He selected his land adjoining the farms of James Kelly and eventually established a farm which would later be known as Hinton.

A partnership was established between Robert Dillon and John Bingle in 1822.....The Memorial of John Bingle and Robert Coram Dillon most humbly shewith - That your memorialists are desirous of establishing themselves at Newcastle for the purpose of opening a regular commercial enterprise between that settlement and Sydney and for supplying the shipping in Port Jackson and the town of Sydney with coals.

That to enable your memorialists more efficiently to carry their views into execution they have to solicit your Excellency's permission to build at Port Jackson a vessel of 50 tons burthen to be employed as a regular packet and trader between Sydney and Newcastle and also that they may be allowed town allotments at Newcastle whereon to erect stores for the security of their goods and the produce of the settlement they may receive in barter or by purchase (1). In  June 1822 they received land in Newcastle to build a commercial house and permission to build a 50 tons vessel to begin a weekly shipping service between Sydney and Newcastle. This was the vessel Eclipse which was stolen by convict pirates in 1825.

Robert Dillon had also established a Post Office at Newcastle by 1825, perhaps the first.

Select here to find some of the buildings in Newcastle in 1822.

He was supplied with 400 bricks and 60 bushels of lime in 1823.  The Deed for his land in Newcastle, 46 perches in Watt Street (allotment no.2), was claimed by James Reid in 1839 who purchased it from Mr. Bettington. Allotment No. 2 Watt Street can be seen on Henry Dangar's Map here.(2)

Some of the convicts who were assigned to or employed by Robert Coram Dillon included:

Thomas Fitzgerald per Asia was assigned to Bingle and Dillon in Sydney in July 1822 John Wilson alias Paterson arrived on the Guildford assigned to Bingle and Dillon in Sydney in August 1822
Charles Connor arrived on the Martha employed by Mr. Dillon 1823 - 1825 James Fitzgerald arrived on the Sophia. Assigned to R.C. Dillon in 1829
John Rollston per Asia in 1828 (Hinton) Michael Simpson per Ann & Amelia in 1828 (Hinton)
Thomas Osborne per Friendship assigned in 1828 (Hinton) James Clarke arrived on the Mangles. Assigned to R.C. Dillon in 1828 (Hinton)
Patrick Sullivan per Eliza in 1828 (Hinton) Patrick Danaher per Eliza in 1828
Robert Lamb per York absconded in 1832 John Knowles arrived on the Hercules in 1832, assigned servant in 1832
Christopher McDonald arrived on the Morley. Assigned to R.C. Dillon until 1832 Amos Lumby arrived on the Hercules in 1832, assigned servant in 1832
John Reid arrived on the Andromeda. Assigned in 1837 Scipio Vanterpool arrived on the Susan. Assigned in 1837

Robert Coram Dillon died in 1841 aged 45 and was buried in the Glebe cemetery at East Maitland.



(1). New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 897) Main series of letters received, 1788-1825 Item: 4/1808 Page: 149-50

(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

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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