Free Settler or Felon?
Hunter Valley Settler
Map 2

Standish Lawrence Harris
Goulburn Grove
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Standish Lawrence Harris arrived in the colony in November 1822.

He was granted 2000 acres of land with an annual quit rent of 2 and selected this land on the Hunter River.

According to an account of an 1833 civil court case printed in the Sydney Herald, Standish Harris was engaged by Major Goulburn, then Colonial Secretary, as Civil Architect in 1822 at the salary of 100 per annum; this being considered an inadequate remuneration he was also allowed 10 per cent commission upon the value of all works in which he should be engaged.(1) ......

He was in dispute for many years as to the value of the work and the remuneration he was entitled to from Government, however seems never to have been paid the amounts he considered he was owed. His petition to Government can be found in the Historical Records of Australia, Volume XIX, p.63.

In September 1824 he may have been at his estate at the Hunter River as he had injured his hand and was prevented from returning to Sydney by land. He informed the Colonial Secretary that he was awaiting the arrival of the vessel Eclipse to convey him to Sydney. In July 1825 his estate Goulburn Grove was robbed by the bushrangers Jacob's Irish Brigade who took away with them a brace of brass barrelled pistols.

By March 1831 his estates on the Hunter River were offered for sale...... -

Goulburn Grove - That part of that valuable estate called Goulburn Grove, known as Phoenix Park or Narrigan, the property of Standish Lawrence Harris, Esq., and situated on the Banks of the Hunter and Patterson's River with frontage to both. This Estate contains upwards of 1150 acres; is divided, and will be sold in (10) lots. The various advantages which this estate has over any other in the colony are so numerous that it would be impossible to enumerate them in the small scope of an advertisement.....

His land was situated about three miles from Wallis Plains and fifteen from Newcastle....and commenced at the North West corner of Brown's farm known by the name of Bulwarra and bounded on the South by an East line of one hundred and eleven chains. On the East by a North Line of eighty chains on the North by a West line of one hundred and sixty chains and on the East boundary line of William Innes' farm; and on the West by that boundary line bearing south to the River Hunter and by that River to the commencing North West corner of Brown's farm. In September 1832 five labourers, four farming servants and a blacksmith transferred from S.L. Harris' service to Andrew Lang

Although his estates were sold, a court case in which he was called as a witness in August 1837 reveals that Harris was imprisoned for his debts in the 1830's, .....Standish Lawrence Harris, senior - I am an architect and engineer, I got into embarrassment and was in jail in consequence; Mr. Raine was in jail with me; Raine and I lodged in the same room when Raine was in custody for a libel on Mr. Roger Therry.  (2)

In 1846 Standish Lawrence Harris was still petitioning government for a large sum of money amounting to upwards of 1400 which had been the means of involving him in debt and praying the Council to take his case into consideration.

Convicts assigned to Harris' Hunter River estates included:

Name Vessel Year
Thomas Jocelyn Mary 1828
James Connor Prince Regent1 1824
John Moore Hooghley 1826
William Jeffrey Albion 1827
Samuel Pearsall Albion 1827
Thomas Riley Albion 1827
John Surgay Albion 1827
John Ryan Prince Regent 1828
Joseph Carr Champion 1831
John Brennan Andromeda 1830
Thomas Cahill Andromeda 1830
Thomas Connelly Andromeda 1830
William Parsons Katherine Stewart Forbes 1830
Peter Boyle Ferguson 1829
William Bartie Ferguson 1829
Michael Caffrey Ferguson 1829
Bernard Connor Ferguson 1829
John Doyle Ferguson 1830
Patrick Reilly Ferguson 1829


Notes & Links:

1). Map showing area between Hunter and William's Rivers, N.S.W] [cartographic material]. 1830 - 1899. MAP F 436/E. - Digital Collections. Harris' land can be seen in the top left quarter.  

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 1828. MAP NK 646 - Joseph Cross.........  


(1) Sydney Herald 1 July 1833)

(2) Sydney Gazette 12 August 1837    

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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