Walter Scott arrived in Van Diemen's Land Australia on
the ship Regalia in 1823. (2).
born on 15 October 1787 and attended Edinburgh
University as a medical student after completing his
apprenticeship as surgeon. On the Regalia he
was employed as Ship's surgeon.
He moved to
Sydney where he was employed in the commissariat
department and soon after applied for a land grant.
Perhaps he had heard of the Hunter River land from
George Lang who was also
employed at the Commissariat department and had received
a grant at the Hunter.
By May 1823 Walter Scott
had been granted 600 acres of land by Governor Brisbane,
and after travelling to the area, selected 600 acres on
the Paterson Plains across the river from the grant of
George Lang. He named the grant
Wallalong (Wollalaghn) and built a cottage on
Many years later a correspondent to
the Maitland Mercury described the fate of some
of the natives who resided on this land.......
They suffered a good deal of injustice at the hands
of some of the first settlers, and there is now living a
man who was present, as he admitted, when a party had
formed for the purpose of punishing the blacks for
pulling the cobs of maize in the field, and carrying it
off in their nets to their camps. Observing some smoke
rising from the midst of the Wallalong bush, they armed
themselves with muskets, and reached unobserved the
camp, where a considerable number of men, women, and
children were. They fired upon them, killing some and
wounding others. The rest fled through the bush, pursued
by the whites, and the whole of the natives took to the
water intervening between the brush and the highland,
towards which it gradually deepened, and some of the
poor creatures were drowned. My informant now a very old
man, while expressing regret at the occurrence, said the
worst part of the whole was, they afterwards discovered,
that not one of those who were "wanted" were among them.
The haymakers in the Wallalong fields have little
suspected the occurrence of these tragical happenings on
the exact spots where they have stood when engaged in
their peaceful occupation. (1)
not have spent a great deal of time at Wallalong in the
early years. He may have used assigned servants
(convicts) to clear and fence the land and grow crops as
he was employed at Newcastle as Commissariat clerk and
storeman. He probably worked in the government cottage
set aside for the Commissariat clerk. This cottage was
situated nearby the Parsonage not very far from the
Armstrong's 130 map of Newcastle)
September 1824 Walter Scott joined the expedition to Moreton Bay where
a settlement was to be established. Others on the
Lieutenant Henry Miller of the 40th regiment,
botanist Allan Cunningham, surveyor
Robert Hoddle, 14 soldiers, 29 convicts
first settlement, established near
Redcliffe, was soon abandoned and the site where
Brisbane now stands was selected due to the reliable
source of water. Here barracks for soldiers and
convicts, huts, sawpit, kiln and blacksmith's forge were
established. There was also an army store which Dr.
Scott probably controlled.
Walter Scott worked
as surgeon until Henry Cowper who had been formerly
appointed surgeon, arrived in 1826. By 1828, Dr. Scott
had returned to the the Hunter district and he was once
more working at Newcastle as Commissary Clerk.
He purchased more land - 720 acres in 1836 and 640 acres
at Seaham in 1839 which he named Eskdale. He had the
usual problems with convicts as two of his assigned
servants William Amos and Thomas Cartwright absconded
from service (at Paterson) in the winter of 1834.
His nephew - also Walter - emigrated from Scotland
in the 1840's and settled on the Seaham land (Eskdale).
He managed his uncle's estates for him, acting as agent.
Dr. Scott returned to Britain and died in London
in 1854 aged 67. His obituary appeared in the Maitland
Mercury on 27 January 1855.....
THE LATE DR.
It has seldom fallen to our lot to have
to record the decease of one so universally respected
and esteemed as Dr. Walter Scott, of Eskdale, a notice
of whose death appeared in our obituary on Wednesday.
For some years past he had been suffering from chronic
disease, and had deemed it advisable to take a trip to
his native country, thereby, if possible, to recruit his
failing health. He accordingly left the colony in the
early part of last year for Britain, but unfortunately
his constitution was too much shattered to sustain any
benefit from the change, and after lingering for a few
months he expired in London on the 10th October.
The many spirited public services rendered in times
past by the late Dr. Scott, coupled with private acts of
kindness liberally bestowed, have secured for him a
reputation which will be long ere it is effaced from the
remembrance of the older inhabitants of this district,
and his loss will be long felt by those who came within
the sphere of his unostentatious benevolence. Although
essentially one of those few mild and good men who "did
good by stealth and blushed to find it fame", he was
nevertheless active and energetic in denouncing what he
conceived to be public abuses; and perhaps no better
proof can be found of the sincerity of his motives, and
the discretion of his views, than the fact of his
having, during a public career of more than thirty
years, mixed up in many public movements, at the same
time making fewer enemies than perhaps any other man in
Apart from political and local
questions, his exertions in developing the agricultural
re- sources of the colony must be within the
recollection of many. Besides importing new machinery
adapted for colonial agriculture, he turned his
attention to the locating of a virtuous and respectable
tenantry on his estates, carefully studying their
comforts, and thus extending the benign influence which
the example of his private life contributed to shed
abroad in the circle in which he moved. Exemplary alike
as a just and impartial magistrate, a kind and indulgent
landlord, and a good master, his name will be long
remembered by the people of this district as being
associated with all that is estimable.
Notes & Links:
Digital Collections Maps - Map of the Hunter River,
showing the location Walter Scott's Wollalaghn
(1) Maitland Mercury 25
(2) Sydney Gazette, 13 February 1823