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Historic Land Grants

A series of articles published in The Critic newspaper by Alex Hume under the pen of "Historicus" during 1923 and 1924.

Early Settlement
The New South Wales Government, have recently presented to the Government of this State the duplicates of the land grants issued by Governors King, Macquarie, and Brisbane, at Sydney. The grants issued by these Governors are not regarded by the legal profession as valid Crown grants, because they are issued in the name of the Governor, and not the Sovereign reigning over these dominions at the date of issue, but the possession of such a grant is regarded by the Lands Titles Commissioners as a valuable link in the chain of evidence which a claimant is required to supply in support of his claim for a Crown grant. The reader of notes must bear In mind that the authors of these land grants or rather the Secretary for State, in permitting the Governors to make these grants, had in mind a system of land nationalisation to a certain limited extent. This is apparent from the wording of the document, which provides for a quit rent being paid annually, and also reserves to the Crown 'the right to take timber from the grant, presumably for public purposes and also the right for taking land for roads, and a condition was also laid down that the grantee was bound to clothe and feed a certain limited number of convicts at his own expense, the number being governed by the extent of the area granted, thus a person obtaining a large grant had to maintain more prisoners than a person obtaining a smaller area. Another condition in most of the grants is one which prevented the grantee from transferring his grant for five years. 1

Lydia Webb and Isaac Pear

Isaac Pear / Pare convicted on 9 July 1841 at Ipswich in Suffolk of house breaking, and sentenced to 15 years transportation. He was 25 years old, Protestant, and could read and write. He stood 5 feet 7 inches tall, with black hair, grey eyes, and his native place was Ipswich. He had been charged with burglary before, and his connexions were bad. He was good on the hulk, and orderly on board the ship. 1

Scene on Board the Tasmania Convict Ship 1845

(From a Dublin Paper, September 1.)

As it was expected that the above vessel would sail on Saturday from Kingstown Harbour, a number of persons proceeded to the pier to witness the impressive and melancholy sight. The day was beautiful, the sky was serene, the sea unruffled and smooth as a mirror — all nature was hushed in a hallowed repose, and everything indicated peacefulness and happiness; but when the eye turned to the gloomy form of the convict ship as it lay upon those calm blue waters, a floating dungeon, the prison-home of the felon exile, a sadness came o'er the mind from the reflection that however bright and lovely, and joyous all things around it seemed to be, within its dark and tomb like bosom were enclosed many suffering spirits, whose crimes had expatriated them from their native land, and to whom the beauties of "the firmament above and the earth beneath" were but as "a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours." 1

Thomas Wilson and Catherine Hay

Thomas Wilson was born on 20 January 1822 in Muiravonside, Stirling, Scotland. He was baptised on 10 February 1822, also in Muiravonside, Stirling, Scotland.1 He was the eldest child and son of David Wilson and Jean Crawford. Thomas married Catherine Hay on 7 June 1850 in Uphall, West Lothian, Scotland:

Thomas Wilson & Catherine Hay, the former residing in the Parish of Linlithgow, the latter in this parish, having been regularly proclaimed in order to marriage & no objections offered to the same were married this day.2

  • 1. GROS O. P. R. Births 486/00 0020 0010 Muiravonside
  • 2. GROS O. P. R. Marriages 672/00 0030 0215 Uphall or Strathbrock

George Wilson and Marian Brock

George Wilson is the tenth and youngest child of James Wilson and Catherine Boak. George's birth is reported to have occurred on 12 December 1803 in Uphall, West Lothian, Scotland.1 This event is not recorded on either Scotland's People or the International Genealogical Index.2 George is however an acknowledged child of James and Catherine Wilson due to the overwhelming evidence of later documentation.

At some point in the early 1830s George began a relationship with Marian Brock. Marian was born on 10 March 1799 in Kirkliston, Scotland, the daughter of Henry Brock and Margaret Marshall.3

  • 1. Rackham, Margaret, Family Group Sheets, "Wilson Descendants," Book 2, Page 3.
  • 2. Rackham, Margaret, Family Group Sheets, "Wilson Descendants," Book 2, Page 3. Scotland's People is "a partnership between General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon enabled by brightsolid". The International Genealogical Index is "An official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
  • 3. Norman, Don: Some Notes on George Wilson Snr., His Ancestors and Descendants; Privately Published, 1989