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18. EARLY Australia Growing.


It should be remembered that the Settlement at Sydney was only to be a dumping ground for many, many convicts. However the reality of Feeding and Managing everybody, grew into a large problem. Farmers from the “old country” and Convicts whpse serving time was up, plus Business people soon put the pressure on various Governor’s and Administrative People, for a more reliable food system.

Several of the Marine Officers, took or were allocated LAND as a sort of REWARD for their services. This mostly happened during the delays in New Governors arriving at Sydney, to take over their role. Although it is important to remember that John Macarthur was allocated land near Parramatta as a reward and to assist in developing the sheep industry.

Then of course he bought the land at Camden. This was quite a "large" undertaking, rebuilding "old" premises, and allowing his sons to "expand" business opportunities.

It is important to separate the Original Type of Squatters, who managed to develop “Stations” and who also paid for the use of Labour, to look after the sheep or cattle, without Government help or interest: to the modern day Squatter who probably inherited the Land.

Once Blaxland’s party had crossed the Blue Mountains near Sydney, they  proved that viable agriculture land use was possible beyond the Sydney- Hawkesbury area.

However the Government, with no spare money in the Governors Chest to assist in development, used the early Squatters and Cockies, who paid only a tiny amount to the Government for the Land. This later caused great pain when the Government wanted to charge more for the Land.

In fact under Governor Darling between 1826 and 1829, a rough oblong of land from Sydney was ALL that was going to be allowed to exist under Government control. From Sydney –down to Batemans Bay—up to Yass—up to Wellington—back across to Newcastle—down to Sydney.


B.  Cockies

A term derived from the people who arrived near “Selections” and took up small scale Farming. Like flocks of Cockatoos they all alight on one spot, and when used up or the land was unsuitable they move on. The Squatters usually well heeled in money made many derogatory remarks.

Eventually Governments caught up with the Squatters and Cockies and made them pay a realistic price for the Land that they had developed and used without too much Government interest or help

The “Dad and Dave” stories by Steele Rudd certainly point out the difficulties of being a “Cocky.”

C. Early Australian Business men and their Enterprises.


Robert Campbell 1769 to 1846

Born in Scotland. He was part of a Trading Company and went to India to work with his Brother in the Family Trading Business.

In 1796 Campbell Clarke and Company sent their First Cargo to NSW in The Ship that had been wrecked off the Australian Coast, the "Sydney Cove."

He sailed to NSW on the Hunter. Satisfied with the results he Brought another Cargo out from India in 1800. He then purchased Land at Dawes Point to build warehouses and wharfs.

His firm engaged in shipping items from India to Sydney and the Derwent settlement..

Governor King critisized the Company for importing excessive amounts of spirits. Campbells appeared to be very fair in trading.

Campbells engaged in and initiated the Colonial Sealing industry, with oil and skins being sent to England.

When Governor Bligh was deposed,Campbell who had been Dining with the Governor at Government House, was also put under arrest.

Under Governor Lachlan Macquaries, Campbell was re instated to all pre rebellion duties


SIMEON LORD  1771 to 1840

Convicted of stealing cloth in 1790,subjected to  TRANSPORTATION for 7 years..

It was arranged that he would act as servant to Captain Thomas Rowley of the 102ND Regiment.

Emancipated early, he started his Merchant career as a showy figure who helped the retail of Liquor. He managed to purchase a warehouse, and build a grand house in what is known today as Macquarie Place.

Captain's of vessells used him to auction their speculative goods.

Over the next 20 years, Lord was a Whaler-auctioneer-sealer-pastoralist and Timber Merchant-Captains (ships) agent, also buying and selling Cargoes.

In January 1805, Lord formed a partnership with Henry Cable and James Underwood, who had been successful in Boat Building and Sealing.

Somehow he managed to circumvent the Rules that forced the British East India Company to handle ALL goods to and from the Colony.

In 1803 his schooner Marcia brought the FIRST cargo of FIJI SANDALWOOD to Sydney which from then on was sold at Canton China. And, remained an on going business.

Henry Cable. 1763 to 1846.

Convicted of Burglary. He was sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to 14 years in America But he remained in Prison until he sailed in the FIRST FLEET to Australia/

On the way out to Australia, he had $15 stolen from him. This became the first
Civil Suite in NSW, Cable won against the Captain of the Ship.

Governor Phillip, appointed himas an Overseer, but was dismissed in 1802 for misbehaviour and buying and selling pigs illegally from Shps in sydney Harbour.

He went into Partnership with James Underwood, obtaining Seals and selling their oil and skins.

Eventually Cable joined James Underwood and then Simeon lord, in selling and obtaining cargoes,

James Underwood 1771-1844

Sentenced to 7 years Transportation and arrived in Sydney October 1791,

He learned the Trade of Boat Building
He learned the Trade of Boat Building from a Man who was engaged to build a large Sloop on the Hawksbury River in 1797.

Underwood played a large part in the early NSW Sealing Industry. also building ships for surveying use.Most were launched from the TANK STREAM in Sydney Harbour/

Over many years he had a share in many many money making deals, primarily because of his Boat Building

George Howe 1795-1829


Born in St.Kitts, in the West Indies, son of the Government Printer on St. Christophers Island.

In !794 he went to London, and worked on THE TIMES NEWSPAPER/

he was tried for sholifting, and sentenced to Death, which was commuted to Transportation for Life.

He arrived in Sydney November 1800. His wife had died on the voyage and he himself was looked after by D'Arcy Wentorth.

Almost immediately Howe became Government Printer. Arthur Phillip had brought with him a Printing Press to create formal messages etc?. Howe and his range of printing far exceeded the handsheets and Orders of his predecessor George Hughes. In 1802 he issued the first book printed in Australia. NSW gGeneral Standing Orders comprising Government and General Orders issued between 1791 and 1802. On March 5th 1803 he began the Publication of the First Newsletter, the Sydney Gazette and New South Wale The Printing Press was worth only 2pounds. He was conditionally pardoned in 1803, and fully emancipated in 1806.

Howe's shho[ and Tutoring enabled him to survive between August 1807 and May 1808, when because of the quarrel between Governor Bligh and his enemies the Gazette ceased Publication.

After his marriage Howe became more active in Commerce in NSW. In !813 he joined Mary Reibey in a speculation in sandalwood. In 1817 he became one of the 14 Foundation members to the Bank of New South Walws.He published a Natural History Book printed in the Colony.In 1819 he published the First Australian Poetry Book. He left property worth 400 pounds when he died.

Ben Boyd

by Alison Vincent, 2008

Boyd, Ben

Scottish-born Benjamin Boyd, a former stockbroker, arrived in Sydney on board his schooner Wanderer on 18 July 1842, to much acclaim and with grand plans to build a shipping business with money he had raised through his establishment of the Royal Bank of Australia in London. Boyd had been preceded by much publicity and the arrival of three steam ships, the first ocean-going steam ships in Australian waters, and two sailing ships, which had brought out bank employees, bank notes and cash to establish the operation.

Boyd had already started purchasing land and stock in the Port Phillip district en route to Sydney. Charming and charismatic, he quickly established himself with large land holdings in the Monaro and Riverina districts, running thousands of head of sheep and cattle. Boyd was imaginative and flamboyant, and with his contacts in London and his access to a seemingly endless source of credit he was soon able to establish himself in a colony suffering economic depression. The Royal Bank never operated as such, and no bank notes were ever issued; instead Boyd used the bank virtually as his personal source of finance. He purchased squatting runs, enlarged his shipping fleet, bought land at Twofold Bay on the New South Wales south coast and even lent money to the New Zealand colonial government, all with funds provided by the bank.

Having taken advantage of the low prices created by the depression to buy up runs and flocks, by 1844 he was one of the leading squatters in the eastern colonies when Governor Gipps introduced changes to land ownership. These new rules were aimed at creating some equity between large and small squatters and encouraging them to settle as freehold proprietors. Boyd, as both a large landholder and an absentee farmer, was directly opposed to these changes and lobbied against them as chairman of the Pastoral Association, through his pro-squatting newspaper the Atlas, and when he was briefly elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council for Port Phillip (1844–1845) before the separation of the two colonies.

Meanwhile he established Boydtown at Twofold Bay. It was his intention to establish a port here from which he could co-ordinate his shipping and pastoral interests. From here he shipped livestock and wool to Sydney and established salting works and a tallow plant. Boydtown was also the site of whaling operations and a port for his steamships carrying passengers along the southern coast. Boydtown did not prosper because of rivalry with Eden, the government settlement on Twofold Bay, poor management and poor relations between management and employees. Little remains there now.

At Neutral Bay in Sydney he had wool-washing facilities where the wool was prepared for shipment to London. The wool-washing establishment, stores and wharf were located at the present site of the Hayes Street wharf. Nearby was Boyd’s home from 1844 to 1849, Craignathan, a luxurious stone residence built by James McLaren in 1831, where he entertained lavishly. Ben Boyd Road, Neutral Bay, was named after him.

All these operations required a large labour force in a colony where cheap labour was scarce. Boyd advocated using imported labourers, the reintroduction of convict labour into New South Wales and the preferential immigration of single men, and gave evidence to the Select Committee on immigration in 1843. His most notorious scheme was the importation of Pacific Islanders in 1847 to work as labourers and shepherds. This experiment was a hopeless failure; Boyd suffered financially and also lost public respect. He was unpopular amongst the working classes because of his labour policies and the idea of indentured labour was unpopular with liberals and humanitarians. By 1847 the economic depression was at an end and Boyd’s personal popularity waned with that of the squatting movement.

Eventually Boyd’s grandiose ideas and his complicated and somewhat dubious financial transactions were his undoing. His schemes were wrecked by unfavourable public opinion, changing economic circumstances and management failure. In 1848 he lost control of his bank and in 1849 the Royal Bank of Australia was placed in the hands of a liquidator. Boyd then left Australia to try his luck on the Californian goldfields. Disappointed in America, he set sail to cruise the Pacific and ended his days in curious circumstances, presumably shot by a local inhabitant at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, in October 1851. His body was never found.


Marion Diamond, Ben Boyd of Boydtown, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1995

GP Walsh, 'Boyd, Benjamin (1801–1851)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol 1, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1966, pp 140–142





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