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Discovery and Early Pastoral Settlement of New England (part 3)

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The Scone Advocate (NSW: 1887-1954), Friday 6 October 1922

Discovery and Early Pastoral Settlement of New England.




(From a paper, written by Mr. J. F. Campbell, L.S., and read before a recent meeting of members of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Sydney).

(No. 3).

Thus the Port Macquarie correspondent of the “Sydney Herald,” of April 10, 1841: “We have great satisfaction in being able to announce the capture of the seven bushrangers who absconded from the New England road party on the 5th inst. They were taken at New England within a short distance of the station occupied by Todd and Fenwick, and it would seem only just in time to prevent them adding the crime of plunder and perhaps murder to their former offence. They had proceeded thus far without committing any mischief, and were lying in ambush awaiting the departure of Todd and Fenwick’s shepherds from the station, when it was their intention to seize and bind these two gentlemen and possess themselves of what firearms they could find, and such provisions as they stood in need of. Happily, however, a native black who went forward a short distance in advance of the constables, discovered them, and giving a private and pre-concerted signal afforded the constables an opportunity of taking the proper measures for securing, them, and in a very short space of time they were handcuffed and on their way to Port Macquarie.”

As for Wilson and his gang, these highway robbers in the early forties added considerably to the inconvenience of travelling and of rural life in the districts where they operated. From time to time solitary travellers passing between the Hunter Valley and New England were waylaid by Wilson and submitted to rough handling if unwilling to “stand and deliver.” Becoming hard pressed by the police on the Liverpool Plains, these bushrangers sought refuge on the tableland, where they usually roamed, until their capture in 1846. Wilson and his lieutenant, “Long Tom,” were executed at Newcastle. A few days after the execution, according to Sir William Barton, the judge in the case, a free pardon and £300 had been received in the colony for Wilson, and he also stated that Wilson was the son of a baronet, well-known in London society.

The bellicose attitude of the aborigines on the tableland, as elsewhere, began when their localities became overrun by the stock of the squatters. The blacks naturally resented, the intrusion of the whites with their flocks and herds, and both parties soon commenced a war of extermination. Fearing the firearms of the intruders, the natives devoted their attention to the slaughter of the stock, and, when opportunity presented, of the shepherds and herdsmen as well. In retaliation, the conquering whites, while making application to the Government for assistance, which they scarcely expected, ensured the granting of such relief in other ways. The following are excerpts from the “Sydney Herald,” between 1836 and 1842:–

“We hear that numerous, outrages have been commenced by the aborigines in the newly discovered country north-east of Liverpool Plains.” . . .

“Two men belonging to John and Francis Allman were murdered at Yarrowitch, and their sheep taken away.” . . .

“We have been informed that the blacks of New England drove off 1400 sheep, the property of Mr Windeyer, but they were all recovered with the exception of 50 or 60, which the savages had slaughtered.” . . .

“Poor Kelso has lost 600 or 700 sheep again by those infernal blacks who have nearly ruined him.” . . .

“The blacks to the number of 500, have been about Peter McIntyre’s Byron Plains station for the last five weeks. Last week they commenced driving off the cattle, 400 head of which are missing. They also attacked a shepherd, who saved his life by killing one at the first shot, after being wounded in the head by a spear.” . . .

“Letters have been received in town stating that the blacks had attacked the station of Robert Ramsay Mackenzie (Salisbury), murdered a shepherd, driven off 1300 sheep, and burned down two huts. The district is without police, Mr. Commissioner Macdonald and his party having been ordered by the Governor to proceed to Moreton Bay.”

Prior to railway communication, the principal line of traffic to and from the tableland followed the route of the G.N. Road, via Tamworth, but the 250 miles of partly formed roadway to the shipping ports about Newcastle consumed so much time in the transit of wool goods, etc., that efforts were made to reach the coast by a nearer route. In the meantime the settlers at Port Macquarie, being aware of the importance of the New England trade, if diverted to their port, began to make, strenuous efforts to render Oxley’s route from the tableland trafficable for wool teams. This historic road was brought under public notice in 1838, when it was announced in the Sydney Press that a movement was being made at Port Macquarie to get the road to New England made trafficable. The following interesting references to the old Port Macquarie New England road found place in the “Sydney Herald” from 1840 to 1842:–

“By a letter received from Port Macquarie, we learn that the new road to New England is now open for horsemen, and travellers can proceed from the town of Port Macquarie to the station of R. R. Mackenzie.” . . .

“Several gentlemen connected with New England (Messrs. Kelso, Turner, McLean, and Steele) have lately visited Port Macquarie by the new line of road in order to judge of the practicability of land carriage for the present year’s clip to this port of shipment, but at present this desirable object cannot be effected. Major Innes, for his station at Yarrows, purposes to bring down the present year’s clip by means of a sledge.” . .

“Mr Gray, P.M., of Port Macquarie recommended the line of road laid out by Surveyor Rolfe. Forty men are now at work, and thirty convicts are to be sent by the order of the Governor.” . . .

“The new road is in such a rapid state of forwardness that several teams of wool belonging to Major Innes have already travelled the road.”

Tho following interesting proclamation, touching the same road, appeared in the “Government Gazette” of September 9, 1842:—

“To the New England settlers and all concerned. — Notice is hereby given that the road to New England from Port Macquarie, made by the settlers of these districts is now open and ready for drays conveying wool or other produce or supplies to and from Port Macquarie.

(Signed) William Gray, Police Magistrate.”

Next year — on the 10th February to be precise – “Sydney Herald” made the following announcement:

“Twelve drays laden with wool came down the New England line the other day, and it is said there are no less than twenty four more on the road. Forty-five men are still at work on the road. The drays were only ten days on the road which must have been a saving of nearly three weeks, as drays are commonly a month on the road from New England to Maitland.”

About this time, the slump in the value of wool and depreciation of stock generally began to paralyse the pastoral industry, and the anticipated volume of trade with the Port becoming unrealisable, the interest hitherto taken in the formation of the road practically ceased for a time.

The next route of primal importance to pastoral settlement in the early days, of which we have definite knowledge, was the “Peel line.” This route, which led indirectly to the tableland, was established by survey in 1832 by the Australian Agricultural Company as a means of communication between their coast and inland grants, to which reference has already been made. This line of road was surveyed by way of Hungry Hill spur and Nowendoc, northerly to the junction of the main Range, with the easterly trend of the Hawes-Vernon country boundary. From this junction routes were measured either way along the main range, the Peel line running south-westerly, via the Callaghan Swamps and the Nundle spur to the Peel River, and the route northerly following the range towards Walcha, evidently connecting Oxley’s trail. Along the Peel line was conveyed the requirements of the inland grants, and in return the produce of those grants for shipment at Port Stephens. The mode of conveyance at the commencement of operations was usually by packsaddle, but as the road-forming progressed vehicular traffic became more general. Regarding this road, the company’s report of February 2, 1836, states that the distance from the nearest point of the Port Stephens location to Liverpool Plains is about eighty miles, and the country intervening offers, facilities for the formation of a road, which is now in progress.” The Peel line between Callaghan Swamps and the Port Stephens road on the east, also the branch road northerly along the main range, have long been abandoned, and are now scarcely distinguishable; but the Nundle spur and its northerly trend by way of Ingleba, are still in use although largely suspended by the railway.

About the time when the Peel line was receiving its final survey adjustments by Surveyor H. Dangar (1832), E. G. Cory was engaged in exploratory work along the Great Northern route between the Australian Agricultural Company’s Peel River grant and the Armidale region, but he apparently left no diary records of his movements.

(To be continued).

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October 26, 2014 at 11:50 am

Discovery and Early Pastoral Settlement of New England (part 2)

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The Scone Advocate (NSW: 1887-1954), Tuesday 3 October 1922

Discovery and Early Pastoral Settlement of New England.


(From a paper written by Mr. J. F. Campbell, L.S., and read before a recent meeting of members of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Sydney).

(No. 2).

With reference to the activity displayed by squatters about this time (1842) in the appropriation of the country lying generally to the north of the latitude of Armidale, Abington was first taken up by John Cameron, who was one of the first pioneers to come to New England. Some years later the property came into the hands of Henry and George Morse. Stonybatter was taken up by Tom Hall, of Dartbrook, and Beverley, first taken up by Allan McPherson, of Keera. It passed through many hands, eventually coming into those of Tom Cook, of Scone. Aberfoyle passed from Denny Day to Captain Pike, then to Walker, and Kangaroo Hills become the occupancy of William Dangar, whose agent had secured it on the advice of a local stockman named Joe Brooks. Falconer Plain was taken up by John Falconer for Donald McIntyre, and Guyra by the same man for Peter McIntyre. A bushranger named Cooney, from the Ballarat side, took up Cooney Creek, but when his identity was disclosed, he was hunted out of the district. Cooney was hanged in Sydney, and the run fell into the hands of Mr. Robertson. According to the “Government Gazette” of the time, the following were included among those to take up land between 1832 and 1839: Hamilton Collins Sempill (Walcha), Edward Gostwyck Cory (Salisbury Waters), A. A. Company (Nowendoc), H. Macdonald, (Bendemeer), Henry Dumaresq (Saumarez), J. Chilcott (Kentucky), William Dangar (Gostwyck, from E. G. Gory ) , William j Dumaresq (Tilbuster), William Frederick Cruickshanks (Mihi Creek), John Dow (Inglba, obtained from John McIvor), Allman brothers (Yarrowitch), J. Morse and T. Foule (Balala), Francis Forbes (Yarrowich), Robert M. Mackenzie ( Salisbury, from E . G. Gory), Edward George Clerk and John Rankin (Clerkness and Newstead), John Cameron (Abington), Alexander Campbell (Inverell), Donald McIntyre (Falconer), C. H. and W. F. Buchanan (Rimbanda), Henry Nowland (Guy Fawkes). It was in 1839 that Edward Denny Day came into possession of Aberfoyle. Others to take up land at the same time included Stephen Coxen, Gregory Blaxland, and Charles Windeyer. In 1843 the New England district, which hitherto embraced the Darling Downs, was limited on the north by the latitude of Wallangarra, but it extended southerly to the Manning River, easterly to Mount Sea View, and westerly to the western limits of the tableland. The Downs squatters included Colin Campbell, John Cameron, Patrick Leslie, and John Pike. It was about this time that the craze for land, which had induced men of all ranks and professions to try their luck in squatting, having run its course, was followed by probably the most serious depression the pastoral industry has experienced, and this depression was more apparent on the tableland, than elsewhere, owing to the great disabilities of transit and the adverse climatic conditions of the winter months. When stock became almost unsaleable, excepting for the tallow their carcasses yielded, the upland runs, as a matter of course, also became more or less valueless, and so much was this the case that at auction sales of bankrupt stock the purchaser was frequently given the rights of occupancy, if he so desired., With the authorisation of pastoral holdings in 1848, an opportunity was afforded of ascertaining the extent of many tracts of country taken up by individual holders. For instance, leaving their interests in the Hunter River and other districts, perhaps further south, out of it, the Dumaresq family, controlled approximately 175,000 acres, Morse and Toule 96,000, George Hall 76,000, Henry Dangar 48,000, and John McIvor 20,000. On their different runs, the Dumaresqs ran 31,000 sheep, as well as 3600 cattle. All areas ranged from 10,000 to 100,000 acres.

For a quarter of a century after its discovery by Oxley, New England remained practically unknown to the Government authorities in Sydney, and it was not until about the year 1846 that any serious attempt was made to acquire a geographical knowledge of it. In 1839, the Government learning of the rapid, progress of squatting on the northern tableland, took action with a view to the establishment of law and order in that region. The appointment of a Crown Lands Commissioner was accompanied by a notification defining the limits of the new district, which was vaguely described as bounded on the east by a line north from the top of Werrikimber Mountain, which is at the head of the Hastings River; on the south by a line west from the top of the same mountain to the Great Dividing Range; on the west by the western extreme of the Great Dividing Range, so as to include the tableland; and on the north the boundary is indefinite.” The name New. England (“Arrabald” by the aborigines), was given to this elevated region because of the similarity of its climatic conditions to those of Britain. . . . When the pioneer pastoralists of New England reached the tableland they found it a vast tract of well-watered woodland country, interspersed with numerous lightly-timbered patches of grassland, but the coarse and sour character of much of the pasturage, together with the inclement winters and the difficulty of access to the tableland from the east, south, and south-west, militated somewhat against permanent or at least perennial occupancy in its earlier stages. It was soon observed that the granite country on the west, and the basaltic ranges on the south and in other places, were unsuitable for the healthy maintenance of sheep all the year round, and especially in wet seasons. The early squatters on these two classes of country had, therefore, to abandon sheep to more suitable pasturage. Hence the frequent changes in occupancy which, being unrecorded, obscure much of the early history of pastoral settlement. All primary upland squattages were usually bounded by leading ridges, and embraced the valley or valleys lying between. They were briefly described as including all the land drained by the main stream and its tributaries. Later pioneers adopted, where practicable, a similar system of boundaries, but in many eases arbitrary lines limited adjoining runs, and the fixing of these lines frequently gave rise to disputes, in the settling of which there was then no jurisdiction, as stated or implied by Governor Gipps in his despatch of April 3, 1844. He writes: “Parties, originally, in taking up their runs were limited only by their own moderation, or by the pressure of other squatters on them, and it is this pressure of one squatter on another, and the disagreements which arose therefrom which in the year 1837 led to the first appointment of Crown Commissioners.” In an earlier despatch, dated September 28, 1840, the Governor describes the conditions under which squatters held their occupancies at that time. The extract runs: “Beyond the boundaries the country is roughly divided into districts in each of which there is a Commissioner of Crown Lands, who is the chief magistrate of it, and has under his control a small force of mounted constables, who, in order that they may be distinguished from the more regular mounted police of the colony, are called by the name of border police. . . . Beyond the limits of location land is neither sold nor let, but licenses are granted, at the discretion of the Crown Commissioners, for the occupation of such portions of land as may be desired by proprietors of stock, on each of which licenses a fee of £10 is payable annually, and an assessment under a local ordinance is levied on the stock depastured there. Each allotment of land for which a license is given is called a station, and the station may vary in extent from 5000 to 30,000 acres.” The troubles which beset pastoral pioneering, especially on the tableland, were many and varied. Apart from the ordinary discomforts of bush life as then experienced, the visits of bushrangers, the destruction of stock by aborigines, and the delinquencies of many of the assigned servants, were causes of annoyance and unrest, and occasionally the loss of life itself. The Legislative Council’s enactment of July 29, 1836, prohibiting the occupancy of ‘Crown lands beyond the “limits,” without first obtaining a license ior such purpose was, more or less, directly the result of petitions from pioneer squatters, who, under the authority of the Governor, had ventured beyond the “boundaries,” but were seriously handicapped by the depredations of lawless men, usually of the convict class. The following extract from a memorial to Governor Bourke portrays the trouble which pressed upon these pioneer pastoralists in this direction: “We beg leave to add our own personal knowledge of the fact that the interior of the colony is infested with gangs of cattle stealers and other disorderly persons, whose depredations are carried out to an alarming extent. These gangs consist of freed men, who have served short sentences, or those of long sentences holding tickets-of-leave, who combine with the assigned servants to plunder the herds of their masters. Many of these men are known to possess large herds of cattle, obtained in a very short time by a series of schemes for stealing them.” — Sydney “Herald,” April 11, 1836.

In reviewing the bushranging and other lawless acts incidental to the convict days, by aid of information gleaned from law court proceedings and Press narratives, etc., one can not fail to realise that “man’s in humanity to man” gave rise to many retaliatory offences of a more or less serious nature, which could readily have been averted. The earliest recorded instance of bushranging on the tableland occurred about the beginning of the year 1836 at Saumarez (Armidale). The bushrangers in this instance were absconders from the service of a few squatters who had established themselves on that portion of the tableland, but their misdemeanours appear to have been confined to robberies only. In the absence of correspondence from the tableland, news respecting the movements of bushrangers, or in fact any other movement, seldom reached the Sydney Press. Traditional tales, however, are numerous, but conflicting, and therefore unreliable. Of the more interesting cases reported, mention may be made of the Port Macquarie road-gang deserters, whose depredatory intentions on the tableland were nipped in the bud; and of Wilson, the leader of the gang that for several years terrorised travellers, chiefly along the Great Northern Road.

(To be continued in Friday’s issue).

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October 19, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Fires near Walcha.

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The Tamworth Daily Observer (NSW), Friday 5 March 1915


Disastrous Fires.

Hay Crop Destroyed.

(From our Correspondent.)

A disastrous fire took place at Messrs. Crawford Bros.’ Moona Plains Station, about midnight on Saturday, when the whole of their hay crop was mysteriously destroyed by fire, together with hay shed, saddles, harness, and adjoining sheds. The loss is estimated at between £300 and £400.

The property was uninsured.

At Walcha Road Mr. J. Burgess lost an old woolshed by fire. This, however, was caused by a bush fire.

At Winterbourne last week, Mr. E. Lisle’s house was burnt down. Mr. Lisle recently went to the front, and his brothers, living near, were keeping an eye on the property during his absence. When they came to get flour, etc., they found nothing but the brick chimneys standing. The residence was not insured.

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June 6, 2013 at 8:47 am

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Walcha revisited.

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Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Tuesday 27 August 1889

Walcha Revisited.

(By the Tourist.)

The township of Walcha is about 330 miles north of Sydney, the railway running within twelve miles of it, viz., at Walcha-road where there is a station ; thence there is an excellent line of coaches to Walcha which meet each passenger train. This road has been opened since the railway has been made to New England. Formerly persons desirous of visiting Walcha had the choice of three roads, viz., via Bendemeer, Uralla, or Armidale. The latter was the only one from which there was a regular line of coaches, which also carried the mails ; now, however, all passengers and mails go over Walcha-road. The drive is a pleasant one of about twelve miles. I saw a large number of game of all kinds, and this must be a good place for sportsmen. On arriving at our destination I could see that great alterations and improvements had taken place during the last fifteen years, but strange to relate all the people who were in business then are still trading at this town. I put up at Moore’s New England Hotel — most comfortable quarters, and a most worthy host. There are several first-class hotels, viz., Bath’s Commercial, the Royal Walcha, Apsley, and Carriers’ Home. Mr. G. H. Erratt has recently erected splendid stores in lieu of the old ones formerly occupied by him. The design is novel but unique and characteristic of the owner. The other storekeepers are Messrs. M. J. Walsh, A. Mitchell, T.O.Hardaker, D. McDonald, J. Marshall; and John Love. There is a coach factory where vehicles of any description can be made and turned out in first rate style; this is carried on by W. K. Scott. There is also an extensive tannery, belonging to M. J. Walsh. This town can also boast of two saddlers’ and three blacksmiths’ shops. The banking interest is represented by the Commercial, who have recently erected a handsome brick building, which is an ornament to the town; while the A.J.S. have what they call a temporary place, which appears to be all signboard. The manager, however, is very popular, and says that it won’t be long before they have a building erected worthy of the place.

Walcha is one of the most sterling places in the north. Everyone appears to be well off. A solicitor can’t live there, and so peaceful and happy are its residents that the only legal business is an occasional transfer of land, not sufficient however, as Mr. Potts stated, to keep a legal adviser in the place, so that he packed up his traps and went to another town during my visit. This district is a grain producing one, and some of the finest samples of wheat have been grown. There are two flour mills, owned by Messrs. A. Mitchell and A. J. Walsh respectively, which are in anything like fair seasons kept in full work. Most of the stations and selectors obtain their supplies from these mills. The courthouse and police station are built on the hill at the northern end of the township, and are a really good pile of brick buildings, far in excess of the requirements of the place, according to the lawyer’s idea. The post and telegraph offices are very neat, built of brick, and afford excellent accommodation for the public. The churches of the Anglican, R. Catholic, and Presbyterian denominations are substantial buildings of brick and stone, the two latter having the greatest pretension to architectural design. The climate of Walcha is delightful at any season of the year, being clear and bracing, being one of the highest portions of the New England district. The local magistrates are: Messrs. J. Fletcher, J. E. Gill, G. H. Erratt, M. J. Walsh, A. Nivison, C. D. Fenwicke, T. Laurie, T. Crawford, T. B. Kermode, J. W. Duff, C. E. Blaxland, J. H. Head, E. Marriott, F. W. Thrum, P. Wright, and J. A. Nivison. The police magistrate from Armidale, who is also warden for the district, attends when required.

Walcha is one of the best pastoral districts in the colony, and is surrounded by large stations well stocked by either cattle or sheep, the principal of which are Ohio and Congi, A. Nevison, owner; Europambela, C. D. Fenwicke, owner; Waterloo, J. H. Head; Tiara, Edward Norton ; Tia, August Hooke; Moona Plains, Crawford Bros. ; Yarrawich, W. Nivison ; Surveyors’ Creek, J. Connell, jun. ; Abberbaldie, B. Kendall ; Mllurendi, James Scott; Orandunbi, J.Fletcher; Branga Plains, Thomas Fletcher ; Ingleba, J. Connell, sen. ; Walcha, G. R. Gill.

Numbers of selectors have found out the capabilities of this rich country, and have taken some good slices out of the various runs. The principal selectors holding from 1 to 10,000 acres are: W. and E. Livingstone, Jas. Steel, Jas. McGuffoy, Jas. McCormack, Thos. Crawford, John Gardener, David Green, Will Dodds, John Steer, and others.

The district abounds in minerals ; copper and iron being exposed freely on the surface in many places. Some twelve miles from Walcha the famous Glen Morrison exist. Why I call it famous is because some very rich patches of gold have been found there. The country is impregnated with auriferous reefs and leaders, which up to the present have never been properly worked. Now and again spasmodic efforts have been made to develop some of these reefs by small syndicates; but in most cases want of capital and proper machinery have resulted in the ground being abandoned. Several reefs — viz.. the Glen Morrison, Homeward Bound, North Star, Mountain Maid, Sleeping Beauty, Tia, and others — “that have names good enough to float a company on,” varying in width from 12in to 5ft, and giving fair results, yet they have not been worked continuously nor profitably. Mr. C. R. Manly, an experienced Californian and Victorian reefer, has taken the management, on behalf of a Sydney and Walcha company, of the Glen Morrison claim, and has a fine lot of machinery in transit to the mine, with which he states he will be able to overcome all difficulties, and return gold in sufficient quantities to satisfy all parties concerned. The reef is there, the gold is there in payable quantities, and with the machinery he has ordered he states he will make the mine dividend paying, and also prove the reefs of the whole field. “Well, here’s success old man ; I hope you may not be too sanguine in your expectations,” is a frequent toast given to Captain Manly.

My idea about the northern goldfields is that the reefs first outcrop at Stewart’s Brook, or the Dennison diggings, 35 miles from Scone, where some rich finds have been made ; but this old and rich goldfield has been sadly neglected, and is well worth the attention of miners. The next outcrop going north is at Nundle, then Hanging Rock, then Glen Morrison ; on then to Hillgrove, thence to Butcher’s reef, passing east of Glen Innes, outcropping again at Timbarra, Drake, and other places in the vicinity of Tenterfield. The peculiarity of the northern reefs are that after they leave Hanging Rock they widen out and become mixed with all sorts of base metals difficult to treat — such as arsenic, zinc, antimony, &c. Then also come in the silver, bismuth, tin, &c. ; while, as I have previously stated, iron and copper are found in many places in the New England district, the former, not payable on account of the low price at which it can be landed in the “pig” at Sydney, while the latter can only be worked profitably with cheap carriage, and when copper is being sold at a fair price. The fluctuation in the price of this metal cripples any company with small capital who cannot afford to hold for a market.

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May 27, 2013 at 8:35 am

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News from Armidale, Feb. 1860

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The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893), Saturday 11 February 1860

(Abridged from the Armidale Express, February 4.)

The weather, &c. – Since our last impression the rule has been warm days and cool nights. We are informed that on Sunday and Monday mornings there was white frost a short distance from town, but the maize did not seem to be injured by it. On Thursday the weather broke slightly, with thunder, but, although refreshing, the rain was too small in quantity to ensure permanent advantage. On a solitary farm or two a few hands may yet be seen employed gathering in a remnant of the harvest, but generally this work has terminated for the present. The farmers’ staple crop is now safely housed and no longer liable to damage from the elements. Labour has been abundant, and many reapers were met during the harvest enquiring where they could find a job. At the commencement of harvest we were visited by a few showers, but the water-holes away from main creeks are nearly dried up and others stagnant. Heavy rain would be a general blessing, and probably save the maize crop.

Fruit – On a visit to Gara station, about 12 miles from Armidale, lately, we were much surprised at the abundance of fruit in the orchard, and very much gratified in partaking of a considerable quantity, by which we can speak conscientiously of its excellent flavour. With regard to plums and apples, in particular, we never witnessed such extraordinary yields, the branches bending in some instances to the ground and in others breaking off with their abundant burdens. The American blight is still a stranger to Gara orchard, and long may it remain so. It is singular that the cultivation of fruit trees is so seldom attended to as it should be in New England.

(From the Tamworth Examiner’s Correspondent.) Patrick Hynes, charged with stabbing Constable Manning at Walcha, was this day (Feb. 2nd) brought before the Police Magistrate, pursuant to remand. Manning was able to attend, and the whole of the evidence was gone into. Hynes is committed to take his trial at the next Armidale Quarter Sessions, but allowed bail. Manning is in a fearful state; he will feel the effects of this brutal attack for a long time to come.

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May 15, 2013 at 8:24 am

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Grey Crawford’s death

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The Port Macquarie News and Hastings River Advocate (NSW : 1882 – 1950), Saturday 12 November 1932



Since last writing from Walcha, two old identities have passed over to the great majority. Mr. Grey H. Crawford, of Moona Plains, son of the late Captain Crawford, well known horse and cattle breeders. The Crawford Brothers — Rowley being the surviving brother — are well-known throughout New England. Their station embraces the tributaries of the Macleay River, and a life-long acquaintance with pastoralists and breeders of large stock brought them into touch with graziers throughout the State. Honourable men, all of them, with lives extending over 80 years, their passing is a loss to the State.

Mr. Harry Costigan, another octogenarian, who, with his late wife, reared a large family at Yarrowitch, died a few days ago. A fine man, of military bearing, he was a lover of good music, and one of the pioneers when bush difficulties were not easily overcome.

The recent storms have provided green pasture for the summer.

Shearing is, proceeding throughout the district. The clip generally is light, but the wool is good and clean.

The lambing was only fair.

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April 29, 2013 at 8:34 am

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Occupation Licences

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Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW), Wednesday 26 December 1906


At Walcha on January 7 the local Crown land agent will offer for sale by public auction the right to an occupation licence of 55,820 acres, in the county of Vernon, and parishes of Kangaroo Flat, Loch, Styx, Mooraback, and Fitzroy. The land is lot No. 37, adjoining Cunderang R.A. 564, Cunderang East R.A. 585A, and Cunderang West R.A. 586A. It is thickly timbered; rough country, of poor grazing capacity. The block is about 32 miles from Walcha. The upset licence fee for each section of 640 acres is 6s 8d. A supply of water exists in McCarthy’s Creek.

Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW), Wednesday 4 September 1907


At Armidale on September 30 an occupation licence of 71,000 acres in the counties of Sandon and Vernon, and parishes of Merrigalah, etc., situated in “The Falls” country, and the resumed areas of Enmore and Cunderang, will be offered for sale by the Crown land agent. The annual upset licence fee per section of 640 acres is 2s 6d. The block has a good supply of water. The land, which is more or less inaccessible, with small flats near the watercourses, is about 20 miles from Walcha, 12 miles from Armidale, and 2 miles from Hillgrove.

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October 1, 2011 at 8:06 am

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