Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Alexander MacDuff Baxter

Map 3

Alexander MacDuff Baxter was born 1798 in Perthshire, Scotland. He was married on 15 March 1827 at Streatham Church, Surrey to Maria Del Rosario Arthur Gordon, only daughter of Robert Gordon....The happy couple spend a few days in Whitby, at the house of Mrs. Rudyard, a relation of the bride.[1]

Arrival in the Colony

Alexander MacDuff Baxter and wife arrived in the colony on the Marquis of Hastings in July 1827 having departed Portsmouth on 18th April 1827.

Land Grant

He received a grant of 2560 acres of land on 10 October 1827. The land selected adjoined that of John Verge and Matthew Chapman.

It is unlikely Alexander MacDuff Baxter ever resided on this land as he was appointed Attorney General and cut a high life in Sydney. In 1828 he resided at Aspley Lodge at the Racecourse Sydney. His wife gave birth to a son on 24th August 1828.

Ferdinand Anley Matthew Chapman John Hooke John Mann Benjamin Sullivan Alexander McDuff Baxter James Dowling John Lord Alexander Park Charles Boydell Francis Gibbes John McIntyre Joseph Rookin John Verge Crawford Brown Grayson Hartley Duncan Mackay Major Smeathman Charles Windeyer Henry John Lindeman George Townshend Lawrence Myles Early Hunter Valley Settler Map 3

Robbery at Wallarobba

Wallarobba and nearby Lyndhurstvale were robbed on 27th December 1830.

The two men arrested for the robbery were Edward Green (a tailor from Leicestershire who arrived on the Midas in 1827) and William Smith. They were found not guilty of the crime in the Supreme court in June 1831, however Green was returned to the Magistrate Benjamin Sullivan at Williams River in July and received 150 lashes punishment in August 1831.

Resignation and Departure

Alexander MacDuff Baxter resigned from his position of Attorney General in January 1831 and departed New South Wales under a cloud of scandal soon afterwards.

He sailed for Van Diemen's Land in March 1831 and departed Hobart in the Duckenfield. In England he was imprisoned for debt in 1832-33.

Alexander Macduff Baxter is said to have died at the Isle of Man in 1834.

Assigned Convict Servants

The following convicts were assigned to Wallarobba in 1828:

Thirty year old John Smithson arrived per Sir Godfrey Webster 1826

John Delaney arrived per Tyne in 1819

Joseph Jackson per Tottenham

John Lloyd per Earl St. Vincent

Charles McCarthy per Ann and Amelia

Notes and Links

1). Alexander McDuff Baxter - Australian Dictionary of Biography

2). Wallarobba history Dungog Chronicle 21 November 1939

3). Alexander Macduff Baxter's piano and other instruments. Broadwood pianos in early colonial Australia Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney) - Austral Harmony


[1] Whitby Panorama and Monthly Chronicle