Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Rev. George Augustus Middleton

Glenrose - Map 2

James Adair John Boughton Edward Collison Close - Green Hills George Cobb Edward Gostsyck Cory Gilbert Cory John Cory william cummings Andrew Dixon Robert Corum Dillon Leslie Duguid William Dun William Evans George Frankland William Hicks Beresford Hudson William Innes Richard Jones James Kelly Andrew Lang - Dunmore Robert Lethbridge Alexander Livingstone James McClymont Thomas McDougall George Muir Find out more about Maitland Timothy Nowlan Henry Dixon Owen - Aberglasslyn Richard Pritchett James Phillips James Read (Reid) George Shaw Rutherford Walter Scott Gentleman John Smith John Galt Smith Hugh Torrance John Tucker Susannah Matilda Ward Susannah Matilda Ward William Charles Wentworth John Wighton Gorge Williams Caleb and Felix Wilson John Thomas Maughan Early Settler Map 1
Centre Left on the Map to the left - 2000 acres granted to Rev. Middleton - Glenrose

Arrival in the Colony

Rev. George Augustus Middleton arrived on the Prince Regent with his young son George on 27th January 1820.


When he first arrived in the colony Rev. Middleton worked at Parramatta, however in March 1821 he was appointed Assistant Chaplain at Newcastle.

Newcastle was then a penal settlement presided over by Commandant Major James Thomas Morisset.

The Parson's Road

Rev. Middleton had requested and been granted cattle from the government herds in 1820 and these he brought overland to Newcastle accompanied by John de Marquet Blaxland. The trail John Blaxland marked was afterwards used by absconding convicts making their way south, to the great vexation of Major Morisset.....

Commandant's Office, Newcastle December 18 1821 Frederick, Goulburn Esq., Colonial Secretary,
I am sorry to have to send again a long list of runaways, twelve of them went off in a body for the Parson's Road, as it is now called which is the road the Rev. G.A. Middleton came to this settlement accompanied by 173 head of cattle and Mr. John Blaxland who I am informed marked the trees. Of course the prisoners who now leave this place have no difficulty in finding their way to Sydney and as they have an idea that, the present Governor His Excellency Sir Thomas Brisbane will not send them back, many are induced to leave this place that otherwise would remain quiet and contented, and as the Guard I have here is not equal to the duty I much fear that the desertion will become very quiet if some are not sent back, that have been apprehended and severely punished. One that ran last evening has been taken but they attempted to murder a soldier who was of the party that apprehended them and had he not had timely assistance from some Black Natives would doubtless have succeeded. One of the parties I sent down the Parson's Road consisting of two soldiers and a bush constable have been detained by the Magistrates of Windsor. I hope you will prevent this happening in future as it is only by keeping parties passage backwards and forwards on the road on which they desert that I can expect to deter them from or take them when they try to run. J.T. Morisset

Pastors and Priests in the Hunter Valley

The Parsonage

Rev. Middleton resided at the parsonage at Newcastle. He considered the residence to be incomplete and in December 1821 requested to make various alterations. Major Morisset thought the parsonage was more than adequate. In correspondence regarding Rev. Middleton's request he described the parsonage as it was at that time.......

The house has been completed long ago. It consists of a handsome entrance hall, dining, drawing and bed rooms, with a study and store room extremely neatly finished under the same roof. A detached kitchen and two servants rooms with a covered passage leading from the dwelling to the out offices, a yard enclosed by large open sheds a small enclosure at the back of and adjoining the Offices with two necessaries and a garden at the side [1]. John Bingle in Past and Present Records of Newcastle states that the parsonage was built in 1820. The location of the Parsonage can be found on John Armstrong's 1830 map of Newcastle. (The Parsonage was repaired and new offices built in 1831 when Rev. Wilton was chaplain.)

Excursion to Lake Macquarie

John Bingle first arrived in Newcastle in December 1821. Never having been in a penal settlement before he was taken aback at the severity of convict life and unimpressed with his perception of Major Morisset's autocratic control of the settlement, however he and Rev. Middleton became firm friends and together they embarked on a trip to Lake Macquarie.

John Bingle described that first visit....

Our parson, the Rev. G.A. Middleton, (who was an especial favourite with the blacks) started with myself with the whole tribe of upwards of one hundred on a walking trip to Lake Macquarie; our necessary supplies, blankets etc they carried on their heads. On arrival I was enchanted with its beautiful scenery, and can never forget it. The whole surrounding country and lake were serene and still, solitude reigned, no tree disturbed, and no trace of the white man's civilization, but all in a natural wild state. We enjoyed all the wild sports of Australian bush life in it's primitive state as the Aborigines of that day (before they were contaminated with our vices) were accustomed to enjoy them. Shooting, fishing, kangarooing and hunting - our game was ample for us all. They supplied us also by diving, with the finest mud oysters for which the waters of the lake are noted, these we scalloped on our bush fires, and we spent five or six days of as much enjoyment as I ever had in any part of the world.... Past and Present Records of Newcastle by John Bingle


George Augustus Middleton was first married to Mary Ann Hull who died before he came to Australia. Their son George accompanied his father to Australia.

Rev. Middleton married Sarah Rose Pennington, step-daughter of Joseph Penninton at Liverpool in 1824. Together they had 15 children, two of whom died in infancy.


He was granted 2,000 acres of Crown land at Patersons Plains adjoining James Webber's land which he named Glenrose


Rev. Middleton moved to Sydney in 1831 where he established a school for young gentlemen in a healthy situation conveniently distant from Sydney. His residence at the time was known as Bellmaine (Balmain).[3]


He returned to Paterson in 1837


Rev. Middleton died on 15 May 1848 at Hinton. Sarah Middleton died at Tressingfield in March 1863.

Some of the Convicts Assigned to Rev. George Augustus Middleton :

1821 - 1826
At the Parsonage at Newcastle

Allen, Neil
Ship Tottenham 1818. In May 1823 sentenced to 50 lashes for refusing to work and neglect of work at Glebe Farm

Barnes, William
Ship Guildford 1824. In government service working in the garden at the parsonage in 1825. Sentenced to 25 lashes for neglect of duty and improper language towards Rev. Middleton

Clark, James
Ship Ocean 1823. Assigned servant in March 1824

Crossman, Allen
Ship Guildford 1824. Assigned servant 1824/1825

Darlington, Richard
Ship Princess Royal 1823. Assigned servant in 1824

Farrell, Daniel
Ship Daphne 1819. In May 1823 sentenced to 50 lashes for refusing to work and neglect of work at Glebe Farm

Gwylin, John
Ship Guildford 1824. Assigned servant at Newcastle in April 1824

Lynch, John
Ship Prince Regent. Assigned servant in 1824

Morris, William
Ship Recovery 1819. In May 1823 sentenced to 50 lashes for refusing to work and neglect of work at Glebe Farm

Murray, William
Ship Chapman 1817. Worked at Glebe Farm in 1821

Pitt, William
Ship Henry 1823. Working at the Church establishment. Charged with irregularity in conduct

Smith, George
Ship Malabar 1819. Occupation groom. In July 1824 sentenced to 50 lashes for beating and ill treating a little girl in the service of his master. In April 1825 sentenced to 50 lashes for harbouring improper persons at the parsonage and robbing his master.

Styles, Barbara
Came free on the Mary Anne in 1816. Daughter of Alexander and Mary McDonald. Prisoner at Newcastle in November 1823 when Rev. Middleton requested that she be assigned to him

Walsh, Ann
Ship Lady Rowena 1816. Assigned to Rev. Middleton on arrival in 1826


Coulson, Jane
Born in the colony. Servant age 14. Employed at Glenrose in 1828

Foxley, William
Ship Prince Regent 1820. Farming man employed at Glenrose. Acquitted on a charge of stealing property belonging to Rev. Middleton in August 1826

Hall, John
Employed as a stock keeper at Glenrose in 1828

McNab, James
Ship Henry 1823. Labourer at Glenrose in 1828

Martin, Jemima
Came free. Employed as a farm servant at Glenrose in 1828

Webster, William
Ship General Stewart in 1818. Employed at Glenrose in 1828

Williams, James
Ship Marquis of Wellington 1815. Employed at Glenrose in 1828

1837 - 1842

Cuff, Judith
Ship Pyramus 1836. Assigned servant in March 1837 at Paterson River

Riley, Sarah
Ship Diana 1833. Assigned servant in October 1837

Smith, Thomas
Ship Lady Harewood 1831. Assigned servant at Paterson

Sutherland, Isabella
Ship Numa 1834. Assigned to Rev. Middleton on her release from Newcastle gaol

Gould, Charles
Ship Bengal Merchant 1838. Absconded from service of Rev. Middleton at Paterson

Manning, Thomas
Ship England 1835. Absconded from service in January 1842

Notes and Links

1). In 1877 a correspondent published a series of letters in the Maitland Mercury. In the articles he reminisces about growing up in the Paterson and Maitland districts and mentions Rev. Middleton.......

No person was allowed to visit the Coal River as the Hunter was first called, while Newcastle was a penal settlement, without a 'pass' signed by the Governor. I never saw but one, which gave the necessary authority to the Rev. G. A. Middleton at one time incumbent of Christ Church, Newcastle. To this gentleman in conjunction with Mr. Blaxland belongs the credit of being the first who ever brought cattle overland by the Bulga from Sydney to the Hunter. - and the stockman assisting is still alive in Morpeth of great age and very decrepit; his name is Pike*, and I hope the record of the fact of the part he had on the occasion may prove a gratification to him, if only a momentary one. Mr. Middleton among several incidents in connection with his incumbency, told me that on one occasion during Divine service, the prisoners being in attendance in chains, the guards in charge seeing or fancying they saw a concerted movement among them, 'presented arms' What a scene under such circumstances? Mr. Middleton had to officiate at a place called the Lime burners, a number of prisoners being stationed there under strong guard for the purpose of procuring and burning shells. Some of the miserable creatures on the occasion of one of his visits had no other clothing than a sugee bag tied round the waist.
Maitland Mercury 23 March 1850

* Possibly Isaac Pike who arrived on the Hebe in 1820 and died in 1879

2). Select HERE to find out some of the convicts who were assigned to Rev. Middleton at Newcastle (parsonage), the Glebe farm and at Glenrose.

3). Newcastle in 1822 - A list of buildings in Newcastle in 1822

4). Niel Gunson, 'Middleton, George Augustus (1791 - 1848)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University

5) Australian Cemeteries Index - Gravestone of Rev. George Augustus Middleton, Colonial Chaplain, Died May 15th 1848 aged 55 yeras. Also, Sarah, His Beloved Wife, Died March 15th 1863 aged 53 years. And Clarence Tyrrell, their infant son.


[1] Charges and counter charges between Morisset and Revd Middleton. New South Wales Government. Main series of letters received, 1788-1825. Series 897, Reels 6041-6064, 6071-6072. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia

[2] Runaways using the Parson's road. Colonial Secretary's Correspondence. Main series of letters received, 1788-1825. Series 897, Reels 6041-6064, 6071-6072. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.

[3] Sydney Gazette 15 November 1831