Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Robert and Helenus Scott - Settlers

Glendon - Map 4

Robert Scott and his younger brother Helenus Scott were born in Bombay, India. They arrived in New South Wales on 4th February 1822 on the Britomart. Their father, Dr. Helenus Scott who had been head of the Bombay Medical Staff of the East India Company was accompanying them however died on the voyage out in November 1821 and was buried at the Cape of Good Hope.

John Galt Smith who became a settler at Woodville was also on the Britomart. Brothers Alexander Walker Scott, Patrick Scott and David Charles Frederick Scott would later follow Helenus and Robert to New South Wales, and also their mother and sister.

Land Grant

Robert and Helenus soon received land grants of approximately 2000 acres each. They sailed from Sydney to Newcastle on the cutter Eclipse in May 1823 to select their land before returning to Sydney for provisions and necessary articles.

Archibald Bell James Black William Brooks John Cobb Henry Dangar John Earl John Gaggin William Harper William Kelman John Larnach George Wyndham George White Joseph Underwood A.B. Spark Benjamin Sullivan Alexander Shand Helenus Scott James Mitchell George Wyndham Helenus Scott John Larnach Shaw Stewart Early Settler Map 4

According to servant John Brown who kept a diary, the convicts who accompanied them at this time were

John Young, a Blacksmith (per Princess Royal),
John Ering a shoemaker,
George Wilson a Carpenter (Prince of Orange),
John Beaumont a Wheelwright Princess Royal
Michael King a Harness Maker,
George Macdonald and Thomas Holmes (per Hindostan), Sawyers.


Robert and Helenus combined their Hunter River grants and named the estate Glendon. The Glendon land had one advantage over many other Hunter River estates, in that it was not liable to damage from floods, being too high for the water to reach. Here, with the use of their convict labour, they built a house of stone with cellars and a basement kitchen. Six large rooms were connected with a covered verandah.

Also on the estate was a small cottage built by Robert which sometimes accommodated Captain Charles Forbes, the Police Magistrate for Patrick Plains. Glendon was across the Hunter from William Sims Bell's estate and when the river was not in flood it was possible to cross here. A visitor to the area in 1834 noted extraordinary rock formations two miles upstream from Glendon which stood in regular rows in the bed of the river, perfectly round in shape and 10-12 feet in diameter.

Robert and Helenus bred blood horses at Glendon, possibly later using connections in Bombay to export their stock. By 1832 they had 300 horses. The stud was sold in the 1840's.

Robert Scott's Land Grant

Robert Scott was also granted 560 acres in 1828 and 1000 acres in 1836 (this had been granted to John McIntyre in 1825), was re-advertised in favour of Robert.

August Maria Scott

Augusta Maria Scott, daughter of Colonel C. Frederick and mother of Robert and Helenus accompanied their sister (also Augusta Maria) to Australia in 1832. Their mother lived on the estate with them, perhaps helping to entertain the many guests that her son Robert, invited to Glendon. Robert entered the social life of the colony with enthusiasm soon after his arrival. At Glendon he was host to artists, explorers, clergy and scientists. [1]

Visitors to Glendon

In March 1831 the estate was visited by Sir William Edward Parry while on a journey to the Liverpool Plains. He described Glendon as a 'good, but not a pretty farm. Everything seemed well conducted according to Parry, but there was nothing very striking about the farm as he had expected.

The Glendon estate was visited By Lieutenant George Pulteney Malcolm in October/ November 1835.....

Lieutenant Malcolm arrived on the Henry Porcher in 1835 and spent over a year in New South Wales travelling extensively. He kept a journal throughout the voyage and afterwards on his travels in Australia. A copy of the journal is held by the State Library of New South Wales. Lieutenant Malcolm spent six weeks in the Hunter region where he also visited James Bowman's estate Ravensworth and brothers Henry Dumaresq and William Dumaresq.


Robert seems to have been fearless in his pursuit of bushrangers. In 1825 he led a pursuit party to capture Jacob's mob who had been robbing settlers throughout the district. In 1833, he joined John Larnach and Mounted Police in the pursuit of absconders from James Mudie's Castle Forbes. They followed the runaways into a deep ravine near Lamb's Valley and when one of the men, James Henderson, refused to lay down his gun, Robert fired at him and Henderson fell, fatally wounded.

Convict Servants

Convicts assigned to the Scott brothers in 1823, soon after their arrival were:

John Beaumont,
John Fitzgerald
Michael Gallagher.

In 1832 the following were assigned servants:

Joseph Stevens,
John Joy,
William Toll,
John Dalkin,
James McGuire,
William Pearson,
John Rayhorne,
Thomas McKenna,
Thomas Phillips,
James Kerrigan,
William Glover and
George Wily

In 1834 one of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, James Brine who arrived on the Surry in 1834 had the misfortune to be sent to Glendon. He was told by Robert Scott when he arrived 'You are one of the Dorchester machine-breakers, but you are caught at last'. Brine was given the task of digging postholes although his feet were cut and sore. And although he became ill after spending days in a creek washing sheep and badly needed a blanket, Robert refused to give him any blankets, shoes or clothing until the six months regulation period was up. He told Brine ' I will give you nothing until you are due for it. What would your masters in England have had to cover them if you had not been sent here? I understand it was your intention to have murdered, burnt and destroyed every thing before you, and you are sent over here to be severely punished, and no mercy shall be shown you. If you ask me for any thing before the six months is expired, I will flog you as often as I like - don't you know that not even the hair on your head is your own?'

Coolie Workers

In 1846 Helenus Scott engaged coolies from India to work as shepherds at Glendon. The coolies refused to work when summer clothing was denied them and were taken to Court by Scott. The Magistrate found there was no stipulation in their agreement to receive a suit of summer clothing and they were sentenced to imprisonment. They received their punishment very 'cavalierly' saying 'Gaol - very goot - no work gaol'!!

Marriage of Helenus Scott

Helenus Scott married Sarah Ann Rusden in Maitland on 2nd September 1835. Sarah Ann was the daughter of the Rev. George Keylock Rusden the first government chaplain of Maitland.

Death of Robert Scott

Robert and Helenus were both Magistrates. Robert was appointed Magistrate in 1833 however after his defence of the Myall Creek murderers in 1838 he was removed from this position. He had retired from public life by April of 1843 due to ill health and died on the 30th July 1844 aged 44 years.

Sale of Glendon

Due to the early death of Robert, involvement with the Bank of Australia, and the depression of the 1840's, Helenus experienced financial difficulties and by 1848 was declared insolvent [1]. Glendon was sold. An auction was held on Tuesday and Wednesday 22nd and 23rd August 1848 to dispose of belongings at the estate. .........

Among items auctioned were 600 head of cattle, 4 teams of working bullocks, 20 milking cows, horses, 30 pigs, 12 tons of hay, a portable thrashing machine, a flour mill, farming implements, timber, bricks and shingles, carriage and gig harness, saddles, a carriage fitted with lamps and bars for four horses, wagon, drays, carts, carpenters', blacksmiths' shoemakers' and curriers' tools, iron hurdles, wool press, steam boiler, five vats for boiling down, casks for tallow, a copper still, large winch, 1000 volumes of books, 50 casks of colonial wine including hock, burgundy and sauternes.

Furniture was also later auctioned. Included in the auction was a handsome mahogany spring sofa with horse hair covering; Mahogany chairs in hair and cane seating; handsome London made sideboard with barrel fronts; two bidets; one handsome mahogany bureau and one cedar bureau; a mahogany ladies dressing table with large looking glass; ladies work box of Ceylon wood; Dutch spirit case with bottles and glasses; two writing desks; two iron double bedsteads; hair and wool mattresses; dining, dressing and other tables; wash stands; wood bottom chairs, solar lamps, looking glasses, decanters, tumblers, earthenware etc.

Glendon was advertised for lease in 1849. It was described as containing about 23,000 acres with an excellent mansion with extensive Stores, stabling and wool shed (and press), numerous out buildings and offices. There was a large garden, vinery and orchard stocked with the most valuable and choice vines, fruit trees and shrubs. A boiling down establishment with steam apparatus was complete. The Estate was said to be well watered by the River Hunter, Glendon Brook and other tributaries.


Helenus Scott settled at Newcastle with his wife Sarah Ann (Rusden)

Death of Helenus Scott

He died on 24th August 1879 in Newcastle and was buried at Glendon.

Notes and Links

1). Select here to read a journal kept by Robert and Helenus Scott's servant John Brown who arrived with them on the Britomart in 1822 and accompanied the Scott brothers when they first selected their grant at Glendon (State Library of New South Wales)

2). Australian Almanac 1831

3). Australian Cemeteries Index


[1] Nancy Gray, 'Scott, Helenus (1802 - 1879)', Australian Dictionary of Biography