Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

John Herring Boughton - Settler

Tillimby - Map 2

John Herring Boughton was the second son of George Boughton, esq., of Reed House, Hatherleigh, Devon, and grandson of the Rev. George Boughton, Rector of that parish.

Hatherleigh History
The Chorographical Description Or Survey of the County of Devon

Articled Clerk

In 1809 he commenced employment as an articled clerk working for George Boughton Kingdon whose practice as an Attorney and Solicitor of His Majesty's Court of King's Bench was at Westminster. The agreement was for five years.[1]


John Boughton arrived in Australia on the Fame in September 1822. Also on board were his future wife Charlotte Maria Westbrook and James Cann, also from Devon, who was to be employed as Boughton's overseer.

John Herring Boughton and Charlotte Westbrook were married in Sydney on 21st October 1822

Land Grant

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 1John Boughton came with recommendations from Lord Bathurst. He was granted 2000 acres of land which he selected at Paterson.

Six convicts were initially assigned to him to work his estate. He was supplied from the Government stores at Newcastle for six months and was issued cows from the government herd.

His estate was named Tillimby. It was located just north of of where Paterson stands today and adjoined Susannah Matilda Ward's property Cintra.

In 1823 he also received an allotment of land in Newcastle.

Convict Workers

Among the first convicts who worked on the Tillimby estate were:

William Winney per Larkins;

William Price per John Barry;

Richard Nott per Ocean 1818;

John Mole per General Hewitt,

James McEntegart per Daphne

William Wall per General Stewart

Thomas Powers per Earl St. Vincent.


In 1825 several of John Boughton's assigned servants absconded to the bush. Bushrangers known as Jacob's Irish Brigade were active in the district and it was thought that the absconders had joined the gang. The men were identified as Henry Sears and Isaac Deane who both arrived on the Asia in 1825, Bernard Padden per Hooghley and John Chapman per Mangles, mostly they were a bad lot who would be in trouble over and over again in the coming years. John Boughton bravely joined in the pursuit party as the Australian reported on 4th August 1825:

The bushrangers were traced by a party of natives, to a brush above Mr. Cory senior's farm at Paterson's Plains; and a party of soldiers stationed there, accompanied by three constables immediately went in pursuit of them. Messrs. Frankland, Boughton and Edward Cory are also with the soldiers; and it is to be hoped their efforts will be attended with success.

Within a couple of years John and Charlotte Boughton returned to England.
In 1831 Tillimby was being managed by William Locksdale.

Lake Macquarie

John and Charlotte Boughton with their nephew returned to Australia on the Sir William Wallace in 1832 after several years absence in England.

In 1833 he was granted almost 150 acres of land at Lake Macquarie later known as Bolton Point. A further 450 acres was purchased at Lake Macquarie near Swansea in 1834 where he established a saltworks and where some of his assigned servants were employed. Although he travelled to Lake Macquarie each fortnight, the area became an outpost for cattle thieves and absconders and after a complaint from the authorities, Boughton closed the saltworks. As a member of the Stock Protection Society at the Hunter he was very keen to stamp out cattle stealing.

Boughton's overseer, James Cann who had accompanied him on the Fame, was granted 60 acres of land in 1824 although he remained employed as overseer at Tillimby until at least 1828. Cann married Mary Chapman, widow of William Chapman in 1829. Mary had been employed by the Boughtons as a house servant. James Cann died in 1834.

Later Dr. Isaac Scott Nind ex surgeon of the 57th Regiment occupied a small area of the Tillimby estate. Here he had his residence and a small hospital he kept for the convenience of the settlers to send their Government men to when sick.


Charlotte Boughton died in 1850

Death of Charlotte Boughton

John H. Boughton drowned in an accident on Lake Macquarie in 1854. The land was purchased by Abraham Nivison in 1859.


[1] UK, Articles of Clerkship, 1756-1874 (Ancestry)