Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Edward Gostwyck Cory - Settler

Paterson - Map 2

Edward Gostwyck Cory, ca. 1837-1842 / silhouette portrait by Richard Dighton - State Library of NSWE. G. Cory, ca. 1837-1842 / silhouette portrait by Richard Dighton - SLNSW

Arrival in the Colony

Edward Gostwyck Cory arrived on the Allies in 1823. He was recommended as a free settler and received assigned convicts and a land grant of 2030 acres. He was given permission to proceed to Newcastle in the Fame. Also on board were Edwards's wife Frances and father John Cory. They were accompanied on the Fame by their friend from Devon, John H. Boughton who had purchased land on the Paterson after arriving the previous year.


Edward Cory selected his land naming it 'Gostwyck'. He and his wife and six convicts were to be supplied from the government stores for six months and they received eight cows from the Government herd. Two of the convicts who accompanied the Corys to Paterson in 1823 were twenty year old John Darling who arrived on the Ocean in 1823. Darling died in 1841 at Paterson; and Edward Donnelly who arrived on the Earl St. Vincent in 1823 and died at Paterson in 1837.

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

In 1825 Edward Cory recommended William Chapman for a land grant. William and Mary Chapman also arrived on the Allies and had been employed by John H. Boughton at nearby Tillimby. The Chapman's young daughter Emma was residing with the Corys in 1828.

Land Acquisition

Edward Cory owned other land also. In 1829 he selected 560 acres of land at Wangi Wangi on Lake Macquarie. This encompassed all of the peninsula. Unlike his friend John Boughton, who attempted to develop his Lake Macquarie land, Edward Cory did little to develop Wangi and cattle thieves often frequented the area. He also purchased with other settlers, land at Murrurundi. In 1831 he traversed the Moonbi Ranges opening up the land beyond the valley. He squatted for a time on land near the Tamworth area, making a purchase at Uralla which he later sold.

Cross, Joseph. Map of the River Hunter, and its branches : shewing the Lands reserved thereon for Church purposes, the Locations made to Settlers. 1828 - National Library Australia- National Library of Australia

Vineyard Cottage

In 1832 mention is made of Vineyard cottage being a former residence of Cory's but soon to be used as an Inn as Cory had built a new house called 'Gostwyck'. Vineyard Cottage was on the estate that had belonged to George Frankland who died in tragic circumstances in 1825, the property subsequently being purchased by the Corys.

Life in the Colony

In July 1832 Sir William Edward Parry entertained Mr. Cory at Tahlee. They dined with other Officers from the Australian Agricultural Company. No doubt the two had much to discuss as Sir Edward Parry had recently returned from his journey to the Liverpool Plains and passed through the Page's River area where the Corys owned land.

He became interested in raising blood stock and entered a blood horse in the Hunter river Agricultural Show in 1847. He also owned a copper mine 2 miles from Paterson in 1847

Troublesome Convict Servants

Edward Cory seems to have had more trouble than some with his assigned servants. There was a steady stream of absconders from the Gostwyck estate.......

James Cotton who arrived on the Mangles in 1824 absconded in 1826. Edward Cochrane arrived per Asia absconded in 1825
Patrick Carr per Asia absconded in 1825
Edward Donnelly per Earl St. Vincent absconded in 1825
Thomas Kelly per Asia absconded in 1825
Michael Connolly per Asia absconded in 1825
William Green per Sesostris absconded in 1826
Thomas Jones absconded in 1826
William Sampson per Henry in 1823 absconded in 1826
John Hunter charged with refusing to work and disobedience
James Stephens charged with neglect of work and insolence to his master
George Gilbert charged with neglect of work and idleness
Sylvester Grogan per Hercules 1830 absconded in 1831
Charles Burkham absconded in 1831
John Julian per Isabella absconded in 1832
Peter Wade per Cambridge in 1832
Thomas Holland absconded in 1833
Charles Brown absconded in 1833
James Kenney absconded in 1834
Richard Gofton per America absconded in 1834
Joseph Burley per Isabella absconded in 1836
Jeremiah Kenny per Parmelia in 1836
Thomas Farrow per Mangles absconded in 1838

In October 1833 Edward Cory almost lost his life after being assaulted by one of his disgruntled servants. Joseph Coleman arrived on the Marquis of Huntley in 1830 when he was 21 years old. On the morning of the assault other convicts had been allowed to spend an extra ten minutes for breakfast as their flour had not been issued on time. When they did not come out to work when the horn sounded, Cory went to investigate.

He directed Coleman, who had already eaten, to work in the quarry and obtained a spade for him from one of the huts. Coleman then struck Cory on the side of the head with the spade rendering him unconscious. Coleman stated that he had 'done it to get hanged as he could not stand the tyranny on the farm any longer; he said he had done his best to kill him, and if he had missed he was sure there were some others on the farm who would do it effectually'. Despite objections, Coleman was later hanged at Bellevue.

In 1835 controversy was sparked in the colony when the editor of the 'Colonist' recorded that Cory had been accused of cattle stealing. Edward Cory was apparently absent from Paterson at the time as he was establishing his property on the Liverpool Plains. A disgruntled employee, William Lucas (possibly constable William Lucas who had apprehended Joseph Coleman two years earlier), decided to steal a bullock from the bush and lay the blame on Cory who had not brought out Lucas' wife and children from England as promised. Lucas told a fellow farm worker Daniel Keating that he would rather be in an iron gang or road party than on the farm. Lucas was charged with cattle stealing himself when several workers - John Taylor, Thomas Priest, Robert Fish and Thomas Holland - testified against him. He was later sentenced to a penal settlement for life.

Water Mill

At Gostwyck, Cory constructed a water mill in 1831. It was situated just above the navigation of the river and ground at the rate of 8 bushells an hour which was a great acquisition to the area as before hand mills were used or the grain was sent away to be ground. No doubt he found his assigned servant Silvester Grougan useful on his farm as Grougan was a miller. Years later in 1848 when obtaining workers was not so easy, Cory had to advertise for a miller. Mr. Brewner was working the mill in the 1840's. The mill can be seen on the image low, lower right

Gostwyck, New South Wales, estate of E.G. Cory Esq, between 1834-1851 / lithograph by George Rowe, Cheltenham, England. State Library NSWGostwyck, New South Wales, estate of E.G. Cory Esq, between 1834-1851 / lithograph by George Rowe, Cheltenham, England - State Library NSW


In 1836 Edward Gostwyck Cory worked on a committee to raise funds for a church to be built at Paterson. He was buried in the grounds of St. Paul's Church with his wife thirty-seven years later.
Read his Obituary here.

Notes and Links

1). Select here to find some of the convicts assigned to E.G. Cory at Paterson

2). B. White's rough sketch of the southern portion of E.G. Cory's 2000 acres grant at Paterson - National Library of Australia Digital Maps

3). The Pioneers - by Wilfred Goold

4). Reminiscences of the Paterson District

5). Reminiscences of Aboriginal Tribes - Hunter and Paterson Rivers

Gostwyck House c. 1948 ....Gostwyck House c. 1948