Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

George Townshend - Settler

Trevallyn - Map 3

George Townshend arrived in Australia on the Prince Regent in March 1826 when he was 28 years old. Other passengers on the Prince Regent included Charles Boydell, Alexander Park and George Weller [4].
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

Settler's Life

George Townshend was a frequent companion of George Wyndham in the early 1830's. George Wyndham arrived in December 1827 and purchased Dalwood on the Hunter river soon afterwards. He kept a Diary between the years 1830 - 1840 and George Townshend is often mentioned. They visited each other's estates and attended meetings together. They were of a similar age, although perhaps not background. George Wyndham was probably thankful to receive agricultural advice from George Townshend and they likely had much to discuss about floods, failed crops such as wheat and those more successful like tobacco. There was always convict work force to deal with as well - both men signed the petition to the Legislative Council from Hunter Valley settlers regarding the Summary Punishment Bill in 1833 [3]
George Townshend served on the committee to raise funds for a Church at Paterson and attended other meetings and dinners such as that organised to thank Pieter Laurence Campbell on his retirement from duties as Police Magistrate and a Farmer's Club held at Jarvistown, Patterson's Plains.....A numerous Meeting of Gentlemen, making the fifth meeting since the institution of the Farmer's Club, took place last Monday three weeks. The Club assembled at the residence of Alexander Warren, Esquire, at Jarvistown, for the purpose of distributing rewards for the most deserving specimens of agricultural produce, as well as for the transaction of other business. James P. Webber, Esquire, the President - Alexander Warren Esquire, Vice- president, and the other members of the Club, or the principal proportion of them, being present, there were exhibited for competition specimens of cotton, cheese, and tobacco, the growth of the district. The £5 prize for cheese was awarded to the Reverend G. A. Middleton; and the tobacco prize, also of £5, to Mr. John Swan.

There were two samples of cotton produced - but the quantity being inconsiderable, the reward proposed for that article, it was considered best, for awhile, to withhold; the small, quantity exhibited, however, displayed an excellent staple, and was the subject of much surprise and admiration. Large quantities of seed were distributed amongst the members with much liberality, by George Townshend, Esquire ; and it is not unreasonable to expect, that at the next annual meeting, there will be a considerable shew of this article, and no inconsiderable competition for the reward and credit attaching to the produce of the best sample. Numerous trophies of native dogs' tails were produced; and for every tail, there was disbursed a certain sum from the funds of the Club. After this, the expediency of establishing a regular fair for stock and other, produce was discussed, and the Club passed a resolution to the effect following;-'Considering that it is highly conducive to the interest of the landed proprietors now assembled, to establish a fair at Paterson's Plains, it is agreed, that a Committee be appointed to carry that object into effect, and that his Excellency the Governor, be requested to honor the proposal with his sanction and assistance.' A botanic garden was the subject of some discussion, which ended in a resolution to the same effect ; George Townshend, Esquire, handsomely volunteering a piece of ground for the purpose, and, moreover, undertaking its superintendence. Thanks of the meeting were then voted to the President and Vice-president, for their exertions during the past year ; and shortly after, the Club sat down to an excellent dinner, to which the cordiality and good fellowship that circled around the festive board, contributed not the least agreeable sauce. [1]


George Townshend married Elizabeth Bottrell Manning, daughter of John Edye Manning in June 1833.

Financial Ruin

Drought and depression in the 1840's claimed yet another victim in George Townshend.
Mr. Dodds, auctioneer, advertised that the effects of the estate, including equipment would be sold in April 1842. Something of the life of George Townshend can be gleaned from the items listed at the auction. The listed included extensive variety of agricultural implements, drays, carts, ploughs, barrows, bullock harness, yokes, bows, and chains; a winnowing machine, a large quantity of tobacco screens, truss hoops for tobacco kegs, screw presses for tobacco kegs and for wool; also a large quantity of cedar and pine in flitch and scantling; machinery for a water mill, steel mill, mill stones etc. carpenters' and smiths tools; a quantity of iron; large beams and scales, weights, dairy utensils, several articles of household furniture, such as tables, chairs mattresses, pillows ; a large quantity of wheat seed barley and prime Lucerne hay; together with all the working bullocks, cows, heifers, steers, and calves. Prospective buyers were informed that every requisite for carrying on farming operations on an extensive scale would be found at the sale.

Ten farms on the Paterson and Allyn Rivers belonging to Townshend had already been advertised in January.......

Lot 1 was one mile from the village of Gresford and consisted of 300 acres bounded on two sides by Mr. Fenwick's and Mr. Crichton's land and fronting the River. There was a cottage with detached kitchen with fences and a garden stocked with trees.

Lot 2 was situated one mile above lot 1 and contained 385 acres with a well finished cottage, barn and other buildings.

Lot 5 was situated between lots 3 and 4 and contained 1002 acres with a cottage, kitchen, barn, tobacco shed all substantially built. The area was said to be admirably adapted for homesteads, and for dairying, breeding of horses and fine cattle and for cultivation of all kinds, the soil being of the richest description. For vineyards and orchards no part of the colony surpassed it. There was plenty of stone, brick earth, limestone, cedar, and every other description of building material on the farms and two beautiful streams abounded in fish. Two medical practitioners lived only a short distance from the farms and mail was conveyed three times a week to Mr. Boydell's two miles from Gresford.
The Trevallyn land where George Townshend had built his homestead was retained.


George Townshend died in 1872 and was buried in Glebe cemetery.

Maitland Mercury Obituary...... The late Mr. Townshend was one of the earliest settlers on the Paterson; in fact he must be considered one of the pioneers of the district, we believe he has resided for more than forty years at Trevallyn. In its early days Mr. Townshend was one of the most energetic of the business men of the district, and took the greatest interest in promoting every object which could advance the interest of the district and to develop its resources; for many years he was a magistrate of the territory, in which capacity he most zealously attended to the performance of his magisterial duties. In the general crash in which so many of our old colonists suffered through the over speculating mania which existed in the years 1840 to 1842, Mr Townshend suffered severely, and lost nearly all of his extensive property. Since which, however, although he has never re-gained that position of popularity which be formerly held, has ever steadily endeavoured to advance the interest of the district, and promote the welfare of the people. A few years ago Mr Townshend, with his family, left for England, where they resided for some few years, Mr. Townshend returning to the colony about three years ago, leaving his family in England, who, we are informed, were about to rejoin him here in a short time. At his death Mr Townshend had attained his seventy-fourth year, and to his advanced age must be attributed any eccentricity which he may of late have exhibited in public matters.
George Townshend's widow Elizabeth Botterel Townshend died at Westwood Wrexham, Denbighshire, North Wales, England on 13th September 1888 [5].

Notes and Links

1). Image of Trevallyn - National Library of Australia

2). One settler who purchased some of Townshend's estate in 1842 was Dr. Henry Lindeman who arrived in 1840 on the Theresa. He purchased over 800 acres in 6 lots and named the property 'Cawarra'.

3). Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London - Rev. W.B. Clarke

4). Select here to find convicts and free workers assigned to George Townshend


[1] The Australian 1st August 1828

[2] Maitland Mercury 23 May 1872

[3] Sydney Gazette 24 August 1833

[4] Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser 3 March 1826

[5] Maitland Mercury 10 November 1888