Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Hannan House - Maitland

Hannan House was built on a 40 acre veteran's allotment by John Hannan.

John Hannan arrived in 1826 on the Orpheus which left London on 8th May 1826 and arrived in Sydney on 12th September 1826. The Orpheus conveyed soldiers of the New South Wales Veteran Corps and their wives and children. John Hannan may have served with the 57th Regiment in Australia between the years 1826 and 1829. A detachment of the 57th were stationed in Newcastle in these years and they embarked for India in 1831.

Although officers in the army could sell their rank when they wished to retire from Military life, for the lower ranks it was not so easy as they usually enlisted for life. However for soldiers like John Hannan who had been wounded in battle, it was possible to be released from duties. John Hannan served eleven years in the army before embarking for Australia. He received his 40 acre Veteran's grant and became one of probably several thousand soldiers who settled in Australia.

John Hannan had fought at Waterloo alongside William Hall who owned a 40 acre allotment situated nearby Hannan's property and called in 1912, 'Hallsborough'.

John Hannan's Grant

The Hannan grant was situated between Oakhampton Road and Campbell's Hill and extended from the Hill to the Hunter River. The road later to be known as Hannan Road ran through the original grant. Situated near the long bridge in Maitland, the area became known as Veteran's Flat. Other veterans to receive grants included Robert Aickenhead, John Balcott, Richard Browning, John Chalonel, James Cornish, William Critchley, Joseph Daley, John Grills, William Prignall, Peter Reed, Stephen Robinson, John Thompson, William Hall, Thomas Godfrey, William Turley and George Turner. [2]

Marriage and Family

John married Mary Ann Amberton in London on 8th December 1825. Their children were Louisa b. 1824 and Thomas b. 1822 who probably arrived with their parents on the Orpheus in 1826; and William b. 1826, Mary Ann b. 1829, Edward, b. 1832, Elizabeth b. 1835, Emma Matilda b. 1837, Sarah Jane b. 1839, Peter August in b. 1842 and Caroline b 1846 who were all born in Australia, William just three months after the family's arrival. Sarah died in infancy.

Financial Depression 1843

In November 1843 a sale took place at his premises by the order of the Sheriff's Bailiff John Kingsmill. Two drays, a growing crop of wheat and household furniture were all to be sold and in the event of these chattels not satisfying the writ, the Right, Title and Interest in the premises and land would also be sold.

Temporary Hospital

By the end of 1843 Hannan House had become a temporary hospital for the district when the Benevolent Asylum situated in Caroline Chisholm's barracks became inadequate for the needs of the community. The house was used in this capacity until the new Maitland Hospital was opened in 1849. The first ten patients were received from Hannan House into the new hospital on 8th November 1849.

Sale of Part of the Estate

In 1846 part of the original grant to John Hannan was advertised to be sold by public auction. It was described as adjoining the road to the Falls of Bolwarra; bounded on the north by land in the occupation of Charles Prentice, by a line of 158ft; on the east by the said road leading to the Falls, by a line of 38 ft; on the north by No 9 allotment, by a line of 148ft; and on the north west by an allotment, by a line of 43 ft; The property was said to be perfectly free and unencumbered. Mechanics of Maitland and others were advised that a favourable opportunity presented itself to purchase on moderate terms, an eligibly situated building allotment in the acquisition of which would justify the erection of a comfortable and suitable homestead.

In July 1848 John Hannan's 40 acres (Veteran's Allotment No 6) was advertised to be sold at auction by order of the Sheriff's Office unless 'execution is previously satisfied' and in August 1848 George Burgoyne Owen was advertising for sale a portion of land conveyed to him by John Hannan 'near the temporary hospital', however the family retained some of the land as when Mary Ann Hannan died in 1876 her address was Hannan Street, West Maitland.


John Hannan died in 1860

Notes and Links

1). More about Hannan House

2). Death of William Hannan, son of John Hannan in November 1896 - Maitland Weekly Mercury 21 November 1896

3). In August 1844 John Hannan's eldest daughter Louisa Jane married John Waugh Drysdale.

4). Maitland resident Robert Green

5). For further details of the Drysdale and Hannon families email Sharon and Chris Simmons