Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Joseph Rookin - Settler

Map 3

Joseph Rookin and Grayson Hartley arrived in the colony on the Medway in December 1829, having departed Liverpool on 28 June.

They formed a partnership and were both granted land in the Williams River district.
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

Land Grant

Joseph Rookin's grant of 2560 acres was situated on the Chichester River and promised by Sir Ralph Darling on 25th June 1830. Possession was given on 15th September as a primary grant. The location can be seen top centre of the map above.

The Government Gazette published the following information which was re-printed in the Dungog Chronicle many years later:

Durham 640, six hundred and forty acres, at the Upper William River; bounded on the west by the section line dividing it from lot 122; on the south by the William's River on the east by Rookin's grant; and on the north by a line to include the quantity. Applied for by James Dobson. (The Tillegra parish map shows that Joseph Rookin held two blocks of 710 and 2560 acres respectively. The former adjoined what are marked as the properties of D.A. and R. Fisher, and another on the western side, and extended to the Williams River on the south. The latter adjoined block No. 1 on the west and James Dowling's 2560 acres estate on the east, and extended in part from the Williams to the Chichester Rivers.)


In 1832 at Parramatta Joseph Rookin was found not guilty of accessory to the felonious slaying of John Stone. He had been a timekeeper at a boxing/fighting match. Read more in the Sydney Gazette

His partnership with Grayson Hartley was dissolved by mutual consent in 1836 and in August 1837 at Rookin's request his land grant was advertised in favour of Archibald Mosman.


Joseph Rookin died in George Street Sydney in January 1839 three months after his former partner Grayson Hartley who died in Maitland in October 1838. Parbury's Oriental Herald