Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Susannah Matilda Ward - Settler

Cintra and Clarendon - Map 2

William Gordon Ward was a veteran of the Peninsula wars. He arrived on the Dromedary in 1820 with his wife Susannah Matilda Ward and their six children.

He brought with him recommendations from Earl Bathurst and on 8th March received correspondence from the authorities informing him that on the grounds of his statement of the property brought out amounting to 1200 pounds, and in consideration of recommendations, he would be granted one thousand acres and five men be assigned to him for the purpose of cultivating the land. His family and the convicts would all be victualled by the Stores for six months [1].

His wife was Susannah Matilda nee Baldwin was born in Hertford, England in 1789.

In August Susannah Ward wrote to Governor Macquarie.....I am extremely sorry to acquaint your Excellency that Mr. Ward still continuing to afford no kind of assistance towards the support of myself and the family and fearful that they would derive no benefit from the Grant of Land your Excellency was so kind as to promise us on our arrival if it should be made to him; I am therefore induced to solicit that your Excellency will be graciously pleased to direct the Grant to be made out for the use of myself and children. In the same letter she also mentioned the two cows that had been given her and which were almost the entire support of her little one [2].

Death of William Ward

William Gordon Ward died soon afterwards and Susannah Matilda Ward, writing from Captain Piper's at the North Shore address requested the indulgence of a free passage home on the Dromedary or any other vessel for herself and family. She had been left destitute without the means to properly educate her children or even support them [3]. She was informed that the 1000 acre land grant and six cows would be given to her in trust for her children and that the Governor would do what he could to provided a free passage home on the Dromedary however he could not definitely promise it [4].

Female Orphan Institute

In the end the Dromedary sailed without her. In January 1821 she was appointed to the position of Matron at the Female Orphan's Institute made vacant by the resignation of Mr. and Mrs. Collicot. She was to receive the salary that the Collicots had received in combination and was to provide from that herself any further assistance she required [5]. Just a few months later Mrs. Ward was commended by the Committee of the Orphan Institution for her respectability and in her unremitting attention to her charges [6]. She remained in the position at the Orphan institution for three years.

Former Acquaintances

While there she became re-acquainted with Lydia Phillips who arrived with her husband Captain James Phillips on the Mary Anne in 1822. The two are reported to have accompanied their husbands to the famous Ball given by the Duchess of Richmond in Brussels on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1812[12].

The Duchess of Richmond's ball was a gay one, and Wellington, and his officers present at it, were as cheerful as any part of that gay company. About midnight the general officers were quietly warned, and quietly disappeared from the ball room. Shortly after, the younger officers were summoned from the dance, but without any bustle. By this time the troops were mustering, and before the sun of the 16th June rose, 'all were marching to the field of honor, and many to an early grave'. - Great Battles of the British Army

While neither the Wards nor the Phillips appear on the guest list, being more junior officers perhaps, Colonel Henry Dumaresq does.

Land Grants at Paterson

Susannah Matilda Ward's grants were taken up at Paterson although she lived in Sydney. The grant of 1823 was named Cintra which was situated between the estates of James Phillips and John Boughton and Clarendon which was 500 acres granted by Governor Darling in 1828 and was situated across the river.

James Adair John Boughton Edward 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


She was resident at 47 Upper Pitt Street Sydney in 1827 when she advertised the Cintra estate for lease. Residing with her at Pitt Street were her children - Elizabeth age 17, Susan Matilda age 15, Emma age 11 and Sarah age 9. William resided with Dr. Bland in Pitt Street.[11] Margaret Denehy who arrived on the City of Edinburgh was one of Susannah's assigned servants when she resided in Pitt Street,


By 1832 convicts were being assigned to her at the Paterson estate: -

Francis Savage 1832 - 37 arrived per Lady Harewood. Assigned in 1832

Thomas Lapham arrived in 1832 per Lady Harewood in 1832.

Ellen Bourke per Elizabeth absconded in April 1834

William Johnson per Hercules absconded in January 1834

Ann Dyson per Lucy Davidson assigned in February 1835

Catherine Coyle per Hooghley assigned in February1835

Sarah Riley arrived per Diana. Absconded in 1836

Rosina Harper arrived per Numa. Absconded in 1836

John Donovan arrived per Hive assigned in 1837

Edward Foley per City of Edinburgh assigned in 1837

Thomas Berryman 1837

Matilda Page per Elizabeth assigned in 1837

John Murphy per St. Vincent assigned in 1837

Edward Murphy per St. Vincent assigned in 1837

Joseph Wixon per Lady Kennaway apprehended after absconding in April 1837

James Gore per John Barry assigned in 1837

Mary Finigan per Surry absconded in March 1839

Sarah Meers per Surry absconded in September 1841


In January 1841 the residence of Mrs. Ward was robbed by two bushrangers Edwards and Gore who had the district in an uproar until they were captured by the constables.

2nd Marriage

In August 1841 when she was 52, Susannah married another Paterson river land owner, Robert Studdert ....On Monday last the 9th instant by special license at Clarendon Park, Paterson by the Rev. John Jennings Smith, Susannah Matilda widow of the late Lieutenant Ward of the 1st Regiment (or Royals) and niece to the late General Hawkshaw, East India Company's Service, to Robert son of R. Studdert Esq., of Bunratty Castle, County Clare, Ireland.[7]

The Sydney Herald reported the event.........The muffled bells for misfortune have scarcely ceased, ere the merry peel is rung to a gayer occasion - The marriage between Mrs. Ward the young and beautiful widow of S. Ward Esq., of Clarendon House, to Robert Stoddart Esq., was celebrated here on Monday morning last with great festivities. Notwithstanding the unpromising state of the weather lately, the sun on this occasion smiled with unusual beauty upon the happy scene, and the bright eyes of a long train of bridesmaids reflected back its beams in every hue of beauty. A dinner and ball, which was attended by a large party of the beauty and fashion of the district, concluded the auspicious day. The bride is possessed of large estates in this district, inherited from her late husband and the bridegroom, who has lately been appointed to our bench, is said to be heir to large property in Ireland. [8]

Susannah Matilda Studdert became an invalid and moved into the Paterson township where she lived with the schoolmaster *Mr. Lilney [13] (* probably George Lailey her son-in-law).


She died on 23rd November 1862 and was buried in the cemetery of St. John Church Paterson in the same grave as her daughter and son-in-law Lieut. and Mrs. Bedwell. [9]


Children of Susannah Matilda and William Gordon Ward:

1). In 1829 Elizabeth Ward married Frederick Garling junior who arrived on the Francis and Eliza

2). Susannah Matilda Ward married Frederick Bedwell who purchased part of the Cintra estate naming it Valentia Lodge

3) Emma Ward married George Lailey of Hinton on 3 February 1841

4) Sarah Ward married Crawford Logan Brown of Cairnsmore in 1839 (10)

5) William Ward - William died in 1836 in Java from fever while on the brig Children on passage from Sydney to Canton. He was only twenty one years old.

St. Pauls Church, Paterson, NSW, Australia
St. Pauls Church, Paterson

Notes and Links

Select here to find out more about Susannah Matilda Ward

Death of Major General Thomas Hawkshaw in 1819- Edinburgh Magazine


[1] New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 937) Copies of letters sent within the Colony, 1814-1825 Item: 4/3501 Page: 286

[2] New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 897) Main series of letters received, 1788-1825 Item: 4/1747 Page: 111-4

[3] New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 897) Main series of letters received, 1788-1825 Item: 4/1747 Page: 115-8

[4] New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 937) Copies of letters sent within the Colony, 1814-1825 Item: 4/3502 Page: 446-7

[5] New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 938) Copies of letters sent and received, mainly within the colony, or Document books Nos. 1-3, 1817-1825 Item: 4/5783 Page: 85

[6] New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 898) Special bundles, 1794-1825 Item: 4/403 Page: 81-2

[7] Sydney Herald 14 August 1841

[8] Sydney Herald 23 August 1841

[9] Maitland Mercury 25 November 1862

[10] Asiatic Journal

[11] 1828 Census

[12] Archer, A. C. The Settlement of the Paterson District, Paterson Historical Society, 1986, p. 15

[13] Sydney Morning Herald 27 August 1932