Settlers and selectors | State Library of New South Wales

Settlers and selectors

From the beginning of European settlement in Australia, the Governor was empowered to make grants of land to deserving convicts, soldiers and settlers.

Free settlers began to arrive in the colony in greater numbers during the 1820s and, under new land laws enacted after 1825, they soon had the opportunity to become very wealthy landowners.

Prospective settlers were granted land according to assessment of their financial means and allocated a convict for every 100 acres afforded by their resources. Once the size of their grant was determined, it was up to the settler to mount an expedition to the region to take up his grant and name his property.

In 1829 the official settled area of the colony was divided into Nineteen Counties and the region outside this area was considered to be 'beyond the boundaries', ie. out of bounds for settlement. However, these rules were soon ignored as pastoralists forged their way through the countryside.

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Two young Welshmen, George Townshend (1798-1872) and Charles Boydell (1808-1869), arrived in Australia on 22 March 1826 to take up land grants in County Durham. Staking their claims, they named the Allyn River, the locality of Gresford and their homesteads, Trevallyn and Camyr Allyn, after places near their homes in Wales. Their Scots-born shipmate, Alexander Park (1808-1873), took up a neighbouring grant on the left bank of the Allyn River, which he named Lewinsbrook.

In 1831, Governor Darling was instructed that no more free grants were to be given. All land was to be sold by public auction and only land located within the Nineteen Counties could be made available for sale.

In 1840, Charles Boydell transferred 605 acres of land at Allynbrook, purchased from the government on 14 September 1836, to his younger brother, William Barker Boydell (1818-1878). William assumed responsibility for the mortgage on the property, which he named Caergwrle.

Photograph of Caergwrle

Caergwrle, 1976, by Jack Sullivan
Photograph PXA 1074/14

On 14 September 1836, George Townshend had purchased four blocks of land from the government with the aim of joining his Trevallyn estate to the rest of his Paterson River property. By 1842, Townshend had sold the block known as Clevedon, near East Gresford, to John H. Durbin. Dr Henry John Lindeman purchased Carawarra in 1842 and the vineyards were commenced in 1843.

> Read Arthur Way's letter describing life as a settler on Clevedon

> View a map of Durham County showing land settlement in 1843

Durham county map



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People & Places, Caergwrle, Allynbrook
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