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Paterson River history

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Richard Binder & Ann Burrell

Richard Binder was an early settler at Patersons Plains. He arrived in New South Wales in 1803 on the Glatton as a convict with a life sentence and was initially assigned at the Hawkesbury. In 1813 he was sentenced to three years secondary transportation by the magistrate at Windsor for a colonial offence and was sent to the penal settlement at Newcastle.[1]

The death of George Pell in 1815 reduced the number of small settlers living at Patersons Plains to four (John Reynolds, Benjamin Davis, John Swan and John Tucker jnr), so in 1817 Governor Macquarie gave the Newcastle commandant, Captain Wallis, permission to increase the number to six, 'taking special care however that they are well behaved industrious men and explaining to them that they only hold those farms in trust during the pleasure of the government.' Following the governor's instruction, in 1818 Captain Wallis permitted Richard Binder and Robert Whitmore to become settlers at Patersons Plains on those terms.[2].

Land and marriage

Binder took up a block on the eastern bank of the Paterson River opposite the government station at Old Banks (see map). He probably moved to Patersons Plains with his wife Ann (Burrell) who he married at about this time.[3] Ann hailed from Lincoln and had arrived in NSW in 1816 on the ship Mary Ann at the age of 22 with a seven year sentence for larceny. In 1816 she was sentenced to one year in Newcastle for a colonial offence.[4]

Binder's farm

Binder's farm at Patersons Plains in 1821, superimposed on a satellite image. This area is now part of the Woodville district.

Convict to District Constable

Richard Binder was appointed District Constable (in some records referred to as 'Chief Constable') at Patersons Plains in 1819, almost certainly the first to hold this position. Binder's work in this capacity probably required travel across country to the government post at Seaham, and this may be why the track from the punt crossing at Old Banks towards Seaham carried his name, 'Binders Path'. He gained emancipation via a conditional pardon in November 1821.[5]

Convict to convict master

Binder's block was large in comparison with the other early settlers at Patersons Plains, his land totalling 100 acres. By 1822 he had cleared 50 acres, planted 40 acres of wheat and was running 30 cattle and 20 pigs.[6] Dangar's survey in 1823 indicated Binder had cleared 51 acres and erected a superior weather board and shingle cottage, stable and lumber house and several other farm buildings.[7] The ex-convict was now a convict master, as three convicts were assigned to Binder to assist with the farm work.[8]

Moving on

Binder held the position of Chief Constable at Patersons Plains until he resigned in 1825, by which time he was aged 42 and had been seriously ill.[9]

Like many of the early settlers at Patersons Plains who occupied their land at the governor's pleasure, Binder became ensnared in the re-allocation of his land to the Church and School Corporation. Initially Binder, Reynolds and Whitmore accepted the offer to move to equivalent blocks on the Williams River but when the government failed to keep its promise to clear the blocks as compensation for their cleared blocks at Patersons Plains, they reclaimed the leases on their land at Paterson. Binder then sold the right to his lease to Thomas Stubbs. By 1828 Binder and his wife Ann were publicans of the Australian Inn in Hunter Street, Newcastle.

Richard Binder died in Newcastle in 1830 and Ann continued to hold the licence of the Australian Inn.

Notes and references

1. Convict shipping indents, 4/4004 [fiche 631] p129, SRNSW; Walsh, Brian. European Settlement at Paterson River 1812 to 1822. Paterson: Paterson Historical Society, 2012.

2. Newcastle 7 March 1818. Public Record Office London, CO 201/119 p266 (PRO reel 107).

3. NSW on-line index to births, deaths and marriages, references V18182231 3A/1818 & V18174 9/1817.

4. Convict shipping indents, 4/4005 [fiche 636] p129, SRNSW.

5. Col Sec correspondence, 4/7419.1 p16 [fiche 3302] - this record indicates he had served six years as District Constable in May 1825. Conditional Pardon 28 November 1821, 4/4430 [reel 774] p184, SRNSW.

6. Baxter, Carol (ed.). General Muster and Land and Stock Muster of New South Wales 1822. Australian Biographical and Genealogical Record, 1988.

7. as cited in The Settlers of Paterson's Plains, see 1 above.

8. Three convicts assigned to Binder are indicated in the 1822 muster (see 6 above) and the 1828 census - Sainty MR and KA Johnston (eds). Census of New South Wales 1828. Library of Australian History, 2008 (revised edition on CD). Binder and his wife appear in the 1828 census as 'Bindor'.

9. He held this position at least from 1 October 1824 until his resignation in June 1825. CS 4/1812 [reel 6068], p51, SRNSW; SG 9 June 1825 p1.

External links

Index to the NSW Colonial Secretary's papers. There are several papers listed for Richard Binder ext link and for Ann Burrell.

See also

An overview of settlement at Patersons Plains up to the end of 1821.