John Powell & Charlotte Tucker
John Powell was one of the last settlers to take up a small block of land on the Paterson River before large-scale land grants began at the end of 1821 (see overview). Ironically he was also the first of the small-scale settlers to gain legal title to his land, the others initially occupying their blocks at the governor's pleasure.
Powell arrived in New South Wales in 1810 as an officer on the whaling ship New Zealander. Over the next few years he was the master of several vessels trading between Sydney and ports such a Hobart Town, Port Dalrymple and as far afield as Otaheite. During 1814, as master of the Endeavour (not the famous one), he sailed several times each month between Sydney and Newcastle, carrying ballast to Newcastle and returning with cargoes such as cedar and coal.
On 3 January 1818 John Powell married 18 year-old Charlotte Tucker in Sydney. Charlotte was the only daughter of John Tucker snr who was an ex-convict and Commissariat Storekeeper at the Newcastle penal settlement. Charlotte's brother, John jnr, had been a settler at Patersons Plains since 1812, and on 10 September 1818 Governor Macquarie granted John Powell land there of up to 60 acres.
Powell's land was situated on the eastern bank of the river, immediately north of John Reeves' block (see map). By 1822 he had cleared 28 acres, planted 16 acres of wheat and was running six cattle and five pigs. Dangar's survey in 1823 indicated Powell had cleared and was occupying 23 acres on which stood a wattle and plaster hut, barn, sheds, pig sty and pig yard with a total value of £23. Dangar noted that Powell was 'a free settler from headquarters under authority of Major General Macquarie: 12 acres not inundated.
Above: Powell's land on the Paterson River. See full map.
Powell named his land 'Orange Grove', and in 1823 the grant was enlarged to 100 acres. By 1828 he was cultivating 57 of the 80 acres he had cleared and was running 37 cattle. By then John and Charlotte had four children, their ages ranging from new-born to eight years. In 1829 John leased an extra 500 acres of Church and School Corporation land.
John and Charlotte lived all their lives at Orange Grove. John died in 1866 aged 85 years and Charlotte died in 1858 aged 59 years. Both are buried in St. Paul's church yard at Paterson.
Notes and references
1. Walsh, Brian. European Settlement at Paterson River 1812 to 1822. Paterson: Paterson Historical Society, 2012.
3. Ingle, Kay. John Powell Orange Grove: The First Small Paterson Land Grant March 5 1821. Paterson: Paterson Historical Society, 2007.
Index to the NSW Colonial Secretary's papers. There are several papers listed for John Powell per New Zealander.
An overview of settlement at Patersons Plains up to the end of 1821.