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Paterson River history

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Charles Reynolds


Charles Reynolds

Charles Reynolds leased Tocal from 1843 and ran the property with great skill until his death in 1871. The Reynolds' tenure at Tocal continued through his family until 1926. In his time Charles changed the estate from a sheep and tobacco farm into a large, prosperous stud-breeding enterprise.

Charles Reynolds was a genial man of dignity and intelligence. He was well respected by his staff and colleagues in regional and State agricultural circles.

Charles made a concerted effort to improve the standard of livestock in the Paterson area and was on the committee of the inaugural Hunter River Agricultural Association in 1844. By 1870 he was recognised as an authority on horse and cattle breeding in New South Wales and served on a committee that developed the first Stud Book for New South Wales.

Charles Reynolds' time at Tocal was the peak of the famous studs that excelled in Thoroughbred horses and Devon and Hereford cattle.

Charles Reynolds died in 1871 after falling from his horse. His death was reported and mourned throughout the colony. The Maitland Mercury reported:

We should perhaps scarcely err if we said that the district could not have sustained a greater loss than the death of Mr Reynolds. He was in many senses a most valuable public man. In his own special pursuit, horse breeding, of high bred, first class horses, his long experience had rendered him unequalled in this district (tested by successes), and equalled by only two or three gentlemen in other parts of the colony. Tocal, in the hands of a skilful and persevering horse breeder like Mr Reynolds, became the scene of a profitable and celebrated industry.

After Charles' death, his widow Frances, his son Frank and grandson Darcie ran Tocal as one of the most important Hereford, Devon and Thoroughbred studs in the country. Frank Reynolds purchased Tocal from the Wilson family in 1907.


Hathway, Jo and Brian Walsh. Guide to Tocal. CB Alexander Foundation, 2014.