Albion Farm is a rural property on the Paterson River in the locality earlier known as Patersons Plains. It began as a small holding taken up by John Tucker senior about 1812. At the time he was an ex-convict serving as government storekeeper at the penal settlement of Newcastle.
Governor Macquarie gave him permission to settle, possibly as a reward for the role his son John played as a sawyer who helped to procure cedar for the Governor. In about 1816 John Tucker jnr was allowed to settle in his own right and he chose land alongside his father's farm at Patersons Plains.
In 1823 John senior retired from his position in Newcastle and moved to his land at Paterson's Plains. In 1824 the land was converted to a combined grant of 630 acres for him and his son John. The combined grant of Albion Farm is shown in the map below. It's eastern boundary adjoined Clifden.
Albion Farm in 1824 as a combined grant of 630 acres to John Tucker senior and junior.
John Tucker senior and his wife Ann died at Albion Farm in 1834 and 1839 respectively and are buried there. John Tucker junior died at Albion Farm in 1838 and was also buried there. His wife Frances remarried, first to James Peattie and then to William Doidge.
In the 1838 survey of Albion Farm shown below, the family burial plot is indicated by a rectangle in the centre of the map, towards the top. The now unmarked family plot is located at 32° 39.80'S 151° 36.367'E. (If you have Google Earth on your device you can click on this kmz file to open the program and show the grave site.)
The 1838 survey of Albion Farm. It predates drainage works and therefore shows the natural extent of Lake Paterson. The Tucker family burial plot is shown as a rectangle in the centre towards the top.
1865 subdivision and sale of Albion Farm
After Frances Tucker (later Frances Peattie then Doidge), owner of Albion Farm, died on 29 March 1865, Albion Farm's 615 acres was surveyed by GB White and sold in several lots. A public auction of the land was held on 3 August 1865.
A reconstruction of the sale plan is shown below. It is based on GB White's 1865 survey of Albion Farm and lot boundaries described in land title documents.
The 1865 subdivision and sale of Albion Farm. Note the large drain running across the whole estate to drain Lake Paterson so the wetlands could be used for agriculture.
Here are the sale results, taken from the land title documents. The conveyance of the lots took place between March and June 1866. It is interesting that Frederick Tucker purchased lot 13 which contained the Tucker family burial plot but according to the title the sale excluded the burial plot and an access road.
|1 & 9||Daniel Peattie||£1,085|
|2 & 15||William Barton||£376|
|3 & 16||Henry Geering||£518|
|5,6, 13||Frederick Tucker||£1,816|
|7||R and P Chanter||£1,040|
|11||Benjamin Lee senior||£220|
|12, 14, 17||George Middleton*||£575|
*Middleton defaulted on payments and the mortgage was foreclosed. In 1871 John Pearse purchased lot 12, John Read purchased lot 14 and Thomas Carter lot 17.
Some notable further transactions
- on 16 August 1877 John Pearse sold 31 perches (0.2 acres) of lot 8 for £40 to Peter Pumphrett (as spelt on the conveyance), boot & shoe maker. This is the land on which Pomfrett's Cottage now stands.
- on 29 March 1877 John Pearse conveyed a gift of 14 perches, a portion of lot 12, to John Wynn, Henry Crocker and Samuel Skinner as trustees for a School of Arts at a nominal price of 10 shillings. This is the land on which the Woodville School of Arts now stands.
- on 29 November 1877 John Pearse conveyed as a gift a small portion of lot 12 to Wesleyan trustees: William Robson, Wesleyan Minister; Thomas Carter the elder and younger, both farmers; John Carter, farmer; George Sexton, farmer; George Read, farmer; John Sharkey, farmer; Thomas Moffat, storekeeper; and James Nathaniel MeikleJohn, storekeeper - all of Morpeth, at a nominal price of 10 shillings. A Wesleyan chapel was built on this block, adjoining the Woodville School of Arts but the chapel has not survived.
- on 15 December 1877 Pearse sold 1.5 acres of lot 8 for £60 to the Council of Education for use as the new site for Iona Public School. It adjoined the eastern boundary of Pumphrett's 31 perches.