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Paterson River history

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Guygallon (also spelt Guygallen and Guygalling)

In the 1800s most of the river frontage on the upper Paterson between Mount Rivers and Carrabolla was contained within two properties named "Guygallon" and "Emral". The history of both these properties is linked to Tocal and for nearly 50 years ex-Tocal owner James Webber and his descendants owned Guygallon while living in Sardinia (later to become part of Italy) and supervised their Paterson River interests through an agent in Sydney.

Guygallon initially totalled 10,270 acres, made up of 11 blocks shown as A to K on the map below. Its first owner was John Phillips Webber, and when he died in 1845 ownership passed to his brother James Phillips Webber. Most of Guygallon was orginally crown land purchased by John Webber block by block in 1836 and 1837, with the exception of block I that he purchased from George Townshend (see details of the blocks).

Note that parts of blocks G and J (and to a minor extent block F) are now under the waters of Lostock Dam. The river boundaries of these blocks follow the course of the Paterson as it was before the dam was built.

map of Guygallon and Emral

In July 1839 John Webber sold the whole of Guygallon to H.L. Brabazon for £5,135 (Lands Titles Office Reg P, no. 439) and retained a mortgage of £3,500. However, Brabazon could not meet the interest payment, and John Webber foreclosed the mortgage and repossessed the land in March 1843.

In February 1845 John Phillips Webber died of smallpox in London. Because he died intestate and was a bachelor, the ownership of Guygallon passed by default to his closest living relative, his father, Lieutenant-General Edward Webber, then aged 83. His father died one month later, bequeathing all his possessions to his youngest son Edward. Edward divided his father's estate between himself and his other living brother, James Phillips Webber. As part of the agreement, James received Guygallon.

After John's death, James found in his brother's papers a letter written concerning Guygallon in which John described the property as follows: "... it is the best property for its extent on the River, and will feed more stock. You must have observed that every description of stock thrives remarkably well upon it, to say nothing of the numerous cultivation farms that it contains" (quoted by James Webber in a letter to his Sydney agent, 31 May 1845).

In 1871 James Webber, then residing in Sardinia, applied through his Sydney agent to have Guygallon transferred from Old System Title to title under the Real Property Act (State Records NSW, file PA3462).

At the time of the application for conversion of title, Guygallon was under lease to George Brooker for five years. In 1880 it was leased to Mr A Holden who sublet let it to 22 tenants as follows: on yearly leases - Edward Eveleigh, George Hipswell (sic), William Eveleigh, Charles Eveleigh, George Eveleigh, P Dennis and N Bird, Joseph Maudford, John Ernst, Luke Sullivan, P Maun, C Maudford, M Turner, H Lawrence, Thomas Lawrence, C & J Hopson, Thomas Turner, Samuel Soper; on a five year lease - Richard Eveleigh, Edward Jones, Frank Wilson and Christian Gilwaller.

Ownership of Guygallon remained with James Webber until his death in November 1877 when it passed to his daughter-in-law, Maria Webber, who lived in Sardinia. Maria was the wife of James' adopted son Luigi Webber, and James specifically excluded Luigi from his Will, leaving all his possessions in the sole control of Maria.

Meanwhile, Guygallon had not been converted to the new title system. The 1871 application was completed only in 1885 when the Government wanted to resume three acres of the property for a church and school, and needed the title to be in order before resumption could occur. In July 1885 new title of the full 10,270 acres of Guygallon was granted posthumously to James Phillips Webber, then re-issued to him minus the three acres in July 1887. The title was cancelled and issued to Maria Webber in December 1890 (Land Titles Office, titles 752/225, 844/75, 994/59).

St John's Anglican Church and Cemetery at Lostock stand today on the three acres of land resumed from Guygallon (block J) in 1887.

In 1894 Maria Webber sold the whole of Guygallon to politician Herbert Harrington Brown. In three separate transactions between 1904 and 1907 John Lawrence Brown sold parts of Guygallon to Frank Reynolds, the lessee of Tocal (Frank bought Tocal in 1907). Details of Brown's sale of parts of Guygallon to Reynolds are as follows:

Frank Reynolds also purchased Lemon Tree in 1916. Its 1,562 acres joined the southern boundary of block K of the original Guygallon, but Lemon Tree was never part of Guygallon. Frank Reynolds died in 1920 and in 1926 his estate auctioned his Paterson River properties consisting of Tocal, Thorveton, Martin's Creek, Guygallon and Lemon Tree. At that time Guygallon, Martin's Creek and Thorveton comprised 3,103 acres of the original 10,270 acres of Guygallon as owned by the Webbers.

The name "Guygallon"?

We are hoping to learn the derivation or significance of the name "Guygallon". In letters written by James Webber in 1845 he repeatedly called the property "Guy galling" and it is also called "Guygalling" in an advertisement for the sale of tobacco in 1842 (Hunter River Gazette, 2 April 1842). "Guygallon" and "Guygallen" are probably corrupted forms of the name "Guygalling" originally given to the property by its first owner, John Webber.

If anyone can shed any light on the name, please contact me.