The BELLS were closely associated with the LAURIES and LAURIETON.



(To the Editor of the Maitland Mercury.)

SIR,-I notice in your issue of the 8th inst., a letter on the reservation of timber, signed by Thomas Shaw, I believe some of his hints are good, and as this is a matter which concerns many, perchance a hint from one who has had 40 years’ experience may not be out of place. So I will be as brief as possible, and confine myself to a few remarks only.

First-The wilful and shameful destruction of timber. At present the law is, that any man holding a license can go on to Government land (except Reserves) and cut away at any tree or sapling he thinks fit. No one has a right to interfere with him, so long as he holds his license ; he is never asked what he means to do with the timber he falls. No doubt you will say, surely no man on earth will fall timber without making use of it. But I can prove to you that it has been done, and that in a wholesale manner. On the Nambucca there have been hundreds of trees, both cedar and pine, cut down many years ago. And they are still there, and will ever remain so, as they are now too rotten for any use. On Camden Haven, a few years ago, the inhabitants took a sudden fit and cut down every beech tree that could be found ; in fact millions of feet, and there it lies, rotting on the ground ; and many a tree of hardwood as well-and yet the people who cut the said timber had no way of removing it to market. So there it remains, a loss to the man who would have used it, a loss to the colony, and a loss to the world at large. And yet the present licensing system allows this wholesale destruction, Surely this system could be improved upon, and before I close I shall give you my idea on the matter, and I hope some of your readers will give a better.

Second,-I will now make a few remarks on the reservation of timber. Government has adopted a plan of making a reserve of certain portions of land in various places on the East Coast, for the sake of preserving timber. My opinion is, the plan is rotten in the core. The reserves are made where the best timber is to be found. So far so good. But tell me what they mean by preserving timber that has arrived at its full growth, and every day turning back to its mother earth. This seems to me to be wilful waste, and almost as bad as the men who cut timber and leave it to rot. I may be wrong, but I am against all special timber reserves. I would say, throw it open, and let us have free trade, and encourage colonial industry. At the same time I would make it the special duty of the local constable to ascertain if each man had a license, and what they were cutting for ; see that they mean to use the timber they ore cutting down. And above all, see that no hardwood timber is cut down less than two feet, or six feet in girth, three feet from the ground. This would be preserving timber in the right way ; for timber in this country does not take so long to grow as some think it does, I know large trees that were only saplings thirty years ago ; and at this place we have trees a foot through that were only whipsticks six years ago. And Mr. Hibbard, of Port Macquarie, tells me he knows trees at Shoalhaven three feet through that were mere saplings seventeen years ago (spotted gum). I will now draw to a close, and I trust that some other hand will take the matter up. I have merely given my own opinion, and I think any one who does so deserves a certain amount of credit, let him be right or wrong If I was to go on and state the use and durability of each kind of tree I do not know where I would end.

Third.- This much I may say : people must not run away with the idea that because timber is of a certain kind it must be good. Such is not the case. For instance, the ironbark at this place is a poor wood indeed ; at Gloucester, the kitchen at the old accommodation house was shingled with ironbark shingles in the year 1836, yet the roof is waterproof. It depends on the ground and locality where the timber is grown, In the school house, in Port Macquarie, the rafters are saplings, known as the leaf tea-tree ; and although they were put there under the cruel lash and the bitter years of tyranny, yet the said rafters are as sound as the day they were put there.

-Yours respectfully,


Laurieton, 14th January, 1881.

[We need scarcely say that we shall be glad at any time to receive and publish letters such as the above, and we hope the important subject of timber conservation will receive due public attention till amendment in the law and “practice is achieved.

James Bell was transported for housebreaking in 1831. He married Wilhelmina McLeod on 29/9/1840 at the SCOTS CHURCH, PATERSON. Wilhelmina was the daughter of WILLIAM MCLEOD and JANET MACKAY and was 17 years old when she married JAMES.

Their son , JOHN BELL, married Mary Ann McNeil in Taree on 27th June 1878. At the time John gave his place of residence as RAWDON VALE , district of Gloucester. Roy Burton was told by a now deceased aunt that John’s parents were James and Wilhelmina which we now know to be so.  Witnesses to the marriage of John and Mary Ann were JOSEPH LAURIE and MARGARET BELL. Joseph Laurie Snr owned property at RAWDON VALE locality. The witness Joseph Laurie was probably the fifth son of Joseph Senior. (Refer to “EARLY HISTORY OF THE CAMDEN HAVEN” Page 16. The LAURIES.The LAURIES were then living at PEACH GROVE now known as LAURIETON.

John’s eldest sister married a LAURIE. His brother NORMAN BELL married AGNES FRASER whose mother was JANET LAURIE and named their daughter JANET LAURIE BELL.

When John Bell and Granny Bell left the Tweed they lived the rest of their lives in LAURIETON.


An article with Joseph Laurie presiding as magistrate


The Maitland Mercury… Thursday 23 November 1882, page 6



10 12 laurieton hotel

LAURIETON HOTEL 10 2 laurieton



FROM 1837 TO 1853.

(From the Herald, July 4.)

The following is a condensed account of some of the Statistics of the Colony, for a period of sixteen years, compiled from official records in

the Colonial Secretary’s office. They were placed upon the table of the Legislative Council on the 28th of last mouth, and ordered by the Council to be printed.


The following is the return of the increase and decrease of the population of New South Wales, from the 1st January to 3ist December, 1853; and of the total number at the latter date :

INCREASE.-By immigration : males, 23,189 ; females, 10,738; total, 33,936. By birth: males, 4,493; females, 4,367 ; total, 8,860.

TOTAL INCREASE.-Males, 27,69l ; females, 15,105 ; being a total increase of both sexes of 42,796.

DECREASE.-By deaths : males, 2,311 ; females, l,865; total, 4,173. By departure: males, 12,699 ; females, 2887 ; total, 15,586.

TOTAL DECREASE,-Males, 15,010; females, 4952 ; making a total decrease in both sexes of 19,962.

NET INCREASE.-Males, 12,681 ; females, 10,153 ; making a total net increase of 22,834.

Population on 31st December, 1852; males, 118,687; females, 89,597 ; total, 208,254.

Population on 3lst December, 1853: males,v131,368; females, 99,720 ; total, 231,088.


The following is a return of the number of

immigrants who arrived in the colony of New

South Wales, from the 1st January 1832, to the

31st December, 1853 :


1832.792; in 1833, 1253; in 1834, 484 ; in

1835,545; in 1836, 806; in 1837, 2664; in

1838, 6102; in 1839, 7852; in 1840, 5216; in

1841, 12,188; in 1812, 5071; in 1843, none;

in 1844, 2726; in 1845, 497; in 1846, none;

in 1847, none; in 1S48, 4376; in 1849,8309;

in 1850, 4078 ; in 1851, 1846 ; in 1852, 4981 ;

in 1853, 10,412; total, 80,200.


1832, 1214; in 1833, 1432; in 1834, 1080; in

1835, 883; in 1836, 913; in 1837. 813; in

1838, 1328; in 1839, 1983 ; in 1840, 1306 ; in

1841,1598; in 1852, 1534 ; in 1843,967; in.

1844, 485; in 1845, 461; in 1846, 402; in

1847, 515; in 1848,651; in 1849, 1492; in

1850,559; in 1851, 756; in 1852, 3781; in

1853, 3355; total, 27,508.


2006; in 1833,2685; in 1834, 1564; in 1835,

1428; in 1836, 1721 ; in 1837, 3477; in 1838,

7430; in 1839,9835; in 1840. 6522 ; in 1841,

13,786; in 1842, 6605 ; in 1343, 967 ; in 1844.

3211 ; in 1845, 958; in 1846, 402 ; in 1847,

515; in 1848, 5027 ; in l849, 9801 ; in l850,

4637; in 1851,2602; in 1852,8762; in 1853,

13,767; total, 107,703.








(The following year 1853 sees the arrival of the CRAIGS, HURRELLS and JACKSONS. )


wilhelmina mcleod 


20 12 some indians



I have had information about the Sanders for years now but not put it together. Now I am accessing the Newspapers and understanding a little more of what was involved in the emigration/immigration process, I shall write out some of the details I have and see how they fit with the NLA Articles.

William Sanders married Mary Ann Skivings and they emigrated to Australia.  They sailed from Plymouth on the ship VICTORIA and arrived in SYDNEY on September 4th, 1849 ( 100 years before I was born). Their shipping papers state that they had no relations living in the Colony ( this is disputed re THOMAS SANDERS at Appin but neither is verified by primary source as yet) . Dick Sanders found that the property at Appin to which they went on arriving was at PROSPECT ( now known as WENTWORTHVILLE) and was owned by THOMAS SANDERS who had 100 acres there. Elizabeth Grace, their first child was born there.

They then came north alone the NEW ENGLAND HIGHWAY looking for land. From ARMIDALE, they turned East to the Coast and came to the Macleay River. They moved about in this area for about 8 years before William purchased a block of 60 acres  and paid 60 pounds. DATE AUGUST 13 – 1863.

Each of the children was given a block of land to make a living on. William finally transferred the land to two of his sons, WALTER THOMAS  and EDRED JAMES on Nov 1 1898. These were two younger sons.

It was through SANDERS land that the road was re-routed to HAT HEAD to avoid swampland.

Dick Sanders said that where the school now stands was SANDERS property. Kinchela School.




The Maitland Mercury… Saturday 15 April 1848, page 2.


By Thursday morning’s mail the Police Magistrate received a letter from the Immigration Agent in Sydney intimating that free passages to Maitland on Thursday evening, with board and lodging until they should receive offers of employment at fair wages, would be offered to as many of the immigrants by the Suhraon as chose to avail themselves of the opportunity of at once proceeding to the country ; and requesting the Police Magistrate to make arrangements to receive those who might be sent. Accordingly, by yesterday’s steamer, 57 of the immigrants reached Maitland, and have been lodged in the house formerly occupied by Mr. Rae, next door to the late Blue Bell Inn, East Maitland ; and are now ready to make engagements. Of the new arrivals, 10 are single men, 10 single women, the remainder married couples



The Maitland Mercury… Wednesday 11 October 1848, page 1


The Maitland Mercury… Wednesday 3 January 1849, page 2.

A stream of immigration from the mother country has also once more set in upon us, and, as our immigration debt has been paid off, we have every prospect of a steady accession of population from the same source










SIR-I came to Maitland last week for the  purpose of hiring a few immigrants. I attended the places where they are quartered, and I could not see more, than six or eight at either place.  In taking a ride over to West Maitland I met them in lots of six or eight, and numbers I saw taking their walks on the race-course. These  walks ought to be taken at times so as not to  inconvenience people that may come to hire  these gentlemen. Some observations on this  subject may cause such restrictions as will  operate for the benefit of all parties.

I remain,

sir, yours truly,

Newcastle, July 14, 1849.

J. S.

The Maitland Mercury… Wednesday 18 July 1849, page 2.




Immigrants.-On Thursday 124 of the immigrants per Kate arrived in Maitland per steamer, comprising 21 married couples, 19 young men and 11 young women above the age of fourteen years, 13 boys and 8 girls between ten and fourteen years, and 31 children under ten years. Of these there had been hired up to yesterday afternoon four married men, as farm or general servants, one at 6s. per week, and the others at £16, £20, and £23 per year, the two latter having one a son and the other a wife to assist, and the first getting current harvest and reaping wages in those seasons ; seven young men, five as farm servants, at £12, £13, £14, and £16 per year, and two as shepherds, at £16 per year ; and one boy of thirteen years as domestic servant, at £4 the first year and £6 the second ; all these parties having rations or board and lodging, in proportion to services .


The Maitland Mercury… Saturday 29 September 1849, page 2.

Contracts for 1850.- In the Government Gazette of Tuesday last appear the usual notices calling for tenders for supplies for the colonial service, in such quantities as may be required, during twelve months commencing 1st January, 1850; one notice calls for such tenders for districts within the boundaries, and the other for districts beyond the boundaries, and in both cases tenders will be received at the Colonial Secretary’s Office, Sydney, until twelve o’clock of Monday, 12th November. The districts within the boundaries which are comprised in the Hunter River and,northern districts, are Mudgee, Newcastle and Raymond Terrace, Dungog, Maitland, Wollombi and Macdonald River, Paterson, Patrick’s -Plains, Merton and Muswellbrook, Scone and Murrurundi, and Cassilis. The districts beyond the boundaries comprised in the same portion of the colony, are Bligh, Liverpool Plains, Gwydir, New England, Darling Downs, Clarence River, and Maranoa. In these latter districts it is noted, that the stations at which supplies will be required to be delivered, are-Dubbo, Canamble, and Wiabra, in the district of Bligh ; Tamworth, Wee Waa, and Pockataroo, in the district of Liverpool Plains; Warialda, in the district of Gwydir; Armidale, Wellingrove, and Tenterfield, in the district of New England ; Drayton and Warwick, in the district of Darling Downs ; Grafton and Tabulam, in the district of Clarence River ; in the district of Maranoa no stations are named.