EXHIBITIONSParramatta has a collection of quality exhibition spaces within the city. The Parramatta Artists Studios, the Heritage Centre and the Riverside Theatres are the main gallery-style spaces in Parramatta and they host a number of compelling exhibitions throughout the year. ICE; the Information and Cultural Exchange, an arts-based organisation supporting creative arts development in Western Sydney, is based in Parramatta. They produce or support a large range of creative pursuits (workshops, performances, industry networking events) and some of these involve exhibitions of new work. Other ‘expo’ style exhibitions occur too, most of these taking place at the Grand Pavillion at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse. A diverse range of interests are showcased over the calendar year from Quilting and Craft and Golfing to Parenting, Careers, Caravans and Camping…. even Country Week comes to town.
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Sunday 20 August 1809
- Whereas a Promissory Note of Hand drawn by John Curtis of Parramatta in favour of one
Thomas Jones for the Sum of £40 Sterling, was about a twelvemonth ago lost at Parramatta, and has not since been recovered. Now this is to give Notice, that the said Note was negotiated to me, Hugh Davlyn, of Richmond Hill, who do hereby acknowledge to have received from the above Drawer (John Curtis) full satisfaction for the same ; I do therefore forbid all persons receiving the same under any pretence whatever, as it is the sole property of the said John Curtis; any person rendering it up to whom or to myself will be hand- somely rewarded. Hugh Davlyn,
JOHN CURTIS OF DAGLINGSWORTH. IMAGES TAKEN SEPTEMBER 2011.
John Curtis was probably born in Daglingworth/Bristol England c 1750 and was married at St Phillips and Jacobs in Bristol to Jane Purrier in 1773. They had 10 children. John practiced accountancy until the early 1790’s .
In March 1795 he was tried and convicted at the Lent Assizes in Gloucester on 4 counts of “forging, counterfeiting, coining . . . silver coin of the realm called a sixpence”. He was sentenced to 7 years which was transmuted to transportation to Australia. He left England on the Ganges in August 1796 and arrived in Sydney on 2 June 1797.
In his first years in NSW he worked for the Government as a dairyman at Toongabbie. He was promoted to overseer and Superintendent of the Government herd in 1802.
John was emancipated on 4 June 1802 and the next year petitioned Governor King for permission to return to his family in England, unaware that his wife, Jane, had died from consumption in 1800. Despite his good reputation and that Governor Patterson, George Johnston and Rev. Marsden signed his plea he never returned to England.
In 1802, an Irish convict, Ann Moran arrived in NSW and was assigned to work for John. They eventually married in 1814 and had 5 children (not necessarily in that order).
In 1809 John was granted 80 acres of land at Liberty Plains (now Chester Hill), Sydney. Curtis Rd in Chester Hill runs across part of this land grant. By 1821 he owned a house in Parramatta, which he left to his oldest daughter, Betsy, 26 head of cattle and a mare, a 30 acre farm on Sydney Rd, near Haslem’s Creek (now Lidcombe), adjoining a grant of 100 acres made to Ann after John’s death. This land stayed in the family.
The Villawood Migrant Hostel in Millers Rd Villawood stands on John Curtis’s original estate.
John Curtis Petition to Governor King in 1803
This is from “Kings Papers” in Sydney Library. It was sent to me by Ken Eccleston about 15 (?) years ago. Looking at the handwriting it is very similar to my father’s handwriting (also a John) – he always had the reputation of having beautiful handwriting when he was young; may be it is inherited. Dad was also an accountant.
John Curtis Letter to Governor MacQuarie
John died on 12 September 1821 and is buried at St John’s Pioneer Cemetery Parramatta.
John Curtis Will:
Ann Moran (c1767 – 1832)
Born c 1767 in Ireland. She was one of the first hundred Irish women convicts to come to Australia. She arrived on the “Hercules” in 1802 after being convicted in County Heath, Ireland.
After arrival she was assigned to work for John Curtis1 They eventually married on 6 August 1814 at St John’s Parramatta, NSW, and had 5 children, not necessarily in that order.
After John’s death in 1821 she applied for and was given a further land grant of 100 acres adjoining John’s original 30 acres in c1824.
Ann died ion 6 October 1832 and was buried at the site of Central Railway Station in Sydney. Later the original cemetery was moved to the Pioneer Cemetery at Botany.
EXTRACT FROM http://www.ulladulla.info/historian/1804deaths.html
SG 19 Jan 1806. Last week a native informed Tarlington, a settler, that the skeleton of a white man, with a musket and tin kettle laying beside him, had been seen under the first ridge of the mountains. The settler accompanied the native, and found the skeleton, and as described, the bones of which being very long, leads to a more than probable conjecture, that the remains are those of James Hughes, who absconded from Castle Hill the 15th of February 1804, in company with 15 others, most of whom had recently arrived in the Hercules, on the ridiculous pretext of finding a road to China, but in reality to commit the most unheard of depredations; the consequences of which were, that the whole except Hughes were shortly apprehended, and 13 capitally convicted before the Criminal Court, of whom two were executed, and 11 pardoned. Hughes was an able active man, well known in Ireland during the rebellion that existed in that country for his abominable depravities; and it is hoped his miserable end will warn the thoughtless, inexperienced and depraved against an inclination to exchange the comfort and security derived from honest labour, to depart from which can only lead to the most fatal consequences
Leader in the 1804 Battle of Vinegar Hill – rebellion executed at Parramatta and hung in chains, Convict Hercules I 1802
By Jim Smyth
There are 11 mentions of a John Curtis in the years 1800-1810 in the Sydney Newspapers.
THE PROMISORY NOTE.
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803-1842) Sunday 3 September 1809
GRANTS WERE MADE TO :
he Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803-1842) Sunday 17 December 1809
Martin Sweeney Isaac Cornwall
Michael Murphy Stephen Shore
John Jones Humphry Thorn
Thomas Mansfield John Handle
John Liquorice James Ruse
James Plunkett William Ward
John Lacy Edward Ryan
Thomas Dunn John Miller
John Rowe Edward Miles
John Jones John Nichols
Hannah Taylor Annesly McGra
Elizabeth Moore Hume Richard Hammet
Richard Dowling David Batty
John Curtis Edward Main
Thomas Rose Obadiah Ikin
Charles Tompson Mary Shepley
Thomas Green John Burgin
Alexander Ikin John Farlington
Andrew Cunningham John Jones
I also am descended from John Curtis and Ann Moran through their daughter Catherine and George Eccleston. I am their third great-grandson.
In two weeks, my wife and I will be visiting Ireland and I am hoping that I might be able to do a bit more research on the ground about Ann as she certainly seems to have been a remarkable woman.
I am trying to resolve a number of discrepancies between various items of information in my possession.
The best information seems to indicate that she was convicted in Trim in Co Meath in 1797 (coincidentally the year that John arrived in Sydney)in connection with political activities and that she was held in jail in Ireland for five years before being transported to Australia on the Hercules in November 1801, arriving here on 26 June 1802. One record in the State Library implies that the prisoners on the Hercules were convicted for offences in the “late rebellion” which can only mean the United Irishmen in 1798 from the context.
I should be grateful for any information you can provide that might assist with my research in Ireland.
While visiting my son and his family in London after Ireland, I intend to return to Bristol to undertake more research into John Curtis. I obtained a lot of information 18 months ago including records of the marriage of John Curtis and Jane Purrier and of the baptisms of all 11 of their children in St Philip and St Jacobs Church in Cheese Lane, Bristol. From these records, I managed to visit the three streets in which they lived at the times of the births of different children. For most of their married life they lived in Cheese Lane, near the Church. I suspect that as his accountancy practice failed and he got into financial difficulties, the family was forced to move to less salubrious accommodation.
I also managed to obtain copies of one press report of John’s conviction and death sentence at Gloucester Assizes for coining. The judge must have been feeling sympathy for John because another man convicted and sentenced to death at the same sittings was immediately taken for “execution of the sentence” but the judge commuted John’s sentence to transportation for life.
After returning to Australia in April 2008, I managed to locate descendants of John’s and Jane’s youngest child in New York.
I am placing the READY OR NOT research on a page of its own. (see above). Updated today is the story of JOHANNAH READY and FRANCIS PENDERGRAST.
THE SAG Newsletter reports that Dr Tanya Evans, now of Macquarie University, is engaged in researching the history of motherhood in early Colonial Australia and Britain between 1750 and 1850. The focus has caught my fancy. My Mind seems to have taken a disproportionate amount of time in recovering from the Change of year and the Summer Season and I haven’t been able to get my mental historical hard drive functioning at all but this little article has begun to bring the ghosts back to life again. Dr Evans is asking for assistance from any who have worked extensively on their family histories and have details of mothers from these early times. Dept of Modern History at Macquarie University, Sydney would have the contact details for you.
As for me, it has me thinking of all the Mothers of Mine who and the folkore I have been given. The Scottish Widow who was asked to be Laird of the Clan but came out here with her children instead. Johannah Ready Prendergast, whose son John was sent as a convict to Government House at Windsor where his mother was Housekeeper. I wonder often about Johannah who was 47 when convicted in Ireland. She tried to have another son and his family sent out but failed. When John’s marriage failed and he became excessively odd in his behaviour and was sentenced to Moreton Bay, Johannah disappears from the records. I like to think she followed him.
Ann Moran and Hannah Hutchings/Hitchens. What was it like for them to be mothers here in the early 19th Century ? Young convict women. Ann had 5 children to John Curtis who was already husband and father to a family in England and had attempted to have them brought to him. Hannah was recorded as a ‘ loose woman’ on the convict ship THE BROTHERS. How did her life as a mother develop from that starting point and from the death of her first husband in the Lunatic Asylum, Liverpool ?
JOHN WAS GRANTED LAND ON 17 DECEMBER 1809 BY GOVERNOR PATTERSON. LATER CANCELLED AND THEN RE-GRANTED BY MCARTHUR IN 1810.
SOME MORE BACKGROUND NATIONAL LIBRARY AUSTRALIA ARTICLES REFERRING TO PARRAMATTA OF THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY.
|YEAR||FAMILY NEWS||NATIONAL LIBRARY HISTORIC NEWSPAPERS ARTICLES OF THE TIME|
On 17th December 1809 JOHN CURTIS was notified that Lt Gov Patterson had granted him land at Parramatta.
January 14, 1809.
JOHN CURTIS wrote a memorial to Gov Macquarie seeking confirmation of the grant. ( sm folio pp 4 1810 NSW Colonial Sec in letters and memorials 1810 AK NO 80 REEL 1066 AONSW
The Sydney Gazette and… Sunday 14 January 1810, page 1.
SOME OF THE OFFICERS WHO HELD OFFICE BEFORE THE LATE GOVERNOR WAS ARRESTED ARE RE-INSTATED TO THEIR POSITIONS INC REV FULTON.
Ann too was proving to be a marvellous help and mother and on Wed 3rd July 1811 gave birth to their third son PETER.
Clear orders from the Governor regarding illegal brewing of beer and spirits in Sydney and in the out-settlements which included PARRAMATTA. A list of names of people granted licences. Ann Moran is not listed here but in later years is issued with a brewing licence.
During March 1812 there were again heavy rains and the Hawkesbury rose 12 feet over its banks. Flood years seemed to stir John’s spirit for on 7th December he further petitioned the Governor , this time for a free pardon which was granted
As cattle were always straying through the burial grounds behind St Johns Church Parramatta, an appeal for funds towards enclosing the grounds was made, to which JOHN CURTIS subscribed ( Sydney Gazette Jan 1813).
The Sydney Gazette and… Saturday 13 February 1813, page 4.
An iron grey horse had also strayed – from Smith’s Paddock, at the PARK GATE near PARRAMATTA. The owner JAMES WRIGHT offered a 20 shillings reward.
ANN MORAN and JOHN CURTIS MARRY
The trial and tale of a sordid murder at the Turnpike at Parramatta. A story of RAGGED RASCALS and COARSE WOMEN. Of HOOLAGHAN and SUITAR. Of a yellow handkerchief and a piece of lead worn in an ear.
The Sydney Gazette and… Saturday 7 October 1815, page 2.
The second Thursday of March meant that the half-yearly fair was to be held in PARRAMATTA and it was expected that it would be well attended.
IN addition there is an account of a fatal trip to the Shoal Haven and of the party sent to look for missing men.
The patronesses of the FEMALE ORPHAN INSTITUTION are named.
THIS PRESENT SEASON OF SCARCITY.
A calamitous season of floods leads to Government Orders regarding rations. Details are set out in the article.
JOHN CURTIS AND ANN MORAN WERE GRANTED LAND IN PARRAMATTA IN 1809 .
THE EVENTS OF THE CURTIS ERA WERE REPORTED IN THE SYDNEY GAZETTE – NOW THANKFULLY ONLINE. FOLLOW THE LINKS TO THE WORLD OF THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY OUT AT PARRAMATTA.
The Sydney Gazette and… Saturday 2 April 1803, page 1.
|http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625427||THE INSURGENTS AT CASTLE HILL|
The Sydney Gazette and… Saturday 26 March 1803, page 4
|EXECUTIONS RESULTING FROM CASTLE HILL UPRISING.|
ANN MORAN CURTIS : FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF JOHN
FROM PHIL READY’S READY OR NOT.
In his will JOHN CURTIS left everything to ANN in trust for his children, ELIZABETH, JAMES, JOHN, PETER and CATHERINE.
Ann having an equal portion in the rest. To his married daughter ELIZABETH READY he also left 10 head of cattle.
This left 26 head of cattle and 2 mares, a certain house in the township of PARRAMATTA , and a 30 acre farm along the SYDNEY ROAD which he had bought from JAMES WRIGHT. These were to be divided as evenly as possible between ANN and the children but if ANN were to remarry ad the childrens’ shares become endangered , then his friends, JOHN LACEY and THOMAS GARTY were to become the guardians of his children’s property until they were able to look after their own interests. Witnesses to his signature were JOHN LACEY, THOMAS GARTY and his son-in-law JOHN READY.
Two months after John’s death, a letter came from J MEEHAN ordering him to remove his herds etc from his land at TOONGABBIE as it was now required by the Government. ( NSW COL SEC in letters p 14 reel 2167 ) .
ANN had received a grant of 100 acres at PARRAMATTA ( Vol 18 p 169) and was leasing two small blocks nearby one of 36 perches ( Vol 16 pp 339 and one of 38 perches Vol 16 p 231 ) In 1822 she is reported as supplying yeast for the prisoner’s barracks at PARRAMATTA (A 766 p 2 ML)
As ANN’S brewing licence had expired although her eyesight had been damaged in an accident she went to SYDNEY on 5 MARCH 1822 to renew the licence. Upon her return she found that her brewery with most of its stock had been destroyed by fire. There was always the danger of this happening for at that time there were only wood fires for cooking or oil lamps for lighting. The fire was put out with the help of several people and in the 14th March Edition of the AUSTRALIAN Ann thanked them for their help. At the same time she circulated a petition for help from the local populace to get started in business again so that she could feed her children. ( petition to the people of SYDNEY from ANN CURTIS )
The 16 October 1822 edition of the SYDNEY GAZETTE carried an advertisement from Ann advertising that she was leaving the Colony but in November that year a court case COOPER V CURTIS took place with the verdict being found in favour of COOPER.
On the 10 November 1822, J T CAMPBELL placed a notice in the SYDNEY GAZETTE,
“Pursuant to levy I will cause to be set up and sold. one Cow and calf, 1 pig,a small quantity of sugar and sundry household items of furniture . I will further sell by auction at my office in HUNTER STREET at 12 noon the defendant CURTIS’ right, title and interest in and to the house wherein she now resides situated near the Turnpike gate at PARRAMATTA on the road leading to WINDSOR being on a corner of the road leading to the ORPHAN SCHOOL.
On Tuesday 25 November 1823 JOHN CURTIS’ request for land was granted ( too late for JOHN ) : 80 acres at PILGRIM HILL, LIBERTY PLAINS. (Bk p 4 D 225 ) . The following year 1824 on page 4 of the 19th February Edition of the SYDNEY GAZETTE Ann’s home was again advertised for sale and she moved to the 30 acre farm on SYDNEY ROAD where in 1826 she was listed as property owner ( Wentworth Papers A 767 p39).
As soon as he was old enough PETER CURTIS was apprenticed as a BUTCHER to WILLIAM SHARP in HUNTER ST SYDNEY and on 5 DECEMEBER 1828 gave sworn evidence for SHARP when SHARP was accused of dishonesty. Apparently Sharp was unable to read and signed a document read out to him by one BENJAMIN KIRKBY purported to be an agreement to lease a house which Kirkby was about to take from one MERRITH. it later turned out that what Kirkby had really tricked Sharp into signing was a bill of exchange for 50 pounds and it was only because of PETER being there at the time that he was able to appear as a witness for SHARP.
By 1828 John and Ann Curtis’ eldest son JAMES had reached the age of 22 and had met and courted MARY PARSONS born in the Colony in 1811. During the year they were joined in marriage and set up home together.
When the Census was taken in November of 1828, there were only 15 year old Catherine, Ann and 72 year old JOHN BRYAN left living at the SYDNEY ROAD property. Bryan had arrived on Sat 15 Feb 1806 aboard the TELLICHERRY and was working as a labourer for ANN.
(This census shows ANN as arriving on the ATLAS but careful research shows that none of the three Anns who arrived aboard that ship married a CURTIS. AS THE ATLAS and HERCULES had left the same port on the same day sailing most of the way together it is reasonable to assume that a mistake has been made in the entry.)
1829 saw the birth of a son JOHN HENRY to JAMES and MARY CURTIS and to ELIZABETH READY who had given birth to a daughter in 1826, a son- PETER MARK READY.
WHAT part if any ANN played in the events that shook the family in 1829-30 is not known but one day in 1830 her son-in-law JOHN READY arrived at her farm with some cattle which were branded JC on their rumps . These beasts he left at the farm and departed. The next day they were removed by the Police. Later JEREMIAH DALEY who lived at the farm testified that JOHN READY was the one who brought them there.
Two years later on 6 October at the age of 60, ANN died and was buried at the SYDNEY BURIAL GROUND, at that time where central Railway Station now stands. About 73 years after ANN’S burial, when the land was required to build the Railway Station and tracks her remains were transferred to the PIONEER SECTION of BOTANY CEMETERY where her headstone still stands today among those of numerous well known early settlers.
2. JOHN CURTIS MARRIED 1814 TO ANN MORAN
1 1803 ELIZABETH MARRIED 1820 TO JOHN READY 2 1806 JAMES MARRIED 1828 TO MARY PARSONS 3 1807 JOHN 4 1811 PETER MARRIED 1842 TO ADELA AUSTIN 5 1814 CATHERINE MARRIED 1833 TO GEORGE ECCLESTON
JAMES CURTIS became a very successful cabinetmaker, upholsterer and UNDERTAKER carrying on his business in HUNTER STREET , SYDNEY and several times having to move into larger premises. After the death of his wife MARY in 1848, JAMES with a family of 7 children to care for remarried , his wife being ELLEN SWEENEY.
CATHERINE continued to live at the SYDNEY ROAD property until she married GEORGE ECCLESTON who had arrived in NSW as a soldier and was later a founding member of the NSW MOUNTED POLICE.
Very little is know of JOHN CURTIS JNR and although there is an interesting story of a JOHN CURTIS who was executed in 1828 for stealing a cow at BRINGELLY belonging to W C WENTWORTH, the account does not appear to tie up with our JOHN whom I believe was in the MOLONGOLO PLAINS AREA where he advertised in 1844 for three lost horses which had strayed. It was to this general area that PETER CURTIS and GEORGE ECCLESTON moved after their respective marriages with George setting up his cattle station BLACKFOREST near COOMA and PETER running a very successful cattle and butchering business there . The last known of JOHN JNR was at DIAMOND CREEK in VICTORIA . After that there were too many JOHN CURTIS’ to distinguish one from another.
PETER CURTIS raised a family of four girls and one son and lived until 1885 , his wife ADELAIDE, having died in 1875 at the age of 52.
CATHERINE and GEORGE ECCLESTON had a family of two boys and eight girls. both George and Catherine died in 1882. George on the 18 May and Catherine on 22 September at the age of 62.
No person whatever is to pass through or
into the Town of Parramatta, either by
night or day, with a musket , who has not
the Magistrate’s permission for that purpose.
By Command of His Excellency,
G. Blaxcell Acting Sec.
June 7, 1805
JOHN AND ANN PART 2. PARRAMATTA
FROM PHIL READY’S READY OR NOT.
KING’S successor WILLIAM BLIGH had even more trouble with MACARTHUR and the NSW CORPS as he was more interested in discipline than seeing the officers get rich for he well remembered the mutiny of his crew on the BOUNTY. So while JOHN and ANN worked hard to build a future for their family which had grown to five with the birth of two sons, JAMES and JOHN, friction was building up between BLIGH and MACARTHUR.
The smaller settlers and emancipists whom the Corps despised, backed BLIGH as he tried to bring the Corps under control and stop them abusing the privileges they had squeezed from his predecessors. On Friday 1st January 1808 as evidence of their backing they penned an address of loyalty to him , which JOHN CURTIS also signed.
Unfortunately, under the threat of financial ruin along with other signatories, John was forced to retract and sign another in favour of MAJOR JOHNSTON when MCARTHUR and the more influential settlers , feeling threatened by Bligh, persuaded Johnston to depose BLIGH and assume command himself ( Banks papers. vol 622 captan bligh and nsw corps 1906 1811 p 301).
As no provision had been made for settlers by the English Government when setting up the prison Colony, there was a great shortage of coins at this period so coins from other nationalities were put into use and IOUS and PROMISSORY NOTES came into circulation. John Curtis was unfortunate enough to lose one of these promissary notes and during March 1809 advertised in the papers for its return. ( Check the details on https://lynnesheritage.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/st-johns-church-parramatta-john-curtis-and-ann-moran/. They read a little differently with access to NLA ).
Leaving Lt Gov Patterson in charge McArthur and Johnston made the mistake of going to England to explain their actions to the English Government which was not amused by the way they had deposed BLIGH. Major Johnston was casheered and John McArthur exiled from the Colony for 8 years.
On 17th December 1809 JOHN CURTIS was notified that Lt Gov Patterson had granted him land at Parramatta. Eleven Days later Lachlan Macquarie Bligh’s replacement arrived and within a few weeks had assessed the situation and cancelled everything that had been done officially since Johnston had deposed Bligh ; all land grants, appointments and trials. It had been decided that the NSW CORPS was to become one of the ordinary regiments of the British Army and sent home.
With staggering speed Macquarie started to clean up the mess he had inherited for he found the population continually threatened with starvation, the buildings decaying and the morals of most of the population in the lowest state of debasement whilst religious worship seemed to be in a state of almost total neglect. Arrival of the grain ship MARIAN a fortnight after Macquaries arrival followed by a mild autumn and bounteous spring partly relieved the problem of feeding the starving community and Macquarie was able to concentrate on other matters needing his attention.
Cancellation of all land grants made during the rebel’s rule meant that JOHN CURTIS too lost the land granted to him by Lt Col Gov Patterson so he wrote a memorial to Gov Macquarie seeking confirmation of the grant. ( sm folio pp 4 1810 NSW Colonial Sec in letters and memorials 1810 AK NO 80 REEL 1066 AONSW). Macquarie as was his way when dealing with those he considered worthy emancipists acquiesced.
The skills John was acquiring in the Colony coupled with those he had learned as an accountant in England were coming in handy and life was improving steadily for he appears to have been able to use some of the Government Land at the dairy for his own cattle. Ann too was proving to be a marvellous help and mother and on Wed 3rd July 1811 gave birth to their third son PETER. This was ANN’s 4th child but John’s 16th, two of his English children had died before he left England leaving 5 sons and 5 daughters there.
During March 1812 there were again heavy rains and the Hawkesbury rose 12 feet over its banks. Flood years seemed to stir John’s spirit for on 7th December he further petitioned the Governor , this time for a free pardon which was granted. (NSW COL SEC IN LETTERS Petitions mitigating sentences 1811 – 1812 pp 110-111 reels 1227 and 612 ) (register of pardons and tickets of leave Vol 1 p 183 Col Sec papers COD ML ).
As cattle were always straying through the burial grounds behind St Johns Church Parramatta, an appeal for funds towards enclosing the grounds was made, to which JOHN CURTIS subscribed ( Sydney Gazette Jan 1813).
On Tuesday 16 August 1814 in a ceremony at St Johns Church at Parramatta witnessed by Chistopher Grogan and Margaret Neale , JOHN CURTIS and ANN MORAN were married. This ceremony was followed by the baptism of 3 year old PETER and his baby sister CATHERINE ( Kitty) born on 7th June that year ( 1814) . A muster taken at this time lists JOHN, ANN and these 2 children as still being supplied from Govt Stores whilst the other 3 children were not.
The CURTIS children grew as the years passed with all helping out on the farm as they became able . Elizabeth blossomed into a young woman and JOHN READY who lived nearby became interested in her. In 1829 when ELIZABETH was 17 and JOHN READY was 30 they were married.
With other ROMAN CATHOLIC members of the community, JOHN CURTIS signed a petition to J T BIGGE for a ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL when Bigges came out to the Colony to investigate and report on how it was going. ( 20 Feb 1820 Bigges Report app p 3943).
Because of John’s advanced age,( he was now 72), ANN CURTIS set up business for herself. On 21 April 1821 she paid into the POLICE FUND for 6 months brewing licence and a retailing licence ( Wenworth Papers dip 228).
Almost six months later on Wed 12 September 1821 , John Curtis died and was laid to rest in the BURIAL GROUND behind ST JOHNS CHURCH PARRAMATTA.
ST JOHNS FEATURES THROUGHOUT THE FAMILY.
The Sydney Gazette and… Sunday 10 April 1803, page 4.
This being Easter Sunday, Divine
Service will be performed by the Rev. Mr.
Marsden, at St. John’s Church Parramatta, for the first time.
FROM PHIL READY’S “READY OR NOT”.
JOHN CURTIS – 1749-1821
At his trial March 1795 in Gloucester, England, forty five year old accountant , John Curtis, was found guilty of coinage. (forging coins) and sent to Portsmouth where he was placed aboard the prison hulk LION to await a ship for the Colony of NSW . Separated from his wife Jane and 10 remaining children who lived in the Parish of St Augustin Bristol, he was never to see them again.
1. JOHN CURTIS married 1773 to JANE PURRIER
THE CHILDREN OF JOHN AND JANE CURTIS
1 1774 ELIZABETH 2 1776 SARAH 3 1778 JOHN 4 1779 THOMAS 5 1780 ? 6 1781 JOSHUA 7 1782 FRANCIS 8 1784 WILLIAM 9 1784 BENJAMIN 10 1785 WILLIAM H 11 1787 ANN 12 1793 CHARLOTTE
During the 18 months wait, John and the other prisoners aboard THE LION were “employed as health and weather permitted” by instructions from Mr James Bradley and in compliance with the desire of the Master General in Ordinance, in removing mud and gravel , raising, sloping and preparing Glacis on Weevil lines near Gosport and other occasional works under the direction of the Engineer appointed to superintend the fortifications at that place. ( HULK RETURNS. PRO REEL 3557 AONSW).
On 29th September 1796 John was discharged from the LION , placed aboard the GANGES and sailed via Rio de Janeiro to New South Wales. Arriving at Sydney Town on 2 June 1797 he was sent to the Government Stores and put to work there. John’s skills at reading and writing would have been of great benefit at the stores and he worked so well there that three years later he was promoted to an overseer and a numerous stock of cattle placed in his care. ( Petition from John Curtis to Governor King – King papers Vol 1 pp 66-69 M.L.)
John had been overseeing the dairy for two years when he was advised that there was also to be a dairymaid at the dairy. Enquiries revealed that her name was ANN MORAN.
ANN had been tried at MEATH, IRELAND, during the Spring of 1800. Found guilty , sentenced to seven years transportation to NSW she too was held in custody to await a ship. On Sunday the 29th November 1901, two vessels, HERCULES with Ann aboard and ATLAS sailed from the port of CORK.
HERCULES – a two deck square masted vessel of 395 tons burthen built in Newcastle England was armed with 10 guns, carried a crew of between 32 and 35 men , 140 male and 25 female prisoners and several passengers among them MAJOR JOHNSTON who was later to figure prominently in the history of the Colony. The ship HERCULES also carried a detachment of the NSW Corps under CAPTAIN RALPH WILSON ( PRO REEL 413 WO 12/9901 FOLIO 160 ML)
GRANTED an emancipation by Governor King on the Anniversary of GEORGE III , JOHN CURTIS was now a free man but unable to leave the Colony.Very lonely he formed an attachment with ANN MORAN but, sadly missing his family and unaware that his wife JANE PURRIER had died in 1800, tried in 1803 to obtain permission to return home to them. Taking up his quill and paper, John wrote in his neat script to the Governor. ( I am presuming Phil Ready sighted these documents. )
” HIS Excellency Governor King,
Your humble petr, John Curtis begs leave to state that he is now at the advanced age of 60 years.
Marked by the hand of misfortune he was torn from a beloved family and a wife and ten children who live in the Parish of St Augustin City of Bristol, tried at Gloster March Assizes 1795 convicted and arrived in this Colony in the ship GANGES . That petr has been three years in his Majesty’s Stores and from that situation promoted to an overseer and a numerous stock of cattle consigned to his care.
Petitioner need not to a gentleman of your Excellencies perspicacity and distinguised knowledge point out his unwearied attention and strict integrity in the dishcarge of his duty suffice to say that thru your Excellencies experience Wisdom of Humanity you were pleased to extend his majesties gracious bounty of an emancipation on the celebration of H.M. anniversary on June 4 1802.
The petr situation and conduct so universally known to the gentleman of this country emboldens him to solicit their signatures as a testimony of his good behaviour in every situation since his arrival and trusting in the merciful disposition of your Excellency has ever invinced in the cause of justice, humanity and the unfortunate must humbly implore a further extension of the Royal clemency by suffering him to returning and spending his latter days with a long estranged family who with petitioner as in duty bound.
Under the signature of John CURTIS are the signatures of
1. W Patterson Lt Governor
2. Geo Johnston
3. Rev Samuel Marsden
4. Thomas Jamieson Supt of Govt Stock
John’s petition could not be granted as it was not within the Governor’s power to do so but ANN had already become pregant to John and later that year have birth to a daughter whom they named ELIZABETH, perhaps after John’s first daughter, Elizabeth, born in England in 1744.
The busy Governor had other things on his mind and a revolt in 1804 by the convicts at CASTLE HILL, only a few miles from John and Ann, made him realise how much his authority depended on the unruly NSW CORPS. The thought kept him on edge for he was having trouble with its officers and more especially with its paymaster JOHN MACARTHUR who wanted the Governor to comply with the CORPS’ wishes and become rich. By 1806 King had had enough and resigned as Governor.
- http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625518 The Sydney Gazette and… Sunday 17 April 1803, page 3.
On Sunday last St. John’s Church, at Parramatta, was opened, and Divine Service performed by the Rev. Mr. Marsden ; who delivered an excellent Sermon on the following Text,
But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth ? behold, heaven, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built !” II. Chron. c. vi. v. l8 : In the course of which he made some animated allusions to the structure of ‘Solomon’s Temple,, and afterwards gradually traced the progress of Religion in succeeding ages, adverting to tge many solid advantages that must be necessarily derived to this Colony, from a proper observance of the duties of christianity and a religious worship.
The concourse of persons that attended from all parts of the Colony, and the becoming silence that prevailed, added much to the solemnity of the service. Many Ladies of the first respectability were present, some of whom went purposely from Sydney ; and the Military Detachment on duty at Parramatta, were alfo partakers at the sacred festival. St. John’s Church may justly be stiled the finest building in the Colony ; the paintings are well designed, and tolerably executed. The Altar Piece, tho’ somewhat heavy, is nevertheless entitled to praise. The pews are not yet put up, but when they are, it will certainly become a handsome, well-finished. and commodious place of worship.
On Wednesday last, at St. John’s Church,
Parramatta, Lawrence Brady, baker to M.
Peat, spinster. She is the first young woman
married from the Orphan House.
- A STORY FROM THE NLA HISTORIC NEWSPAPERS OF A NOTE OF HAND INVOLVING JOHN CURTIS OF PARRAMATTA AND HUGH DEVLYN.
Whereas a Promissory Note of Hand drawn by John Curtis of Parramatta in favor of one Thomas Jones for the Sum of £40 Sterling, was about a twelvemonth ago lost at Parramatta, and has not since been recovered. Now this is to give Notice, that the said Note was negociated to me, Hugh Davlyn, of Richmond Hill, who do hereby acknowledge to have received from the above Drawer (John Curtis) full satisfaction for the same ; I do therefore forbid all persons receiving the same under any pretence whatever, as it is the sole property of the said John Curtis; any person rendering it up to whom or to myself will be handsomely rewarded. Hugh Davlyn.
The Sydney Gazette and… Sunday 3 September 1809, page 2.
The Hobart Town Gazette… Saturday 1 May 1819, page 2.
JACK, JOYCE AND JEAN WITH JESSIE SARAH NEE (READY) BELL
1927 : DESCENDANTS OF JOHN CURTIS.
See General Orders of March 10, 1797, and January 14,1804), with details of the rights of convict servants inc rates of pay,rations, hours etc.
JOHN CURTIS CAME AS CONVICT ON THE GANGES IN 1797. RANDOM EXTRACTS FROM NLA NEWSPAPERS MENTIONING THE NAME JOHN CURTIS. ONCE AGAIN . COULD BE OUR JOHN. MIGHT NOT BE. NEVERTHELESS THE ENTRIES ARE WORTH READING ON THE NATIONAL LIBRARY AUSTRALIA WEBSITE.
SYDNEY GAZETTE 1809
Lost or Mislaid, a Note of Hand drawn by John Curtis in favor of Thomas Jones for £40. This is to caution the Public against receiving in payment the said Note, it being my property.
More about the same note. Could well be Grandfather John since he lived at Parramatta at this time.
Mary-Anne Warner’s site transcribing STATE RECORDS of SHIPS. easy to navigate. Detailed.
There’s many a story to tell . . .
Masters, crew, a stowaway or two; passengers, cabin, saloon and steerage; births at sea, deaths at sea; deserters; vessels with one crew and one passenger and those with 70 crew and hundreds of passengers; simple single sail boats, barques, brigs, large steam ships; whaling voyages, regular coastal passenger trips, voyages from other Australian ports, London, San Francisco, China and other exotic ports – you will find them all here.
The lists on this site are being transcribed from the State Records Authority of NSW Reels of the Shipping Master’s Office, Inwards Passengers Lists . . . . . . are added to weekly
JOHN CURTIS CAME ON THE GANGES 1797. ALSO ON BOARD :
|Ticket of Leave details for John Flynn
Trade or calling
State Records shelf ref
State Records reel no
|Ticket of Leave details for James Gregg
State Records shelf ref
State Records reel no