Category Archives: THREE BEES

JOHN READY c 1790-1831 PT 2.

Whilst John Ready journeyed out, Governor Macquarie had been making tremendous advances in the affairs of the Colony and had worked hard to better the lot of all. The new towns of Windsor, Castlereagh, Wilberforce and Pittown that he had created were going well, but the Gentry were upset by his kindness and thoughtfulness to the emancipists whom he considered to be the backbone of the future nation. He was also having problems with the 73rd Regiment and asked that it be removed complete for instead of upholding the law, it was like its predecessor the NSW Rum Corps, flouting it. (Macquarie His Life, Adventures and Times. A. M. Ellis.)

Drought had continued all through the Summer and Autumn of early 1814, but by April the road to Windsor was finished and the Turnpike from Sydney to Liverpool almost completed, with all able bodied men having to contribute labour in building the section near the properties, which would benefit them when completed. 

It was into this scene, with food becoming ever scarcer as the drought continued and the Colony awaiting the shipment of grain from India, that JOHN READY and the other prisoners from the THREE BEES entered.

Taken to the prisoners’ barracks they were divided into groups, allocated to Parramatta, Windsor or Liverpool and sent there under guard. John , travelling along the newly completed road was sent to WINDSOR and put to work in the Government Dairy. Whether this was just coincidence, or because his mother, JOHANNAH READY, worked in Government House is unknown, but he was receiving rations there in 1814 (Windsor Ration Book loc. A 803 pp 56,66,116 ML) and in the same year was mentioned as being Overseer at the Government Dairy.

Towards the end of that desperate year, whilst Cox was building his road over the mountains, the rains came and the crops which such a short time before looked doomed, began to look as if they would give a reasonable harvest. Things commenced to improve for all, grass finally started to grow again, the cows to give more milk and the beef cattle to fill out.

In the SYDNEY GAZETTE of the 21st September 1816 and again in 1817, it is recorded that a letter had arrived for JOHN. Regretfully there is no record of who sent them or where they came from but the family in Ireland was obviously keeping in touch as moves were later made by his mother to bring his brother Philip and family out to Australia. On his next visit to Sydney, John was able to see the advances made to the Town for the new Hospital was rising in Macquarie Street under the direction of FRANCIS GREENWAY and built at no cost to the Government.

 

For the next two years John went about his business at the Dairy without attracting adverse attention and on the 30th April 1819 there appeared an entry in the LAND OFFICE Records.

 

DOWNEY TO READY

Deed Poll bearing the date the 15th day February 1819 under the hand and seal of PATRICK DOWNEY of prospect, settler whereby for the considerations therein mentioned he, the said PATRICK DOWNEY.

Did absolutely bargain, sell, assign, transfer and make over to JOHN READY of PARRAMATTA all his right, title and interest of five houses and tenements, situate in GEORGE ST PARRAMATTA, formerly the Property of THOMAS PEARCE purchased by him the said PATRICK DOWNEY at Public Auction which said houses and Tenements are more particularly described in a certain assignment dated 30th day November 1818 from  ROBERT JENKINS to him the said PATRICK DOWNEY. 

On the 31st August John was granted a pardon by Governor Macquarie (Pardons Reel 771 AO) and on 4th February 1820 at the age of thirty, was joined at ST JOHN’S PARRAMATTA, in the bonds of Holy Matrimony to Elizabeth, the 17 year old daughter of JOHN CURTIS and ANN MORAN who lived nearby at Toongabbie. The ceremony was conducted by JOHN CROSS with MICHAEL AND MARY DWYEE as witnesses. ( St Johns Register ML).

As a married man owning twenty head of cattle, John applied for a grant of 50 acres of land to start a farm of his own. The grant was made in 1821 and listed in the 12 May edition of the SYDNEY GAZETTE.

 

On the 31st August John was granted a pardon by Governor Macquarie (Pardons Reel 771 AO) and on 4th February 1820 at the age of thirty, was joined at ST JOHN’S PARRAMATTA, in the bonds of Holy Matrimony to Elizabeth, the 17 year old daughter of JOHN CURTIS and ANN MORAN who lived nearby at Toongabbie. The ceremony was conducted by JOHN CROSS with MICHAEL AND MARY DWYEE as witnesses. ( St Johns Register ML).

In the 1825 Muster, John is listed as being a landholder at CASTLE HILL but he is recorded as supplying fresh meat to the Commissariat at Parramatta on 24 February 1821 and Pork on 24th March 1821 so must have had access to some land in the meantime. 

John and Elizabeth’s marriage however was going through a stormy time with the unhappy Elizabeth eventually running away, for in the 15 February edition of the SYDNEY GAZETTE a notice appeared warning anyone against giving credit to his wife ELIZABETH READY, formerly Curtis, on his account as she had run away from home without any just cause or provocation.

John was again mentioned in the SYDNEY GAZETTE of 8th JANUARY 1823 as having supplied meat to the Government Stores.

With the income from the property acquired from PATRICK DOWNEY earlier, John decided to expand his interests and on the 25th April 1825, a notice from the Surveyor-General’s Office appeared in the AUSTRALIAN that a grant of land was ready for delivery to JOHN REIDY(sic) and FRANCIS PENDERGRASY. ( Francis had married John’s mother Johannah the previous year.)

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