# 37337

MARSDEN, Samuel (1765-1838)

[SYDNEY] Original sketch map of Marsden’s disputed property at Windsor, recording land granted to Thomas Rickerby and Joseph Smallwood. August 1805 (with later additions)

$1,300.00 AUD

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Manuscript in ink on part of a re-used OHMS envelope, with a sketch map of a property in Windsor with notes in two different hands (one in pencil), dated 29 August 1805, with later additions; 200 x 164 mm, laid paper with part of Britannia watermark; verso with parts of the original address panel to [James] Norton Esqre., Sydney; a few brown spots, fragments of an old red wax seal, very good and clear.

Part of Marsden’s property empire on the Hawkesbury.

A fascinating insight into the torturous and casual conveyance of land around Sydney in the era of Governor King, as the Reverend Samuel Marsden sought to expand on his original grant at Windsor on the Hawkesbury.

The map depicts the land in question as a rough triangle bordered to the north by “Mr. Marsden’s” grant; to the south-west by South Creek and “Mr. Baker’s line”; and to the south-east by the “line of the road.” The map is therefore a significant record of Marsden’s purchase of a parcel of land from Thomas Rickerby (c.1751-1818), a Third Fleeter sent out on the William & Ann in August 1791, whose sentence had expired by the time he was granted land at Mulgrave on the Hawkesbury at Windsor in February 1798: Rickabys Creek still marks part of his original grant.

The most important part of the annotations to the map notes that “29 August 1805. [Tho.] [Rickerby] conveyed to Revd. S. Marsden the Back part of Smallwoods & Catherines Farms.” This helps situate the map very precisely, because Rickerby’s grants had been extended by him around 1800 through his acquisition of the neighbouring grant to Joseph Smallwood (originally transported on the Atlantic in 1791). Equally significantly, Rickerby is on record as calling his land Catherine Farm (likely after the woman who lived with him for many years, the First Fleeter Catherine Smith). Indeed, the modern street-plan of the precise area includes a Catherine Street.

Such largely unregulated transfers obviously created headaches for later occupants, as is attested by the pencil note in a second hand noting “If so, [Terry] could not have sold the 20 a. to Cope as he alleged.” This implicitly refers to the sale of the residue of Rickerby’s farm to Samuel Terry in 1813, and his later (after 1827?) sale of land to the Cope family.

References: ADB; Burr & Ballisat, Plan of the Allotments of Ground (1814; online at Obituaries Australia); Gillen, Founders of Australia (1989); Lavelle, Historical Archaeological Assessment 232 George Street Windsor NSW (1996).