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Archibald Bell - Settler

Corinda - Map 3

Archibald Bell

Archibald Bell was born 15 April 1804, one of the ten children of Maria (Kitching) and Archibald Bell.

Arrival in Australia

He arrived in Australia with his family on board the Young William when he was three years old. His father Archibald Bell served with the N.S.W. Corp, and as a military commander at the Hawkesbury and Magistrate at Windsor.

Bell's Line of Road

In 1823 Archibald junior discovered a new route across the Blue Mountains from Richmond to Cox's River. This became known as the Bell's Line of Road and became the cattle road of the north and west. He also explored the Hunter River district. For his discovery of the track across the Blue Mountains he was granted 1000 acres which was selected near Singleton and called Corinda. The location can be seen below centre on the map -

Archibald Bell James Black William Brooks John Cobb Henry Dangar John Earl John Gaggin William Harper William Kelman John Larnach George Wyndham George White Joseph Underwood A.B. Spark Benjamin Sullivan Alexander Shand Helenus Scott James Mitchell George Wyndham Helenus Scott John Larnach Shaw Stewart Early Settler Map 4

Map showing the location of Archibald Bell's estate Corinda. Shown as Kurrandarra on J. Cross's 1828 Map of the Hunter
Map of the Hunter in 1828 showing location of Archibald Bell's estate. Shown as Kurrandarra on the map above

St. Helier's

In 1828 Archibald junior was a tenant and employed as an overseer at St. Heliers, the estate of Colonel Henry Dumaresq near Scone. Convicts were assigned to him at St. Heliers and also at Corinda where he built a two story stone house, probably with the use of convict labour.


One sister, Mary Ann Fennell married Francis Little of Invermein in 1831. In 1833, the same year his sister Sophie married Henry P. Dutton, Archibald Bell junior married Francis Ann North, daughter of Windsor Magistrate Lieutenant Samuel North.


Archibald Bell jun. and Henry P. Dutton were active in Singleton community life attending meetings such as the Patrick Plains Turf Club and served as Trustees for the Singleton Church. Archibald Bell was nominated for district council and was a Steward at the Patrick Plains Races.

In 1847 along with other prominent settlers, Archibald Bell jun. was introduced to the Governor Sir Charles Fitzroy on his visit to the district.


On the centenary of the founding of Singleton, Corinda was described -

The house was a long two storied building facing the river and was built of stones quarried at Glendon and brought across the river in punts. When Corinda homestead had fallen to decay (for Mr. Bell returned to Belmont, and this estate passed from his family), the stones were removed to Belford to build the Church of England there, so that it forms an interesting link with the past. [1]

Archibald Bell was renown for his coach and hackney horses which he bred at Corinda. He owned other properties in the Valley and later moved to Milgarra and then to Pickering near Merton, the former estate of Captain John Pike.


Archibald's wife Frances North Bell died at Milgarra in December 1852 age 27. Archibald Bell died at Pickering on 9th August 1883.....

The Hon. Archibald Bell M.L.C., whose death was announced in our columns yesterday, was an old colonist, and a son of Mr. Archibald Bell, who was a member of the old Council before the days of Parliamentary elections. About 14 years ago Mr. Bell entered the Legislative Assembly as a representative of the Upper Hunter, for which electorate he was never defeated. Subsequently he retired from the active political arena of the Assembly, and entered the Legislative Council in October 1879 and was a member at the time of his decease. Though not a prominent politician or in the habit of speaking much in the House, Mr. Bell performed his legislative duties conscientiously, and both in and out of Parliament he was popular among all classes for his courtesy and amiable temperament. His age at the time of his death was about 80.[2]

James Millar purchased Corinda from Archibald Bell.

Assigned Convict Servants

The following men were assigned to Archibald Bell junior. The Records aren't always specific as to which estate the convicts were assigned. Some were assigned to Bell when he was employed as Superintendent at St. Heliers, others at Segenhoe / Invermein, and the rest to his estate, Corinda. Workers may not have remained on the same estates they were assigned to. They were often transferred or loaned to different farms and stations at harvest and shearing times. Some may have also been assigned to Archibald Bell senior's estate Belmont at Richmond as well.

They were convicts and ex-convicts unless otherwise stated. Transportation of convicts ceased in 1840 and there were fewer convicts assigned afterwards although many remained the district as they worked out their sentence until the 1850s. The table below states Ship and Year of arrival; the name of the Estate, year of assignment and occupation are included where known:

Convict~Worker Ship~Estate
Aldwell, John Canada 1815; St. Hiliers 1828; shepherd
Askeren, John Albion 1827; Upper Hunter; 1827
Bailey, John Roslin Castle 1834; Patrick Plains 1837
Barastan, James Marquis of Hastings 1828; Invermein 1837
Barrett, George Lloyds 1833; Invermein 1837
Bridger, William Recovery 1819; Newcastle district 1824
Broom, George Atlas 1816; Newcastle district 1825
Brown, George Emigrant per Lady Kennaway 1838; farm overseer
Careen, Patrick Sir Godfrey Webster 1826; St. Heliers 1828; stock keeper
Carroll, Thomas Hive; Patrick Plains 1837
Cartwright, James Hive; Invermein 1837
Cojonney, Francis Came free per Success 1825; St. Heliers 1828; house servant
Crane, John Countess of Harcourt 1824; St. Heliers 1828; groom
Craven, Uriah Prince Regent 1827; St. Heliers 1828; watchman
Curtis, John John Barry 1819; Corinda 1828 (free by servitude); labourer
Davies, David Speke 1826; St. Heliers 1828
Emmett, Henry Ocean 1818; Corinda 1828; shepherd
Ellis, Joseph Asia 1832; Upper Hunter; carter and labourer
Ellston, Mary St. Heliers 1828; servant, came free
Fagan, Patrick John Barry 1821; Corinda 1825-1828; stockman
Farden, Mary Corinda 1828
Fearn, Richard Exmouth 1831; Invermein 1837
Felkins, John Katherine Stewart Forbes 1830; Invermein1837; groom
Fitzgerald, William Java 1833; Invermein 1837
Fussell, Simon Asia 1833; Invermein 1837
Hall alias Raynor, Thomas York 1831; Invermein; 1837
Hammett, Phillip Norfolk 1825; Corinda 1828; bullock driver
Hardy, William Speke 1826; St. Heliers 1828
Healy, John Sir Godfrey Webster; Segenhoe 1828; shepherd
Hickey, Thomas Forth 1830; Invermein 1833; shepherd
Hockley, John Marquis of Huntley 1828; Segenhoe1828; painter
Hinton, Thomas Speke 1821; Corinda 1828; shepherd; T/L holder
Hitchman/Aitcheson/ Hutchinson Daniel Guildford 1822; Corinda 1825 - 1828
Hogan, John Dorothy 1820; Newcastle district 1825
Hodgson, William Albion 1827; St. Heliers 1828
Johnson/Johnston, Edward/ Henry John 1832; Invermein 1833 -1837; shepherd
Kinnear, George Vitoria 1829; Constable employed by Archibald Bell 1833
Lanaghan, Edward Clyde 1832; Invermein 1837
Lanyard, Peter Lady Castlreagh 1818; Corinda 1828; stonemason
Leonard, William Guildford 1816; Hunter Valley 1825
Llewellyn, Daniel Prince Regent 1827; Invermein 1828; overseer
Lomond, Charles Albion 1827; Segenhoe 1828; bullock driver
McCarty, Joseph Camden 1831; Invermein1832
McDade, James Henry Porcher 1825; Corinda 1828; pigman
McFadyn, Henry Susan 1839; Emigrant; wheelwright
McCowan, Hugh Nithsdale 1830; Corinda 1837
Moir, Henry Albion 1827; St. Heliers 1828; shepherd
Mullen, Michael Neptune 1838; Corinda 1841
Munton, William Claudine; Invermein 1833; shepherd
Murphy, Michael Lady McNaughten 1835, Invermein 1837
Nash, Edward Recovery 1819; Invermein 1828; farrier
Owen, Samuel Overseer to Archibald Bell at Segenhoe 1833
Palmer, Thomas Layton 1829; Segenhoe 1833; watchman
Palmer, William Planter 1832; Invermein 1837
Pennington, Richard Albion 1827; St. Heliers 1828; labourer
Perry, William Marquis of Hastings 1827; St. Heliers 1828; milkman
Polling, William Speke 1826; Segenhoe 1828; labourer
Pool, William Adrian 1830; Corinda 1837
Pugsley, Thomas Neva 1833; Corinda 1837
Rawlins, Robert Mangles 1824; Segenhoe 1828; carpenter and sawyer
Riley, Owen Providence 1811; Corinda 1828; shepherd
Robinson, John Surry 1823; Segenhoe 1828; carpenter
Rogers, John Isabella 1832; Patrick Plains 1837; stonemason
Rourke, Richard Lady McNaughten 1835, Invermein 1837
Russell, John Surry 1834; Segenhoe 1837
Ryan, William Lady Harewood 1831; Corinda 1838
Riley, Owen Providence 1811; Patrick Plains 1828; free by servitude, shepherd
Schofield, James Earl St. Vincent 1820. Overseer employed by William Bell at Gammon Plains
Scrimshaw, William Roslin Castle 1834; Corinda 1837
Silvester, Henry Roslin Castle 1834; Corinda 1837
Smith, Joseph Lady Feversham 1830; Invermein 1837
Smith, Susan Indispensable 1796; St. Heliers 1828; free by servitude
Smyth, James 1828
Somers, Francis John 1832; Segenhoe 1837
Stanton, Patrick Minerva 1819; St. Heliers 1828; house servant
Starkey, James Speke 1826; St. Heliers 1828
Stiles, William Royal Admiral 1830; Segenhoe 1837
Taylor, Jeremiah Burrell 1830; Hunter River 1830
Tobin, James Dunvegan Castle 1830; assigned on arrival; Corinda 1830 - 1837
Walker, Edward Exmouth 1831; Invermein 1837
Walker, Joseph Albion 1827; St. Heliers 1828; labourer
Walters, George York 1831; Invermein 1837
Watkins, Joseph Neptune 1818; St. Heliers 1828; gardener
Wells, Thomas John; Segenhoe; 1837
Wilson, John Asia 1833; Invermein 1837

Notes and Links

1). Archibald Bell senior's Tombstone - Windsor and Richmond Gazette 15 Jun 1895


[1]. Singleton Argus 16 March 1920

[2]. Sydney Morning Herald 11 August 1883