One evening at the end of May in 1848 a small group of settlers in Singleton sat down to a public dinner in the 'tastefully decorated' long room of Mr. Ledingham's Sir Thomas Mitchell Inn. The occasion was in honour of James Glennie who was leaving the district to reside on his station 'in the interior'. At six o'clock everyone sat down to a sumptuous dinner. Everything that the epicure could desire was placed upon the table; the wines were of first rate quality.
The chair was taken by Charles Simpson, guest of honour James Glennie was seated on his right; Mr. J.C.S. McDouall on his left; Also present were Theophillus Foote, Henry Bailey and Mr. Carter. Mr. Simpson gave the toasts. After toasting the Queen, he next proposed a toast to the guest of honour, stating that Glennie had been an inhabitant of the district for the last twenty years and during that time had earned the good feelings of all classes. The health of Mr. Glennie was then raised, with nine times nine. Mr. Glennie then returned thanks. He felt himself at a loss for words to express his feeling upon this occasion. He felt sorry that he was not a public speaker, but he hoped they would take the will for the deed, and accept his sincere thanks for the honor they had done him. Many toasts were then given and Mr. Robinson gave a very long and eloquent speech regarding education. Several songs were sung during the evening by Messrs. Bailey, Williams, Ravenscroft and other with the party breaking up at 11 o'clock.
So ended James Glennie's years in Singleton.
Arrival in the Colony
James Glennie was one of twelve sons of Dr. William Glennie and Mary nee Gardiner of Dulwich, Surrey.
He arrived in the colony age 24 on board the Guildford a convict transport with 159 prisoners with their guard, a detachment of the 40th Regiment under Lieutenant Thornhill. On the 11th March 1824 the Sydney Gazette recorded that the Guildford had arrived to the 'joy of the whole colony, alarming apprehensions being entertained for her safety.' Other passengers on the Guildford included Mr. R. Dulhunty and his brother Mr. L. Dulhunty and Chief Justice Francis Forbes, his wife and 3 children. They had an eventful voyage including a violent storm and leaks in the Guildford which required the use of the convicts on board to work at the pumps day and night until they reached Teneriffe.
Here they stayed only a short time before heading for Rio where they stayed for two months while the ship was mended.
On arrival in the colony, James Glennie was granted 2080 acres at Falbrook, and along with convict servants, was supplied from Government Stores for six months. Glennie's servant Abraham Carter accompanied him to Australia on the Guildford. His estate was known as Dulwich and Falbrook was re-named Glennies Creek in his honour.
In the 1828 Census twenty-one convicts were assigned to James Glennie at Dulwich. There were 21 acres of cleared land, 100 acres cultivated land. He had 4 horses, 604 head of cattle and 673 sheep. The convicts would have been constructing post and rail fences, perhaps a slab cottage and various outbuildings. Select here to find some of the convicts assigned to James Glennie at Dulwich
A creek crossing on the estate became a resting place for travellers. James Glennie being a government contractor could supply rations and forage for government employees and travellers could purchase flour, beef and other necessities.
Richard Alcorn owned the Greyhound Inn on land north of Glennie's which was described in Allan W. Wood's Dawn in the Valley as being situated on rising ground where the old and new tracks met on the Singleton side of Falbrook crossing Dulwich Farm. Richard Alcorn was taken to Dulwich to recover after having been attacked by natives in 1826
James Glennie married Susan White in 1832 and their daughter Mary Helena was born in 1833. Their son James Halliday was born in 1836 however died in childhood.
Just a few months before James Glennie left Singleton in 1848 the Governor Sir Charles Fitzroy was scheduled to pay a visit to the Hunter. A great deal of planning went into his visit. In Singleton Glennie joined with other inhabitants John Browne, John Smith, David Stolworthy, Walter Rotton, Thomas Hope, John Johnston John Holden, Alexander Munro, William Lesley and
Alfred Levien in calling for a public meeting to arrange matters connected with the reception for the Governor and to plan an appropriate address to be given. Despite inclement weather the Governor visited Singleton in February and James Glennie was introduced to him along with others settlers in the district. Governor Fitzroy later called at Dulwich for refreshments before continuing his journey.
In April 1848 the Estate of Dulwich, described as being situated one mile from Camberwell Church, was advertised for lease. The estate consisted of a good dwelling house and offices both in excellent order. The entire 3000 acres were all fenced with a considerable portion cleared and water was plentiful as there was three miles of water frontage. A 15 acre garden containing 10 acres of vines of the best description had been established. There was said to be an unlimited supply of surface coal and the public pound was situated on Dulwich as well. A number of tenants were on the estate paying rental of £140 per annum.
James Glennie moved to land he had taken up at the headaters of the Richmond River called Unumgar. He took his stock from Dulwich and built a homestead and set up a dairy.
James Glennie sold Unumgar and moved to Queensland in 1868.
He died in 1876 aged 77 near Gladstone, Queensland. The Rockhampton Bulletin reported his death:
An old resident of the name of James Glennie, of Thornhill has departed at the ripe age of 77. He had lived in the colony 53 years, and was always willing to assist in promoting the welfare of his fellow colonist. As he was returning from the church of England Synod he was taken ill, and was unable to return to his station. He was brother to Archdeacon Glennie, and for his age was a surprisingly strong man, and his death was quite unexpected.