Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

John McIntyre - Settler

Kinghome - Torryburn - Map 3

John McIntyre arrived in the colony in the 1820s. He was a brother of Peter McIntyre and Donald McIntyre.

Peter McIntyre was the first of the brothers to arrive in 1825 as agent for Thomas Potter Macqueen. He succeeded in securing large tracts of land on behalf of himself and also his brothers.

Donald McIntyre arrived on the City of Edinburgh in 1827. Land that had been reserved for him he converted to a grant which he named Kayuga.

John McIntyre was granted 2,000 acres on the Allyn river which was called at the time Kinghome and later Torryburn. A further 2,000 acres was subsequently granted. His land adjoined grants of George Townsend and Alexander Park.


Kinghome was situated on the Allyn River and comprised 4000 acres being 2000 acre grant and another 2,000 reserved for purchased.

Initially John assisted his brother Peter McIntyre at Segenhoe station in the Upper Hunter however when Donald McIntyre arrived in 1827 he took over the running of Segenhoe for a while allowing John to leave Segenhoe and establish his own farm Kinghome.
Ferdinand Anley Matthew Chapman John Hooke John Mann Benjamin Sullivan Alexander McDuff Baxter James Dowling John Lord Alexander Park Charles Boydell Francis Gibbes John McIntyre Joseph Rookin John Verge Crawford Brown Grayson Hartley Duncan Mackay Major Smeathman Charles Windeyer Henry John Lindeman George Townshend Lawrence Myles Early Hunter Valley Settler Map 3

John McIntyre murdered

Three years later John McIntyre was murdered, perhaps in the vicinity of Kinghome. His body was never found. Several convicts had been assigned to John McIntyre straight from the Midas convict ship in 1827. One of these men Thomas McGrath, was among those who stood trial for the murder in December 1832. On the evidence of an approver Edward Doolan, a runaway convict, the four men on trial - Samuel Ryan, William Steel, Thomas McGrath and Patrick Daley were found guilty of the murder, however on the eve of their execution another man Charles James came forward admitting to the crime and the four men were reprieved.

Thomas McGrath's sentence was recommended to be commuted to transportation for life to Norfolk Island[1]. The approver Edward Doolan a soldier from Co. Galway who had originally been sentenced to 14 years transportation for desertion in Portugal, was sent to Norfolk Island where he died in May 1833. [2]


In October 1837 the Torryburn estate was put up for sale by Peter McIntyre. The Sydney Herald carried the following advertisement -

TORRYBURN. Four Thousand Acres on the Banks of the Allyn River , Isaac Simmons and Co. Have been instructed by Peter McIntyre, Esq. to bring to unreserved Sale tomorrow the 18th November, at the Royal Hotel Sydney, precisely at Twelve o'clock, all that capital estate in the County of Durham, and district of Paterson, well known as Toryburn, containing by Deed of Grant, four thousand Acres, and without exception, one of the finest Farms in the Colony. It is situated in the midst of the highly improved Properties of Messrs. Townshend, Adair, Park, Boydell, etc. etc;

This fine Estate was selected by the late John McIntyre, Esq., many years ago, on account of 'the rich quality of the soil and pasture-its abundance of water in the drought seasons, having upwards of two miles river frontage, and a creek of pure water of Limestone runs through the centre of the estate-its inexhaustible supplies of lime stone and its contiguity to the rising population of Maitland and Paterson. Torryburn is about six miles distant from navigation, so that the dairy and farm produce may be conveniently shipped to Sydney by the numerous Trading vessels and Steam boats at a trifling expense. About two hundred Acres are enclosed by substantial fence, and nearly one hundred Acres are under cultivation. There is a Dwelling-house, Dairy; and Store; and at excellent lofty Shingled Barn, about eighty feet long, eighteen. feet high with joists laid for a Granary, and a secure Stockyard lately erected, capable of containing 1000 head of cattle

Notes and Links

1). John Alford was the owner of Torryburn until 1872 when he sold to Robert Logan was owner of the estate 1875 - 1897.

2). From 1898 to 1901, the family of Dorothea Mackellar owned Torryburn. The famous poem 'My Country' is believed to have been directly inspired by Dorothea Mackellar's experience of life on the land, and her love of the Allyn River district.


[1]. R. v. Ryan, Steel, McGrath and Daley, 1832, Superior Court of NSW

[2] See HRA, Vol.XVIII. p. 50