Major John Serecold
Newcomen Street Newcastle
L Abri is the oldest residence in Newcastle, and is one of the last remaining homes still in occupation of those which were built in the early years of the colony. Documents in the possession of F. A. Cadell, show that the site is known as allotment 83 on the town plan, and was originally granted by Governor Gipps to Major John Serocold Jackson on May 29, 1839. Major Jackson was in charge of the soldiers in Newcastle at that time. The grant states that the allotment was promised to Jackson by Sir Thomas Brisbane, and reserves a quit rent of £1/10/ from July 1, 1837, to June 30, 1848, and there forth 15/ yearly for ever. Whether the quit rent was ever re-deemed on the 20 years payment is unknown, Mr. Cadell says, but the allotment is still under the old system title. Jackson sold it in February, 1839, to George Brooks, for £40. Dr. Brooks was the Government Medical Officer in Newcastle then, and he erected the residence on the allotment.