Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Major Charles Thomas Smeathman - Coroner

Brookfield - Map 3

Major Charles Thomas Smeathman arrived with his wife Eliza and son on the Orelia in October 1827.

Land Grant

He was granted 1280 acres of land at the William River by Governor Darling on 18 February 1828, however was employed as coroner in Sydney and did not ever reside on this land.

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

Appointed Coroner

His appointment as Coroner was confirmed in September 1829 although he was conducting inquests before this date. He performed the inquest on bushranger Jack Donohoe in 1830 at the Fox and Hounds public house in Castlereagh Street.

Grant Offered for Sale

The Williams River estate was known as Brookfield.

Sydney Herald 1832.......

'Valuable Grant of 1280 acres of land for sale without reserve. Mr. Ironside has the honor to announce to the public, that he has received instructions to sell by auction, at the Royal Hotel, on Saturday the 15th September next in one or two lots that valuable Grant of land known by the name of Smeathman's Grant. Containing 1280 acres of land free of quit rent, situate within 3 miles of the navigation of Williams' River, and but two miles distant from Clarence Town, having 3 1/2 miles of river Frontage, and about 400 acres of valuable Brush abounding with cedar. The grass herbage is most luxuriant, and the grazing part may be said to be boundless, there being in the rear an extensive government reserve. The locality of the Grant and the excellence of the soil renders this a most desirable speculation for either Agriculturists or Capitalist. the Terms will be made known at the time of sale which will be highly advantageous to the Purchaser.'

The sale was reported in December 1832 - Th estate belonging to Major Smeathman on the Williams River was knocked down to Mr. Poignand, at four shillings per acre. [3]

Grant at Woolloomooloo denied

In April 1832 Major Smeathman applied for a grant of land at Woolloomooloo. His application is interesting in that it records some of his former career:

Mr. C.T. Smeathman to Viscount Goderich, Sydney 30th April 1832 My Lord At the suggestion of my friend Mr. Kinchela, Attorney General of this Colony, and for the purposes as detailed to your Lordship by that Gentleman, I do myself the honor of addressing your Lordship with a view to obtaining an allotment of unlocated land at Woolloomooloo in the immediate neighbourhood of this place and which hitherto has been uniformly allotted to officers of the Crown. It is essential I should be permitted to state, for Your Lordship's information, I now hold the situation of Coroner for this place with a circumscribed Salary of £100 per Annum, and have, I presume, satisfactorily executed the functions of that Office nearly four years; that, previous to my arrival in this Colony, I held the appointment of Inspector and ultimately paymaster of de Watteville's Regiment, which Corps I joined, after traversing the continent from Cuahaven to Triest in Istria in the year 1800, embarked with it at the latter place for Egypt, and remained there until the evacuation under the late Sir John Stewart in 1803; served throughout the Mediterranean and the Canadas; was placed upon half pay of that Corps in 1816, when it was disbanded; that I availed myself of the General orders of June 1826, and was permitted to dispose of my half pay, and received in lieu thereof £1200 only, £600 being retained by Government, and for which I had been led to suppose an equivalent of four sections of Land would be granted to me on arrival in this Colony as the Capital of £800 I brought to this Colony entitled me to cherish such hopes. His late Excellency Lieutenant General Darling was pleased to accord to me only 1280 acres, which is all the equivalent hitherto received for my former services, and the evident sacrifice of my half pay.

I had contemplated transmitting these circumstances, for your Lordship's kind consideration through the medium of Adjutant General Macdonal, to whom I have had the honor of being known upwards of 30 years, or Sir Robert Gardiner, Aid de camp to his Majesty, who has also known me 25 years; but judging from Your Lordship's known zeal to promote on all occasions the welfare of these Colonies and advance Australia, I feel sanguine your Lordship will pardon my temerity and grant the request of my Lord, Charles Thomas Smeathman, Coroner. [1]

His request for the grant at Woolloomooloo was denied.


Major Smeathman died at his residence in Sussex Street Sydney in January 1835 aged 60.

The Sydney Gazette published his obituary......

He was an officer who had participated in several of those brilliant exploits that had distinguished the British on the Continent of Europe. During his residence in the colony of seven years, he has been regarded as a kind hearted and benevolent man, and his loss will be deeply felt by a large circle of friends..

Major Smeathman's widow Eliza Smeathman married William Bland in February 1846.

Description of Brookfield in 1848

The Brookfield estate was described in Well's Gazetteer.......

Brookfield - In the county of Durham, N.S.W., on the Williams River, seven miles from Clarence Town, 11 miles from Dungog, and 32 miles from Maitland. The estate of Brent Clement Rodd. It comprises 960 acres, of which there are 340 of alluvial brush land in cultivation, now in the occupation of Edwin Hickey. The river Williams is never known to be dry, and the hills abound with lime- stone. The road to Port Stephens passes through this estate to Maitland, and from thence to the Upper Hunter. ....

A description of a planned road through the district in 1851 was published in the Maitland Mercury in 1851: {Extract - Southerly through D.F. Forbes and J. Hook's 830 acres purchase; thence south easterly through J. Hook's primary grant of 2560 acres, through the north east corner of T. Nowlan's 640 acres and through the village reserve into Verge's 2560 acres grant, crossing within the said grant Wallarobba Creek, winding westward round Verge's Hill; thence south easterly through T.C. Smeathman's (now Rodd's) grant of 1280 acres; thence southerly through J. Hillier's 1280 acres grant crossing Uwarabin Creek in that grant; thence south easterly through government land, southerly through the western portion of Felix Wilson's 640 acres purchase, and again through government land, south easterly through the church and school estate leased by Michael Casey and William O'Neil, and thence through Clarence Town reserve to the intersection of Duke and Rifle streets. [2]

Two hundred acres of land known as Brookfield was advertised to be sold by Brent Clement Rodd in November 1852.

Notes and Links

1). Mrs. Smeathman's teeth!

2). The Dungog Inn was situated on part of the Brookfield Estate. James D. Walker was proprietor when it was robbed by the Jewboy Gang in 1840


[1] HRA, Series 1, Vol. XVI, 30 April 1832

[2] Maitland Mercury 13 August 1851

[3] The Colonist and Van Diemen's Land Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1832 - 1834) Fri 14 Dec 1832 Page 3