Marshall Part Four





“… his industry hath accumulated upwards of fifty head of Cattle, which with the emoluments derived from his calling as a Blanket Manufacturer enables your Memorialist  to be instated once more in the Middle Sphere of Society.”

          Marshall to Governor Brisbane October 1825


      George Marshall received a Ticket of Leave in 1816. Ticket of Leave records for that year have not survived, but his claim[1] – in his later request to the Governor for further mitigation of his sentence is surely correct – since he would hardly attempt to mislead the addressee. The rules provided for the issue of that particular indulgence to a Life prisoner  “at the end of eight years, as a matter of course, unless his conduct has been bad….” [2] Moreover, there was a stipulation that the eight year rule applied only where the convict had served with one master. Marshall’s Ticket was given at the end of six years, (though almost eight from the time of his trial). In fact, Governor Macquarie had power to grant these pardons outside the published guidelines and in fact did so, often, for services rendered to the Colony and use of special skills. One could assume that Marshall had kept well out of trouble since his arrival. It could also be speculated that Marshall’s employer, Simeon Lord, being quite close to Governor Macquarie, may have had a hand in the decision regarding both the Ticket of Leave and the Conditional Pardon.

        The issue of a Ticket of Leave to a prisoner on Life sentence confirms that he had no further trouble with the law. A Ticket of Leave was evidence that a convict was allowed to work outside the ‘assignment’ system. Conditions applied – the convict was confined to a named area, had to report regularly to authorities, and was supposed to attend divine worship each Sunday. Consequently, he was under no obligation to continue working for Simeon Lord, though he continued to do so, according to the 1820 Muster, [3] at least until 1820.

        In December 1817, Marshall, now a family man, giving his address as merely ‘Sydney’, sent to Governor Macquarie a petition for mitigation of sentence in the following terms:

“Humbly sheweth that your Memorialist was tried at Somerset Assizes first of April 1809 and sentenced to transportation for his natural life and arrived in this Colony by the Ship ‘’Indian’’ 1810 (Barclay Master) and dutifully begs permission to acknowledge with gratitude your former indulgences  in granting your Memorialist a Ticket of Leave in 1816.

And further pray And further pray that your Excellency will take into consideration your memorialist’s situation. Conscious of the enormity of his Offence and duly appreciating the Punishment for a violation of the Laws of the Realm for which Violation your Excellency’s penitent petitioner feels a deep afflication and remorse. Your Petitioner bows with humble Resignation to his sentence and knows he can have no just claim to Benevolence but looking up to the Philanthropy which is unseparable with Your Excellency’s character.

And having made every atonement in his power by strict conformity to your good morals with due penitence becoming his unfortunate situation, and begs permission to ask your Excellency’s commiseration and benevolence to Mitigate Your Memorialist’s sentence in anyway your Excellency may be pleased to suggest.

Which will enable your Memorialist and Wife and Two Children ever to pray for an Extention of your Goodness to after ages etc.etc.etc.”

His request for further mitigation was successful. “CP” was written in the margin of on his application.[4] His Conditional Pardon was consequently given on 31 January 1818  and provides the following information:

Date of Pardon 31 January 1818 
Name Marshall, George 
Native Place  Yorkshire 
Place & Date of Trial Somerset Assizes. 1st April 1809 
Sentence Life 
Ship Indian 1810 
Height 5 feet 1 ½ inches (5’ 6 ½ ” in a later document.) 
Hair Black and bald
Trade/Calling Clothier
Year of Birth  —
Complexion Dark
Eyes: Dark

        A Conditional Pardon restored convicts to citizenship within the colony but they did not have the right to return to England. Provided they stayed within Australia, they were treated as free men or women. In the ten year period from 1810, Macquarie granted 1164 conditional pardons, mostly to those serving life sentences. [5]

      Marshall’s stability and perhaps character are indicated by the fact that he was  still employed by Simeon Lord  in 1820[6], well after he was entitled to go out on his own, ten years after his arrival in the Colony.

      Shortly after, however, it appears that he set up in his own name and in Campbell Street at the southern end of the city, near the hay market. The 1822 Muster noted that with a Conditional Pardon, he was a “Cloth Manufacturer, Sydney”. His family was recorded as consisting of Mary McCarmel (sic), freed from servitude, Arr on ‘Catherine’ sentenced to transportation for seven (sic) years. Wife of  George Marshall, Sydney. The Muster list included Mary Marshall, age 7, and Charles Marshall age 5, children of George Marshall.[7]  He was at Campbell Street by mid  1822, when the District Constable’s Notebook recorded the fact, along with Mary McCarroll, the two children and three “Government Servants”, Robert Hudson, Christopher Gilligan, and John Blackburn, listed below.

      The first record of Marshall being assigned convicts is that in February 1822, John Blackburn (‘John Barry’ 1821) was sent to “George Campbell, Residence Campbell Town (sic)’. Blackburn stayed with Marshall until 1824. The full list is as follows[8]:

Feb (?) 1822 Blackburn, John  ‘John Barry’
21 Mar 1822 Hudson, Robert ‘Prince of Orange’
Jul (?) 1822 Gilligan, Christr ‘Daphne’
5 Sep 1823 Hatfield, Thomas ‘Princess Royal’
26 Mar 1823 Sullivan, Daniel ‘Medina’
Nov 1824 Conway, Patrick ‘Lord Sidmouth’
23 Jan 1824 Darmody, James ‘Castle Forbes’
28 May 1824 Hegan, Daniel ‘Medina’
2 Jul 1824 Malone, John ‘Isabella’
23 Jan 1824 Pearson, James ‘Mary (2)’
23 Jan 1826 Murray, Farrel (sic) ‘Castle Forbes’

       With some turnover, it appears that he had four convicts assigned at any one time. On October 17, 1825 when he applied for a Grant of Land, he claimed, and Colonial Secretary Goulburn confirmed, that he had four assigned servants. These were Blackburn, Gilligan, Hadfield and Malone.

      Gilligan had been convicted in Roscommon, Ireland in 1818 and sentenced to transportation for 7 years. Born in 1799, his native place was Fermanagh. The Indent gave his calling as ‘trumpeter!’ Hadfield had been employed for three years. Prior to that, he had accompanied Allan Cunningham on the expedition from Bathurst to the interior, as pack horse leader.[9] Malone, born 1796 and transported from Ireland for life, spent one, perhaps two years, with Marshall though he had left his employ by late 1825. The records suggest he fell foul of the law again as he was sent to Port Macquarie in 1825.[10]

      When Gilligan sought mitigation of his sentence in 1822, Marshall supported him, stating

“This is to certify that my servant Christopher Gilligan, I have known him more than three years, have always found his conduct regular. I do recommend him worthy of the Indulgence of Ticket of Leave”.

He may have worked with Gilligan at Simeon Lord in the previous “more than three years”.

       This certificate, (reinforced by the fact that Marshall was a witness on 6 September 1823 to Gilligan’s marriage to Esther Wade in St Mary’s RC Chapel), suggests a good relationship with this assignee, and perhaps his other employees.

       Malone had not been so successful in Marshall’s employ. He was charged in October 1826 with having in his possession a duck frock and trousers, supposed to have been stolen. He said he had received them from his Master, Mr George Marshall, who, on being called upon, denied that he had supplied the clothes. The court report noted that Malone “being an incorrigible character, and an old offender” was sentenced to receive thirty lashes.[11] It is not surprising to note that, by the time of the 1828 Census, Malone was back at Hyde Park barracks.

       So returning to the 1822 Muster, together with the information in the Gilligan certificate, and the earlier Blackburn assignment we are assured that Marshall had started out on his own in at least February 1822 and probably earlier. He claimed in his 1824 Petition that he had “….for some years carried on this manufactory on the Brickfield Hill….’. Perhaps his donation in December 1821 to the proposed St Mary’s Chapel suggests some independence well before that time. The one recording above of Campbell Town as Marshall’s residence is most likely an error, as was the reference to Clarence St in respect of assignee Hudson. Marshall was in Campbell St, as shown correctly against the names of other assignees.

      He had no rural land in 1822, although he owned 5 head of cattle, 3 hogs and had ten bushels of wheat in hand.[12] Where these were held is not recorded, though the successive Musters of 1819 and 1821 had him in Sydney, holding 1 Horned cattle and 6 Hogs in 1819 and in 1821, on ¼ acre, 5 Horned cattle and two hogs.[13]. The later 1823 Muster [14] description of him as a “landholder’ likely relates to Campbell Street land.

       For at least the next six years, he conducted his business as a “Clothier and Blanket Maker there from the time he left Lord’s employ. The 1823, 24 and 25 Musters described him as “Landholder” or “Clothier”.

       The Colonial Secretary approved payments to him for related functions in 1823. These were for services to the Male Orphan Institution, Sydney. These were “Scouring 20 blankets £1.0.0; and supply of 50 yards of blue cloth at 9/- per yard, £22.10.0; and 20 Blankets at 12/- each £12.0.0”[15] In May 1825, the Sydney Gazette reported that he had made a donation of blankets to the Benevolent Society.[16]

     As already stated, the Marshalls had settled in Campbell Street, since before 1822. George Marshall’s’s clothing and blanket making business had built to such an extent that he sought land near Botany Bay. He petitioned the Governor on 6 September 1824 as follows:

“That your Memorialist arrived in this Colony (per ship INDIAN Bartlet (sic)  Master) that Memorialist is by trade a Clothier and Blanket Maker and has for some years carried on this manufactory on the Brickfield Hill and finding his business daily increasing is now desirous of erecting suitable buildings  on a run of water he has discovered situate about one or two miles from the North Head of Botany Harbour should your Excellency be pleased to order him that portion of land, though barren would be eligible for the washing ofwoollens.”

       Marshall went on to say that he had a wife and two children and seventeen head of cattle and was obliged to depasture them at a yearly expense. Unfortunately he did not say where. His request for the land was supported by Father Therry and Edward Wollstonecraft JP, both of whom volunteered in their statement that Marshall was honest, industrious and well conducted.[17] Wollstonecraft, a Magistrate, who had arrived in the Colony in 1819, was one of the first settlers on the south coast of NSW, taking up large grants of land with his brother in law, Alexander Berry, as well as in North Sydney in what is now Crow’s Nest.

       There is no record of any response to this request, and Marshall petitioned again in the next year for a Grant of land. He wrote to Sir Thomas Brisbane on 17 October 1825 in the following terms:

        Most respectfully sheweth that your Memorialist came to this Colony per Ship Indian, in the Year 1810, Sentence Transportation for Life.

That your Memorialist through his good conduct hath obtained a conditional Pardon and by his industry hath accumulated upwards of fifty head of Cattle, which with the emoluments derived from his calling as a Blanket Manufacturer enables your Memorialist  to be instated once more in the Middle Sphere of Society.

Your Memorialist has four Govt. assigned servants and having a wife and three children emboldens your Memorialist to approach your Excellency having never received any indulgence, praying that Your Excellency will be pleased to grant your Memorialist that portion of land that your Excellency may deem fit. [18]

      His claim to have three children is noteworthy. By this time his wife’s daughter, Margaret McCarroll had arrived. The circumstances have been set out in an earlier chapter. What is more interesting is his claim to have been – at least before his arrest in Somerset – in the ‘middle sphere of society’ and his wish to be reinstated. On the face of it, he had been working towards such status – married in church, children baptised, and sent to school, manufacturer and landholder, regular witness at St Mary’s marriages, donor to St Mary’s Building Fund, etc. As a former convict, he had indeed made more of his life than many or most transportees of his time, and settled well into the ‘middle sphere’ of NSW society.

       In accordance with the usual requirement, he listed in his bid for a land grant, the names of the four servants assigned to him at the time. The Colonial Secretary replied on 5 November 1825, noting that three of the four had been with Marshall for at least two years, and consequently advised him that in view of this, a grant of 300 acres was to be allowed to him. It was another year before Marshall notified the Land Board, writing from ‘Brickfield Hill, Sydney’ on 31 October 1826, that he had chosen the 300 acres

 “..about four miles to the NE of Yass Plains called by the natives Bango, but it is not yet measured. My means of improving the land are 40 head of horned cattle, 2 working bullocks, 1 cart, 1 house and premises in Sydney worth £500 and cash £100” [19]

Alas, again Marshall gave no indication where he was holding his livestock, which had increased from ‘seventeen head of cattle’ in September 1824 to fifty in October 1825, then down to forty two in October 1826.


      There is no evidence that he was granted or took up this particular land, which, on Bango Creek, is near the present Yass Junction Railway Station in southern NSW. He had apparently earlier decided to take his 300 acres at what is now Tarago near Goulburn, though it appears that he sold it to Darby Murray in the previous August, before he received any title to it. See the next Chapter.

       Marshall held, as in controlled, Campbell St frontage from George St to Pitt St. The 1822 Muster has him residing at Campbell St. The 1820 Muster had him employed by Simeon Lord but he had the right to live (in Sydney) wherever he chose from 1816 when he received his Ticket of Leave.  Given the confusion in early colonial days about land ownership, Marshall wrote to the Colonial Secretary on 28 September 1827 in the following terms:

“Having erected considerable Premises, laying being and situate in Campbell street, Sydney at a considerable expense upon the same and wishing to obtain a grant to effect my Security for my Exerted Industry agreeable to Government and General Orders as a particular favour from your Honoured Executive Authority be pleased to give the necessary Orders to the architect for valuing the same.

Sir, I remain Your Honour with submission to orders, your Obedient Servant, respectfully,

George Marshall.

Resident on the said Dwelling near unto the old Toll gate.”[20]

        In due course, the Surveyor General reported to the Colonial Secretary on 27 August 1828 –  George Marshall had died in the meantime – that:

“Governor Phillips (sic) gave it to his gardener Mitchell. There is no written document. It was sold by public auction  through the Provost Marshal. Purchased by George Marshall. A large brick house two stories. It is the sign of the Bee Hive. Another house is also building. “[21]

       It might be more correct to say that the land was still ‘owned’ by the Crown, at least until the early 1820s. (A Mortgage to Davis (13/11/1826) confirms that  he then had legal possession of allotments 9, 10 and 11 of section 2, which extended to Pitt St., the whole of which was secured for the loan, but had not completed payments to the Crown. He did not obtain a Crown Grant (because there may have been still money owing) of any of this land in his lifetime. The “Crown Grant” of allotment 11 was not made until 6 November 1835, i.e. to his Estate after his death. However, there is no doubt about his right to hold the land from the early 1820s. Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane – who was in New South Wales from December 1821 to December 1825,

 “…signed his name to the plan of this house (on the Campbell St site) intended to be built by G Marshall which was afterwards erected by his widow.”[22]


       On 26 November 1825, George had been advised that Governor Ralph Darling had agreed that he, along with four others, was to be granted an Absolute Pardon [23].  This decision was notified in the Sydney Gazette two days later. A man or woman who received an absolute pardon was restored to the position of a free person. They could leave New South Wales and return home if they wished. Darling was a strict disciplinarian. Dyster states that he “conferred  almost no pardons whatever.”[24] Before issuing the few Absolute Pardons, he insisted that this concession was subject to production of the most satisfactory testimonials of exemplary conduct. He required magistrates to carry out detailed investigations, denying a pardon to any of whose morality and principles there was any doubt.[25] He issued only 23 Pardons[26] during his five year stewardship, compared with ten times that rate during the governorship of Macquarie.

        Marshall’s Absolute Pardon was in due course granted on 13 June 1827 when the Document listed the following details:

Name George Marshall
Ship, Master “Indian”, Barclay
Year 1810
Offence Blank
Native Place Yorkshire
Sentence Life
Year of Birth 1783
Height, Complexion 6’1½”, Dark, ruddy and a little pockmarked.
Hair, Eyes Brown and bald, Dark
General remarks Had a Conditional Pardon No 1005 now delivered up and cancelled.
Original (signed by Governor Ralph Darling) delivered to Geo Marshall 15 June 1827. Transmitted to Clerk of the Supreme Court 15 September 1828

       Consequently, by mid 1827 George, along with Mary, were entirely free persons, and presiding over a family, property holdings, a business record and donor of some philanthropy. Colonial leaders Edward Wollstoncraft JP and Father J J Therry had, in 1824, declared him to be “…an honest, industrious and well conducted man.[27] And again in 1827 the couple to be “…an industrious and deserving couple.” [28] He was surely able  now  to claim that he was “…reinstated in the middle sphere of society”, an objective he had set out in his petition to Governor Brisbane in 1825.[29]

        George Marshall’s Sydney of 1827 had developed into a thriving community. In the same year, an English visitor wrote to ‘The Australian’ in the following terms:

“A person arriving here under the impression that he is landing amongst a people chiefly composed of the off-scourings of society, in a land of pickpockets, in short, Botany Bay, would be astonished to find himself in such a town as Sydney and himself and his property as safe as at home.”[30]

       In early 1828 George Marshall applied for a Publican’s Licence. It seems likely that he had the intention to open an Inn on the Campbell Street land. He had earlier received Governor Brisbane’s approval to build two buildings on the site, presumably to replace the premises he and his family had occupied since settling on the land ten years earlier. In 1826, he had “a two story brick  building and out houses”[31], the latter presumably for his woollen goods factory. This was notified as approved on 7 May 1828.

       However, before he could take the matter any further, Marshall died on 29 June of that year, 18 years after arriving in the fledgling Colony, leaving Mary as a second time widow, with her two colonial born children, now 13 and 11 respectively, as well as the two daughters she had left behind in Dublin. George was buried in the old Sydney Burial ground, and when that land was taken over for the Central Railway terminus, his body and headstone were moved to Rookwood cemetery.[32] The headstone bears the  inscription in the box.

       He had commenced the construction of the new buildings before his death, having received approval from Governor Brisbane between 1822 and 1825. He completed the process of making his Will on 24 June 1828.


But his death  at the age of 46 was a severe blow to the family. His woollen manufactory business was evidently prospering. He had received a Publican’s Licence only weeks before, planning to expand into the hotel trade. He left  two young children – thirteen and eleven years old. Moreover, there is no evidence that his widow had any experience or skills to continue the business. They were not, incidentally, included in the NSW Census, taken in November of that year, though that has no significance as they were certainly living in Campbell Street. Other 1822 occupants of Campbell St were similarly omitted, leading us to believe relevant papers may not have survived.


His Will, in which he described himself as a Weaver, was conventional in that he left everything to his widow and children.

“…to my dear wife Mary Marshall,  I give and bequeath all my household furniture and also 4 head of horned cattle belonging to me now depasturing at BURRAGARAIGH farm to her own sole and separate use for ever. I leave & bequeath ….for the mutual benefit of my said wife Mary my son Charles Marshall & my daughter Mary Anne Marshall all my house &. premises with the grounds thereunto belonging situate in Campbell Street Sydney also the Grounds adjoining same upon which a dwelling house I intended to build the foundation of is begun also my factory belonging to said premises situate in the rear of the said building so commenced with all rents advantages benefits & emoluments that may be derived therefrom and it is my will that from the profits or emoluments arising from the before mentioned property my said wife Mary shall only enjoy such benefit during her natural life and no longer and after her decease I leave & bequeath all my property before mentioned to my two children Charles &  Mary Ann share & share alike….. ” [33]

We know from several documents that he owned cattle at least from 1822, when he sought an order for land “…on a run of water he has discovered situate about one or two miles from the North head of Botany Bay…..”  His 1828 Will records fewer cattle than some years before, and suggests that the farm on which they were depasturing was not his own. We are unaware, unfortunately, where this ‘Burragaraigh’ farm was located. Little Bay, between La Perouse and Long Bay, and not a long way from the North Head of Botany Bay had been named by the aborigines as “Burragah”. [34] The local historical society is the Burraga Aboriginal History and Writing Group[35]. Furthermore, the Little Bay area is “…two miles from the North Head…”. So one is tempted to conclude the Little Bay area as the location of “the farm”. However, none of many other aboriginal place name reference books have such a reference. Obed West, though he describes the area as occupied by many aborigines at the time, makes no reference to the name, though he says the natives at the time called the (adjacent) Long Bay area as “Boora”.[36]


The puzzle remains unsolved. Moreover, the word ‘Burragaraigh’ appears to have been written in the Will by another hand, complicating matters further.


The La Perouse / Long bay references above lead one to believe, though not strongly, that the livestock could possibly have been held at “Brimsen’s Farm’ at Botany. The 1828 Census records that the proprietor of the Farm was William Pithers, (1768-1855)[37]  who was an Executor of George’s Will. Like Marshall, Pithers arrived on the ‘’Indian’’ in 1810, though as a free settler, not as a convict. A Protestant, Pithers was born in Boveney, Buckinghamshire, England about 1768 and was a soldier for 25 years. On discharge he was permitted to reside in the Colony. He and his wife, Ann, (1771-1851), arrived on the “Indian” in 1810.[38] They came as “free settlers”. In 1822 he was granted 40 acres of land in the District of Botany. He agreed to “clear and cultivate 20 acres of the uncultivated land” and was not to sell this land for a term of 5 years. In 1826 William was appointed Constable at Botany Bay, an area which lay between Cook’s and George’s Rivers and inland as far as Liverpool Road. As part of his duties, William was a Census collector for the 1828 Census, at which time he had two children and 8 assigned servants.. At this time the whole population of the area was only 299. The Census showed that William owned 40 acres, 24 of which were cultivated, 1 horse and 20 cattle. This farm was in present day Lakemba and would now be cut in two by Canterbury Road.


A further possibility, albeit a long shot, is a farm owned in 1823 by a “Mr Marshall” at ‘Bullanaming’ at or adjacent to what is now Newtown Railway Station. A Richard Tress rented the farm and the adjacent Nicholas Devine land, and in a Sydney Gazette notice [39] cautioned readers against trespassing or taking the timber. While the Nicholas Devine land can be readily identified on contemporary maps, no reference can be found to any Marshall land in the area.

Further chapters are under construction.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Letters to Col Sec Fiche 3179; 4/1852 p. 230 and Reel 1228 and 613.
  2.  Report of the Select Committee on Transportation. P.xvii, Parlt Papers 1837-8 XXII 669.
  3.  H.O.10 NSW Convict Musters, 1810-37
  4.  Letters to Col Sec Fiche 3179; 4/1852 p.230] [Reel 1228 and 613.
  5.  Lachlan Macquarie. M H Ellis
  6.  1820 Male Muster. HO 10.
  7.  1822 Muster. The reference to Mary McCarroll –and ’7 years’ – is erroneous, as is the spelling of her name.
  8.  Fiches 3290 and 3291 SRNSW
  9.  SRNSW Reel 6035 SZ13 p. 83 and SZ13 p.39.
  10.  SRNSW Reel 6019 pp 514-5.
  11.  Sydney Gazette 11.10.1826
  12.  1822 NSW Muster.
  13.  SRNSW Reel 1256 Part 4/1229 (1819) and 4/1230 (1821).
  14.  SRNSW COD 550 1823/4/5 Muster.
  15.  SRNSW Reel 6021 p.65, 199, 201.
  16.  Sydney Gazette 26 May 1825 page 1.
  17.  SRNSW Fiche 3179 p.230
  18.  Fiche 3143; 4/1843A No. 512 pp. 365-8.    Reel 1079 Memorial 512. Ref. 4/1843
  19.  SRNSW Reel 1156 (1).
  20.  SRNSW Reel 1203 Item 2/1786 Memorial 355
  21.  Surveyor General’s Office 27 Aug 1828 in SRNSW Reel 1203 Item 2/1786 Memorial 355
  22.  Hallen Survey Book 347 Ca. 1830 AO Reel 2628.
  23.  Fiche 3292 4/6974 Page 46
  24.  Barrie Dyster. “Servant and Master. Building and Running the Grand Houses of Sydney. 1788-1850”.
  25.  ‘Ralph Darling. A Governor maligned’ by Brian H Fletcher.
  26.  SRNSW Reel 800   4/4489-90
  27.  SRNSW Fiche 3179 Page 230.
  28.  SRNSW Reel 697 24 January 1827.
  29.  SRNSW Reel 1079 Memorial 512 of 17 October 1825.
  30.  The Australian, 17 January 1827.
  31.  Land Titles Office document B 367.
  32.  Section M, Old RC, Rookwood.
  33.  The full text of the Will is at Appendix ZZZ
  34.  “Aboriginal Place Names” by A W Reed.
  35.  Maria Nugent. “Botany Bay – Where Histories Meet.”
  36.  “The Memoirs of Obed West – A Portrait of Early Sydney” Edited by Edward West Marriott.
  37.  SRNSW Reel 2552 1828 Census Returns for Botany.
  38.  Jean Nolan in ‘The Canterbury Bell’ Newsletter May 2000.
  39.  Sydney Gazette 31 July 1823.