From the beginning, convicts escaped from Moreton Bay Penal Settlement and many-headed southwards towards civilization. Although not recognized as such, they were explorers just the same. The first successful of these, to arrive at Port Macquarie, appear to have been a party of four who escaped in late 1825. The Commandant at Port Macquarie, Captain Gillman, wrote to the Colonial Secretary on 18 November 1825.
“I have to inform you that four Crown Prisoners (as per margin) who state themselves to be deserters from the settlement at Moreton Bay have arrived here. They assert that they have been five weeks on the journey, which they made nearly the whole way within a few miles of the sea-beach; they mention they crossed two very large rivers, besides many smaller ones; and over very large plains many miles in length; thus they give an account of their excursion; however, my opinion is, that they have made their escape in a boat, I have therefore sent a black constable with a soldier as far north as Trial Bay in hope of being able to secure the boat if they made their escape in this way as I suppose.”
Another letter of the 25 November 1825, conveyed the information that one of the convicts admitted that the party [in total about 14 persons] had seized a boat at Moreton Bay and that they had been at sea for a number of days before beaching the boat some distance above Port Macquarie. Nine of the escapees deserted inland at this stage and the remainder pushed on to Port Macquarie. A further report of this party in the Sydney Gazette of 1 December, gave further details of their claims and description of the land between Moreton Bay and Port Macquarie, but as they completed most of their journey by boat it is unlikely they saw the Tweed, Richmond, and Clarence Rivers.
In the following year, another report appeared in Sydney newspapers concerning an escapee from Moreton Bay, one William Smith. The report stated-
“A runaway from Moreton Bay arrived lately at Newcastle. He performed the journey by land in nine weeks. He stopped four days in the neighborhood of Port Macquarie to refresh and brought away a companion from thither. They were stripped of their clothing by the natives, and in a most miserable plight arrived at Port Stephen’s where the assistant pilot of Newcastle discovered them. He brought them into Newcastle. We have not heard how they have been disposed of.”
“He describes the country between Moreton Bay and Port Macquarie ‘to be beautiful beyond description. A gentle undulation of hill and dale extends for many miles. Vast plains, well-watered and thickly wooded are to be found in abundance. He counts fourteen rivers over which he crossed on his journey.”
Smith was returned to Moreton Bay and was probably a source of comfort and knowledge to the later escapees from Moreton Bay.
It is important that we give a full study to Richard Craig and that of his father William. William Craig was born near Strokes town in County Roscommon, Ireland about 1773. It is believed he married and had at least one child, Richard born about 1811 in the neighbouring county of Longford, a few kilometres away. The country thereabouts is unsuitable for agriculture being low and marshy, but is very useful for the grazing of cattle and sheep and is, in fact, renowned for this. William Craig was a farmer and butcher living in this area. Nothing further is known of the family until 1820 when, William, probably a widower, was tried at the Lent Assizes at Cavan for sheep stealing. He was sentenced to seven years transportation to New South Wales. Although unusual, his son Richard, aged about eight years, was to accompany his father on board the Prince Regent, which sailed on 19 September 1820, and arrived in Sydney, 9 January 1821.
William Craig remained in Government employ for a short time after his arrival and is listed as such in the 1822 Convict Muster. On 8 October 1822, he was assigned to Bernard Fitzpatrick at Prospect. It is probably here that William and Richard experienced handling stock in the Australian bush and had contact with Aboriginals.
On 25 August 1823, William Craig married Jane Mitchell, another convict, at St Matthew’s Church, Windsor. Some eighteen months later William was convicted by circumstantial evidence to be involved in cattle stealing and was sentenced to the penal settlement at Port Macquarie, for three years. Richard, now aged about 12 years of age accompanied him. Young Richard, already well versed in looking after stock in the bush and possibly acquainted with native ways would not have found the Port Macquarie experience difficult. In fact, he was now a young man and probably enjoyed the companionship of the local Aborigines and certainly learned much of their language and bush skills which would be of great help to him some years later.
While William and Richard Craig were at Port Macquarie, William’s wife, Jane, still residing near Windsor, was arrested and sentenced to the female factory for six months. When William was returned to Sydney in March 1827, he applied for his wife to be released early, however, her conduct was such that she was not allowed to return to William then, and it is doubtful that she ever did so. On his application for Jane, William refers to his farm ‘ up country’. Later he indicated that he raised cattle there for the Sydney Market. He and Richard certainly brought cattle to Sydney for sale, but it was suspected they were stolen cattle, although there was never sufficient evidence to bring them to court. This all changed in July 1828 when both Richard and William were arrested and convicted of cattle stealing.
Early in May 1828, William Craig rented a house from Joshua Holt in Castlereagh Street, Sydney, to open a butcher shop. He told Holt, that he had fat cattle at the Coal River, and had sent his son Richard, to collect them for slaughter. Previously Craig also told Holt, he had some cattle at Burragarang. Holt became suspicious that Craig had more cattle than he could honestly come by, and was sending his son Richard to steal cattle, and ordered Craig to vacate the premises. Soon afterward a series of suspicious circumstances led to the arrest of Richard and William Craig, and they were indicted for ‘cattle stealing and receiving’, the property of Richard Jones. A number of people were called as witnesses at the trial. Thomas Smith, a servant of Richard Jones was bringing some cattle from the Hunter River towards Sydney and met Richard Craig at Joseph Smith’s at Putty. Craig offered his services to help bring the cattle as far as Richmond, which he did. However, during the night he made away with some of the beasts and brought them to Sydney for slaughter.
. One of the major players in the conviction of the men, was Chief Constable Jilks, a point worth remembering for subsequent events some eight years later. Richard was sentenced to death, but it was commuted to 7 years of hard labour in chains at Moreton Bay. This was William Craig’s second colonial offense, and so he was sentenced to 14 years at Norfolk Island. William died at Norfolk Island on 24 December 1836 from diarrhea, aged 66 years. The Commandants remark noted on his death record, that he was of ‘Good Character, quiet and inoffensive’.
On 10 January 1829, Richard Craig was placed on board the City of Edinburgh and sent to Moreton Bay. Like many prisoners, he tried to escape his confinement. His first attempt was in March 1829, but he was returned within two weeks. His second bid for freedom was on 19 September 1829, but he was brought in on 13 October 1829. It was most likely, he was then placed under close confinement for some time. His third and final escape was on 17 December 1830. This time he was more successful and made his way south towards Port Macquarie.
View of Port Macquarie by August Earle,c1825 from State Library of New South Wales
Many hundreds of kilometres away at the Government Stockyards at Wellington Valley, near Bathurst, preparations were being made for another journey across the wilderness to Port Macquarie. John Maxwell was the Superintendent of Government Stock there and was winding down activities at that establishment. The disposal of the Colonial Government farms was initiated in 1830 and all Government farms except those at Emu Plains and Moreton Bay were advertised for lease, including that at Wellington Valley. The cattle there were to be sent northwards to the Port Macquarie penal establishment.
On 10 November 1830 Maxwell wrote to the Colonial Secretary.
“Arrangements will be made by the beginning of January for the cattle ordered to be sent to Port Macquarie”,
then on the 16th of December 1830.
” I have also to acquaint you that a team has been sent to Sydney for the stores for the use of the party intended to proceed to Port Macquarie with one hundred head of fat cattle, and as soon as I conceive the rivers are sufficiently low, to enable the party to undertake the journey, the cattle will be forwarded”
In reply to a letter from the Colonial Secretary’s Office at the end of March 1831 he wrote,
” Your letter…. desiring to be informed if the 6 men sent to Port Macquarie, are wanted for any special purpose here… I do not conceive it necessary to return them here.” It would seem by this remark, that the party had already begun their journey.
To put this daring journey from the Bathurst District, though the Liverpool Plains to Port Macquarie into perspective it should be noted that Oxley had tried to reach Port Macquarie via the Liverpool Plains in 1818. Henry Dangar, an outstanding bushman of his time had lost all his horses in trying to get to Port Macquarie from New England in 1825, and his exhausted party arrived on foot. No one else is known to have made the journey by 1831. Although there certainly were men and stock on the Liverpool Plains, these were few and far between. Mitchell had not made his trip down the Namoi River and any maps of the colony were certainly wildly distorted and useless. It would seem it was a particularly difficult excursion and we should not be surprised at the letter the Commandant of Port Macquarie wrote to the Colonial Secretary at the end of May, advising him of the arrival of the party, but without the stock.
27 May 1831
“An Overseer (Oliver) and five men report having left Wellington Valley with 107 head of cattle and 6 horses on 3rd February 1831 and were directed in an N.E. course – six weeks provisions – have suffered great privations – left cattle 74 and 4 horses on 17th instant about 50 miles beyond the New River”.
The Colonial Secretary’s reply of 14 June-
” … acknowledging… your letter… reporting the arrival of Overseer Oliver and five men forwarded with cattle from Wellington Valley to Port Macquarie, but they had been compelled to leave the surviving animals on the route until the party could refresh and return for them.
I am directed by His Excellency to request that these men when recovered from fatigue, maybe despatched in search of the cattle…”
Meanwhile, it would seem the Commandant was of the same mind as an entry in his diary records,
13 June 1831
” Crown prisoner Overseer Oliver and a party of 4 men went to the interior for the fat oxen etc. left by them in the bush coming from Wellington Valley.”
4 July 1831
” Overseer Oliver and the four men, crown prisoners, who went for the cattle left in the bush on their way from Wellington Valley, returned and report they cannot proceed in the direction sent, the mountains perpendicular and the ravines being utterly impassable.
31 July 1831
Overseer Oliver and party who went in pursuit of the cattle have returned without them”
While all this drama was going on at Port Macquarie, Richard Craig, the runaway from Moreton Bay was slowing making his way down the coast. He spent several months on the journey and spent some considerable time in the company of Sheik Brown who was also a runaway from Morton Bay and was living with the at ‘the Big River’. With the aid of Brown and the Aborigines, he made his way south to the Trial Bay area, where it is believed he met with Aborigines he had known from his earlier years. He gave himself up to the authorities at Port Macquarie on the 4 August 1831.
The Commandant at Port Macquarie recorded in his diary-
4 August 1831
“Richard Craig, a Moreton Bay bushranger, brought in by the free servant of Mr. Partridge’s to whom he gave himself up”.
No doubt the Commandant closely questioned Craig about his sojourn in the bush and probably learned of his earlier time in the district and his friendship with the Aboriginals. He was clearly impressed with his ability to converse naturally with them and recognized in Craig the possible solution of his most pressing problem of that time, and that was retrieving the missing cattle. The Commandant’s diary reveals an interesting sequence of events-
“13 August 1831
…. four men who were in search of the cattle from Wellington opposing the Overseer in the execution of his duty and insolent to him. Remanded.
15 August 1831
The four crown prisoners remanded on 13th brought up and were sentenced severely each to one month Iron Gang.
Nothing more could be done about the cattle until the men had completed their sentences.
Meanwhile, Craig was not the only Moreton Bay runaway taken at this time at Port Macquarie, as the following entries in the diary show-
7 September 1831
‘Two runaways from Morton Bay taken by Mr. Partridge’s servant (Thomas Baker) on North Shore’.
12 September 1831
Two Morton Bay runaways apprehended by the natives at Trial Bay, one made his escape from the blacks,’ (but later brought in by Minni Minni’) and one was taken by the assigned servant of Mr. Reed’s on the North Shore…”
By now the cattle party convicts had completed their month on the iron gang and the Commandant was ready to send them out again, but with caution.
13 September 1831
” The cattle party in charge of Overseer Oliver cautioned by the Commandant to their conduct while on their trip to the interior.”
The party was soon provisioned and made ready but this time there was an extra member in the party.
15 September 1831
” Overseer Oliver and the cattle party (five in Number) with Craig, the Moreton Bay runaway as a guide departed for the interior in search of the cattle”.
It was more than two months before a further report of the party is recorded.
25 November 1831
“Overseer Oliver and one of the cattle party returned reports,’ his success in bringing 57 oxen and 2 horses to Point Plomer, party dreadfully exhausted being so long without flour. Reports that white people ( several in number) are living in the bush, including two white women, and are farming between here and Moreton Bay.’
5 December 1831
‘ Oliver and party returned to the settlement, the cattle taken to Rolland’s Plains”.
Meanwhile, the Commandant at Port Macquarie had written to the Colonial Secretary concerning Craig and his reply was as follows.
” with respect to the Moreton Bay runaway named in the margin, (Richard Craig) employed by you as a guide to the party sent in search of the strayed cattle from Wellington Valley in consequence of his perfect knowledge of the native language. I am directed by his excellency the Governor to acquaint you that there will be no objections to his detention and assignment of this man at Port Macquarie, instead of returning him whence he came”
As there was little assignment of prisoners to private and military service, at this time Craig was left at the stock establishment at Rolland’s Plains, where he did his job well.
The Commandant reported in his diary-
28 March 1832
” reported by Overseer Brunker, 4 feet water in his house at Rolland’s Plains, the flats completely covered. Government pigs and cattle saved by the perseverance of crown prisoner Creig. sic. (Craig) .
Over the next few months, the Commandant at Port Macquarie reconsidered the information Craig had given him concerning the ‘Big River’ in the north towards Moreton Bay, and also the knowledge of the ‘ Big River’ to the west (also known as the Page).”
Perhaps he thought they may have been the same river system extending over a very large area. This was a puzzle he wanted to solve. Having made his considerations, he did two things.
Firstly he sent Craig on an exploration journey into the interior and secondly he sent for Sheik Brown whom Craig had talked about at the Big River, towards Moreton Bay. This is revealed by the diary.
“28 July 1832
Crown prisoner Craig equipped for transport from Port Macquarie to Liverpool Plains to trace down the main arm of a river, known by the name of the Big River, to the sea coast.
18 August 1832
William Dalton one of the absentees from Moreton Bay, sent in the direction of the Big River, to bring to the settlement Black Jack, a runaway prisoner from Moreton Bay, who has been with the native blacks for these last three years and upwards’.
24 August 1832
Crown prisoner Craig returned- reached one of the stations belonging to the Agricultural Company Port Stephen’s- could not proceed to Liverpool Plains for the want of provisions.
27 August 1832
Crown prisoner Dalton, one of the Moreton Bay absentees sent after Black Jack a runaway from Moreton Bay came in and reports he has been with him and he is coming to give himself up to the Resident Magistrate.’
29 August 1832
Black Jack a runaway from Morton Bay came in and gave himself up states he has been in the bush 3 years 4 months and chiefly resided at the Big River and its neighbourhood.’
30 August 1832
Black Jack interrogated relative to the Big River gives a very promising statement of the navigation of the river, which abounds with fish-the land excellent-abundance of emu, kangaroo and wildfowl are in all directions of this river. Fine oak, gum and other trees of use, for various purposes, are growing here.”
Black Jack Sheik
Sheik Brown, a ‘man of colour’, originally from Bombay, was sentenced for Life at the Middlesex Court on 7 April 1824. He arrived in Sydney in 1825 onboard Asia (5). In 1828 he was sent to Moreton Bay from where he soon absconded. He traveled southwards and then settled with the Aboriginals at the ‘Big River’ for several years before voluntarily giving himself up at Port Macquarie in August 1832.
Much of his later life is told in the correspondence between the Colonial Secretary’s Office and the Commandant at Port Macquarie.
“4 February 1833
Sir, It having been represented by the Commandant of Moreton Bay that the prisoner named in the margin (Sheik Brown per Asia), is a runaway from that settlement, is now employed as a servant at Port Macquarie.
I am directed by His Excellency the Governor to request your report on the matter and that Brown if actually at Port Macquarie may be apprehended and returned to Moreton Bay by the first opportunity.
A few days later the Resident Magistrate wrote to the Colonial Secretary.
15 February 1833
‘Sir, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant and in reply I beg to state that Black Jack, alias Jack Brown, alias Sheik Brown was duly reported of having voluntary surrendered himself at this settlement as a runaway from Moreton Bay after having been three years and three months in the bush between this and Moreton Bay upon a promise on my part that I would intercede with his Excellency the Governor, to allow of his remaining here instead of returning to that settlement and in consequence I addressed the Private Secretary on 8 September last, upon the subject, and therein stated that in consequence of the prisoner being an unfortunate black from Bombay and unaccustomed to mess with Europeans I had taken him on loan into my own service which I trusted would meet with his Excellency’s approbation, since then the said Sheik Brown absconded from this on 16th ultimo and returned to his former haunt where it is likely he will remain from being befriended by the aboriginals. Signed Benjamin Sullivan- Resident Magistrate.
Little was heard of Sheik Brown for some time. However, on 15 May 1834, a letter from the Colonial Secretary’s Office refers as follows-
‘ The prisoner named in the margin (Sheik Brown, Asia (5)), a runaway from Morton Bay, the subject of my letter to you of 25 March 1833… having been apprehended at Hunter River is returned to that settlement by the present opportunity” –that is, by the government cutter,
Governor Phillip. After spending some time at Moreton Bay Brown was returned to Sydney where he received a Ticket of Leave, from the Parramatta Bench in 1842. Later it was altered to Moreton Bay where he remained until the completion of sentence.
Richard Craig remained in the Port Macquarie District under assignment. It is believed some of this time he was on the Upper Macleay taking care of stock for settlers who were opening up the area. On the Monthly Returns of Crown Prisoners for March 1834, he is noted as-
Richard Craig, Prince Regent, from assigned service.
On 30 July 1830, a proclamation announced that the Port Macquarie settlement was to be thrown open for private settlement although the convict settlement was to remain.
The Crown land in the Port Macquarie District in the 1830 to 1831 period, was received by the grantees, on what was termed as the ‘Governor’s Promise’. They occupied the land, and after seven years from the date of the authority to take possession, quit rent became payable until redeemed. These grants were under Governor Darling, who was the last Governor to dispose of land in this way. After 1831 Crown Land was sold by auction after having been surveyed and advertised in the Government Gazette.
At the end of March 1832, the Government Agricultural Establishment at Port Macquarie was closed and the convicts were assigned as labourers to free settlers. Craig after carrying out work at Rolland’s Plains and the exploration journey was reassigned.
In June 1832, Captain Smyth, the last military commandant, departed and was replaced by Benjamin Sullivan, the first resident Police Magistrate.
In 1835 the resident Magistrate of Port Macquarie, Benjamin Sullivan published his proposals for the development of the area around Port Macquarie and reported to the Governor his concerns of the movement of the squatters into the districts outside the ‘limits of location.’
His proposal and information he had gleaned about the country to the north and west was published in the newspaper ‘The Colonist’ in 1835- Included was reports made by various convicts-
“Richard Craig, per Prince Regent in 1820 states- that he left Moreton Bay in 1830, and proceeded to Point Danger, continued along the coast and crossed several rivers till he came to the mouth of the Big River, which had an entrance resembling this, having a point on the North Shore, and having a high cliff on the south; at low water, the river is about as wide as this (referring to Hastings at Port Macquarie), at high water that getting inside the Head, it forms an estuary with two sandbanks in it, the channels running around and between them. Into this estuary two branches empty themselves, the one running due west about three-quarters of a mile, divided at its mouth, the other half a mile wide, running North-west; the entrance of the harbour is deep, and there was no appearance of breakers or bar. He met there another runaway from Moreton Bay, who informed him he had seen the boats of H M S Rainbow, go up the Western River to a great distance. That about forty miles from its mouth, he met with delightful plains, far superior to any about here; and as he passed along the mountains to them, he could see on the opposite side of the river, and on the north-west, others extending as far as the eye could reach. On the mountains he met with trees very lofty and thick in the bark, differing from any he had seen elsewhere. On the south side of the entrance to the harbour, there is good ground for a Township, with plenty of good water.”
” Sheik, alias Jack Brown, a Mussulman, states, that he has been absent from Moreton Bay three years and four months, having principally stopped at the large river, called by the natives, Brimbo, and by some Berin. That the river is very wide at the mouth; that during the neap tides at half-ebb, it has nine feet water, and at low water, six feet, and during the spring tides at high water, from fifteen to sixteen feet; the ebb tide runs strong; he has been up the southern branch in a canoe, carried by the tide; in going up the northern branch afterward, he entered a large lake, about a hundred miles round, from which he again continued going up the river to the southward and westward six days, at the rate of from twenty to thirty miles a day, the country around appeared to be flat, with an abundance of all kinds of fish in the rivers. All the rivers appear to unite. Half a day’s journey up the western branch, he came to a branch like a canal, which runs into the southern lake, a ship of seventy-four guns can go up the northern branch in four tides, at seven knots per hour. It took him ten days and a half to go from the entrance to the farthest extremity of this river in his canoe. He saw the Rainbow at anchor at the Big River. The land is beautiful all about the river. Half a day’s journey up the northern river, there is plenty of pine. He saw a whaleboat near the Black Rock River, and another about two miles distance, buried in the sand. Between Trial Bay and Smoky Cape, a schooner lies wrecked and appears to have been there some time. During the summer, plenty of sea salt can be collected off the rocks; plenty of stone to be had for building.”
The Governor realized it was an impossible task to confine the squatters within further boundaries and in 1836 an Act was passed admitting the right to graze stock, after payment of a license fee, on lands lying beyond the limits of location. The Act made squatting on lands legally and respectable and from that time on many large holdings on the New England and the Macleay River were taken up. To overseer, the seven districts beyond the boundaries of location, Commissioners of Crown Lands were appointed. One of these appointees was Henry Oakes, whose district No 7, included the County of Gloucester, Port Macquarie and the area of all waters falling towards the east coast (up to Morton Bay). Major Oakes played a major part in the settlement of the northern rivers, particularly the Clarence and Richmond, and we will learn much more of him in later chapters.
To return to the story of Richard Craig. Although Craig may have lived a fairly free life in “assignment” at Port Macquarie District, he was discharged from the Convict establishment on 30 September 1835 as a ‘free’ man. He then made his way to Sydney. However since his years spent away from civilization, some things had changed. For example on completion of their sentence, ‘free’ convicts in Sydney needed to apply and be granted a ‘Certificate of Freedom’, which was to be carried at all times to ‘prove’ his or her status. Constables were paid a bounty for the apprehension of absconders. Both these were important facts known to ‘free’ men in Sydney. Another important fact as far as Craig was concerned the Chief Constable of Sydney was still George Jilks, who was so instrumental in Craig’s conviction in 1828.
When Craig made it to Sydney, he stayed at the Three Crown Inn, at the corner of Cumberland Street and Charlotte Place, which was kept by Charles James Bullivant. Also staying at the Three Crowns was one Richard Payne, who had come to Sydney as a convict in 1819 onboard the Malabar, but by this time was free by servitude. Payne was a contemporary of Thomas Ryan, who at the time was the Chief Clerk to the Superintendent of Convicts at Hyde Park.
Thomas Ryan had also been a convict and had come out on the Pilot in 1817. He had been a clerk in the Colonial Office for many years before being appointed Chief Clerk on 1 January 1828. Bullivant asked Payne to negotiate the voluntary surrender of Craig stating that he had valuable information to convey to the Government. After Payne had spoken to Craig concerning the information about the Big River, Payne went to see Thomas Ryan and obtained a pass for Craig to proceed to the barracks free from arrest by the constables. On reaching Hyde Park, Thomas Ryan recognized Craig at once, having what we would term now, a photographic memory. He had been in that office when Craig and his father had been convicted in July 1828. Craig’s business was told and he was given a pass to undertake employment during the day and to return to the barracks for muster in the evening until his free status could be confirmed from records.
There is no doubt Thomas Ryan would have passed this information onto his brother-in-law Francis Girard, a well-known businessman and timber merchant on the Macleay River. However, his part in the settlement of the Clarence River will be told later.
It has also been claimed that the Government cutter Prince George was dispatched by the Governor to the Big River, to check Craig’s story, however, there is no record of a special visit of that ship for that purpose. On 22 September 1836, the vessel departed Sydney in quest of the wreck and crew of the brig Stirling Castle and returned on 14 October 1836. It is possible Girard had made inquiries through his shipping connections for Shoal Bay to be checked. Another possibility is that the Betsy which arrived from Morton Bay on 24 November 1836, could also have been used to convey news of the entrance of the Big River.
After his return to Sydney we loose sight of Craig for some months but believe he was hiring himself out as a labourer in certain establishments, including working at the timber yard of Thomas Small. He later claimed to have overheard a conversation between his employers concerning the employment of the ship they were building for the cedar trade. There was already a decline of available timber on the Illawarra and Hastings River districts, and an incident in September 1837 on the Macleay or New River, had made Small and Gillett reluctant to try these areas, so they were interested in Craig’s information on the ‘Big River’ further north. As the ship was near completion Henry Gillett wrote to the Colonial Secretary’s Office seeking permission ” to cut cedar on unlocated Crown Lands about ninety miles beyond the Macleay River on the Big River.”
When the ship named “Susan’ after Thomas Small’s daughter, was completed and rigged she set out on a journey of discovery in early April 1838.
Extracts from ” European Settlement in the Clarence River District before 1850″, by Nola Mackey, 2001, Grafton, published by author. This publication is fully referenced and indexed.