October 1978


This Bulletin, perhaps the first of many, has a number of purposes, but is primarily intended to share items of Curlewis family history with those interested in the subject. Because my interests are centred around the first generation of the Curlewis family that came to Australia, I must forewarn you that I' ll probably concentrate on those members of the family. Having been in correspondence with many of you for some time, and finding my list or correspondents(and my load of correspondence) to be growing steadily, I also hope these bulletins will lessen the time I spend in writing lengthy individual letters, whilst still maintaining contact with my correspondents and sharing the results of research Some of the items you read in these bulletins will not, I' m afraid be new to you - indeed, the information may well have come from you in the first place - but hopefully there will always be enough of interest to make them worth reading. I will incidentally, always endeavour to mention the sources of my information,
Finally, if you have any comments, corrections, or criticisms to make, any information or clues to contribute, or know of anyone who- should be added to my mailing list, please let me know
Terry King
History Department
Monash University
94 Mount Morton Road


The Australian Pioneers \and their arrival in New South Wales
IN search of George Edward Curlewis
George Edward Curlewis another (earlier) sighting
Alfred Claribeaux Curlewis
some references noted
The Australians: their arrival in New South Wales.

Although we can be fairly sure of date (or month and year, rather) of arrival of the most notable of the five members of the Curlewis family to come here, there is still some doubt about the others.
George Campbell Curlewis arrived in Sydney. On the "Hope" , in 1824, presumably in early May. Ref. Sydney Gazette, May 13 1824, p.2. (But see NOTE p. 4). It is interesting to note that within two weeks of this, G.C.C. had established some sort of relationship - whether of friendship or of business is unclear with Robert Campbell junior, later to he his employer and, later still, his partner in business. The evidence for this is in the Wentworth Papers, in the Mitchel1 Library in the form of a document, dated 25 May, 1824 involving some business transactions between Campbell and an Andrew Frazier, where Campbell 's signature has been witnessed by G.C .C..
In view of this, and G.C.C\rquote s later connections with both Robert Campbell junior and his son Robert Campbell Tertius (which I summarised some months ago), and bearing in mind the " Campbell" in G.C.C' s name, one is tempted to consider the possibility of some connection between the Curlewis and Campbell families before they met in NSW in 1824

Septimus Lord Curlewis & Sarah Isabella Curlewis were the Master and Miss Cur1ewis (first names or initials given) listed in the Sydney Gazette March 3,1828,n.2) as having arrived on the brig " Courier" on March 1, 1828 .The 1822 Census N.S.W. listed only three Curlewis' s, one of whom was G.C.C. Living at the same address were two others, for whom neither sex nor first names are listed. However, the Census does tell us that one was aged 20 and the other16, and that both came on the " Courier" . The 16 year old is fairly obviously S.L.C. born in 1812. His death certificate, dated July 1878 states that he came to Australia 52 years earlier (i.e.1826), but as this information came from his son, and in a time of emotional stress, I think we can take this as an error.

The age (20) of the third Curlewis Listed in the 1828 Census would also appear to be incorrect - according to the information we have on the birthdates of this generation, Sarah Isabella would have been 22. But there is no evidence of any other female Curlewis coming to Australia at this time, and there is indisputable evidence of Sarah Isabella being married in Sydney in 1830. 1 think it is reasonable to assume, therefore, that this third Curlewis and the Miss Curlewis on the" Courier" , was indeed Sarah Isabella.

3 Walter Curlewis arrived on the "Leda"\ , on 25 January, 1832. (Ref. the AustralianJan. 27,1832.) T.D.Mutch, historian, and complier of the T.D.Mutch index of births, marriages, and deaths (Mitchell Library), suggested (in a letter in Sir Adrian Curlewis's) papers that this may not have been Walter Curlewis's first arrival in Australia, and that he may have been the "Master Curlewis" on the" Courier" in 1828. But Mutch would appear to have lacked some of the information about the family that we have: for example, our information about the age of Walter (born in 1804, and therefore 24 in 1828). It is hardly likely that a 24 year old would have been termed " Master" . The 1834 N.S.W. Calendar and G.P.O. Directory lists all three of these brothers at Krarwarree (and? ) Inverary. (Krarwaree being on the headwaters of the Shoalhaven River, south of Braidwood, and Inverary being further to the north, south-east of Goulburn). Walter's departure from Australia for South Africa (or perhaps for England and later to South Africa) is more of a mystery. Recent information from South Africa gives his arrival there as being " around 1851" , and lists the first child of he and his wife as being born there in 1852.

Henry Charles Curlewis - According to the T.D.Mutch index (Mitchell Library) a Henry Charles Curlewis married an Elizabeth Bates, at Maitland on July 30 1849, and a child was born to them the following year. I have no idea when H.C.C. arrived not, indeed, that he was the Henry Charles Curlewis (b. 1800) who was the brother to G.C.C., Walter and Sarah Isabella, and half-brother to S.L.C.. Unfortunately - for researchers at least -there would appear to have been at least three members of the Curlewis family called Henry Charles. One (or two?) is/are mentioned above. Another (?) was the son of William Edward Curlewis (eldest brother of our Australian pioneers), and was born in 1823 at Plymouth, and died in 1863 on the ship" Napoleon"coming home form Calcutta .(Information from a family bible in the possession of Mr David Curlewis) Finally there is ample evidence of another (?) H.C Curlewis being a tailor in London, in 1831 and 1857 (ref. The Times 7/9/1831 and 28/1, 17/4/1857. I also have quite a few other references to a Curlewis, tailor in London, between 1816 and 1863, but as (i) many of the references do not give the initials, and (ii) S L Curlewis senior (father of our Australian pioneers) was also a tailor in London, it is in many cases impossible to tell one Curlewis the tailor from the other. Obviously a lot more research needs to be done here.

Note re. The arrival of G C C Despite all the evidence pointing to his having arrived in the colony in May (or earlier) 1824 G C C himself, in a petition to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated December 1839, appealing against the refusal of his request for additional grant of land, stated that he " arrived in the month of September, 1824" . 

In search of George Edward Curlewis

George Edward (b. 1837), eldest son of George Campbell Curlewis, is probably one of the most interesting members of his generation of the family. Apparently inheriting some of his father's adventurous spirit, he travelled at what now seems a very early age into unknown and dangerous country on several expeditions, the last of which cost him his life. This is the sort of thing that legends are made of, and it is largely this which has made it so difficult to discover the truth about G E C's later life and his death. Of the two " family histories" I have used as the basis for all my work, one stated that G E C was killed by aborigines near (VIC) in 1846 or thereabouts, while the other gives the year of his death as being "around 1862", and the place as "towards the Paroo River in NSW" , and this latter account is now shown to be more or less correct. The " legends" are not confined to family histories. Three Sydney newspapers, in their obituaries for Frederick Charles Curlewis (a younger brother of GE C ) added their own embellishments to the story, having F C C included in the expeditions in which G E C took part. And one account placed the final fatal expedition in the " unknown Gippsland country of Victoria. [where] his brother George was killed by the blacks, and the survivor [F C C ], having no law to appeal to, took toll of the miscreants who had robbed him of his companion". It may be good, dramatic journalism, but it doesn't have much connection with reality.

The following, taken largely from newspaper items of the day, represents my current state of knowledge of the last few months of G E Cs life, and of his death.
Sept 1861 (From a letter from the explorer W E P (Ernest) Giles to the Royal Society, read a their meeting of 29/8/1864, and printed in The Argus of 30/8/1864. The letter refers to the discovery of human remains thought to be those of some of Ludwig Leichardt's expedition) "when looking for country in September, 1861, I feel assured that we came upon the remains of some of Dr Ludwig Leichardt's party. Our party consisted of Mr Conn, and his son, Mr Curlewis (who was soon after killed by the blacks,) and myself."
It is worth noting that their expedition took place at the time when there were search-parties out looking for Burke and Wills, and went into the area where that more noted expedition met its tragic end. Indeed Giles, in his book "Australia Twice Traversed" (Vol 1 pp. Xlii-xliii), states that the Giles/Conn/Curlewis party was" in retreat upon the Darling, when we met Howitt [leader of Victoria' s relief expedition for Burke and Will' s] going out. When farther north I repeatedly urged my companion [Conn] to visit the Cooper, from which we were then only eighty or ninety miles away, in vain. I urged how we might succour some, if not all, of the wanderers. Had we done so we should have found and rescued King, and we might have been in time to save Burke and Wills also; but Conn would not agree to go. It is true we were nearly starved as it was, and might have been entirely starved had we gone there, but by good fortune we met and shot a stray bullock that had wandered from the Darling, and this happy chance saved our lives."
Oct 1861. By October 15 the Giles/Conn/Curlewis party was in Menindie, and had handed to Dr Macadam, of the Royal Society, a despatch from Howitt that they had picked up from a pre-arranged cache on their return trip. Their letter to Dr Macadam, and Howitt's despatch, appeared in the Argus of 1/11/1861.
Nov 1861. On November 28 G E C wrote to The Argus his letter being published on Dec 28), giving his address as " Mount Murchison, Darling River" , and stating in a post script "I am starting out again, and hope to be able to give you some information on the matter when I come in, which will probably be within six months". The "matter" he referred to, and the subject of his letter, was the location of the graves that he, Conn and Giles had seen on their previous expedition, and the question of whose graves they were. (This matter is further dealt with below, under the heading " How good a bushman was George Edward Curlewis?"
April 1862.By April, fears were being expressed about the safety of G E C and his companion. The Argus 29/4/1862 stated "Letters have been received in town which lead to the apprehension that some contretemps has occurred to Mr Curlewis, who was out exploring north of Menindie, on the confines of Queensland, as his horses have made on the Darling". Actually, as the following item indicates, Curlewis and his companion McCulloch were almost certinly dead already. On 16/5/62 the Argus printed a letter dated 23April\'85 received by Mr Hugh Glass, from Mr Boyd, of the Darling stating " the object of the present is to inform you of the result of the trip of two men I sent out the the Paroo to see if I could learn any tidings of Curlewis and M'Cullogh. .And I regret to say that, with regard to them, my worst fears have been confirmed. A black-fellow, acquainted with the Paro blacks, accompanied the men I sent out, and he ascertained from the blacks at Bilpa, on the creek that the explorers wen t out from there in the direction of Bulla, but came back again to the creek the second day, being unable to find water in the bush. They then buried saddles and everything in the camp, with the exception of clothes, which they appropriated themselves .I have secured three of Curlewis's horses, and one of M'Cullagh's; and I learned through the blacks that three more were highter up the creek". Confirmation of G.E.C.'s death did not come until late 1864, when a Queensland pastoralist/explorer, Duncan McIntyre," with a small party, rode north from the Darling to search for pastorial land on the lower Flinders River. In an unexplored tract between the head of the Paroo and the Barcoo, he came upon the bodies of two pioneers names Curlewis and Mcculloch. They had been killed by aborigines in a surprise attack on their camp." (from Glenville Pike Queensland Frontier p.177). The Age on 3/1/1865, reprinted an article on McIntyre' s discoveries in the Riverine Herald (Echuca) on 31/12/1864. It said that McIntyre' s party " left the Paroo on the 21st June 1864\'85 will be heard with satisfaction by the relatives and friends of the late Mr Curlewis, that his remains, together with those of his companion, M\rquote Culloch, were discovered by Mr M'Intyre, and that his fate has been placed beyond all doubt. The blacks pointed out the grave in which they were laid together, and described how they had been murdered. The bones were disinterred, and the skulls of both these unfortunate young men were found to have been fractured by blows from some heavy weapons. They were undoubtedly the remains of white men, and part of a bridle rein was found tied round them, as it if had been used by the blacks to carry the bodies. A piece of a Guernsey shirt, very much blood-stained, was also found. There were killed, it appears, about a mile from where they were buried, in a dry billabong. The excuse given for the murder as that Mr Curlewis had coerced a blackfellow to accompany him to show him the country, and that this man, not liking to go, persuaded four others to assist him in killing the two white men The remains were carefully re-interred, and the spot marked. A special note of the locality was taken, as Mr Curlewis was well known to Mr M'Intyre, and he was desirous of doing all in his power to honour the memory of the unfortunate decease.

How good a bushman was George Edward Curlewis? This question is probably unanswerable now, over 100 years after G E C's death, and would probably not be worth considering were it not for some indications that he was not as experienced or skilled as he would need to be, going into unexplored and dangerous country.

I Nov./Dec. 1861 there was a brief exchange, by way of letters to The Argus, between G E C and Mr Haverfield of Bendigo, with each casting aspersions on the other's abilities or achievements as a bushman/explorer.
Haverfield was apparently an acquaintance of W G Conn, and transmitted to the Bendigo advertiser (from whence The Argus picked it up) details of information from Cann of the Giles/Conn/Curlewis expedition, and of their discovery of what were believed to be white mans' graves. To Conn's report Haverfield added comments of his own, apparently trying to clarify the location of the graves, (although not claiming to have personal knowledge of the area), and also making several suggestions as to whose graves they were that the party had found.
In his letter of 28/11/1861 to the Argus (published 28/12/1861) G E C was extremely critical of Haverfield's comments, saying, in effect, that Haverfield would not know anything about the area in which the graves were found because he had never been within 200 miles of the place, and further, that the graves discovered could not possibly be those of the persons names by Haverfield.
In his reply, published in the The Argus of 31/12/ 1861, Haverfield pointedly expressed his confidence in Conn, as " an experienced and reliable bushman", and denied that he had sought to throw "cold water" on Conn's report or to mislead anyone about his own knowledge (or lack of knowledge) of the area. He finished by saying, "it did not need the acumen of our correspondent to discover that I had not visited the spot in question, as that was evident on the face of my own remarks. I must, however, take leave to dispute your correspondent's ability to state where I have been; and I think many bushmen will agree with me, that is it quite as much as can be expected from that gentleman, if he can tell where has has been himself."
One wonders how G E C would have responded to this last barb, but of course Haverfield had had the last word in the dispute. George Edward Curlewis had presumably already left on what was to be his last expedition.


George Edward Curlewis - another (earlier) sighting?

In J O Randell's book, The Pastoral Pattersons (pp 125-7), there is clear evidence of G E C's involvement, in September-December 1857, with the Picaninny Creek or Kamarooka station near Elmore, Vic., presumably as manager for the owner, Myles Patterson. But do the following items - from the journal of the Holloways of Tragowal station (on the Loddon River, just south of Kerang, Vic) - also refer to George Edward Curlewis?

"June 24th 1857. young Curlewis brought 22 horses to paddock at 4/- per head. Brand 4 on right shoulder.
August 4th. young Curlewis and his boy have come tonight for the horses.
August 5th Have delivered the 22 horses of their brand to him, that is, George Curlewis. Received the payment of paddock 25 (pounds), cheque dated Sept 1st 1857 on the V Bank Geelong, and he has started with them. - "

Other obvious questions that spring to mind include :- Is the George Curlewis mentioned, the "young Curlewis', which seems the most likely explanation, who is "his boy"? And what was G E C (if it was him) doing in this area with 22 horses?

Alfred Claribeaux Curlewis - some references noted.

Exhibitions at First Honours Examination - October Term 1857 Classics and English A C Curlewis

Exhibitions at Second Honours examination - October Term 1958 Classics and English - A C Curlewis

Scholarships at Third Honours Examination - February Term 1862 Social Science - A C Curlewis B.A.

Ref. Melbourne University Calendar 1892

Not listed in 1913 directory - died?


Curlewis Bulletin

Number 2

December 1978


p. 2................The Curlewis brothers and their convict servants
p. 3............... Some death certificates
p 4 ............... "My own dear love" A love-letter


It always happens! The item in the last Curlewis Bulletin on the death of George Edward Curlewis represented a summary of my finding on that subject, and I was fairly confident that I had found all the information that was anything like readily accessible. But in the week or so after the Bulletin came out, I came across much more information, from a variety of sources, and even today, when these words were written, found in the University bookshop a new book - on the explorer Ernest Giles - which mentions, briefly, George Edward Curlewis. I'm pleased to say that none of the new information disagrees with anything in the last Bulletin, but I do wish I'd left my summary for a month or so. I'll write a second article on George Edward in a later Bulletin. (Actually I'll be quite pleased if my article in this and subsequent Bulletins somehow bring forth more information on the subjects discussed. A lot depends on you, the reader, commenting on, correcting and criticising the things I've written).
At least one item in this Bulletin demonstrates, I hope, that documents that seem relatively meaningless when considered on their own, can prove to be most valuable sources of historical information when put together - like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle - with other items. The moral is - if you have any little bits and pieces that just might fit into the Curlewis jigsaw puzzle, I'l love to see them!
Finally, I'l like to wish you all a happy Christmas and new Year - the 155th celebrated by the Curlewis family and their descendants in Australia.

Terry King
History Department
Monash University

94 Mount Morton Road

The Curlewis brothers and their convict servants.

This very patchy look at the subject does, I believe, at least give some idea of the number of convicts involved, and suggests that in two cases at least, the relationship between master and assigned convict servant must have been reasonably satisfactory for both parties

1. - from official return of application for, and assignments of, male convict servants. Included in Governor's Despatches, N.S.W. (Mitchell Library)

(from 1.1.1831 to 31.12.1831)

Applicant ......residence applied for......... Total applied for Assigned

G C Curlewis: Sydney..........Oct 25. Dec 18..................43...............5

(from 1.1.1832 to 31.12.1832)

G C Curlewis....Argyle..................................................10................13
[Argyle is the country around Goulburn area. T K]
An NB at the end of this return explains that "where the number of men assigned in this return exceeds that applied for, the excess has been assigned upon uncomplied with applications of the previous year".

(from 1.1.1833 to 31.12.1833)
G C Curlewis ...Murray..................................................14................11
[Murray is the country around Yass/Queanbeyan area. T K ]

- from the N S W Government Gazette 1837, Vol II p. 514, in a "list of male convicts assigned from the 26th June to 7th July 1837" the following entry is noted.

W Curlewis.....Murray.............1 knife-boy I groom"
[anyone explaning what a knife-boy was, and why Walter Curlewis might need one, wins a year's free subscription! TK]

2. John Jauncey
In the introduction to the National Library's 1978 engagement calendar, which contained photographs of the early days of the Tilba Tilba (NSW) area we find the following:

"John Jauncey, a young convict overseer for Curlewis Brother of Ballalaba, near Braidwood, explored the coast with George Curlewis in November 1833. When he returned with stock in February 1834, the block they had selected had been occupied by Dr Wilson's men from Braidwood. He crossed Wallaga lake and settled at Tilba Tilba, not far from the lake shore. Janucey managed an out-station for his employeres until 1843, when he and Septimus Curlewis began dairying and pig-raising, When they were bought out by William Campbell of Moruya in 1846, Janucey stayed on as manager.."

A correspondent from Central Tilba provides the following details of Jauncey's background:

"Sentenced to death for housebreaking at Worcester assizes. Commuted to life 3 March 1832. Arrived by Asia 27th June. Assigned to G C Curlewis, County Murray"

There are a few items - reminiscences, and that sort of thing - from Jauncey himself, in the Mitchell Library and in the hands of private individuals. These tend to be rather muddled, and the put Janucey almost in the role of leader of the expedition. There is no mention of Jauncey's having beena convict. These items therefore fail to add much to our knowledge of the Curlewis brothers as the employers of convict labour, except in confirming that Janucey reose from the position of convict servant, to overseer and finally to partnership with S L C in the Tilba Tilba property which suggests a fairly satisfactory relationship.

3. William Higginson
In the NSW Government Gazette, 1838, Vol II, p. 652, in a list of "Runaways apprehended during the last week", the following entry appears -

"Higginson, William.......Moffat (2) .....G C Curlewis, Bungonia......."

The Moffat was the ship (convict transport) that Higginson came out on, and the (2) indicates its second trip. According to Charles Bateson's The Convict Ships p. 354, the Moffatt, on its second trip, left Portsmouth on 7 May 1836, and arrived in NSW on 31 August 1836, after a trip of 116 days. At present I do not have further details, such as the crime of which Higginson was convicted, etc., but these are generally fairly easy to find. Obviously though, Higginson was not as happy in the service of G C C , as Janucey would appear to have been.

4. John Healy
An extract jfrom a report in the Argus (Nov 30 1847) on the execution fo John "Pretty Boy" Healey, found guilty of the murder of James Ritchie, at Taraville, Gippsland.
"..Healey was a native of Mayo, in Ireland, and was sentenced to transportation for seven years at the Sligo assizes, for stealing a donkey, previous to which he had completed a sentence of six months imprisonment for a petty larceny. He arrived in the ship Portland in Sydney in 1832, and two days after his arrival was assigned to the late Mr Curlewis, in whose service he completed his sentence, and so well satisfied was his employer with his conduct that during the last twelve months of his servitude he generally gave Healey the highest rate of wages obtainable by free men.....


Some Death Certificates

One source of basic information about our ancestors is the death certificate. As you will note from those copied overleaf, death certificates vary considerable in the amount of information they provide. The first shown here is really not a death certificate at all, but an entry from what are known as Early Church Records. Registration of births, marriages, and deaths became compulsory in Victoria in July 1853 - before that, and from 1837, we have to rely on Early Church Records. Unfortunately, they don't give any detail of the family of the deceased person. Normal civic records - eg death certificates from July 1853 to date - give much more detail. Both, in Victoria, are very expensive - I think the cost is now $10 per certificate. Also, included here are a number of English certificates. These don't give much detail, but are relatively inexpensive - if you have a contact over there willing to do a little bit of research and foot-work for you. Before Jul 1837, English records of births, marriages and death, exist only in parish registers, usually to be found in the church where the relevant ceremony took place - this incidentally applies to C or E only.

Burials in the Parish of St James, Melbourne in the County of Bourke in the year 1847

Name: Geo Camp CURLEWIS
Abode: Richmond
When died: 4th July
When buried: 6th July
Age: 44
Quality or profession: settler
By whom the ceremony was performed: A C Thompson, chaplain


1851 death in the sub-district of Greenwich West in the county of Kent

When and where died: 5th oct 1851 South Street
Name and surname: Steavens Lupton Curlewis
Sex: male
age: 87
Occupation: gentleman
Cause of death: worn out. Certified
Signature of informant: Henry Keeble in attendance 7 Vansittart Terr. Greenwich
when registered: 8th Oct 1851
Signature of registrar: Joseph Richardson registrar


1852 Death in the sub-district of Landport & Southsea in the county of Southampton

When and where died: 9th Aug 1852 2 Carlisle Pl Southsea
Name and surname: Margaret Elizabeth Curlewis
sex: female
age: 70
Occupation: widow of Stephen Curlewis a gentleman
cause of death: diarrhoea 6 days certified
signature of informant: Emily Breedon present at the death> 2 Castle Pl Southsea
when registered: 12 Aug 1852
Signature of registrar: James Linington


1873 Death in the sub-district of St Jame's Square in the county of Middlesex

when and where died: 17th Mar 1873 216 Piccadilly
name and surname: Henry Charles Curlewis
sex: male
age: 72
occupation: tailor
cause of death: bronchitis chronic, acute with abscess 10 days certified
signature of informant: C Brown in attendance 58 Conduit st Hanover Square
when registered 17th Mar 1873
signature of Registrant: Edmund chivers


1878 Deaths in the District of Queenscliff in the Colony of Victoria

When and where died: 1st July 1878, Carlisle, Pawil, Shire of Bellerine
Name and rank or profession: Septimus Lord Curlewis, Gentleman grazier
Sex and Age: Male 66
Cause, duration Dr last attended: Cancer of liver and bowels, 6 months, W M Lyttleton, 28 June 1878
Name [etc] of father and mother: Stephen Lupton Curlewis, Margaret Curlewis (Skelton)
Informant, description residence: Geo C Curlewis, son, Paywit
Registrat. where and when registered: Rob Jordan 2 July 78 Queenscliff
When and Where buried. U'taker: 4 July 78 Queenscliff William Trenchard Priddle
Minister at burial: Henry John Wilkinson C of E Minister
where born and how long in the Aust Colonies: London, Englsnd. NSW 26 years, Victoria 26 years
IF married: where at what age, and to whom:
Issue, in order of birth, their names and ages:
Frances Smith 35 years
Ellen Frances Jane 33 years
agrees with that on a letter from Septimus Lord Curlewis to his gfMaria Anne Steavens 31 years
Margaret Matilda 28 years
Mary Georgina Campbell deceased
George Campbell 24 years
Alfred William 18 years
Fannie Jessie Mary Hill 16 years
Mary Constance 13 years.


Notes on the above death certificates:

George Campbell Curlewis: the inadequacies on Early Church Records like this as sources of historical information are all too evident. Where was G C C buried? And whereabouts in Richmond did he live? I can find nothing to suggest that he owned property in Richmond, but there is evidence to indicate that he rented a cottage there.
Steavens Lupton Curlewis This is, of course, the father of our Australian pioneers. The age stated fits in with the date of birth (26 Oct 1763) that I (and many of you) have, and the address - South Street (Greenwich) agrees with that on a letter on a letter from Septimus Lord Curlewis to his fiancee Maria Ann Collins, dated 24th December 1841, a typewritten copy of which was given to me by one of my Curlewis correspondents
Margaret Elizabeth Curlewis Despite the difference in the spelling of her husband's name ("Stephen" - " Steavens"), I think that we can be fairly sure that this is the second wife of the gentleman above, and the mother of Septimus Lord Curlewis and his sister Ellen Jane. On the certificate for Septimus Lord, his mother's name is given as Margaret. A marriage certificate for Septimus and Maria Ann might clear this up. Septimus Lord's parents were apparently married between 1808 and 1810, and he was born in 1812, both events too early for civil registration.
Henry Charles Curlewis. In the first Curlewis Bulletin I mentioned the confusion caused by the apparent excistence of at least two and possibly three, gentlemen with this name. Unfortunately, this death certificate does little to clarify the matter.
This Henry Charles is obviously not the H C Curlewis, son of William Edward Curlewis, R N, born at Plymouth in 1823. He would appear to be H C Curlewis the tailor referred to in the columns of The Times in 1831 and 1857 (see Bulletin no. 1). however, as his age on the death certificate indicates, he could also be G C C's older brother, for whom I have the birth date (unconfirmed) of 16th Sept 1800. Who, then , was the H C Curlewis married at Maitland, N S W , in 1849? I doubt very much that the latter H C C was one and the same person as H C C the tailor, and temporarily in Australia in 1849. Another Times reference to a "Curlewis the tailor" dated November 1849, whilst not fiving his initials, does descreibe him as "carrying on an extensive buiness in Conduit Street", this being the address given for H C C the tailor in the Time's 1857 reference. And surely Steavens Lupton Curlewis is hardly likely to have been "carrying on an extensive business" in 1849 (aged 85). Any helpful suggestion would be welcome.
Septimus Lord Curlewis How much easier it would be if all death certificates gave this much detail! Probably only two minor points need explanation or comment. "Paywit" mentioned here in the addresses of S LC and his son, is the name of the parish. And I believe that the information suggesting that S L C had been in Australia for 52 years (ie since 1826) is incorrect, as we have fairly good evidence putting his arrival at 1828.


"My own dear love" - a love-letter

Let no-one say that these bulletins don't try to appeal to all tastes! Here we have (thanks to Megan Curlewis of the ACT and Joe Curlewis of WA) copy of a letter from Septimus Lord Curlewis to his fiancee, Maria Ann Collins, in December 1841. S L C left Sydney in February 1841, and they arrived back in Sydney in October 1842.

To Miss Collins
c/o Miss Hall
Elm Walk

dated 24th December 1841
South Street

"My own dear love
I have just received yours of the 22nd inst., for which accept my --------[word missing]. I fear you will get tired of my numerous letters so this shall be a very short one. I am pleased to find you are enjoying yourself, you had not received my last letter. I hope my dear girl you will read it attentively. I certainly agree with 'Lord Byron' that love was never without 'the pang, the agony, the doubt, etc. etc'. for my dear love, you cannot think how many doubts I had concerning your health when tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and part of Friday passed without one line about your health. I will not tease you any more about your health. I feel quite sure that you will be careful.
I promised you I would make no engagements after Thursday, I full expected to have left this on Monday, this morning a letter came from some friends in 'Have[?] in France, some of them are to be here for dinner on Monday, my father begs as a particular favour, that you will allow me to remain that day. I have answered for my love.
So you must not expect me till Tuesday evening, you see my dearest Maria when once we do separate, it appears an age before we meet again.
I am sorry to hear of Mr Halls illness, make my kind regards to them all at the Bank. I shall have pleasure in accepting Miss Hall's invitation, but will make it Tuesday instead of Monday.
I hope my dear girl you will read my last letter very very attentively and fix an early day. I have written to Mr Hall (of Sydney) and to the girls. I have prepared them for the happy event.
I have a great [deal?] to say to you when we meet.
My Mother and Polly are quite well, and send their love to my dear girl. I have tired my dear Father, I think he will come down and carry you off, I have said so much about you.
I have received the measure of the dear finger
I have not yet got the 'Women of England' home, so I cannot refer to the passages that pleased you, I fancy you will not have much time to read.
I hope you take care of my poor head, in your visits.
Mrs Statham gets me invitations from all quarters, and of course her daughter Charlotte was to be of the same party. I have respectfully declined them all, they are for the 29th, 30th, 31st inst., and 10th & 12th prox.
I have now kept the boy longer than my father likes, so I must say adieu and believe me my own love
to remain
yours most lovingly
S L Curlewis
P S if you do not hear agai

n expect me on Tuesday evening"

Comment: It would be silly of me to attempt to explain what everything here means - much of it, no doubt, had meaning only for S L C and Maria Ann - but some points do warrant comment, and point out that even a letter like this can be a quite valuable source of historical information.
- the Halls - Edward Smith Hall (1786-1860) was father-in-law to George Campbell Curlewis, S L C's brother. The Times, in its marriage notice (10/2.1842) for S L C and Maria Ann, said that the bride was "neice to Smith Hall". The entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography (A D B) for Edward Smith Hall says that he was one of the six sons of Smith Hall....He grew up near Falkingham, Lincolnshire, where his father was the manager of a private bank." Thus Maria Ann's address, the references to "the Bank" and to the Halls both of Sydney and with whom Maria Ann was staying, become a little more meaningful.
S L C's address is apparently the same as that which appears on his father's death certificate ten years later.
Note: if anyone knows the whereabouts of the original (hand-written) of this letter, I would be very pleased to receive a photocopy of it. Similarly, any other letters or other papers of the Australian pioneers, of of the second generation, would be very much appreciated and could be very helpful.


Number 3
June 1979


P.2 ............................Two letters from Maria Anne Curlewis
p.4.............................The English Background (i)
p.6.............................Information Wanted


I must apologise for the long delay since Bulletin No. 2 late last year.  (Did anyone notice?)  This Bulletin, except for page 1, was prepared in June, but what with printing difficulties, the pressure of other work, and so on, only now has it been completed

After a few "dry spells", research has progressed fairly well.  I am now corresponding with Curlewis family connections in South Africa, England, and Italy, and thus new information is coming to light.  As the first item in this Bulletin illustrates, historical information about the Australian branches of the family is not necessarily all to be found in Australia.

I recently visited - very briefly - 'Ravenswood' a property at Bungonia, near Goulbourn, N S W , which was owned by G C Curlewis from the early 1830's to the mid 1840's.  Most of G C C's children were born at 'Ravenswood' and it was from here that GCC set out on many of his forays for pastoral land, into the south eastern corner of the state, onto the Snowy River, and across into Gippsland.  Mrs Frost, the present owner of 'Ravenswood' and a person whose family has had a long connection with the district, told me of a story passed on to her many years ago, about the existence of the grave of a little Curlewis girl, somewhere on the property.  This could very well be true, for the records list the birth of a daughter to GCC's wife Matlida late in March 1840, and the death of that child a few days later.

Many such stories, particularly those passed on orally, are incomplete or inaccurate, but still contain some kernel of truth, and can serve as very useful starting points for research.  The last item in this Bulletin represents a few puzzles that are bothering me: perhaps you has some story, some clue, that could direct my research to the solution of one or more of these puzzles.

Terry King
History Department


Two letter from Maria Anne Curlewis

Some months ago I had the good fortune to establish contact with a South African member of the Curlewis family - Mrs E A Curlewis, the widow of a direct descendant of James Curlewis, the twin brother of one of the Australian pioneers, Walter.  We have already exchanged much information of interest to one another, and this item illustrates just how useful such contacts can be in family hisotry research.

The following is an extract from a letter from Maria Anne Curlewis, the widow of Septimus Lord Curlewis, to Judge John S Curlewis (grandson of James) in South Africa, dated November 1886.  The writer is giving a potted history of the family, starting with a reference to Steavens Lupton Curlewis ( The numbers in the margin refer to my notes, which follow):-


TO: Rev Curlewis
FROM: M A Curlewis (nee Maria Ann Collins)
DATE: November 2nd, 1886

My dear Nephew,

I was very much please to receive your letter and am sorry I have kept you so long without an answer. Your father spoke of you all to me in one or two letters he has written since your great Uncle Walter's death. He also sent me the paper in which your name appeared as having taken your B.A. degree in 1881. So you are not a stranger in name, and I trust we shall have the pleasure of hearing that you have taken the degreeof Batchelor of Laws. Your great grandfather was brought up by his grandmother, Mrs Steavens who was very well-off. She owned several houses in Greenwich, Kent. I cannot tell you many particulars but know that your ancestor Steavens Lupton Curlewis was a young man when his grandmother died and left him nearly all she had. He had not been brought up to business but was of too active a nature to live on his money so invested it. First, he bought a share in a mill not far from London and entered into partnership with a Mr Campbell. After a good many years this was given up and he removed to Birmingham and took a stationers business and I think he tried tailor's business and although he know nothing about it he did pretty well in it and had one of his sons Henry brought up in Paris so that he might take the management of it. He married three times, his first wife died very soon leaving no family, his second wife had six sons and three daughters. Your grandfather and great Uncle Walter (twins) being the youngest sons and their sister Sarah was the youngest. His last wife was my husband's mother and he had one sister two years older. From what I heard of your great grandfather I think he was spoiled in his early days so he became too self indulgent, etc. He was a perfect gentleman in every way but was not well-off in his later years. His eldest son William (Susan's and Jessie's father) entered the Navy and did very well when very young but was only on Lieutenant's half-pay most of his life as he was not on active service. George Campbell, Alfred's father, came out to N. S Wales about 1822 I think and he sent for Septimus in 1828. Walter also joined them from the Cape of Good Hope where he had gone with your grandfather. The three brothers were in partnership for a few years and did very well. George had a free grant of land and any number of Govt. labourers, but after George married they dissolved and Septimus returned to England in 1841. In visiting the relative of his sister-in-law he met me and we were married in 1842, February. We remained a few months in England so I became intimately acquainted with old Mr Curlewis, Mrs C., William and Henry and Aunts Mary and Sarah. We left England in June 42 and I soon knew and loved my dear brother-in-law George who was beloved by all who knew him. He was never very strong and he died in July 1847 aged 46.
If he had lived a few more years he would have been wealthy, as it was he left about (pounds) 5,000 and a very pretty estate of 800 acres. His eldest son was killed by the blacks while exploring for new country in 1862. Alfred was the second son and was steady and persevering. He is a barrister at law but has never practised. He lived on the estate for some years and was offered the billet of Inspector of Schools in 1891. His salary now is between (pounds) 500 and 600. The other two brothers and only sister are in Sydney.
I do not know how many members of the family there are in England but think some of John's children must be living and some of Henry's. Sarah was married to a Mr Kennedy but he died in 1840. I had two sons when I was in England. Susan was in India married to Mr Martinnant, but they both died and left no family. There are two children of Ritchie, Susan and Jessie's eldest brother at Rio, South America.
I am afraid I have only given you a very confused statement of your family history. Your dear Uncle Septimus could have written it very clearly but ladies can very seldom write anything so well as gentlemen and I find I am becoming a very bad correspondent, etc., in my old age (64). My youngest child has written about all my family, so I need not add any more than to tell you I am very happy with my four unmarried daughters to take care of me and my two sons are very, very thoughtful and attentive. I often fancy there are very few families as united as ours. I believe nearly all my children have chosen the better part and I trust we shall all be more closely united by all being followers of Jesus. If there is anything that I have omitted to tell you be sure to write. We shall be delighted (?) have another letter when you have time to write. When you write to your father, give him my warm love and tell him I have intended writing many times. And now my dear nephew, I must conclude with kindest love and best wishes and believe me ever to remain
your affectionate g'aunt
M A Curlewis

Notes and comments

1. " he did pretty well at it"....for a time perhaps, but SL Curlewis, tailor, was declared bankrupt in 1816 (Times, 26/2/1816)
2. " one of his sons, Henry"...this would be Henry Charles, tailor, whose death certificate appeared in Bulletin 2 and is mentioned again later in this Bulletin.
3. "he married three times" ....until now, I had only known of two of these marriages.  An obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine (6/11/1808), recording the death of " Mrs Curlewis, of King Street, Covent garden" presumably refers to wife no 2
4. "any number of Gov't laborers"....that is, convict servants
5"visiting the relatives of his sister-in-law".....this refers to the Hall family and G C C's wife Matilda Martha Birnie Hall.  See the item "my own dear love" in Bulletin 2
6. "a very pretty estate"..... This would be Hermsley Estate, near Geelong, Vic.  GCC acquired it in 1845, after a long and involved battle with the Government in Sydney.
7.  "Alfred...the second son"  ....Alfred Claribeaux - see the item in Bulletin 1.  The date given here - 1891- is probably incorrect.
8. "I had two sons" ... this should probably read "they had two sons.".  Maria Annes' first child, Francis Smith C was born in NSW 1843.
9 "Ritchie".... fourth son of William Edward C becasme captain of Royal Mail steamer sailing betwee, England and the ARgenine, married in Buenos Aires (1861) and dies tehre (1868)..

The second letter, from which the following extract is taken, is also to Judge John S Curlewis, and is dated April 1884.  It deals more with the second generation, the children of GCC and SLC:


Notes and comments

1. "Your cousin Susan".....2nd daughter of William Edward C, b. 1824, unmarried, came to Australia late 1871, shortly after the death of her mother
2. "her sister Jessie" .....youngest daughter of William Edward, b 1835, married her cousin, Alfred Claribeaux at St Kilda 1869.
3. "Uncle George's widow's death "....if this date is correct, if would appear that she died outside Victoria, for the Victorian Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths can find no record of her death in 1854
4. "Fred and Edgar, and neice Matilda" ....Frederick Charles (b 1842), Edgar (b. 1846), Matilda Emma (b. 1844)
5."My eldest son" ....Francis Smith (b. 1843)
6. "My eldest daughter".....Ellen Frances Jane (b. 1844) married Carl Christian Moller, overseer on Rowe's Naringhal station (Vic).
7. "Ria and Maggies"....Maria Anne Stevens  (b.1846) and Margaret Matilda (b. 1851).
8. "my youngest son".....Alfred William (b. 1860)


The English background (i)

Having noted in Maria Anne's 1886 letter several references to the family in England, the following two items may also be of some interest.  The two extracts here are from letters, dated in the early 1960's, from Florence Curlewis, the daughter of Edgar, to her nephew Dick Curlewis of Bayswater (Vic).  The first extract refers to the parents and grandparents of the Australian pioneers.:-
"George Campbell Curlewis came to Sydney in 1824, when he was 20.  He was the youngest of the elder branch; his mother was Sarah Prentice of Richmond (near Windsor).  I have heard that she was an only child.  She died I suppose some years before grandfather left England;....his father was Steaven Lupton Curlewis, where Lupton came from is another mystery, and his father was Edward Curlewis who married Mary Bryant of Kent....."

The second extract may be referring to not only the Curlewis family, but also to other families with which they intermarried.:
"-there are so many different types such as seamen, a banker, a very devout lawyer, a man who painted London red & one or two churchmen.  Also a long way back a Huguenot strain.  And, of course, always the law and the sea......."

It is easy to list Curlewis connections with "the law and the sea" - William Edward Curlewis R.N. and his son Ritchie for the second category and numerous South AFrican and Australian members of the family, from the 1800's up to the present day, for the first.  But how about the other categories, in the extract quoted above?  My South African correspondent is examining the possibility that the name " Curlewis" was originally a French "Curlois", and that the family came originally from France as Huguenots (Protestant refugees).
And could the gentleman mentioned in the following extract possibly be the man who "painted London red"? This is taken from a Law Courts

.Report in the London Times of 21/1/1845, p. 6 :-
    This was an action of detenue, for the restoration of certain goods and chattels, alleged to be the property of the plaintiff, a tailor in Hanover Square, but now in the possession of the defendant, the widow of a horse-trainer, at Epsom.
.......The facts of the case, as stated by Mr Jervis {for the plaintiff] in opening the case, were briefly as follows:- Mrs Page, the defendant after the death of her husband, who up to the time of his decease had been entrusted with the care and training of the palintiff's horses, engaged in business at Epsom as a lodging-house keeper, and several parties were from time to time recommended to her by Mr Curlewis.  Among others, a Mrs Carr, who as it afterwards appeared, was the mistress of the plaintiff, took up her abode in Mrs Page's domicile, and was there frequently visited by him. Mrs Page not being in possession of sufficient furniture to accomodate all her lodgers, the plaintiff sent her various articles - a sofa among others - for the detaining of which contrary to the wish of the plaintiff the present action was brought.  The goods were valued at from 10 pounds to 12 pounds.  .....Mr Wordsworth [for the defendant] .. contended, first that the goods never had been the property of the plaintiff, but of a Mrs Bartlett, who had lived with him as a cook, and that it was by her that they had been lent to the defendant.  If, however, the jury were not satisfied on that point, he should be enabled to prove that the plaintiff, who, in his capacity as a 'sporting tailor' had been connected with the defendant's late husband, had received from Mrs Page horse clothing, saddles, etc., the value of which was by agreement set off against that of the furniture.  The action was brought only in consequence of another cause which had been lately tried, in which the defendant had sued for money due to her for lodings firm the plaintiff....
....The jury ...returned a verdict for the defendant."

The tailor here, incidentally, would appear to have been Henry Charles, not his father, Steavens Lupton Curlewis. And as the following summary shows , this was not the only time that the name Curlewis the tailor, was to appear in the Law Court Reports in the Times.
This summary, from a variety of sources, is rather unsatisfactory as a survey of the English background of our Australian pioneers, and probably raises more questions than it answers, but is nevertheless of interest.
. Death, 6/1/1808, Mrs Curlewis [the 1st or the 2nd?] of King Street, Covent Garden )Gentleman's Magazine 1808)
. Bankruptcy, S L Curlewis, King Street Covent Garden, a tailor (Times 26/2/1816)
. Court Case , Curlewis v Arnold, the plaintiff being a tailor residing in Pall Mall, the defendant a young man who was still a minor when he began purchasing clothes from the tailor, who was seeking to recover some (pounds) 133 still owing to him (Times,  26/5/1828)
. Bankruptcy, H C Curlewis, Hanover Street, Hanover Square, a tailor.  (Times,  30/7/1831)
. Bankruptcy  enlarged, H C Curlewis - as above - (Times 7/9/1831)
. Directory listing, Curlewis & Co., tailors, 12 Hanover Street, Hanover Square.  (1836 London Post Directory).
.Court Case, Curlewis v Cox, the plaintiff being a tailor in business in Hanover Square (Times 29/5/1840)
Court Case, Court of Review, re. Curlewis, a bankrupt. (Times, 20/11/41)
. Letter, from Septimus Lord Curlewis to Maria Anne Collins, 24/12/1841.  (Reprinted in the last Curlewis Bulletin) giving the address of his parents' home as South Street, Greenwich.
. Court Case, Curlewis v. Burt "arising out of some transactions with regard to a defunct company". (Times 21/4/1842)
. Court Case, Robson & others v. Curlewis, "an action on a promissory note"  (Times 8/11/1842)
. Court case, Court of Review, re Curlewis, a bankrupt. (Times 1/8/43)
. Marriage, 7/1/1845, Mary Caroline, eldest daughter of Capt Curlewis, R.N. to Edward J H Tucker, R N (Gent's Mag, 1848)
. Court case, Curlewis v Page - this is the case reported on p.5 (Times 21/1/1845)
. Death 26/8/1848, Eliza Adelaide, 3rd dau of the late W E Curlewis R N aged 15 (Gent's Mag, 1848)
. Court Case, Curlewis v Ramsden, in which the plaintiff was described as " a bill discounting tailor....carrying on an extensive business in Conduit Street" (Times 20/11/1849)
. Court Case, Curlewis v the Earl of Mornington - the plaintiff H C Curlewis, a tailor in Conduit Street, taking action against the Earl "as administrator of his son, the late Hon F H T L Wellesley, to recover the amount of certain goods supplied to that gentleman. " HCC had been chasing this outstanding debt since 1839.  (Times 28/1/1857).
. Death 10/1/1862, Mrs H C Curlewis, at Conduit Street. (Home News, 27/1.1862).
. Death, 30/1/1863, Henry Charles, son of the late W E Curlewis R N , on his voyage home from Calcutta, aged 40 (This is not HCC the tailor.) (Home news, 27/4/1863)
. Court Case, Curlewis v Birkbeck, "an action by a tailor against a member of the firm of Gurney, Overend and Co. for the price of two hunters [i.e. horses]" (Times 2/12/1863)



Where and/or when did Matilda, George Campell Curlewis's widow die?  As refered to earlier in this Bulletin, her sister-in-law's letter to South Africa in 1884 puts the date of her death as "early in 1854" but there's no record of this in Victoria?  Maybe in NSW?

. How and when did the children of George Campbell and Septimus Lord Curlewis acquire an education?  Did they have private tutors?  One of the second generation at least - Alfred Claribeaux - must have had a good basic education.

. When did Walter leave Australia to go to South Africa to join James, his twin brother? The most recent positive dating I have for him in Australia is 1845.  And did he go straight to South Africa, or back to England first?

. What happened to Sarah Isabella, who married James Hamilton Kennedy in Sydney in 1830? And what happened to the Henry Charles Curlewis who married Elizabeth Bates at Maitland in !849. (See Bulletin no. 1).

If you can suggest possible answers to any of these questions - or even a clue which might help me find an answer - please let me know.  And if you know of anyone who might like to receive future Curlewis Bulletins, or if you'd like to comment on anything I"ve written (or should have written) I'd be very pleased to hear from you.  T.K.




Number 4        November 1979


p. 2......."The Italian connection
     ........."Seven little billabongs"
p. 3.......The English Background (ii)
p.4.........The Swan Hill runs


This issue contains a fairly varied diet of Curlewis fare, in my usual endeavour to provide something to suit every taste.  But it also indicates just how wide my own interest and research has become.  As I"m sure you're all aware, my prime concern is a study of squatting, and other aspects of early Australian settlement, through the experiences of one family - the Curlewis's.  But to have some understanding of the motivation of that pioneer generation, I also need to look at those factors in England which drove the children and grandchildren of Steavens Lupton Curlewis to emigrate to the wilds of South Africa, Australia and South America.  I need to examine how the Australian pioneers gained, and made use of, the cheap labor (convict servants) and land required for financial success.  To gain some understanding of the pioneer generation as people, and lacking any private journals or letters, I need to glean whatever I can from official documents - say GCC;s letters to the colonial Government on the subject of land - to gain some insight into their personalities.

Your may note. at the end of the last item in this Bulletin, the words "to be continued".  In actual fact, I'm not sure that this is correct  - this may be the last Bulletin.  There are several reasons for this.  First, I'm not yet sure what I'll be doing next year, and there is the possibility that whatever I'm doing, it may not leave me time to put into future Bulletins. (My Curlewis research will go on, though perhaps not at the present rate.)  Secondly, I'm not sure that the Bulletins are serving the purpose I intended, and I"d hate them to become "nuisance mail" like advertising material from Readers' Digest, etc. destined to go, in most cases , straight from letter-box to wast-paper backet.  So, to those who have assisted and encourage me in one way or another, I take this opportunity to say 'thank you!'.

Finally, may I ask if any of my readers have photographs or portraits of any members of either the Australian pioneers, their children, or their parents.  I already have one of Walter and have been offered access to others of William Edward (RN), Alfred Claribeaux, Maria Anne and Steavons Lupton respectively.  Are there any others in existence?  If you would care to entrust them to the post, I could copy and return them  If not, maybe an amateur photographer in the family, using a good camera with a close-up lens, could do the job for me. (Sepia-tone prints are best reproduced with colour film)

Terry King

"The Italian Connection"

In the last bulletin I mentioned briefly that I had made contact with a descendant of the family in Italy.  Whilst I am not yet able to share with you the historical information I have received from this source, it may be of some interest to learn how it is that we have an Italian 'Curlewis'.
The eldest son of Steavens Lupton Curlewis (father of our Australian pioneers) was William Edward (1798 - 1847), who finds a place in most versions of the family history because of his distinguished career in the Royal Navy, in which he ultimately reached the rank of Commander.
William Edward's fourth son was Ritchie (1826 - 1868), who became a captain in the Merchant Navy, master of a Royal Mail steamship on the route between Britain and the Argentine, where there was a large English population.  In 1861, in Buenos Aires, he married Adelaide Keen, and they apparently made their home there.  Four children were born to them, two of whom, the second son and the seocnd daughter, died as infants.  I have no knowledge of what became of the eldest son, Ritchie Arthur.  The eldest daughter, Annie Victoria, apparently married an Italian and moved to Italy where (according to my Italian correspondent, )"on her death bed, here in Rome .....[she]...willed that I [my correspondent], that is] had to assume her own surname, Curlewis..."
And although my correspondent is listed in the Rome directory as 'Piscone', he signs himself as Curlewis.  He is, to say the least, extremely proud of his heritage, and has done a great deal of work, over three or four decades, tracing the family back (to the 1500's).  When I have this information into some order, and verified it to the best of my ability, I will endeavour to include it in some future Bulletin.
Whilst on the subject of the Argentine, it is interesting to note that another of William Edward's sons, William Henry also made his home in South America.  He died at Paysandu, Uruguay, and a death notice reads "We regret to say that news arrived on Wednesday of the death of Mr William Curlewis, in consequence of a fall from his horse.  The deceased was brother of the late Capt. Curlewis, and was engaged looking after a flock of sheep of his own in the estancia of the late Mr W Plowes, near Paysandu..."

[Acknowledgement: Much of the information on which this item was based, comes from papers provided by David Curlewis of Queensland, whose assistance is gratefully acknowledged]


"Seven little Billabongs"

Those interested in the more recent history of the family, and those whose reading as children included a fair diet of the respective works of Ethel Turner and Mary Grant Bruce, may like to look in their local bookshop or library for the recently released books Seven little billabongs: the world of Ethel Turner and Mary Grant Bruce by Brenda Niall (Melbourne University Press) . Ethel Turner was, or course, the wife of Judge Herbert Raine Curlewis.

What may not be so well known is that Judge H R himself also did some writing.  The Australian Encyclopaedia tells us that he contributed to the Bulletin and to newspapers, and The worker, a Sydney Labor newspaper, said of him (31/1/1912) that "he can write entertainingly about law".  (Although the same newspaper was not so complimentary about some of his judgments from the Arbitration Court Bench a few years later).
And apparently another Curlewis at least dabbled in writing.  I recently found in The lone hand, a literary journal a "sketch" entitled "the Divorced", by Constance Curlewis (Vol 5 june 1, 1909).  This, I believe, would have been Mary Constance (1864?-1944) youngest daughter of Septimus Lord and Maria Anne Curlewis.


The English Background (ii)

In Bulletin no. 3 I gave some details of the English background of our Australian pioneers.  This item looks at several other aspects of the same topic, and raises a few question that I would dearly love to be able to answer.
Some time ago, I found, on microfilm records of the (English) Colonial Office, the following letter, addressed to the Secretary of State for the Colonies.:

(Received March 9, 1825)

Sir, I have the Honor to request that the Colonial Office will issue  the necessary Order for a grant of Land in New South Wales in favor of George Curlewis at present resident in the House of Rob't Campbell Esq. of Sidney in that Colony, and as Mr Curlewis can command a Capital of Five Hundred Pounds and upwards I trust the order will be made in the full proportion of his means to employ it,
I have the Honor to be
your very humble Serv't
[Signature, deciphered as 'Sheldon Cradock']
54 St James's St

Who would be asking favors for George Campbell Curlewis, and why?  Unfortunately, there were at least three Sheldon Cradock MP (1777-1852), who represented the borough of Camelford in the House of Commons from 1822 50 1832.  As an MP he would have had some justification for addressing the Secretary of State for the Colonies (in the above letter) more of less as an equal - which is definitely not the manner of most of the other letters in the same file.  And, given the practices of the time, it would not have been unusual for and MP to have asked such a favor.
But this doesn't answer the question, why?  What connection did Cradock have with the Curlewis family?  What favor did he owe them?  The answer possibly has something to do with the address on Cradock's letter - 54 St James's Street, London.  Megan Curlewis, of Canberra, found in an 1825 London directory, the following listing:

"Curlewes and Longstaff, drapers, 54 St. James's Street"

(Did Cradock have a room there, and fall behind in his rent?  Was he, like quite a few others, in debt to Curlewis over a tailoring account?  Any other possibilities suggested will be received with interest.)
I am no less puzzled by GCC's supposed ability to, as Cradock puts it, "command a capital of Five Hundred pounds and upward".  In his early 20's at the time GCC would be unlikely to have achieved such comparative wealth by his own efforts.  And, as indicated in the last Bulletin, with SL Curlewis bankrupt in 1816, and his tailor son Henry Charles in the same plight form 1831, it is unlikely that the tailoring business was in such a financially health state as to enable Steavens Lupton Curlewis to have given any great financial support to just one of many sons.* see note

But perhaps "commanding" a capital of five hundred pounds isn't the same as actually having a personal bank-balance (or whatever) of that amount - that is, the 500 pounds may not have been George Campbell Curlewis's. For example, Governor Daling, in a letter dated 16/12/1826 to R W Hay, 1st Permanent Under-Secretary for the Colonies, told him to expect a complaint from a prospective settler named Weller, whom he had refused a grant of land, despite Weller's belief that he was entitled to one. Explaning his refusal to make a grant, Darling said of Weller : "He appears to be of the class of 'shop keepers', many of whom have lately come out, and think they have a right to land in proportion to the Amount of their Investments - In most cases, the Goods are not their own, but have been supplied on Commission - Mr Weller told me he had been bred to Business and had no knowledge of Agriculture, still he expected to have been placed in possession of his Grant of Land without any interrogations, and of course, without conforming to the Regulations,......

Too many of this Class come out - there was a batch of four of them not long since from Cheapside, vouching each for the others property and evidently not one of the whole number knowing a potato from a turnip - ...
.....There people obtain letters from your Office and pretend to have a Capaital, while they are merely entitled to a small commission of the sale of the goods they dispose of.....

What do we know of the young George Campbell Curlewis who came ashore at Sydney in May 1824? - unfortunately, very little. We know nothing of his education, nothing of what he'd been doing prior to his departure from England. Perhaps he (like Darling's Weller) had been "bred to business", and (like the four from Cheapside) wouldn't know a "potato from a turnip". We do know that he moved, almost immediately upon arrival in Sydney, (and, I assume, by prior arrangement) into a position (shopkeeping?) with the merchant Robert Campbell junior, and later became a partner in the firm.
But here again, as I suggested in Bulletin No. 1, there are more questions than there are answers. Was there some social or business connection between the Curlewis and Campbell families in England? Is this where GCC's second name - Campbell - comes from? Did GCC only go into the Campbell business because he was refused a grant of land? As yet, I do not know when he first applied for a grant, but it is perhaps appropriate to end this item on a more positive note, with something tht we do know. On the 13th July 1831, Govenor Darling granted to George Campell Curlewis 2560 acres at Krawarree on the headwaters of the Shoalhaven River, and possession was authorised from October 10th of the same year. And according to GCC himself, in an appeal to the Secretary of State for the colonies against the local administration's refusal of his application for a second grant in 1838, he had, from 1831, transferred "the whole of his capital and personal attention from commercial to agricultural pursuits" and, at Krarwarree, 'proceeded to expend large sumes of money in clearing, fencing, cultivation, and building thereon."


The Swan Hill Runs

Of the many Port Phillip district runs held by G C Curlewis, either on his onw account of in partnership (usually with Robert Campbell tertius of Sydney), the largest would appear to have been "Reedy Lake", situated on the Murray River between present-day Swan Hill and Kerang. The best sour e of information (although a far from perfect one) on the Port Phillip runs, R V Billis' and A S Kenyon's Pastoral Pioneers of Port Phillip says, of Reedy Lake, that is comprised " 370,000 acres, [carrying] 1,500 cattle, 52,000 sheep,[and was situated around] Lakes Reedy, Boga and Bael Bael - [and was held on squatting licence by, in] Feb, 1845, Curlewis and Campbell (R McDougal, sup't); Mar. 1847, R.Orr, representative (Theophilus Jos Keene, sup't for Curlewis and Campbell); mar. 1848, Rob.Campbell teritus, Circular Quay, Sydney, and Arch. McLachlan, executor for Geo.Campbell Curlewis, [and] sub[divided] into Swan Hill and Lake Boga; Reedy Lake, Bael Bael, Loddon and Marabout [elsewhere as "Murrabit"]; Bael Bael and Combertook [elsewhere Quambatook"] or Avoca....."

Arthur Feldtmann, in his local history Swan Hill, (pp 16-17) describes the taking up of Reedy Lake thus : "in 1845 Campbell turned his eyes southward to Australia Felix.  He and Curlewis set out with a party in that year from Circular Quay in Sydney.  They made their way down the Lachlan to the Murrumbidgee and then followed Major Mitchell's route down the Murray until they arrived at Swan Hill.  They continued on past Lake Boga and finally pitched their camp about six miles to the west of where the town of Kerang stands today, on the eastern side of a large lake....."Actually, I have very grave doubts about this description of the establishment of the run.  I have not pictured Robert Campbell tertius as a man who was personally involved in such expeditions, and although G C C did his share of exploration a decade earlier, I don't believe that he could have found time to do so in 1845.  And I am most surprised that such an expedition, setting out from Circular Quay, has not warranted mention in the Indexes to the Sydney papers of those years.
Another account, surely more reliable, is that of A M Campbell, written in 1853, and appearing in T F Bride (ed) Letters from Victorian Pioneers, up to the Murray, and stationed them temporarily on the Yalloak Creed, about thirteen miles below Messrs. Collyer's homestation [at Torrumbarry, west of Echuca. TK], and went out exploring on this side of the river, accompanied by Mr McDougall (acting for Mr J C Curlewis) [this is corrected to G C in Bride's footnotes] ...and after being out fourteen days returned to my camp at the Yalloak Creek.  Mr McDougall and I proceeded to Melbourne to obtain depasturing licences,.....I came here early in June.  Mr Curlewis had passed to Lake Boga.......
Yet another account, this one also first-hand, appears in James Kirby's Old Times in the Bush of Australia. (pp 25-6). ".... in the year of 1845 or 46 my father arranged with a neighbour,  a Mr Beveridge, that he should let two of his sons join my brother Edmund and myself in starting out to look for new country suitable for stock......
We then engaged a Mr Mc Dougall to pilot us.  Mr McDougall said that he had an idea where good country was to be found; but that he had never seen it. ....Leaving my father's homestead [near the head of the Merri Creek, about 25 miles from Melbourne. T.K.] we steered for where Kilmore now stands, thence on for Mount Alexander, looking at country in the vicinity of the Campaspe River, then on to the Serpentine Creek, and from there to the Loddon and the Avoca.......From the Loddon River we steered for Lake Boga, passing the Reedy lake.  On arrival at Reedylake we found it had been taken up by a Mr Curlewis who had a person in charge named Mr Skene.  Reaching Lake Boga, we found that also taken up by the same gentleman, Mr John Baker in Charge....."
Another account crediting Robert Mc Dougall with the taking up of Reedy lake on behalf of Curlewis and Campbellis that of A S Kenyon in a brief history of Swan Hill appearing in the official souvenir program of the Swan Hill Centenary Celebrations of 1936.  And although I have some doubts about the part Mc Dougall played - prompted by Kirby's account and by other evidence I have not included here, - it is perhaps best to leave further discussion of the matter for another time.
Squatting at Reedy Lake.
Some idea of life on the Swan Hill runs in those early days can be gained from the "Personal Recollections of Early Victoria" of A A C le Soeuf (1828-1902).  Later to be better known for other acheivements, including his long involvement with, and administration of, Melbourne's Zoological Gardens, between 1847 and 1849 le Soeul was employed by Curlewis and Campbell.

"After a stay of some months in Town [i.e.Melbourne], I obtained employment as an over-seer on Messrs Curlewis and Campbell's Reedy Lake Station.  I rode up from the Town, the distance being about two hundred miles by road.  I reached y destination on the sixth day, and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey, for the best half was through country  different in appearance from any I had seen before, instead of the sombre "box" forests of the lower Goulburn, fine open country and large plains.....
On my arrival, I received a hearty welcome from the Manager, a gentleman named Keen.  There were four other Over-seers, but all older than myself, living on different stations on the large tract of country which on the  previous year had been taken up or occupied by the owners.  This country extended from the Loddon River near Reedy lake to Lake Bael Bael and thence to Quambatook on the Avoca on the west - a distance of over thirty miles; and to the north it extended to Swan Hill and included Lake Boga - about the same distance.  There were homesteads at Quambatook, Lake Boga and Swan Hill, at each of which an over-seer and a storekeeper, and for the first few months I lived with them.......
There were between thirty and forty thousand sheep and two or three thousand cattle on the run, the latter at Lake Boga which was the cattle station, but the country was so large and the flocks so scattered that it involved a great deal of riding, and we were generally in the saddle all day.  The natives too required constant watching.  They used to camp in large numbers on the banks of Reedy Lake, both game and fish being plentiful there....
I remained at Reedy lake until after the shearing and had charge of the washpens.  In those days the appliances were very rough in comparison with the methods now in use.  There was no hot water and soft soap or spout washing.  The sheep were thrown into a soaking pen, where they remained for a few minutes, and were then made to swim across.......
After the shearing was finished and the wool had been dispatched to Melbourne, I was sent to take charge of the Quambatook station on the Avoca, where there were ten or twelve thousand sheep.  It was a very easy station to manage as the country was well grassed and open, the only difficulty begin the want of water, the so-called river became dry in summer.....
The country lower down the Murray was now being rapidly taken up, and several parties with horse or bullock drays and either a flock of sheep or a mob of cattle, passed down in search of new runs.  After remaining for six or seven months at Quambatook, I was again transferred to Swan Hill to take charge of the station there......
My hut was the only building on Swan Hill at that time.  It was built of pine logs and loop-holed for musketry, in case of its being necessary to convert it into a little fort for the time being, and our guns were always kept loaded and ready for use......
I had been nearly a year and a half in Curlewis and Campbell's employment when I received a letter from my Father asking me to return to Melbourne, which I did as soon as I was relieved by my successor; this was early in 1849......."

It is interesting to note that Le Soeuf makes no mention of having met, or had anything to do with, either of his employers, Curlewis and Campbell.  One would not expect him to have met Campbell, who lived in Sydney, but George Campbell Curlewis died (July 1847) either just before, or just after, Le Soeuf started work for them, and had lived in Melbourne (at Richmond) for some time prior to his death.  And S L Curlewis, executor of his half-brother's estate, was in Melbourne at least from the latter half of 1847.  Any picture we might have of the Curlewis (and/or Campbell) families living in a rambling homestead on their station in the bush is, at least as far as these runs are concerned, without foundation.

As some of the above extracts indicate, life on the Swan Hill runs was not without its dangers.  One does not, after all, "loop-hole" one's home "for musketry" without good reason.



Number 5                                                                                                              August 1980


P. 2 ...................The Curlewis brothers and the quest for land

p.7.....................The English Background (iii)


Here it is August already, and this is the first Curlewis Bulletin for the year.  This indicates no lack of interest or effort in my Cuyrlewis research, but rather a decline in production form the same or greater effort.  In other words, all the "easy" research is done, all the material readily available has been fouhd; from here on, my job is going to be much more difficult. This has meant less time to put into Bulletins, and less material suitable for summarizing form publication, but hopefully I should have the next issue out wihin the next two months.

The article here on the land-holdings of the Curlewis brothers typifies, in some ways, the problems I'm now facing.  Literally weeks of work have gone into poring over, and piecing together, vague and often contradictory scraps of evidence, attempting to accurately locate some of the Curlewis squatting runs.  And this topic, like many others, has become so complex that it proved impossible to deal with it satisfactorily in one Bulletin.

In the last Bulletin I mentioned briefly the recent publication of a book, by Brenda Niall, which dealt, in part, with the life of writer Etherl Turner, the wife of Judge H R Curlewis.  Had I waITed a week or so before writing that item, I could have also mentioned another book, The Diaries of Ethel Turner, compliled by Philiippa Poole, which is, I am told, the "only authentic" history of that branch of the family.

Terry King


The Curlewis brothers and the quest for land

A study of the land-holdings of the Curlewis brothers not only illustrates various facets of their pastoral and squatting activities, but also gives some indication of the apparently very different characters of the three  We can trace their movements throughout the infant colony of New South Wales, sometimes outwards to the vast and cheap (if not free) grazing lands beyond the settled districts, sometimes inwards to the relative comfort and security of the ,more civilised regions.  We can discern periods of expansion, and periods of consolidation, which can often be related to the ups and downs of the pastoral industry.

Inevitably, I think, the reader will be struck by the dominant role of one brother - George Campell Curlewis - in all these activities.  Whilst I feel that this was largely due to differences in the characters of the three, it must bre admitted that George did have some advantages over his borhters: he was older, had been in the colony longer, and began his pastoral career with not only a free grant of land, but also with considerable capital available to him.  Nevertheless, his brothers Walter and Septimus Lord do no seem to have been so aggressively active in pursuit of material success.

It should be noted that htis summary, and the accompanying map (for which I can mke no claims of pin-point accuracy) constitute an incomplete list of the brother's land-holding and dealing.  Their occupation of many sheep- or cattle- runs was often brief, mahbe only a year or so, and often preceded the arrival of officialdom, which makes location of some of the runs particularly difficult; for by the time the officials had arrived, to draw maps, to record names and boundaries - and to collect licence fees - the Curlewises had moved on.

1831-4. Beginnings and early expansion.
(i) The 2560 acre primary grant at Krarwaree.
As mentioned briefly in Curlewis Bulletin 4 (p. 4), Governor Darling authorised a free grant of four square miles to George Campbell in 1831.  This, Goerge selected at Krarwaree, near the head of the Shoalhaven River.  It is interesting to note that his pplication for a grant of land is dated June 11, 1831, only a fortnight before the ship "Eleanor" arrived in the Colony with despatches from London instructing Governor Darling to suspend the practice of making free grants of land "excepting to persons to whom you may already have made positive promises."

The Krarwaree land was far from any closely settled areas - the nearest post office in 1832, and for some years after, was at Inverary, near Goulburn, some 60-70 miles away.  it was also on the southern extremity of the "Nineteen Counties", that area to which the Government sought to confine settlement.

It was one of several conditions of the grant that the recipient should reside on the property, and George seems to have done so.  In August 1833 he wrote to the Colonial Secretary requesting  that the boundaries of his land be measured, and stating that he had "already effected considerable improvements", and was "anxious to make more but ...[was] deterred in consequence of ...[his] boundaries not being defined.  "In 1838, when he applied for a scondary grant - unsuccessfully - George claimed that he had expended a large capital in clearing, fencing, cultivating and building" on the Krarwaree land.  He would appear to have been joined there by young Septimus Lord and, on his arrival in 1832, b Walter.  For some years from 1834, the New South Wales Post Office Directories list all three brothers as residents of Krarwaree.

(ii) The Tilba Tilba run

Much of our knowledge of this and the following run comes from the reminiscences of John Jauncey who, as a young man, was transported to New South Wales where, on arrival, he was assigned to the service of George Curlewis (see Bulletin 2, p. 2)  Jauncey took part, with his master, in several expedtions south from Krarwaree in 1833-4, searching form unoccupied land suitable for a sheep - or cattle - run.  They were not alone in their trespassing beyond the "limits of location" proclaimed by the Government; many, many others did likewise, so much so that Governor Bourke soon realized that it was both "imploitic and impossible to restrain dispersion".

According to Janncey, "tilba [Tilba] was occupied by Geo. Curlewis as a heifer-station till 1843, when Septimus Curlewis and I became joint possessors....and started dairying and pig rearing, and continued on till 1846, when we sold the run..."  In the "Register of Licences" for squatting runs although there is one earlier (1838) listing which could apply to any one of the Curlewis's Monaro runs, the first definite listing of a licence for "Tilba Tilba' is dated 1840; that, like other listings through to 1844, is in Walter's name.  The last listing, for 1845-6, is in the name of Septimus.  As it was not until 1837 that the Government appointed officials - Commissioners of Crown Lands - to administer its regulations, procalimed in the previous  year, which permitted squatting beyond the Nineteen Counties, and considering the vastness and the difficult terrain of the Monaro district, it is not altogether suprrising that the Curlewis brothers could hold "Tilba Tilba" for so long prior to 1840 withoutt having to bother with the inconvenience and expense of applying for a licence.

When Commissioner of Crown Lands John Lambie visited "Tolbedelbo" - as he termed it - in January 1840, he found three people there, one of whom was Walter, superintending the run (althrough Lambie lists George as the licence-holder).  The "improvements" consisted of a slab hut and a stockyard, and the run carried 300-odd cattle and a couple of horses.

(iii) The Snowy River run.

Janucey describes in some detail the two expeditions to find this run, and a third, in 1834, to take down from Krarwaree the sheep to stock,it, but fails to mention its name.  It is apparently the same run as that listed from 1840 to 1843 in the Register of Licences - in hand-writing invariably difficcult to dexipher - as "Camagan", "Carnagan" or Carnagee" and that which appears in John Lambies' returns for 1840 as "Carcan Valley".  its exact location and boundaries are no less difficult to determine.  Here we cannot even make use of later records, for, by the time that boundaries were being set down on paper, as in the Government Gazettes of 1848, this run had disappeared, apparently being absorbed into surrounding runs in 1841-2.  The licences for the Snowy River run are all made out to G C Curlewis, and when Lambie visited in February 1840 he found a Donald McLellan in charge, but I believe that Walter was superintending the run when it was finally broken-up and the sheep over-landed to Gippsland..

Jauncey claimes that in setting up the SnowyRiver run, they were the first to take sheep across the Snowy.  At the time of Lambie's visit, the run was carryng some 4000 sheep, and as that, given the faming methods of the day, necessarily involved a large labour-force of shepherds and hut-keepers, Lambie's listing of no less than 16 persons in residence, and 7 huts and a slab cottage is understandable.  This region, with its cold wet winters, may not have been the best location for a sheep run.  At one of his Monaro runs - and this seems likely - George lost more than a third of a flock of over 400 ewes, in the winter of 1837, to an infectious disease then termed influenza or catarrh, and he attributed this to "exposure to great sudden extremes in temperature", having days in which the thermometer is at 70, succeeded by a sharp frost at night."


(vi) The "Jinden" run.

In both the "Register of Licences" and the "Itineraries and Returns" of John Lambie, there are references to a run (or runs) in the Monaro district which is/are clearly neither "Tilba Tilba" nor the Snowy river run.  One such reference, in the "Register of Licences" for the period 1839-1840, describes a run situated at "Currambene", the licence being held jointly by Walter and Septimus Lord.  This seems to correspond with a run Lambie names, in an entry for January 1840, as "Gendin", watered by the "Curumbene rivulet" with Walter and Septimus Lord here too listed as joint licensees.

This, and other evidence, suggests that there is only one "mystery" run here, and that that run is "Jinden",situated just south of Karawaree, and just beyond the "limits of location".  Modern survey maps show a "Jinden" homestead on a Currambene Creek, a tributary of Jinden Creek which flows into the Shoalhaven River near Krarwaree. Given the proximity of the land to G C Curlewis's 2560 acre primary grant, it would seem highly probable that such a run would be particularly attractive to the brothers, and further, that they were in an excellent position to make the best (and the first) use of it.  I suspect that it would have been taken up at much the same time as the other two Monaro runs, but escapes mention in Jauncey's various reminiscences because it was to close to Krarwaree, and its taking-up involved none of the romance and adventure of that of the others.

When Lambie visited "Gendin"/Jinden" in January 1840, he found Septimus superintending a run of some six square miles, carrying 900-odd sheep.  the only building on the run was a slab hut, and only one other person in residence. It is, perhaps, of some significance that there were no horses on the run -an omission surely possible only if the run was within walking distance of another where food, other supplies, first aid and so on, were readily available.

1835-1842 Consolidation.

In September 1835, George married Matilda Martha Bernie Hall, daughter of Edward Smith Hall who, in 1829, as editor of the Monitor newspaper and outspoken critic of the administration of Governor Darling, has so upset that gentleman as to be forced to spend some time in gaol for his efforts.  A daughter was born to Matilda at Krarwaree in July 1836, but died early in the following year. This melancholy event may have underlined the remoteness of George's land at Krarwaree, and its unsuitability as the site for a family home.Early in 1837, he purchased 500 acres near the village of Bungonia, some 20 miles SE of Goulburn and only about 10 miles from lake Bathurst, where Edward Smith Hall has an estate.

From this point, the fortunes of the brothers show a marked divergence, although they still seem to have been joined by some loose (and unequal) partnership.  George settled down at "Ravenswood", the property near Bungonia, and showed all the signs of becoming recognised as a solid, respectable citizen.  His opinion was sought by several Legislative Council Select Committees, and in March 1840 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace.  His brothers, though continued as before, their work supervising various runs in remote Monaro earning them no such honours.

It was in this period that George applied for a secondary grant of land; he claimed that he had moved into agriculture in 1831, "induced by the advantages held out to Emigrants of Capital by the Land Regulations of 1826", and that the terms of those regulations, and the improvements he had made on his primary grant, entitled him to a second grant. Governor Gipps thought otherwise; Curlewis, he said, having arrived in the Colony in 1824, could hardly claim to have emigrated on the strength of the regulations of 1826, and was therefore clearly not entitled to a second grant under those regulations.  George later appealed to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, but failed to have Gipp's decision altered.

Although, in his application for a secondary grant, George claimed to possess capital to the value of at least (pounds) 6000, he does appear to have had some problems of financial liquidity at the same time.  In March 1838 he mortgaged the Krawaree land, the (pounds) 1000 thus raised due to be repaid by 1843.  That particular financial down-turn was apparently soon overcome, for by February 1840 he had not only re-acquired the title to that land, but also that to an adjoining 775 acres, and was selling them both.  over the next few years George's legal and financial relation ship to those two lots became increasingly complicated, with George sometimes selling the properties, sometimes mortgaging them, and at one stage holding a mortgage on them.

Walter and Septimus Lord, however, took part in no such wheeling and dealing.  As dealt with in further detail below, there was an (unsuccessful) application made in Walter's name, in 1836, to purchase land adjoining Krarwaree.  And Septimus Lord, in 1840, applied for a number of small town allotments in Gosford, and deed were prepared in his name, but I have found no evidence of his having taken possession.  Beyond that, however, these two demonstrated no interest in acquiring or speculating in land.

(i) "Ravenswood", Bungonia

If any place can be thought of as having been the "ancestral home" of this ranch of the family in Australia it must be "Ravenswood"; here George and Matilda spent the greater part of their married life, and here five of their children were born (one, the second daughter, dying, like the first in infancy).  At the time of the 1841 Census, no less than 17 people were living these, although these seems to have been only one house.  the Census return does not "name names", but the break-down into various categories can give us some insight into the nature of the "Ravenswood"household.  Some of the more interesting details are set out below:

a)      Total    "Civil condition"    Marital status    Age: under 2  14 to 21  21 to 45  over 45

Males    14              5 free             1 married              1                   1          10           2
                                9 bond          13 single
females     3              2 free            1 married                                    1           2
                                1 bond           2 single

b) Classification according to occupation:

- landed proprietore merchants etc.........................................................1
- gardeners, stockmen & persons engaged in agriculture.........................11
- shepherds & others engaged in the care of sheep
-Domestic servants.................................................................................4
- all other persons not included in other categories....................................1

(ii) 775 acres at Krawaree

Under the regulations of 1831 persons wishing to purchase unappropriatd rural land made application to the Surveyor-General, who, after advertising the land in question, put it up for sale by public auction, the minimum price acceptable being set at 5/- per acre. Early in 1836 an application was lodged for "900 acres, more or less" bounded on the north by George's 2560 acre primary grant at Krarwaree, and on the south by the "limits of location".  Although the application was lodged in Walter's name, it was signed by George.  The land was advertised in April and May of the same year, but Walter was apparently beaten at the public auction, the lot - susequently surveyed as being of 775 acres, going to J T Hughes.  Hughes, however, could not have held it long, for, as mentioned earlier,by February 1840 George Cambell Curlewis had acquired the title and was mortgaging both this lot and his 2560 acres.

(iii) The Gosford town lots.    

These are, perhaps only noteworthy because they were small town lots (one of 2 1/2 acres and three of 1/2 an acre) and apparently represent the only freehold land dealing in which Septimus Lord Curlewis was involved in the period covered by this article.  They were advertised in December 1840, and at the subsequent auction in January 1841 Septimus was the successful purchaser his final bids ranging fomr 14 punds for one of the 1/2 acre lots, to 50 pounds for the 2 1/2 acres.  But I can find no evidence of Septimus taking up the deeds for these lots, althought they were made out in his name.  By the time the deeds were prepared, in April 1841, he had left the Colony for England, and was not to return until late in the following year.

[This article will be continued in a later Bulletin as there is sufficient space here to deal adequately with the runs acquired in the period 1842-1847]


The english background (iii)

In earlier Bulletins (no. 3, p. 4, and no. 4, p.30 I have dealt with various aspects of this subject.  Steavens Lupton Curlewis, father of our Australian pioneers, has been mentioned before and inevitable attracts a lot of interest, if for no other reason than his several marriages and his fourteen children.  I have been faced with contradictory evidence regarding these marriages, and until now, felt unable to opt for one version or the other.

One version, contained in papers held by many of my readers, says that Steavens Lupton married twice, the first marriage resulting in the births of all of his children except the last two, Ellen (b 1810) and Septimus Lord (b. 1812).  Another version, put forward by my italian correspondent, a descendant of the family (see Bulleting 4, p. 20, claims that there were three marriages -the first brief, and without issue; the second responsible only for the eldenst son, William Edward (b 1789); and the third, or course responsible for all the other children of Steavens Lupton. Always keen to please, I'm now fairly confident that both accounts are partly correct.

Before presenting my evidence I'd like to quote an extract from a recent letter from our Italian "cousin", Morris Piscone/Curlewis, in which his version is set out.  Please note that those comments in the following in round brackets ( ) are his, but those in square brackets [ ] are mine.

"...There are some members of my famly who trace their descent from S Lupton's second (third) wife, Margaret Lord (not Skelton, please not) [ I had quoted Septimus Lord's death certificate which gives his mother's maiden name as Skelton],a Kentish women who our comon  fore-father married AD 1789 at Greenwich Kent, and whose first child was aptised with the name of Septimus Lord (after his own mother M Lord, as I have explained you above) (perhaps he was the seventh son of our forbear ) and maybe the 'squatting" George Campbell was another son of this second marriage, in Kent.  In my family Bible (my glorious naval ancestor  W E Curlewis' own Bible) this George Campbell is not at all mentioned, and nor Septimus Lord.  I am perfectly aware and alive to the fact that manyof our relatives both in S Africa and Australia really do descend from Steaves Lupton Curlewis' second (third) wife, and my connections with them all are more remote in blood.  Only my branch "(the Argentinian and the Italian one) do trace their descent from S Luptons' second marriage with Sarah Grinsdale Prentice of Richmond, Surrey. I have repeatedly. when referring to S L Curlewis' wives markedmargaret ord as the second wife of S Lupton Curlewis married thrice, as follows:
A D 1784 - St magaret Patten's London [name of the parish], with Deborah Davis, who died two years after the wedding, or consumption, leaving no children.
A D 1788 - Richmond parish Church, with my ancestress Sarah, daughter of John Prentice of London and Sarah Grinsdale of Richmond Surrey.
A D 1789 - Greenwich, Kent with Margaret Lord..."

Confused?  Press on, dear reader.  My recent finds, and the conclusions I draw from this and other evidence are as follows -

(1) Marriage notice, The Times 7/4/1788
"Married.  On Saturday the 5th instant, Mr Curlewis, of Fenchurch-street, to Miss Prentice of Richmond."
(2) Death notice, The Times, 7/1/1808
"Died, Yesterday, Mrs Curlewis, of King-street, Covent-garden."
(3) Marriage notice, The Times 23/1/1809
"Married. Mr Curlewis, of King-street, Covent-garden, to Margaret, second daughterof the late Thomas Skelton Esq., of Scarborough."
(4) Entries in the (admittedly incomplete) Church of Latter-Day Saints' Index ofEnglish marriages, births, and baptisms. This lists the birhs or baptisms of seven of S L Curlewis's children - it omits George Campbel, Walter, and James, but includes Septimus Lord - and gives the parents of the first five listed (to Jan 1808) as being "S  L and Sarah", and for the other two listed (Ellen and Septimus), as S L and Margaret."

Although i have as yet, no really firm evidence on this point, I am prepared to accept that Steavens Lupton Curlewis was married three times, and that the first marriage resulted in no issue. Morris Piscone/Curlewis's claim is backed up by the letter from Maria Anne Curlewis in Bulletin 3 p.2.

The second marriage, to Sarah Prentice in 1788, and ending with her death in 1808, is confirmed by items (1), (2) and (4) above.  Morris Piscone/Curlewis is correct in dating the marriage, but some 20 years out with regard to its duration, and is thus incorrect in his belief that William Edward was the only child of this marriage.

The third mariage, to Margaret Skelton in 1809, is covered by item(3)  above, and ths issue from that marriage (two - Ellen and Septimus) by item (4) and Maria Anne's letter. Here I can agree with my Italian correspondend on only one point, - that the third wife's first name was Margaret. That her maiden name was Skelton would seem to be adequately confirmed by item(3) abouve, and by Septimus Lord's death certificate (Bulletin 2, p 5).

Unfortunately, all these marriages and births pre-date the introduction of civil records in Britain. Final confirmation of these events can only come from the relevant parish registers, which, if still in existence, are invariable difficult to find.


 *Note: this mystery was solved some years later when a transcript of the will (1846) of Steavons Lupton Curlewis was obtained. In it, he refers to the "loan" of 400 pounds made to George Campbell Curlewis, and the request that this be paid to his widow. Whether or not his widow received it is unknown, as George Campbell died the following year 1847, and his father died in 1851.