Chapter 4 Dulhunty Papers

CONTENTS, Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, (452kB), (1341kB), (860kB),


Before his father's death, John Dulhunty, junior, had established a medical practice at Parramatta, where his property lay. A notice to that effect appeared in The Australian on l8th July 1827:

We are requested to state that Mr Dulhunty, son of Dr Dulhunty, has commenced medical practice at Parramatta. The circumstance is not generally known and therefore we mention it through this public channel.

On 24th September, 1827, Dr Dulhunty and his sister were present at a Ball and Supper Party at the home of the Attorney General in York Street.
On 23rd January, 1828, The Australian reported:

A coroner has at length been appointed for Parramatta, in the room of Mr Beddek resigned. Dr Dulhunty it appears has accepted of the office. The experience and local knowledge of this gentleman qualify him undoubtedly for a satisfactory despatch of his new duties.

In 1828 his mother and sister were residing with the young Dr Dulhunty on his Parramatta property. The New South Wales Census showed:

Dulhunty of Parramatta, Landholder.

All came out by Sesostris in 1826.

The Dulhunty brothers were at that time importing and breeding horses. An advertisement in The Australian on 7th May, 1828, ran:

The highest cast Arab horse Rainbow, colour white, flea bitten spots, great bone and substance, with the finest temper, lately imported from Madras. He will not be allowed to serve more than 40 mares. Early application therefore will be necessary. He may at present be seen at Mr Balcombe's stables at Parramatta where he will remain until the end of the month after which he will be sent to Bathurst and will stand at Mr Dulhunty's farm Cullen Bullen. Terms 5 sterling and 5/- the groom. Good paddocks for mares at the usual rates.

In 1830 Mrs Jane Dulhunty and her daughter went to live at Cullen Bullen, where they remained for eight or nine years Dr George Bennett, in his Wanderings in New South Wales, described a visit there in l832:

After an early breakfast on the next morning [20th September] we resumed our journey. The atmosphere was cold, and the season was considered by the settlers more backward than usual this year. After riding six or seven miles we reached "Cullen Bullen", the farm and residence of Robert Dulhunty, Esq. The situation is picturesque, but the land was stated not to be of an excellent description. The cottage (to which a neat garden was attached) displayed both in its exterior, as well as its interior, adornments, a degree of taste and neatness, which was sufficient to acquaint the visitor that the more gentle and amiable sex had secluded themselves in this place. After an agreeable but short stay, we continued our journey through a very uninteresting country.

During this period the system of land grants ceased. Returning to Sydney in l833, Mrs Dulhunty addressed a letter to the Governor:

I have the honour to address your Excellency on a subject which I hope will meet with favourable consideration. My late husband held the situation of Police Magistrate of Sydney at the time orders were received to allot the Land on Woolloomooloo Hill to certain Civil Officers on stated conditions; that after his death I was encouraged by the private secretary Colonel Dumaresq to make the application to His Excellency General Darling which I had every right to expect was favourably received as your Excellency will perceive from the enclosed correspondence in the months of November 1829 and January l830, in consequence of which, assisted by Colonel Dumaresq who lent me the chart, I made my selection of an allotment under the impression that my application would have been favourably considered (having explained to General Darling my readiness to fulfil the conditions required of me). I forbore to remind him of it until a short time before his departure, when to my surprise I received an answer informing me "he had never led me to suppose I ever was to get an allotment of Ground"; by this time the new regulations prohibiting the granting of Land must have been in force, and consequently the long suspense I was kept in prevented me from following up my application while it was in the General's power to comply with it. Why he should have treated my application with a denial, I am perfectly at a loss to know as I beg to assure your Excellency I never received any indulgence whatever from the Government, though I did feel I had some claim as the Widow of a Naval Officer who had faithfully served the King upwards of Thirty Years. On my return from the country after an absence of upwards of 3 years I understand that there is still unappropriated Crown Land in the vicinity of the place where I was desirous of obtaining an allotment and that other applicants similarly situated with myself in this respect, and many probably whose applications are of more recent date than mine, have had allotments for which they applied confirmed to them by your Excellency. Such being the case I am induced to bring the consideration under your Excellency's notice, being sure of its receiving every consideration at your hands.

I have, etc. Jane Dulhunty

Governor Bourke forwarded Jane Dulhunty's letter to Rt. Hon. E.G. Stanley in despatch No 58 per ship William Stoveld on 22nd August, 1833, with the following comments:

Government House,
22nd August, 1833
My Lord,

At the request of Mrs Dulhunty, Widow of an officer who formerly held the situation of Police Magistrate in this Town, I have the honour to transmit a Letter, which she has addressed to me for the purpose of obtaining a free grant from the Crown a Town Allotment, in which she considers herself to have a claim as the Widow of an Officer in His Majesty's service.

Mrs Dulhunty states that she was led to believe, from the two accompanying letters from the Colonial Secretary in answer to her first application for a Town allotment, that her claims were acknowledged by this Government, but, as it appears from a subsequent communication addressed to her by direction of General Darling that it was not his intention to have complied with her request, I have not now felt myself authorized to yield to her solicitation, nor can I recommend to your Lordship to depart from the Regulations of H M.'s Government in her favour.
There is however one part of Mrs Dulhunty's letter to which I consider it necessary to advert further. In concluding she states that "other applicants, similarly situated with herself and many probably whose applications were of a more recent date have had their allotments confirmed by me". To this I beg leave to reply that, in obedience to His Majesty's commands, I have never confirmed any promises of Land but such as were made by my Predecessor prior to 30th June 1831, on which day the Regulations for the Sale of Crown Lands were made public.

I have, etc.
Richard Bourke

The Rt. Hon. E.G. Stanley replied to Governor Bourke on 7th February, 1833:

In reference to that made by Mrs Dulhunty I concur with you in opinion that she has failed in establishing any claim to the Town Allotment which she solicits, whilst a relaxation of the Regulations in her favour would be attended with much inconveniencing, and you will therefore intimate to her my regret that I do not feel myself at liberty to authorize her receiving as a grant, the Allotment of Land in question.

Miss A.A.C. Innes, daughter of George Innes, wrote in her journal in 1835:

On the 26th July we started for Bathurst. Our first stage was twentyfive miles to Cullenbullen, where we were most kindly received by Mrs Dulhunty, her grown-up daughter, and her son Dr Dulhunty, very nice English people, and their house a picture of English neatness and comfort. We rested there the night...

In 1836 the brothers were taking part in the social life of Sydney. The Australian, on 31st May, l836, gave an account of a Levee at Government House:

On Saturday last, being His Majesty's Birth Day, His Excellency the Governor held a Levee at Government House. Half Past Twelve was the appointed hour, and at that time the Avenue leading to the House was crowded with carriages of various descriptions, many, indeed the majority of which, would have done honour to St James Street. There were also a large number of equestrians as well as gentlemen performing the weary pilgrimage on their ten toes. Upwards of five hundred individuals paid their respect to His Excellency on this occasion and it was gratifying to observe that in the proper desire to testify loyalty to our beloved Sovereign and respect to his representative in the person of Sir Richard Bourke, all political feelings were merged, the few political opponents of the Governor being observed in the gay throng equally with his friends. His Excellency, we were happy to observe, looked remarkably well and in good spirits, and received the assembled multitude with his extreme affability. It is impossible to give anything like a correct list of the persons present - among them however were the following ...

The name of John Dulhunty appeared under the heading Military and Commissariat Officers, which included also the names of Sir John Jamison, Captain Piper, Major Innes, James Macarthur, John Blaxland, John Osborne, R.C Lethbridge, John Mackaness, Frederick Garling, William Pettit, John Edye Manning, William Cox, Thomas Mitchell, Alexander Busby, John Gilchrist, Marsden, and de Mestre. The list of Civil Officers, headed by Alexander Macleay, included E. Deas Thomgon, Charles Windeyer, George Moncrieff, William Lithgow, and Major Gibbes.

On 16th August, 1836, R.V. Dulhunty was included in a list of subscribers to the Patriotic Association:

We, the undersigned, free inhabitants of New South Wales, in order to found and provide for a Colonial Political Agency and pay all expenses attendent thereupon, both in England and this Colony, and to support proper advocates and agents for conducting the same, do bind ourselves, and each of us respectively doth bind himself, unto Sir John Jamison, William Charles Wentworth, and William Hutchinson, and the survivor and survivors of them, and the heirs and executors of such survivors, to pay the sums set opposite our respective names annually for a period of 4 years ...

R V. Dulhunty subscribed 3, The Committee included the names Aspinall, Biddulph, Blaxland, Chisholm, Bowman, Burdekin, Cordeaux, Piper, Rudder, Salmon, Sherwin, Younger.

At this time there was growing agitation for self-government. Since l824 political groups had been struggling for power. The party led by James Macarthur and his powerful family (frequently called "Exclusives") was in disagreement with the generally more liberal party led by W.C. Wentworth, Sir John Jamison (later a connexion of Dulhunty's by marriage) and Judge Forbes (with whom he travelled in the same ship from England). However, the dividing line between these two factions was never absolute; personal differences played a considerable part in creating this division, which was further aggravated by conflicting attitudes in such questions as Land Policy, Home Government Control, the civil rights of Emancipists, and even personal relations with the governor of the time, Thus Wentworth was bitterly opposed to every policy of Sir Ralph Darling, who was the personal friend of the Macarthurs and the Macleays, but the reverse is true of Sir Richard Bourke's term of governorship. It may here be noted that Dulhunty's future father-in-law, Major Gibbes, was a high civil official and a Crown nominee to the Legislative Council, whose sympathies were mostly with the Macarthur party.

The conflicting parties merged as the wealthy combined to meet the threat of radicalism, Both sides were opposed to the Colonial Office as control of the Colony's land and the growing radical-movement among the poor and middle-class immigrants of the thirties, Both sides wanted to continue transportation and assignment, for on cheap labour and cheap land depended the wealth of both parties. After l840 Macarthur and Wentworth were the leaders of a natural alliance. Addressing a meeting on 6th July, l843, after he had been beaten by Cowper and Lawson in the Cumberland Election, James Macarthur said there had been treachery in the camp. In fact, of all the members of the Committee, Captain Dulhunty and Mr Gibbes only had been faithful to him.

At the end of 1837 Governor Bourke returned to England and was replaced by Sir George Gipps. Bourke was one of the governors who shared the difficult task, in the transition stage between autocracy and free government, of serving both the Crown and the Colony, with the result of frequently displeasing both. History has shown him to be a good man and an able administrator, with the courage to defy both the colonists and the British authorities when he considered it necessary.

On 8th December, 1837, letters were published in The Australian from the military population, the civilian population, the Protestant fraternity, the Catholic fraternity, the Jewish community, and all factions, to His Excellency Lieut.-General Sir Richard Bourke KCB Commanding Her Majesty's Forces in, and Governor of New South Wales, on his departure.

On the same day a meeting was held, with J. Blaxland Esq., M.C., in the Chair, at which it was moved by W.C. Wentworth that a statue be erected to the memory of Sir Richard Bourke. The committee elected to carry the resolution into effect included Sir John Jamison, W.C. Wentworth, J. Osborne, Colonel Mackenzie, Thomas Moore, Robert Dulhunty, Dudley North, Captain Piper, Thomas Icely, Dr Bland, and others. R.V. Dulhunty subscribed 5. 5. 0. This statue stands in front of the Mitchell Library.

In October, 1836, the first meeting was held to found the Australian Club:

We, the undersigned, notify our intention to form a new Club. It will be limited to 250 members and nominations close on 28th November. Any nomination after that date will not be accepted except on the resignation of a member.

The 86 undersigned included all the old names - W.C. Wentworth, Captain Piper, Dr Bland, Sir John Jamison, Major Lockyer, R. Dulhunty, James Macarthur, William Lithgow, John Blaxland.

On 29th June, 1836, Miss Innes wrote to her father at Cullen Bullen:

Dear Papa,
Mama is very anxious to get some cuttings of the Cluster Rose or Honeysuckle, and any other pretty thing you can find in Mr Dulhunty's garden. We have sent several times for some, but have not been able to get any to grow.

In 1838 she again visited Cullen Bullen. She noted in her diary:

We went to White Rocks, Bathurst, again in March, l838, and stayed there three or four months. Our journey there is one of the first I remember of our numerous expeditions round "The Peak", as the road which led to and from Capita was then called. Nothing could be worse than this road. We always had to stay a night or two in the bush if anything more than one gig and one or two horsemen were of the party, as it took three men to help and encourage one good horse up and down these hills On this occasion we were a large party. Uncle Dalmahoy Campbell and Mr Jones had come to our assistance; each of them had a gig and supplies, to enable us to camp out It was really very enjoyable and we made light of any small inconveniences. We did not stay the night at Cullenbullen as we were so large a party, but we had dinner or tea there and I was much impressed by Miss Dulhunty's appearance and with the very pretty house and garden.

A year later, in March, 1839, when they were on their way to Lake Innes cottage for the first time, her diary is noted:

We stopped for luncheon at Cullenbullen where we were most kindly received by Dr Dulhunty, his mother and sister It was a very pretty place and quite my ideal of a country home. I am told now that it has gone to ruin, the owner dead, the family scattered and the place sold.

Dr Dulhunty died on 24th May of that year. The Registrar General's records of Church of England Burials in the Parish of Bathurst show: "John William Dulhunty, Gentleman, abode Cullen Bullen, age 38, died 24th May, buried 29th May, l839". He was unmarried.

On 10th December, l840, R V. Dulhunty was appointed to the Committee of the Australian Immigration Association, representing Penrith with E. Blaxland and R C Lethbridge. Immigrants were needed to add to the working population of Australia The bounty system, whereby the colonists were paid a bounty for introducing desirable immigrants, was preferred by the colonists to a government scheme.

A neglect of civil duties could prove expensive, On l8th May, l84l, in The Australian, the Supreme Court notices, Civil Side, included the item:

Executions were ordered to be issued against the following gentlemen for non-attendance as jurors:
Michael Wooley 2, Thomas Burdekin 5, Robert Dulhunty 10, Captain Drake 10.

The gentlemen of the colony occasionally took time off from politics to turn their attention to sport. On 21st September, 1842, The Australian gave an account of a race meeting:


The Penrith Races will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 11th, 12th, and 13th October next, when the following stakes will be run for

Mrs Jane Dulhunty died at Paignton, Devonshire, on 23rd May, 1857, at the age of 83 years. The announcement was included in the death notices in the Sydney Morning Herald on 21st August, 1857.

Her daughter, Jane, married Dr Charles Toogood in Somersetshire, England, and is mentioned later as having occupied a neighbouring property to her brothers on the Macquarie River. She died at St Leonards on l8th April, 1858, leaving a son, Charles Henry Lawrence, aged 13 years. Though her husband gave her age as 40, according to the official statistical evidence she would have been 52 at the time.

CONTENTS, Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, (452kB), (1341kB), (860kB),