St Marys & District Historical Society Inc - Quarterly Newsletter

HAPPY 2006

Our members hope you had a safe and Happy Christmas and we welcome you to our first Newsletter for 2006


John King Lethbridge * "Tregeare *
* Photos courtesy of descendants

John's parents were Robert Copland Lethbridge and Mary King. Mary was the youngest child of Philip Gidley King (Governor of NSW) & Anna Josepha King and was born in Australia in 1805. John was born at St Marys in 1832. When John's father Robert died in 1865, he took over the management of the farms of "Dunheved" at St Marys, also the estates of "Werrington House" at Werrington and Bellevue on behalf of his mother and Aunt.

John inherited the family property "Tregeare" on his father's death. Robert had bought the 300 acre grant to James Whalan in 1831. There is an account in the local newspaper the "Nepean Times" dated 11th January, 1896 where the home almost came to grief in an enormous fire storm in the area. It was saved by the efforts of 200 local men, led by Andrew Thompson and gives an indication of the great mateship that still continues to this day in the face of calamity. "Tregeare" was taken over by the RAAF during the 2nd World War.

John's father, Robert was Chairman of the Penrith Bench of Magistrates and largely contributed to the building of the St Mary Magdalene Church of England at St Marys and was an active worker of the church. He was also a driving force in the erection of the old Penrith Hospital (closed in 1871). John's name appears on the church records of St Mary Magdalene where for about 40 years, he was Church Warden as well as being a synod representative and one of the church Trustees.

John married Frances Tindale in 1864 and they had four girls - Mary, Amy, Maude, Laura and four sons - John King Lethbridge (2), Robert, William and Philip. John died of cancer on the 4th May, 1900 at the age of 67. He was well respected in the district and was the district coroner for over 40 years. At the time of his death in May, 1900 he was also noted as being the oldest magistrate in the district. His funeral was one of the largest seen in the district with over 300 mourners, including about 70 vehicles and fifty horseman. He is laid to rest in the graveyard of the St Mary Magdalene Church along with his wife, who died in 1902.

Please see "Peta's Project" for more on John King Lethbridge and "Tregear" .
More information is available in the book "John King Lethbridge - The Diaries 1871 - 1880" by Lorna Parr. Published by the Nepean District Historical Society 2000

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The new suburb of "Ropes Crossing" has a connection with the area of St Marys through the First Fleet family of Anthony Rope and Elizabeth Pulley who came as convicts in 1788?

ANTHONY ROPE - was born in 1763 at Rochford, Essex, England. He married Elizabeth Pulley at Sydney Cove on the 9th May, 1788 the marriage was performed by Rev. Richard Johnson. Anthony died on the 20th April, 1843 at Castlereagh at the age of 89 years and is buried at the Castlereagh Church of Christ Cemetery. He came to Australia on the "Alexander" with the First Fleet on 26th January, 1788.

CRIME - Anthony Rope, late of the parish of Rochford in the County of Essex, labourer: Burglary by breaking and entering the house of ROBERT GOSLING about 7 in the forenoon on 2nd September, 1784 and stealing 2 printed cotton gowns of the value of 20 shillings, one petticoat made of silk and worsted of the value of 5 shillings, one silk neck handkerchief of the value of 18d, one pair of Women's leather shoes of the value of one shilling, one pair of metal buckles plated with silver of the value of 6d, one man's hat of the value of 6 shillings, one fustian frock of the value of 5 shillings, one pair of buckles plated with silver of the value of one shilling and one hempen sack of the value of 6d of the goods and chattels of the said Robert Gosling, one pair of other men's leather shoes of the value of 5 shillings, one pair of other metal buckles plated with silver of the value of 3 shillings, one cotton waistcoat of the value of 2 shillings, one linen shirt of the value of 6d, 2 silk handkerchiefs of the value of 2 shillings, one piece of silver coin of the proper coin of the realm called a "half crown" of the value of 2 shillings and sixpence and one piece of the proper silver coin of this realm called a "shilling", of the goods and monies of ROBERT BRADLEY in the same dwelling house.

SENTENCE - Not guilty of breaking and entering, guilty of stealing goods valued at 35 shillings, no chattels - Transported for seven years. PLACE & DATE OF TRIAL - Essex Lent Assizes, which began at Chelmsford on Monday, 7th March, 1785, before Sir Henry Gould, Knt and Sir Richard Perryn, Knt - Justices. Anthony was kept on the prison hulks before transportation and was "employed when health and weather permitted, in raising gravel from the Woolwich Shoals, in wheeling the same, for the purpose of making considerably higher the ground which they have erec ted and are now repairing". On 11th February, 1789, Anthony and his friend John Summers (John was witness at Anthony and Elizabeth's wedding)} were each ordered 25 lashes for neglecting their work, and Anthony received another twenty-five lashed on 9 th March, 1789 for the same reason.

In 1791, Anthony was listed as a bricklayer and on the 31st March, 1791 he bought a pair of stolen shoes from John Marrott, which were stolen from John Beasley three weeks before and he received 25 lashes for buying stolen goods, and Marrott 25 lashes for selling them. John Marrott also came on the "Alexander" transported for "break & enter of the dwelling house of JOHN CONSTABLE with arms" and with his brother Joseph, stole goods belonging to John Constable, his sentence was hanging but later reprieved to seven years transportation.

On the 10th January, 1792, Anthony Rope was granted land "at the Ponds" , two miles to the north-east of Parramatta on Kissing point Road (for 1 shilling a year after ten years). He received 30 acres and 20 acres for Elizabeth and 10 acres for each of the two children - Robert and Mary. There seems to be some confusion over Anthony's land ownership as by 1800 he was living at Castlereagh and on 1st April, 1804 his farm was advertised in the "Sydney Gazette" for auction as 100 acres in the estate of William Cox, and on 4th April, 1804 it was sold to Captain Dagg, for 52 guineas. However, during the 1840's, this land was listed as having rates which were owed by Anthony and it was sold to the Catholic Church for the amount of the rates owing and the Church build a College. On the 5th March, 1831, John Bowman bought from Anthony for 30 pound each, the farm\rquote s original grant to Elizabeth Ann Clark and Thomas Howard which adjoined Anthony's original grant. Anthony then moved around Windsor and Castlereagh with his family for the next twenty years, eventually buying land on William Faithfull's estate, Sou th Creek (St Marys). This eventually gave the name of "Rope's Creek" to the area. Anthony listed as landholder 1763 - 1843 Field of Mars (Rope's Creek).


The St Marys & District Historical Society meets every 4th Saturday at 1 pm - at the St Marys Arts & Craft Centre 2 - 6 Mamre Road, St Marys.
(Next meeting to be held 4th Saturday in February 2006)


Website -

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ELIZABETH PULLEY - was born in 1757 at Hethersett - Near Norwich, England. She died on the 9th August, 1837 at the age of 80 years. She is buried at the Castlereagh Church of Christ Cemetery presided over by Reverend Henry Fulton. Elizabeth came to Australia with the First Fleet on the "Friendship" - transferred to the "Charlotte" at Cape town.

CRIME - Elizabeth Pulley spinster, 24th December last at Heathersett about 12 in the night, burgled the Dwelling House of ELIZABETH MIMMS, Widow, and stealing ten pounds weight of Cheese, value 3 shillings, three pounds weight of Bacon value 18d, twenty four ounces weight of butter, value 12d, three pounds weight of raisins, value 12d, seven pounds weight of flour, value 12d, two rolls of Worsted, value 12d, goods of the said Elizabeth Mimms.

SENTENCE : "Jury say Guilty, no goods, to be hanged by the neck until she was dead". She was reprieved to 7 years transportation.

PLACE & DATE OF TRIAL: Norfolk Lent. Assizes which began at Thetford on Friday , 14th March 1783, before Sir James Eyre Knt, and Fleetwood Bury Esq. - Elizabeth was one of the "Fighting Five *" mentioned in Ralph Clark's Diary of the First fleet voyage out.

** The five consisted of; Elizabeth Pulley, Elizabeth Brady, Elizabeth Dudgeon, Elizabeth Thackery and Sarah McCormick. In his diary of 19th June, 1787 four women were released after he had put them in irons for ten days for fighting, the four were Elizabeth Dudgeon, Elizabeth Pulley, Charlotte Ware and Margaret Hall. On 3rd July, 1787 Clark was again punishing Elizabeth's Dudgeon, Pulley and Thackery and Sarah McCormick for getting into bed with seamen the night before - all four had got into bed with the sailors at Portsmouth and Dudgeon and Pulley had just come out of irons for fighting at Teneriffe , they were ordered back into irons and the boatswain, steward and seamen involved were flogged, but the carpenter was pardoned. On 24th July, 1787, he again put Elizabeth Pulley who, up to then had been handcuffed to Elizabeth Tha ckery, back into leg irons, along with Mrs McNamara, who was the convict cook. On 26th July, 1787, he took Elizabeth Pulley out of the irons because the punishment made her very weak and sickly. On the 1st August, 1787, Elizabeth Pulley was again in iro ns, this time together with Elizabeth Dudgeon for fighting. On 13th August, 1787, Captain Arthur Phillip released the "Fighting Five" from irons, telling them if they made any more trouble they would be flogged the same as the men. On 3rd October, 1787, Elizabeth Pulley and Sarah McCormick informed the Doctor that they were pregnant to the seamen.

On 28th October, 1787, Elizabeth Pulley was transferred to the "Charlotte" to make way for the live stock bought at Cape town. Elizabeth and Anthony stayed married and raised a family whose descendants today are spread far and wide. On the anniversary of their marriage in May, the Rope-Pulley Family reunion is held at Castlereagh to commemorate the life of these two remarkable people, who, against all odds, survived the hardship of being shipped to New South Wales with the First Fleet and the harsh survival of the first five years of the colony.

Information & research contributed by Lyn Forde - descendent via Anthony & Elizabeth's daughter, Susannah Rope.

Page No. 3

Editor - After my "remembering" in the Winter issue, I had a letter from an ex-Adelaide Street resident, Marilyn Kruger (Nee Morgan), who sent me her "remembering" - some of which I will share with you.

I remember:

When I had a cold, Mum would make up a little flannel bag and pop a square of camphor in it and it would be tied around my neck so I could breath in the vapours - mmmmm lovely.

Mum's copper in the laundry/bathroom - also used for cooking the Christmas Pudding, then the Pudd would be hung behind the door to dry out and then on Christmas day the Pudd would have a beautiful smooth skin and the delight of finding SILVER threepences and sixpences in the slice of the Pudd

Dad's little green two-door Austin four-seater car with the celluloid windows that would be slotted into the doors if it began raining. I had many a trip in that little car sitting on the back seat with my water bo ttle accompanying me.

Mum's cooking, especially sponges, cream horns and just about everything else. Dad's fruit orchard down the back with mulberry, apples, plums, apricots, strawberries, grapes, loganberries, quinces, etc along with his vegie patch. From all the mulberries that came off the two trees, mum made mulberry pies and tarts and stewed and preserved them, made mulberry wine and jellies! Oh, my mouth waters at the thought of warm pies with fresh cream and the gramma pies served with cream were just to die for.

Oxley Park School - Mr Martin the headmaster (6th class), Mr Shields (5th class) and Mr Lawson (4th class) were all true gentlemen. Fridays were the highlight of the week as we were allowed to do square dancing. Memories of starched rope petticoats, gathered skirts and snow white socks and sandshoes. We always did a presentation of square dancing at all the wonderful fetes.

The store on the corner of Adelaide and Sydney Streets which was owned and run by a kind and elderly gentleman for many years before new owners took over. Palumbo's fruiterer and their daughter Maria, who lived around the corner from us who I remember as a lovely girl. The McKechnie's and the Buckley's who lived either side of us and all the kids. The wonderful de licatessens in St Marys - all due to the many European people who made up a large part of the population in St Marys.


This Newsletter is a free publication. Articles in this Newsletter may be republished if permission is given by the Society.

Please contact:-



Norma Thorburn 9623-2307

Lyn Forde 9673-3506

(While care is taken to ensure that all articles are accurate, the opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Society) Any comments on this Newsletter are encouraged


Editor & Publisher: Lyn Forde

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