Australian English Genealogy

Descendants of Pierce Collits

Notes - Page 14

1008. Oliver Harold Collits

Five Years' Gaol A CASE FROM FORBES SYDNEY. Friday.
Oliver Hareld Collits, 32. a laborer, was sentenced to five years penal servitude at the Central Court to-day on a charge cf arson. to which he pleaded guilty. It was stated that the prisoner had been employed by Frederick Matthew MzConnell, grazier of Forces, and that at midnight on October 19 he had gone to McConnell's home in which four people, including a woman aged 80 years, were asleep. He set fire to the curtain in one of the rooms, it was stated, and also set fire to a laundry nearby. Next he set fire to the wool shed, barn, hay stack, and a motor car, and, with the exception of the wool shed, damage was caused, to all. the places to which he set fire. It was stated that the prisoner's action had been prompted by some grievance.  He called McCcnnell as a witness, and later gave evidence that during the period the prisoner had been in his employ he had done his work honestly and well. Collits said that since he had been living in the country he had tried to keep out of trouble. The judge said that the prisoner's long list of previous convictions made him eligible to be declared an habitual criminal, but he did not propose to declare him one on this occasion.
Source: National Advocate 28 Nov 1936

230. Frances S Paton

Frances died from blood poisoning contracted by an accidental inoculation of the diphtheritic poison.

1013. Ada Sophia Anderson


248.  James Collit Field

(For the "Windsor and Richmond. Gazette")
THERE died at Ashbury, near Sydney, on the 2nd of January, 1930, a splendid type of Australian gentleman of the fifth generation, in the person of my good friend, the late James Collitts Field. The deceased gentleman was in his 66th year, having been born at his maternal grandfather's. (Mr. Pierce Collitts) famous and historic inn — then (1863) and now (1930) a private residence — on the 28th July, 1863. On the paternal side the Fields, of Castlereagh village, above. Richmond, on the Hawkesbury, are descendants of pioneer William Field, who came by the first fleet (1788). At St. John's Churchyard, Wilberforce, lies buried all that is mortal of the founder of the Australian Fields. An inscribed stone there bears the words: —
'Sacred to the memory of 'WILLIAM FIELD, who died Octbr 22nd, 1826 ' Aged 54 years.' with a footstone initialled: W.F. 1826

A son of the pioneer of the pioneer himself (?) was employed as the blacksmith at Castlereagh, on the Nepean, making all the tools and iron implements, and sharpening the picks and axes used for felling timber by 'Government Men' employed under the direction of Mr. WilliamCox (I.) and Lieut. Thomas Hobby, in making the great road over the Blue Mountains from Emu Plains to Bathurst (1814).. (See Wm., Cox's', Diary under date of July 20, 1814).

About the same year the late Mr. J. C. Field's maternal grandfather was Chief Constable at. Penrith (or as it was then known, Evan) . I refer to Mr. Pierce Collitts, who was so engaged as a Government official there in that capacity, or in lesser semi -Government offices, from about the year 1808 until the. year 1821, or probably to a later period. The emancipist pioneer, Mr. Pierce Collitts, who came to New South Wales about the year 1802, and his wife, Mrs. Mary Collitts, were two remarkable personages in their day. During their sojourn at Penrith (1804-1823), they reared a large family at the farm property of 70 acres of land granted during the year 1804. to (Mrs.) Mary Collitts. This was the site on which stood the original home in Australia of the Collitts. The house was only pulled down during the year 1925. It had a quaint slab kitchen with a brick chimney, and on one side of the historic building was a small baker's oven at one end, the original roof of what remained, of the adjoining rooms, also of the kitchen was of wood shingles, which, during the late fifties of last century, was covered by sheets of iron roofing. It was in a nearby slab-room attached to the main structure that Mrs. Collitts held the first school in the district of Evan (Penrith). The pioneeress and mother of all the Collitts, was a Kilkenny (Ireland) woman. On the two volumes of the Castlereagh registers (which may be seen at Sydney) all items bearing the signatures of the notable Rev. Henry Fulton, Mrs. Mary Collitts' name and likewise the name and joint signatures of attestations as witnesses to "Notices of Banns" of marriages — actual marriages — and many other human happenings, and from the scores of names there listed went forth to all parts of Australia, the first generation of sons and daughters who (in the main) were children of emancipists, and they made good in every sphere' of life. Just to quote from a few of the surnames (be it noted) that they include original settlers'' names from both Upper and Lower Castlereagh villages. The following may be named as of interest: James Bent, father of the late Sir Thomas Bent, once Premier of Victoria; Thomas Rawsthorne, Philip Strickland (I.), the Abbletts, Peacocks, Watkins, Meurants, Martins, Stantons, Gormans, Fells, Rutledges, Weavers, Ryans, Ropes and not forgetting the free settlers names Blackman, Colless, Lees, Francis, etc., etc. The father of the late Sir Thomas Bent, was Mr. James Bent, who married Miss Maria Toomey at Castlereagh Church, March 25, 1838, the husband then being in the employment of Sir John Jamieson, of 'Regentville,' near Penrith; The sons' of Mrs. Collitts and Mr. Pierce Collitts, (I.) were respectively: — (1) James, (2) John, (3) Joseph and (4) William Collitts. There were five daughters, viz., (1) Maria (later Mrs. Field, and secondly Mrs. Rope), (2) Sarah (Mrs. John Watkins), (3) Frances (Mrs. Pembroke), (4) Amelia (Mrs. John Skeene), and (5) Sophia (Mrs. James Morris, who later married a Mr. Charles Williams, of Coonamble). The eldest son, James Collitts, who married Miss Eleanor Leech, discovered the oriiginal new road from Richmond to Collitts' Inn at Mount York, during May, 1825, as can be versified, by Dr. F. Watson's records of Australia. Still later, Mr. James Collitts and his wife and growing family were the first original pioneer, pastoralist settlers along with the late Mr. Josiah Strickland, on the Lachlan River, taking up the country known as Bundaburra, during the year 1837. The last named Mr. James Collitts sold to Mr. Strickland, who was also a relative. Mr. James Collitts was the grandfather of the late Mr. J. C. Field, one of the Lachlan pioneer's daughters, Miss Caroline Collitts, marrying Mr. Thomas Field, who thus became the father of my lately departed dear friend.
The house where Mr. Field was born in 1863, was originally erected about the years 1817 to 1820. For the Records state, Series 1, Vol 10. Hist. Records of Australia (Dr. F. Watson), from a list of Public Works undertaken by direction of Governor Macquarie from 1st January, 1810 to the 30th November, 1821, both inclusive: — "At Vale of Clwyde." 'A , weatherboarded commodious Barrack and Guard House with an enclosed kitchen garden; for the accommodation of the Military Guard stationed at this post on the Great Western Road, which was established for the keeping open the communication with Bathurst as well as for the protection of travellers,' The place is situated about 81 miles from Sydney, and lies right under the shadow of Mount York, and nowadays is situated about four miles from Hartley Vale railway station. Quite a lot of nonsense has been written of the historic house, ''Collitts' Inn' at Mount York. One remarkable inaccurate statement was written by an alleged historian, who. should know, better, to the effect that , during Governor Macquarie's triumphal progress westward to Bathurst in the year 1815, he slept in a room, at the residence, and the present proprietor of the house (which is now an accommodation week-end house for visitor's) still circulates the bogus story, probably pointing out the "alleged room" in which Governor Macquarie and Mrs. Elizabeth Macquarie did not sleep, for the barracks was not erected until at the very earliest possible time. which would be the year 1817. I make the foregoing statement with positive assurance and veracity.
There being no further use for the building as a military barracks, Mr. Pierce Collitts (I.) took the place, and a large grant of land adjoining the property was given to him, and in the month of April, 1824, he opened the house under the sign of the 'Golden Fleece Inn.' The name was changed later to that of the 'King's Garter Inn.' The property was occupied by the Collitts until their respective deaths. Mrs. Mary, Collitts died on August 4, 1841, aged 72 years, and Mr. Pierce Collitts died September 19, 1848, aged 85 years.
Both pioneer's, along with a, numerous kindred (all appear to have the familiar old Castlereagh surnames of that village's early forefathers) rest in the little burial ground not far from the original barracks building, i.e., the once notable and famous Collitts' Inn. Mr. James Collitts is buried in Forbes cemetery, but no stone marks his grave, and the parents of the late Mr. Field of Ashbuiy. Mr. and Mrs. Thos. and Caroline ollitts Field are interred at the Nyngan cemetery (out west). That couple also pioneered the western district as settlers, and as carriers and teamsters where their family grew up, the late Mr. James Collitts Field being Mayor of Nyngan Municipality for a term, methinks from memory, about the year 1905.
I shall resume my story of the Collitts and the Fields at a future time. Suffice to say here that the Collitts and the Collesses of Penrith must not be confused, both the pioneers named had adjoining grants of land at the Nepean town of Penrith — from the very early period of the nineteenth century, approx, 1804 or upwards.
Mr. J. C. Field was buried at the Church, of England portion of Rookwood cemetery on Friday, January 3rd. To Mrs. Lavena Field and her family of sons and daughters I extend my sincerest sympathy in the loss of their parent and friend.

Source: Windsor and Richmond Gazette 24 Jan 1930