John Eccleston.

Mary Whitton- Barnes.

John Eccleston was a convict transported to NSW arriving in 1819. He married Mary Whitton, in 1827, who was the daughter of Edward Whitton and Anne Slater, and who was previously married to Richard Barnes. 
John Eccleston went on to become a respected and a successful settler

After the death of Richard Barnes, Mary, his wife, then about 30 years of age with six children, married John Eccleston, who was 32 years of age, on March 5th, 1827 at St. Peters Anglican Church, Campbelltown, NSW.

John Ecclestone was born in Lancashire, England on July 7th, 1793 and was convicted at the Lancaster Assizes on March 21st, 1818 and sentenced to 7 years transportation to New South Wales. He was described as a laborer, 24 years of age, height 5 feet 8 1/2 inches, ruddy complexion, black hair and hazel eyes.

He was sentenced with six others either for armed robbery or poaching or both.

The Lancashire Record Office shows the following -:

Number Name Age
92 James Welsby 20
93 John Eccleston 23
94 William Howard 27
95 Robert Gill 22
96 Thomas Culshaw 24
97 William Culshaw 18
98 James Orford 22

Committed by the Rev. G. Ford, January 15th, 1818, charged with having violently assaulted Abraham Catterall, on the King's Highway, at Bickerstaffe, and with having robbed him of a gun and his property.

It was noted that James Orford turned Kings Evidence.

The first six were convicted of entering a plantation in the night, armed, with intent to kill game and all transported for seven years.

John Ecclestone arrived in New South Wales on board the 411 ton "Lord Sidmouth 1" which arrived on March 11th, 1819. The vessel departed from Sheerness near the mouth of the Thames River on September 20th, 1818 and traveled via Rio de Janeiro, Brazil taking 172 days to complete the voyage. The master was William Gunner and the surgeon was Arch. Lang.

On arrival he was indented to Richard Brooks and soon exhibited himself as a model servant.

Four years after his arrival he petitioned Governor Brisbane for a Ticket of Leave which was granted on June 29th, 1825.

His petition reads as follows -:

"His Excellency Gov. Thomas Brisbane, K.C.B.

Governor of N.S.W.

The Humble Petition of John Eccleston most respectfully states:

That your petitioner arrived in the colony in March, 1818, per ship Lord Sidmouth [commanded by Capt. Gunner] and having been now upwards of two thirds of his sentence in this country and conducted himself in an upright and satisfactory manner to his master he humbly hopes and trusts that his present application for a ticket of leave will not be deemed rude or made in vain.

Your humble petitioner begs leave to mention that he has been Government Servant to Capt. Brooks from the day of his landing to the present time and that he is capable of getting an honest and respectable livelihood by agricultural pursuits when on his own.

Should his Excellency be pleased to grant him the indulgence he now solicits he will remember it with the highest sense of gratitude and profound respect and your petitioner [as in duty bound] will ever pray.

John Eccleston.

Bunbury Curran, September, 1822.


A letter reinforcing the appeal for John follows the above.

"We hereby certify that John Ecclestone, who came by the ship Lord Sidmouth with arrival in the year 1819 has not been convicted of any crime or misdemeanor in this colony but is to our certain belief an honest, sober and industrious character having served faithfully Richard Brooks J.P. from his first landing to the present time."

R. Brooks. J.P.

Dr. Reddall. Resident Clergyman.

R. Brooks. Only Master.

The petition was successful and the following public notice appeared in The Sydney Gazette and Advertiser on Thursday, April 10th, 1823 -:

"Public Notice".

The under mentioned persons have obtained certificates, absolute pardon or tickets of leave in the course of the last week.

Tickets of Leave.

Lord Sidmouth 1 - John Eccleston - Airds.

He obtained his certificate by a similar notice in the Sydney Gazette on Thursday, June 30th, 1825.

In the 1828 Census, he was recorded as being an innkeeper at the "Sign of St. Patrick's Inn" at Lower Minto near Campbelltown. His wife Mary and son Henry Ecclestone, age 1, are also listed in the census. Mary was previously married to Richard Barnes and was the daughter of Edward Whitton and Ann Slater. The six children of the marriage to Richard Barnes are listed in the census as living with John Ecclestone at St. Patrick's Inn, Lower Minto.

The Census at that time revealed that John owned 200 acres at Minto, 120 of which was cleared and 50 acres cultivated. He also had 2 horses and 11 cattle.

The license of the "Sign of St. Patrick's Inn" is said to have been transferred to the present day "Good Intent Hotel" at Campbelltown.

The inn is recorded in the History of Campbelltown as follows -:

"At Minto, travellers were well catered for by the numerous inns licensed in or before 1830 –

At Lower Minto the "Wheelwrights "of George Graham and the "St. Patrick’s Inn" of Joe Eccleston, on the Campbelltown Road, Lower Minto, 6/4 miles from Liverpool, situated on two acres of ground at the corner of Broughton Street".

His marriage certificate dated March 5th, 1827 states John Eccleston, free by servitude, of the Parish of Lower Minto married Mary Ann Barnes, born colony, of the Parish of Lower Minto. The marriage was performed by Thomas Reddall, Chaplain and was witnessed by James and Susannah Filkins of Lower Minto.

John and Mary soon became accepted as one of the most respected families in the district. John was granted a renewal of the publican’s license for the St. Patrick Inn on July 1st, 1830. James Underwood was noted as the proprietor of the lease and sureties were provided by Alfred Simms and Patrick Keithorn, both of Airds.

Location of the inn was listed as "towards Liverpool three miles and towards Campbelltown one mile from the nearest Public House".

Mary Eccleston died at Eccleston Hill, Campbelltown on November 1855 aged 58 years and was buried at Campbelltown on November 4th, 1855. Photo of Gravesite.

John Eccleston died at St. Patrick’s Inn, Minto on October 23rd, 1868 aged 73 years and was buried in a family crypt within the Roman Catholic section of the Campbelltown Cemetery.

The informant was his grandson William Bolger of Denham Court, who was a son of his stepdaughter Amelia Barnes.

The children of Mary's second marriage, which was to John Eccleston, were -:

1. Henry John Eccleston born May 4th, 1827 at Denham Court, Campbelltown and baptised December 4th, 1827. He married Elizabeth Mary Byrne, the daughter of Hugh Byrne and Sarah Dwyer on July 28th, 1851 and gave his address as Eccleston Hill.
Witnesses at the wedding were Samuel G. Bowler, Kate Keighran, and Rose Byrne.
They settled at Coonghoenbula Station near Buckleys Crossing on the Snowy.
Henry John Eccleston died aged 37 years at Coonghoenbula Station on November 22nd, 1864.
The informant was his stepbrother Richard Barnes, Publican of Buckleys Crossing.
He is buried at Cooma General Cemetery.

2. Ann Mary Eccleston born June 17th, 1829 in Campbelltown. She married George Wright who was born c1819 at Sheffield, England.
Ann died at Bankstown on October 26th, 1859 aged 30.

3. John Henry Eccleston born 1830 at Campbelltown and was baptised March 10, 1831. He died April 3rd, 1858 at Bankstown at age 28. His death certificate certified by his sister Ann Wright [sic.] of Bankstown near Liverpool, stated he was a farmer, his parents were John Eccleston and Mary Whetton [sic.] and that he was 34 years of age. He was buried April 6th, 1858 in the " Church of Rome" section of the Campbelltown Cemetery.

4. William Eccleston born August 8th, 1832 and baptised October 4th, 1833 at St. Johns, Campbelltown. Sponsors were Mary Meade, in proxy, and twelve year old Isabella Eccleston [Barnes]. He married Ann Davis in 1859 and had seven children. William died August 27th, 1911 aged 79 years, and his wife Ann died on November 18th, 1916 aged 81 years.

5. Mary Eccleston born January 6th, 1836 and baptised January 17th, 1836. Sponsors were Mary and David Norman. Mary died October 22nd, 1837. She is noted as being two years of age on the family burial vault.

6. Mary Eccleston born February 1st, 1838 died April 21st, 1925 age 87 years, at Milgate Street, Campbelltown. The informant was H. Merideth, nephew of Campbelltown and parents were shown as John Eccleston and Mary Whitton, with her birth place shown as Minto, NSW.
She was married twice, first to Patrick Maguire, who died in 1871, having one male child who was deceased at the time of her death, and then to Thomas McCormack having no children. Thomas died in 1910. Mary and her two husbands are buried in the family crypt at Campbelltown cemetery.

7.Joanna Elizabeth Eccleston born June 9th , 1841 at Campbelltown.
She died on February 5th, 1931 at age 89 and is buried at St Johns Roman Catholic Cemetery., Campbelltown.
Her obituary stated she was born at Denham Court, Ingleburn and was the daughter of John Eccleston, Hotelkeeper at Eccleston's Hill, Denham Court.  
She married Charles Meredith on March 20, 1855 and they had 14 children.
Charles Meredith died May 4th, 1914 aged 78 at Campbelltown.

John and Mary Eccleston owned a number of large properties including 15 acres or one half of the 30-acre land grant originally granted to Edward Whitton known as Whitton Farm. It is believed that the 30 acres may have been split between Mary and her brother and that Mary and her first husband Richard Barnes lost their 15 acres. However, Mary and John at some later date managed to get 15 acres of the property back.

They were also granted allotment number 97 at Campbelltown on December 14th, 1841.

Mary and John Eccleston are buried in the Roman Catholic Section of Campbelltown Cemetery beneath a rectangular block of stone representing a family vault. The inscription on the grave reads as follows -:



On top.

Sacred to the memory of Mary Eccleston.

Who departed this life on the 2nd. of November, 1855

In the 59th. year of her age.

May her soul rest in peace.


John Eccleston who departed this life

On the 23rd. October, 1868 aged 73 years.

Sacred to the memory of Patrick Henry Maguire.

Who died November 3rd, 1878 aged 37 years.

Sweet Jesus have mercy on him.

Thomas Mc Cormack died 17th October, 1910 aged 72 years.

Sacred heart of love have mercy on him.

Mary McCormack

Born 1st. February, 1838.

Died 21st April, 1925.

Aged 87 years.


On side.

Sacred to the memory of Mary Eccleston.

Who died October the 22nd, 1837.

Aged 2 years.


John Eccleston who departed this life the 3rd April, 1858.

Aged 7 years.


The following are some details relating to those buried in the vault -:

Patrick Henry Maguire born 1841, died November 3rd, 1878 was the first husband of the younger Mary Eccleston. Mary and Patrick took over the "Sign of St. Patrick’s Inn" after the death of John Eccleston. Patrick was the son of Michael Maguire and Mary Riley.

Thomas McCormack was the second husband of the younger Mary Eccleston they were married in 1880. He was the publican of the "Sign of St. Patrick’s Inn" in 1883. He died at Denham Court. He was born in N.S.W. the son of Thomas and Ellen Mc Cormack.

Records show a Pasturage License i.e. a squatting run was granted to John Eccleston on February 19th, 1840. He applied for a lease of Crown Land, Application No 53.

Name of Run : Doodle.

Estimated Area : 10240 Acres.

Estimated Grazing Capabilities : 710 Cattle.

Bounded on the east by Mr. Benjamin Boyd for 4 miles, on the North by Brierly for 4 miles, on the West by Bloomfield for 4 miles and on the South by the Snowy River for 4 miles. The location of this run was in the Maffra area near Dalgety, N.S.W.

At this time in 1840 in New South Wales which included the District of Port Phillip, later to become Victoria, there were 718 squatting stations or runs with 7000 people involved with a million and a half sheep covering over a million acres of Crown Land.

The run was managed by Mary's son, Richard Barnes, Junior (1825 -1912) about whom many articles have been written in historical journals.

It was written that he managed his father's property at Buckleys Crossing but there is no doubt that it was his stepfathers property. Richard later selected land at Buckleys Crossing, or Barnes Crossing as it was later known, and opened a store keeping business which he conducted for about 14 years.

He built a hotel at Buckleys Crossing, which he ran for 20 years. The crossing was the only one at that part of the river and so became part of the main route to Gippsland in Victoria. Richard operated a punt across the river which was washed away in 1870. He also owned very large grazing areas, later managed by his son Richard H. Barnes.

Richard Barnes gave the land on which the Buckleys Crossing Church was erected and was instrumental in the establishment of a Post Office in the village. The Post Master General had agreed in 1860 to open a mail service between Cooma and Buckleys Crossing. His wife Mary Barnes was in charge of the first Post Office.

The Buckleys Crossing provisional school was established in 1877 with Mary Barnes as teacher.

Richard Barnes died on October 23rd, 1912 at "Longfield", Dalgety Shire, aged 87 years, and is buried in the Roman Catholic cemetery section at Boloco, Dalgety, N.S.W.

The Historical book "Cooma Country" says that Barnes Crossing became the alternative name to Buckleys Crossing after Barnes settled there in 1848. It also states that in the 1840’s, Charles Henry Eccleston took up Coonghoongbula Run and later with his son, Napoleon became known for their excellent horses.

The Last Will and Testament

Of John Eccleston.

This is the last Will and Testament of me John Eccleston of the Liverpool Road in the colony of New South Wales, Innkeeper.

I appoint Edwin Hallett Fieldhouse Of Campbelltown in New South Wales, Storekeeper, Daniel Fowler of the same place, Butcher and Edward Whologham of the same place, Grazier as and to be trustees and executor of this my will and I direct that the word Trustees used hereinafter made use of shall signify and include the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my will and whether the persons hereby or by any other provision hereinafter contained appointed or only one of such persons respectively or the survivor of them in any other person or persons and shall also include the executors or administrators of a sole trustee dying until another trustee or other trustees shall be appointed and I devise and Bequeath all real and personal property vested in me upon any trust or by way of mortgage unto and to the use of my said trustees, their heirs, executors, administrators, and assign upon trust to hold convey, assign and deal with the same according to the equities affecting the same respectively.

And I give and devise my 30 acres of land situated in the District of Campbelltown aforesaid called Fenton Farm, unto my said trustees and their heirs to the use of the said trustees or their heirs and aforesigned during the natural life of my daughter Joanna Meredith, wife of Charles Meredith, upon trust for their sole and separate and unalienable use, free from the control or debts of any husband.

And from and after the death of the said Johanna Meredith then to such uses and in such manner as she notwithstanding coveture shall by will appoint and in default of appointment and so far as such if made shall not extend to the use of the heirs and aforesigned if the said Joanna Meredith for ever and I give and devise my 15 acres of land at Windsor situate on the Hawkesbury River in the district of Mulgrave Place in N.S.W. and known as Whittons Farm unto my said trustees, their heirs and assigns during the natural life of my son William Eccleston upon trust for him, and his assigns and from and after his death such uses and in such manner as he shall by will appoint.

And in default of appointment and so far as any such if made shall by will appoint. And in default of appointment and so far as any such if made shall not extend to the use of [John Eccleston, John Reemer, Robert Thompson] the heirs and afforesigned of the said William Eccleston forever.

And I give, devise and bequeath my 320 acres of land situate on Brookes Hill, Liverpool Road in N.S.W. called Regents Farm with the inn erected thereon, also my 2 acres and 8 perches in Campbelltown, allotment 97 and also my other real estate whatsoever and wheresoever unto my said trustees and their heirs to the use of my said trustees, their heirs and aforesigned during the natural life of my daughter, Mary Eccleston upon trust for her sole, separate and unalienable use free from the debts or control of any husband, and from and after her death to such uses and in such manner as she notwithstanding coverture shall by will appoint. And in default of appointment and so far as assign such if made shall not extend to the use of the heir's and aforesigned of the said Mary Eccleston forever. And I give and bequeath all my cattle, horses, furniture, monies, goods and personal real estate whatsoever unto my said trustees upon trust for the sole and separate use of my said daughter, Mary absolutely.

And I declare that it shall be lawful for my said trustees if they shall see that from time to time or at any time during the lifetime of any person beneficially interested for life under any of the provisions hereinbefore contained of and in any hereditaments devised by and with the afsent of the persons so interested therein to demise and lease any such hereditaments or any part hereof at such rent or an improving lease for ant term or terms not exceeding 7 years from the commencement of the lease.

And further with such afsent as aforesaid to sell and absolutely dispose of any such hereditaments by my said trustees in respect of any such sale having taken and exercising of all or any of the powers or privileges now conferred by law or trustees for sale and I declare that my trustees shall stand aforesaid of the proceeds arising from any and every such sale upon trust to lay out and invest and reinvest the same upon mortgage in N.S.W. and from time to time to alter, vary and transpose any investment or investments so made, and upon trust to stand of such proceeds and investments upon the same trusts as are hereinbefore such proceeds shall or may have arisen.

And I declare that the receipts of any said trustees for any monies paid to them under or by virtual of any of the powers or trusts contained [John Eccleston, John Reemer, Robert Thompson] shall effectively discharge the person or persons paying the same from all liability in respect of the application thereof.

And I declare that no trustee bon a fide acting as such shall be responsible for the consequences of any act done by him unless arising through his own willful neglect or default.

And I declare that new trustees may from time to time be appointed of or for this my will in pursuance of the provisions of the Trust Property Act 1862. In witness whereof I have to this my last will contained in this and the two proceeding sheets of paper set my hand this Seventh day of June Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Seven years.


John Eccleston.

Signed and acknowledged by the said testator as his will in the presence of us present at the same time and who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have here unto subscribed our names as witnesses.

John Cameron. Robert Thompson.


After his death on October 23rd, 1868, details were listed concerning probate of his will.

"Twenty fifth day of February, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Nine this day upon Petition - Probate -

Of the last will and testament of John Eccleston, deceased, was granted to Edwin Hallett Fieldhouse and Daniel Fowler, the executors of the said will named, [Edward Whologham the other executor also in the said will named having by deed under seal duly renounced probate by the same has been duly recorded].

Testator died October 23rd, 1868. Goods sworn at 138 Pounds. Probate dated the same day as granted."

The major beneficiaries of the will therefore were -:

Johanna Meredith, daughter, 30 acres of land known as Fenton Farm in the District of Campbelltown.

William Eccleston, son, 15 acres of land known as Whitton Farm in the District of Mulgrave Place.

Mary Eccleston, daughter, 320 acres of land known as Regents Farm together with the inn situated on Brookes Hill, Liverpool Road. Also allotment 97 in Campbelltown consisting of 2 acres and 8 perches, together with any other real estate

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