Flack Family History

100's of Flack Families - Worldwide.


Male Abt 1771 - 1851  (~ 80 years)

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  • Name George COLLESS  [1
    Born Abt 1771  Hereford, Warwickshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 16 Jul 1851  Emu Plains, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 20 Jul 1851  St. Stephen's C of E Penrith, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I7562  Tree001D
    Last Modified 24 Mar 2020 

    Family Ann GOODWIN,   b. Abt 1780, Warwickshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Aug 1853, Castlereagh, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 73 years) 
    Married Abt 1804  Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
     1. William COLLESS,   b. 21 Aug 1805, Upper Castlereagh, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Oct 1872, Emu Plains, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
     2. Elizabeth COLLESS,   b. 8 Jun 1806, Castlereagh, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Oct 1833, Upper Castlereagh, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 27 years)
     3. Jane COLLESS,   b. 22 Aug 1808, Upper Castlereagh, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Aug 1882, Penrith, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
     4. George COLLESS,   b. 18 Jun 1810, Upper Castlereagh, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Jan 1869, Emu Plains, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years)
     5. Mary COLLESS,   b. 27 Apr 1813, Upper Castlereagh, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Aug 1883, Emu Plains, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)
     6. John COLLESS,   b. 15 Aug 1815, Upper Castlereagh, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Nov 1893, Upper Castlereagh, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     7. Ann COLLESS,   b. 15 Aug 1819, Castlereagh, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Mar 1844, Kelso, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 24 years)
     8. James COLLESS,   b. 25 Feb 1821, Castlereagh, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Jun 1901, Bathurst, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
     9. Charles COLLESS,   b. 11 Jun 1824, Upper Castlereagh, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Mar 1898, Mudgee, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
    Last Modified 24 Mar 2020 
    Family ID F2846  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • BIOGRAPHY: George was a convict - shown in the records as Collis also known as Collins - " Barwell 1798". Sentence 7 years, trial year 1793, aged abt 22 years.
      (Source: Transportations from Warwickshire to New South Wales, Australia1788 at http://www.hunimex.com/warwick/NSW_transportations.html)
      He was convicted at Warwick Assizes in 1793, sentenced to death but respited to transportation for 7 years. He spent 4 years in jail there until he was transported.
      The Barwell was an East India Company ship of 796 tons. It left Portsmouth on the 7.11 1797 and arrived via the Cape of Good Hope, in Sydney on 18.5.1798.
      There were 296 men and no women on the ship and during the voyage of six months, 9 people died.
      Soon after leaving the Cape a plot was hatched between the convicts and the soldiers to seize the ship. Ensign George Bond, of the NSW corps, was named as one of the ringleaders, and the Barwell's master, John Cameron, ordered him to be confined in irons. Several of the soldiers were also thrown into irons, and at least one received three dozen lashes. Many of the convicts were flogged, one or two being given eight dozen lashes as principal ringleaders, but the majority being given three dozen. In all, about 20 were punished for having their irons off or as being implicated in the alleged mutiny. This apparently, was the second conspiracy on the Barwell. Although the ship's log does not mention it, a private letter from Richard Dore who was going to Sydney to take up an appointment as judge-advocate, states that on the way to the Cape 25 prisoners had planned to seize the cuddy arms while the sailors were aloft and murder the officers. The plot was disclosed by an informer the night before the attempt was to be made, and next morning, as the convicts reached the deck, the conspirators were seized, double-ironed and chained together.
      It returned to England via China.

      BIOGRAPHY: Extract from letter from Governor Hunter to Lord Portland -
      Sydney NSW 12th September 1798
      My Lord Duke -
      Your Grace will receive by this opportunity letters and papers from Mr Geo Bond, late an ensign in the New South Wales Corps, who, having been implicated in a suppos'd conspiracy on board the Barwell upon her voyage hither, the master of the said ship persisted in a desire to try those who had been accused and confined on the passage, by the approbation of his officers, whom he regularly convened for the purpose of taking their sense of the measures necessary to be taken on this occasion. .....
      The prisoners were acquitted, as will be seen by the proceedings which have been forwarded to Sir Jas. Marriot. The above Mt George Bond is advised and seems anxious to commence a prosecution against the commander of the ship for what he calls crueltys, and complains of the want of justice, because I do not consider it proper to detain the Barwell until another Court canbe convened....
      Information from Log of Logs, HRA and Charles Bateson's book.
      Source: Carolyn ctibbett@tpg.com.au

      BIOGRAPHY: Introduction
      The Barwell sailed from Spithead on the 31st October 1797 and arrived inSydney on the 18th May, 1798.
      Transcriber's notes
      This page has been provided by Ann Gugler. All care has been taken in the preparation of this information, but much of the source material may be interpretted in different ways. Researchers should refer back to original source material for confirmation of the information provided.
      Extracts from the Ship's Log
      Sunday 10th September 1797
      Whilst In The Thames London - John Bowman And His Wife, two sons & one daughter, John Smith With His Wife, three sons and one daughter

      BIOGRAPHY: Tuesday 12th September 1797
      - Andrew Mcdougall His Wife And Five Children
      14th September
      - 33 Soldiers As Guards, one woman, three children, an officer and a servant
      19th September
      115 Convicts
      23rd September
      The Barwell Sailed For The Downs And Spithead Under John Cameron The Master.
      18th October
      Further 186 Convicts And Few Sick Convicts Taken Off. To Date The Tally Was 297 Convicts, 18 passengers, 32 soldiers stated
      24th October
      Alse Cooper And Her Daughter - Wife Of Charles Cooper Convict On Board.
      Before Setting Sail On 31st October A Mr Dove, his son and servant came on board - he was a judiciary official.
      Note: the actual number of convicts that sailed appears to be 186, with185 arriving in Sydney
      Source: Shipping Arrivals and Departures at http://www.blaxland.com/ozships/mk3doc/1798-d01.htm

      BIOGRAPHY: The "Barwell" sailed from Portsmouth on 7 Nov 1797 with 296 male convicts and there were 9 deaths and an alleged plot between some of the convicts and soldiers to seize the ship after the Cape of Good Hope. The full story of this plot was never told and she arrived at Sydney Cove, NSW on18 May 1798 and disembarked 287 convicts. (Source: POVEY Convicts Transported from the UK

      BIOGRAPHY: The "Barwell", a ship belonging to the East India Company. It was making its first and only voyage as a convict ship. After leaving Australia it sailed to China to pick up a cargo tea. On the 15-9-1797, while the shipwas berthed in the Thames, it took aboard 115 convicts, then sailed down to the Spithead to take on a further 186 convicts on the 18-10-1797. The Captain of the ship was John Cameron. (Source: Kindred Chronicles athttp://www.farrawell.aust.com/ch_coop1.htm)

      BIOGRAPHY: He was assigned to John Lewis.

      BIOGRAPHY: Married Ann Goodwin "Experiment" 1804

      BIOGRAPHY: Colonial Secretary's Index1788-1825:


      BIOGRAPHY: 1810 Dec 1,5
      Signatory to address from the settlers of the Hawkesbury to GovernorMacquarie; and Macquarie's reply (Reel 6038; SZ758 pp.128-30)
      1814 Mar 2
      Juror at inquest on William Reardon held at Castlereagh (Reel 6021;4/1819 pp.539, 545)
      1814 Jun 30
      Of Nepean. On list of persons to receive grants of land in 1814 (Fiche3266; 9/2652 p.17)
      1822 Aug
      Signatory to petition objecting to the Commissariat's new system ofpaying for supplies in Spanish dollars (Reel 6017; 4/5783 p.124d)
      1824 Sep
      Of Evan. Memorial of his son William (Fiche 3083; 4/1836B No.205 p.921)
      1824 Nov 29
      Of Evan. Memorial (Fiche 3083; 4/1836B No.210 pp.933-6)
      1825 Mar 5
      Of Evan. On list of lands granted and reserved by Sir Thomas Brisbane(Fiche 3269; 9/2740 p.6)
      1825 Sep 27
      Signatory to a memorial from the magistrates, land proprietors andsettlers of the District of Evan praying for the different public roadsto be surveyed (Fiche 3142; 4/1843A No.500A p.277)

      1806 Oct 14
      Giving evidence re the identity of Thomas Mills (Reel 6041; 4/1719 p.1j)
      COLLIS, John
      1810 Jul 21
      Of Back Row East. Issued with licence to retail beer, ale and porter; asColles (Reel 6038; SZ758 pp.72-3)
      1811 Mar 6
      Of Phillip Street, Sydney. On list of persons who have received spiritlicences in Feb 1811; listed as Colles (Reel 6038; SZ758 p.183)
      COLLIS, John
      1811 Oct; 1812 Apr 12
      Juror at inquests on John James Grant and Jane Harding held at Sydney(Reel 6043, 4/1726 pp.281, 289, 290; Reel 6021, 4/1819

      BIOGRAPHY: Now back to my Colless line - I have information about George Colless - bc 1771 Herefordshire, farm worker; his conviction Warwick assizes 1793,death sentence respited to transportation for 7 years to serve and beinggaoled in Warwick over 4 yrs before coming here on the Barwell 1797 andproblems about the trip; assigned to John Lewis, squatted on unassignedland at Birds Eye Corner, Nepean River; share farming with others aftermissing out on a land grant; had 40 acres at Evan (share farming) appliedfor a housekeeper;some more info re his time in Castlereagh, his deathand burial, details and his will.

      BIOGRAPHY: About Ann Goodwin, who George refers to several times in his will as "AnnGoodwin, the mother of my children" we know about her death details andconvict info; that she was assigned as a housekeeper to GeorgeColless.Her conviction info Warwick assizes 1802 (aged 22)received 14 yrsfor receiving stolen goods, was in Warwick gaol; arr "Experiment" fromCowes 1804 with an eventful journey.

      BIOGRAPHY: In his will George refers to her as "Ann Goodwin, the mother of mychildren." This confirms what many of us thought, that there was nomarriage as nothing can be found and in those days there was somethingrecorded. Why they were able to live that was and able to arrange for alltheir children to be baptised and then buried in the church services, Idon't know as things appear to be strict then.as for not marrying - maybeone (or both) were married before they arrived here - but this argumentfalls short when we know that any convict who were here at least 7 yearsand did not wish to return could marry someone here. Perhaps one of themwas married through the Catholic Church?

      BIOGRAPHY: In the NSW bdms some of their children were under Colless and Goodwinsurnames.

      BIOGRAPHY: I had an email from a descendant that suggests that Ann could have beenthe daughter of William and Ann (nee Hidson) Goodwin b c1780 OadbyLeicestershire or Herefordshire - but this only came through agrandmother mentioning something and a descendant doing some research.But nothing certain yet.

      BIOGRAPHY: George and Ann lived in "very mean and paltry" house as described b yGov Macquarie 1810 when the farmers where George was risked being floodedoccasionally to stay put on the rich soil beside the river. Castlereaghwas marked out on the Governor's asking and George and the others alongthe river were given Town Allotments of 2 acres each in the first streetof the town but most decided to s tay in their mean & paltry homes nearthe river. 1817 George received his only land grant of 50acres fr GovMacquarie; he petitioned for more land to Gov Brisbane 1823, but failed.Was a bit of an entrepreneur, buying land later and selling. built agrist mill and water mill for grounding fl;our on the Nepean. Gave fundsfor building a new bridge and a school. Went into a money lendingbusiness in partnership with his first master, John Lewis. 1828 censusshows him 57 fr Herefordshire, farmer in Evan, Castlereagh; free frservitude, with Ann Goodwin and children on 190acres cleared andcultivated, 8 horses and 26 cattle. He later set up his sons with smallholdings.

      BIOGRAPHY: George seems to have developed the spelling of Colless as his surnamehere in Australia and his sons followed this. Some of his sons andgrandsons took the name in search of new districts to farm whenconstraints and restrictions that were in place on earlier settlers toremain within borders of the 19 counties. They have gone onto theLachlan, Macquarie, Barwon, Namoi, Culgoa Rivers, to the Gulf ofCarpentaria settling at Colless Creek in Normanton..

      BIOGRAPHY: All 5 sons and 1 daughter named their first son George after him.

      BIOGRAPHY: I have a list of their children and their births, baptisms, somemarriages and some death/burial details.William 1805, Elizabeth 1806 Jane1808 (my ancestor) George 1810 Mary 1813, John 1815, Ann 1819, James 1821and Charles 1824.

      BIOGRAPHY: My ancestry is:
      George Colless and Ann Goodwin
      Jane Colless and James Wilcox (another convict)
      Ellen Wilcox and George Chapman (he is from 2 convicts)
      Annie Chapman and Thomas William Smith (his Smith grandparents and aWoods grandparent were convicts.)
      John Joseph Smith and Lavenia Emilie Humphries (descended from moreconvicts)
      Letitia Smith and Ronald Steele
      Rona Letitia Steele and I married a James Colin Smith no relation to theabove Smith.
      You may have all the above info, if not I maybe able to help,
      Rona Smith [George Colless 6.FTW]

      BIOGRAPHY: Margery,
      If I haven't already here are some from (2nd) cousin Jilpia's mob at Balgo.
      She is related through the Jones connection as cousins to Colless' about 1860.
      Beresford Jones married an Ellen (Helen) Colless (sister of Major Colless).
      Major had a number of Aboriginal wives and died 1897 at Normanton of dengue fever.
      These are our northern cousins and there the link is to Cathy Freeman (mother Cecilia Grogan) through the OIlivers.
      Balgo is at the juncture of the Tanami and Great Sandy deserts.

      BIOGRAPHY: In truth the Colless family was originally recorded as Collis at the muster of convicts and at the 1828 census.
      The Warwick assizes record is different again.
      The first named was George C and common law wife Ann Goodwin.
      George arrived on the ship Barwell in 1798, Ann following on the Experiment in 1804.
      Thus we are all Colless from a common ancestor.
      My overseaas researchers have collated about 23 spellings for the name, mainly of Scots/ Irish origin but ours is Scots from the village of Collace on Tayside.
      Shirley C is deputy mayor of North Sydney Council and the best researched to date, though mine has led to the Major C and cousin Beresford Jones (b 1834) who married Ellen Colless, his cousin.
      This union had several descendants, one Orme Reginald Beresford Jones fathered a daughter to a Walmajarri woman in the Kimberley at Christmas Creek and Marjorie Baldwin as known traditionally as Jilpia Napaljari Jones was raised by the (white grandmother) at Inverleigh station in the Gulf country, QLD.
      Jilpia is well known in the health profession and has an A.M. post nominal for her work with Fred Hollows over many years.
      Major C had several Indigenous wives (smart man) and even more descendants, one grandson named Major also, thus the link to Cathy Freeman, Lydia Miller and other FNQ language groups.
      At last reckoning we have about twelve of these and several "skin name " relationships by
      traditional adoption to Central Australian language groups.
      Mine is through William H Colless as a great g/father and all Aboriginal people I have met through NSW and QLD know the links as any people from a predominantly oral tradition do.
      Internet links record a common cross reference as both names Collis and Colless are cross indexed and Rosina Agnes Colless, wife of Major C (dec) is recorded both ways.
      Rosina Colless A.M. is well known in health circles as she and Jilpia worked together in FNQ for many years.
      In conclusion we have a common ancestor that we are proud of and one that will get you care, assistance and respect in our very extended family.
      Hope this is of some interest.
      Rick Shapter
      Program Officer,
      Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board
      Australia Council for the Arts

      BIOGRAPHY: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      The Colless family in Australia: the Founders

      BIOGRAPHY: Many members of the Colless family in Australia have been brought upbelieving that whenever the name in that spelling occurred the peoplebearing it all belonged to the one family.
      To date, my researches indicate that this is true and that the hundredsof men and women in
      Australia who either bear the name or are descended from Collesses dobelong to the one family.

      BIOGRAPHY: The founders of the family in Australia are George Colless and AnnGoodwin.
      Both were transported to Australia as convicts, in 1798 and 1804respectively.
      Both, coincidentally, had been tried at the Warwick Assizes and lodgedin the Warwick Gaol until they could be transported.

      BIOGRAPHY: George Colless is believed to have been arrested in Birmingham in 1793for the theft of a woman's gown piece. He was tried at Warwick in March,1793 and sentenced to seven years transportation, arriving in Sydney onMay 18, 1798, with only two years of his sentence left to serve.

      BIOGRAPHY: It is believed he was first assigned to John Lewis, a settler on theHawkesbury.
      Did he come from a farming environment in England?
      He seems to have quickly found a place among the farmers of theHawkesbury.
      This environment would have been familiar only to a small degree. Allfarmers, whether experienced or not, whether highly capitalised or not,had to relearn their craft and rethink their techniques.

      BIOGRAPHY: Colless appears to have been one of the successful farmers, and somethingof an entrepreneur.
      There is evidence of his involvement in money lending with Lewis and JohnPickering early in the century.
      James Ryan, whose son was to marry a daughter of James Evans and MaryColless,
      wrote that Colless was one of a group of people who "squatted" onunsurveyed and unassigned land in the bend of the river Napean nearPenrith in 1800.
      Although he was not granted land when the grants were finally issued in1803, he succeeded in building up his holdings from a shared farm of 40acres in 1803 to a freehold property of 190 acres in 1828.
      Of this, only 50 acres was a direct grant, from Macquaire in 1817 - theremainder of the land being purchased.
      This is evidence that, in spite of floods, economic difficulties,caterpillar infestation and all the other problems that beset the earlyfarmers, he was able to secure his family's financial future.

      BIOGRAPHY: Ann Goodman, tried in 1802, arrived on June 26, 1804, and was assigned toGeorge Colless as his "housekeeper". It is interesting to speculatewhether or not he knew her, or her family, or whether he chose her to behis housekeeper simply because she came from the same part of England ashe did.

      BIOGRAPHY: Their first child, William, was born in August, 1805. No record of theirmarriage has been found and the evidence of his will appears to indicatethat their union was not legalised.
      They raised ten children and lived together for 47 years, and Ann'swelfare - both physically and
      financially - was carefully provided for when George Colless drew up hiswill in 1849.

      BIOGRAPHY: The family appears to have achieved both financial security, a degree ofphysical comfort, success at the craft of farming and some standingintheir community. From the time of the appointment of the Reverend HarryFulton (himself an ex-convict) as Chaplain at Castlereagh in 1811, thechildren were baptised soon after birth, and the first five children wereall baptised on the one day in 1823.
      They appear to have been faithful to their Church and community, withGeorge Colless subscribing
      funds for the building of a school and a bridge at Castlereagh, signingaddresses to the various governors and possibly assisting John Lees,their near neighbour, with the building of the Wesleyan Chapel.

      BIOGRAPHY: In 1824, he petitioned Governor Brisbane for a grant of land, saying thathe "occupied a purchased farm in the district of Evan, from thecultivation of which he maintained a family of 10 children ... (and)
      that he had regularly employed government servants off the store". He wasat the time "extremely solicitors of extending his system of agricultureand obtaining a wider range of pasture for his castle". His petitionfailed, and he had to purchase the additional land he needed.

      BIOGRAPHY: At the same time, his eldest son, William, now 19, petitioned for agrant, saying "that he was bred to agriculture and farming concerns underhis father (and that he had) uniformly supported a good character
      and obtained a maintenance by the pursuit of honest industry".
      Both memorials were supported by Reverend Henry Fulton.

      BIOGRAPHY: William's petition also failed. Sixteen years later, he was to thumb hisnose at the government and go, with his brother-in-law, James Evans,beyond the boundaries of lawful settlement to find the land he sought.

      BIOGRAPHY: It is believed that George Colless built the first water mill for thegrinding of flour on the Napean near Penrith. The mill is mentioned inhis will, which indicates it was erected before 1849. The milestones are
      now believed to be in the possession of the Napean and DistrictHistorical Society, at their museum at Emu Plains.

      BIOGRAPHY: In 1849, George Colless, aged 78, made his will, signing it in a frailhand, "George Colless", confirming the spelling of the family name asadopted in Australia.
      Very carefully, he set out the disposition of his land among his fivesons and charged them with the care and maintenance of their mother. Heprovided that sums of money should be paid annually to their mother, totheir sister, Mary Evans, and that bequests should be paid to two of hisgrandchildren, Ann Wilcox and Susan Colless.
      He even gave the names and descriptions of his horses, to be dividedamong his sons John, James and Charles.

      BIOGRAPHY: He died in 1851, aged 80, at the home of his son, George, at Emu Plains,and was buried in the old cemetery, behind St. Stephens, in High Street,Penrith.
      Two years later, Ann Goodwin died at the old home she had lived in foralmost 50 years, in the care of her son, Charles. She had lived to seeher youngest child, Charles, marry and have his first child; and
      to see her first great grandchild, the son of Susan Colless.
      She was buried beside her husband in Penrith, both their graves beingmarked by upright sandstone slabs, bearing the simple inscription,"Sacred to the memory of . . ." .

      BIOGRAPHY: The lives of eight of their ten children can be traced beyond 1828. Fromseven of these sprang the grandchildren who were to travel vastdistances, reaching their lives and their influence from Castlereagh toas far as the cattle lands of the Gulf of Carpenteria and the goldfieldsof Kalgoorlie.

      BIOGRAPHY: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      NOTE 1:
      George Colless was arrested at Birmingham on Feb 1793 for theft of a gownpeice. Tried at Warwick Let Assizes 26 Mar 1793 and sentenced to death.Reprieved and sentenced to 7 years transportation. In May 1793 he wastransferred to the hulk "Prudentia" at Woolwich on the Thames River,London where he remained until Sept 1797. Joined the transport "Barwell"and in Dec 1797, he sailed from Portsmouth arriving in Sydney on 18 May1798.
      Initially share farmer with John Lewis then leased 40 acres of Pickeringgrant in Sep 1804. Purchased those 40 acres in Sep 1809. Granted 50 acresat Dunheved in 1817 and subsequently purchased the adjoining 60 acresgranted to Jacob Russell Jnr. Purchased remaining 40 acres of Pickeringgrant in 1823. Built a flour mill on the Nepean c. 1835

      BIOGRAPHY: 1810 Dec 1,5 Signatory to address from the settlers of the Hawkesburyto Governor Macquarie: and Macquarie's reply (reel 6038; sz758 pp.128-30)
      1814 Mar 2 Juror at inquest on William Readon held at Castlereagh(reel 6021; 4/1819 pp. 539, 545)
      1814 Jun 30 Of Nepean. On list of persons to receive grants of landin 1814 (fiche 3266, 9/2652 p.17)
      1822 Aug Signatory to petition objecting to the Commissariat'snew system of paying for supplies in Spanish dollars (Reel 6017; 4/5783p124d)
      1824 Sep Of Evan. Memorial of his son William (Fiche 3083;4/1836B No. 205 p. 921)
      1824 Nov 29 Of Evan. Memorial (Fiche 3083; 4/1836B No. 210 pp. 933-6)
      1825 Mar 5 Of Evan. On list of lands granted and reserved by SirThomas Brisbane (Fiche 3269, 9/2740 p.6)
      1825 Sep 27 Signatory to a memorial from the magistrates, landproprietors and settlers of the District of Evan praying for thedifferent public roads to be surveyed (Fiche 3142, 4/1843A No. 500A p.277)

      BIOGRAPHY: Come By Chance.

      BIOGRAPHY: A village at the junction of Colless Warrambool and Baradine Creek
      about 13 kms S of Five Mile Point.

      Name given by George and William Colless when, in 1862,
      they found to their surprise that they were able to purchase a sheepstation
      in this district.

      Banjo Paterson wove the name into one of his ballads:
      "But my languid mood forsook me when I found a name that took me;
      Quite by chance I came across it - 'Come by Chance' was what Iread.......

      BIOGRAPHY: ..................................................................................
      (Part of Hon. R. H. Colless "First Speach" LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL)

      BIOGRAPHY: Notes from Richard Colless.

      BIOGRAPHY: My ancestor on the Colless side arrived in New South Wales aboard theBarwell on 18 May 1798,
      complete with a set of leg irons. George Colless was arrested inBirmingham in February 1793 for the theft of a gown piece. He wassentenced to death for burglary, reprieved and sentenced to seven years
      transportation and finally put on board the Barwell in December 1797.
      George Colless served out the remaining two years of his servitude inPenrith and became a free man in March 1800.
      After working as a share farmer he purchased and was granted variousparcels of land, having accumulated some 80 hectares in total by 1823.This land is opposite the Castlereagh Uniting Church on the road betweenPenrith and Richmond.
      The church is adjacent to the now famous Sydney International RegattaCentre at Penrith Lakes.
      George was assigned a convict lass, Ann Goodwin, as his housekeeper andtogether they had 10
      The eldest, William, was born in 1805. William overlanded cattle toCoonabarabran in the late
      1830s, later moving further north to take up land on the Culgoa River inthe 1850s. William and his sons
      returned to an area south of Walgett in later years to take up more landin the Bungle Gully area.
      He named it Come By Chance and a common question at family reunions is,"So, are you from the Come By Chance Collesses?"
      Two generations later on 19 June 1898 my grandfather Keith KennethColless was born at
      Ningawalla Station, Fords Bridge on the Warrego River, north-west ofBourke. He married Blanche Doris
      Anne Hargrave in 1924 and my father, Kenneth Hargrave Colless, was bornin Sydney in January 1926.
      As a sixth-generation Australian, I am aware of the interaction myancestors had with the Aboriginal
      people at the time, and there is no doubt that without the assistance andadvice the early Collesses received from the local tribal people, theywould have perished in an unknown land, with abundant feed and water ingood seasons, but wreaked by drought and poor quality feed and water on aregular basis. In recognition of the role the Aboriginal people played inour early family history, I say a very sincere thank you to them forassisting these early settlers to survive a harsh land, very differentfrom their English upbringing and the kinder climes of Penrith andCastlereagh.

      BIOGRAPHY: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      BIOGRAPHY: (This is the ship George was on)

      BIOGRAPHY: James Rixon came to Australia, leaving Portsmouth on November 7,1797, on board "The Barwell", an East India ship built in 1782 andreputedly a fast sailor.

      BIOGRAPHY: Although the ships log is silent on the matter, a private letter statesthat on the passage to the Cape 25 prisoners had planned to seize controlof the vessel while the sailors were aloft and murder the officers. Theplot was disclosed by an informer the night before the attempt was to bemade. The next morning, as the convict reached the deck, the conspiratorswere seized, double-ironed and chained together. Although detained for afortnight by calms and adverse winds, ran out to the Cape in 74 days. Shewas detained there until March 19, because her officers, fearing theywould not find a profitable market at Port Jackson, desired to dispose oftheir European trade goods. Soon after leaving the cape another plot wasallegedly hatched between the convicts and the soldiers to combine toseize the ship.

      BIOGRAPHY: Although, there were 296 prisoners on board, by the time the Barwellarrived in Sydney on May 17 or May 18, 1798, nine prisoners had died.

  • Sources 
    1. [S3365] Information from Ron & Joanne Flack, R&J Flack.

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