Mid North Coast Pioneers - Newcastle to Lismore and beyond

Captain William CROMARTYAge: 49 years17881838

Name
Captain William CROMARTY
Name prefix
Captain
Given names
William
Surname
CROMARTY
Also known as
James CROMARTY
Publication: New South Wales Government
Citation details: 10285/1906 CROMARTY MAGNUS JAMES CECILIA RAYMOND TERRACE
Text:

William was the name obtained from the NSW Birth Index of his son Magnus. The name James was obtained from the death index record of Magnus.

Birth November 25, 1788
Address: Cletts
Religious marriageCecilia “Sissey” BROWNView this family
November 26, 1815 (Age 27 years)
Address: St. Margaret's
Citation details: Paddy Cardow Family Tree
Birth of a daughter
#1
Elizabeth CROMARTY
September 20, 1816 (Age 27 years)
Citation details: Paddy Cardow Family History
Birth of a daughter
#2
Nelly CROMARTY
March 28, 1819 (Age 30 years)
Birth of a son
#3
William CROMARTY
about 1823 (Age 34 years)
Citation details: 9 January 1975
Text:

Silent cannon of Soldiers Point.

Note: The NSW Death Index record states that William was 14 years old when he died in 1838. This would have him being born in 1824. However, the newspaper story states that his father came to Australia in 1822, two years before his mother Cecilia.
Death of a daughterNelly CROMARTY
before 1824 (Age 35 years)
Citation details: 9 January, 1975
Text:

Silent cannon of Soldiers Point.

ImmigrationCecilia “Sissey” BROWNView this family
August 1825 (Age 36 years)
Citation details: Amos Family
Note: Accompanied by their two children; Elizabeth, aged 9 and William aged 3.
Birth of a daughter
#4
Mary Louisa Lord CROMARTY
May 18, 1826 (Age 37 years)
Property
Granted 300 acres of land at
July 15, 1827 (Age 38 years)
Note: William named this property "Ronaldsha" after part of his homeland in Orkney, Scotland.
ResidenceCecilia “Sissey” BROWNView this family
about 1828 (Age 39 years)
Address: Ronaldsha
Citation details: 9 January 1975
Birth of a son
#5
Magnus Manson CROMARTY JP
February 28, 1829 (Age 40 years)
Address: "Ronaldsha"
Citation details: V1829 10603 1C & V1829 723 15
Text:

I suspect these two references relate to the same birth:

V182910603 1C/1829 CROMARTY AGNES M WILLIAM - V1829723 15/1829 CROMARTY MAGNES M WILLIAM CECILIA

Birth of a daughter
#6
Cecilia CROMARTY
January 8, 1831 (Age 42 years)
Citation details: V1831727 15/1831 CROMARTY CECILIA WILLIAM CECILIA --
Text:

See also this reference in NSW Births Index:

V183110605 1C/1831 CROMARTY OCILIA WILLIAM OCILIA

Baptism of a sonMagnus Manson CROMARTY JP
June 29, 1831 (Age 42 years)
Citation details: Christ Church Baptism Register
Date of entry in original source: June 29, 1831
Baptism of a daughterCecilia CROMARTY
July 27, 1831 (Age 42 years)
Citation details: Christ Church Baptism Register
Marriage of a childThomas PECKElizabeth CROMARTYView this family
Type: Religious marriage
October 8, 1833 (Age 44 years)
Address: Church of England
Citation details: V1833302 17/1833 PECK THOMAS CROMARTY ELIZABETH CH
Birth of a grandson
#1
Thomas William PECK
April 17, 1835 (Age 46 years)
Citation details: Paddy Cardow Family Tree
Citation details: 14519/1865 PECK THOMAS W THOMAS W SARAH RAYMOND TERRACE
Birth of a grandson
#2
Joshua Jeremiah PECK
November 23, 1837 (Age 48 years)
Citation details: Paddy Cardow Family Tree
Citation details: V18381350 22/1838 PECK JOSHUA E THOMAS ELIZABETH
Death of a sonWilliam CROMARTY
September 1, 1838 (on the date of death)
Cause: Drowning
Publication: New South Wales Government
Citation details: V18383418 22/1838 CROMARTY WILLIAM AGE 16
Citation details: 9 January 1975
Text:

ISSUED TO DETER CONVICTS

Silent cannon of Soldiers Point

When Captain William Cromarty, a former ship's captain, was granted 300 acres of land at Port Stephens about 1828 he was also issued with a small cannon.

The muzzle loading cannon was intended as a protection against escaped convicts who might find their way to the captain's property, where he lived with his wife Cecilia and their children.

But the cannon was never used against the convicts.

Instead, when escapees found their way to the area, then called Ronaldsha, and later to become Soldiers Point, Mrs Cromarty, who conducted a small general store gave them food and help.

When the Cromartys settled on their grant of land they called it Ronaldsha after a part of their homeland in Orkney, Scotland.

A NSW census taken in 1828 gives particulars of the Cromartys [sic] family.

William Cromarty, 40, a Protestant, of Port Stephens, had 300 acres of land, 10 of which werre cleared and six cultivated. He also had 23 horned cattle.

He came as a free settler on the ship Fame in 1822, the census says.

William Cromarty was Captain of the Fame, which was owned by Simeon Lord.

The Fame used to carry grain, and livestock such as cattle and sheep, between Port Jackson (Sydney) and Port Dalrymple (Launceston, Tasmania).

Captain Cromarty arrived in Australia two years before his wife and children joined him.

Records show that Cecilia arrived on the Phoenix, a free settler, with her daughter Elizabeth and son William, in 1824.

Another child, Nelly, is believed to have died on the voyage to Australia.

The 1828 census shows Cecilia as 38, Elizabeth 13 and William 7, and a daughter, Mary, 2½, born in the colony.

Later the Cromartys had another son, Magnus, and a daughter Cecilia.

A great grand-daughter of Captain Cromarty, Miss Elizabeth Cromarty, of Nelson Bay, told the story of the cannon which is in the Port Stephens Historical Society's museum.

She said the cannon was intended to be a deterrent to any escaping convicts who came to the area of Ronaldsha.

It was never used for that purpose.

"Convicts at times appeared at the point but were treated to food and given supplies and helped on their way," Miss Cromarty said.

"Maybe that was why soldiers were stationed on the point - to find out what was going on.

"It was after the soldiers were brought to the point that the area was called Soldiers Point," she said.

Miss Cromarty said that about 40 years ago, the cannon was loaded and fired at the Cromarty homestead at Bob's Farm, to celebrate the 21st birthday of Bill Cromarty, great grandson of Captain William Cromarty.

Life appears to have gone well with the pioneering captain and his family until 1838, when tragedy struck.

Captain Cromarty and his son William were drowned while recovering a boat from the surf.

An interesting inscription can be found on Captain Cromarty's headstone at Carrington, Port Stephens, which tells the story of the untimely deaths.

It reads: "Here lie buried such remains as were found of the bodies of Capt William Cromarty, aged 50 years and William, his son, aged 16 years, who having left their homes on the morning of September the 1st, 1838, accompanied by an assigned man servant and an aboriginal native, for the purpose of recovering the boat which had been cast ashore at the heads, were no more seen, having perished, it is supposed, in launching it through the surf."

At the bottom of the inscription is a warning which reads.-

"Reader: Let this admonish thee of the uncertainty of the present life; and may God's Holy Spirit teach thee so to live that death may never find thee unprepared!"

The men in Captain cvomarty's [sic] family in Orkney must have been seagoing men.

A copy of a passenger's ticket on the ship James Pattison, which left London for Sydney in 1838, shows that James Cromarty was Commander. It is believed he was the brother of William Cromarty.

The James Pattison is describede as a first class river-built ship of 513 tons burthen register.

The ticket say: "The accommodations of this ship for passengers are very superior. She has a roomy poop and extensive cabins of large dimensions and he 'tween decks, being lofty and well ventilated, afford superior comfort for steerage passengersand a skilful surgeon will proceed with the ship."

The original ticketwas in the possession of a well-known Port Stephens family until about 1924, when it was lost.

Death September 1, 1838 (Age 49 years)
Cause of death: Drowning
Publication: New South Wales Government
Citation details: V18383420 22/1838 CROMARTY WILLIAM AGE 54
Citation details: 9 January 1975
Note: Apparently drowned with his son, William, while trying to recover a boat that had been beached at the heads of Port Stephens.
Silent cannon of Soldiers Point
Silent cannon of Soldiers Point

Note: Image supplied by Maree Payne.

Burial after September 1, 1838
Cemetery: Carrington General
Citation details: 9 January 1975
Cromarty - William (Father and son) and others
Cromarty - William (Father and son) and others

Note: Image kindly made available by the volunteers at Australian Cemeteries Index.


Cromarty - Captain William
Cromarty - Captain William

Note: Image kindly made available by the volunteers at Australian Cemeteries Index.

Family with parents - View this family
father
mother
himself
Family with Cecilia “Sissey” BROWN - View this family
himself
wife
Marriage: November 26, 1815South Ronaldsay, Orkney, Scotland, United Kingdom
10 months
daughter
Elizabeth CROMARTY
Birth: September 20, 1816 27 25St Margarets Hope, Orkney, Scotland, United Kingdom
Death: July 1, 1886Launceston, , Tasmania, Australia
3 years
daughter
Nelly CROMARTY
Birth: March 28, 1819 30 28St Margarets Hope, Orkney, Scotland, United Kingdom
Death: before 1824At sea
5 years
son
William CROMARTY
Birth: about 1823 34 31Orkney, Scotland, United Kingdom
Death: September 1, 1838Port Stephens, , New South Wales, Australia
3 years
daughter
3 years
son
22 months
daughter

MarriageWeb Site - ancestry.com.au
Citation details: Paddy Cardow Family Tree
ImmigrationWeb Site - ancestry.com.au
Citation details: Amos Family
ResidenceHunter Valley Herald
Citation details: 9 January 1975
NameDeaths Registered in New South Wales
Publication: New South Wales Government
Citation details: 10285/1906 CROMARTY MAGNUS JAMES CECILIA RAYMOND TERRACE
Text:

William was the name obtained from the NSW Birth Index of his son Magnus. The name James was obtained from the death index record of Magnus.

DeathDeaths Registered in New South Wales
Publication: New South Wales Government
Citation details: V18383420 22/1838 CROMARTY WILLIAM AGE 54
DeathHunter Valley Herald
Citation details: 9 January 1975
BurialHunter Valley Herald
Citation details: 9 January 1975
BurialAustralian Cemeteries Index