Capt John BRABYN 
- Born: 6 Aug 1758, Pelynt CON
- Marriage (1): Sarah ELLIOTT  on 14 Oct 1802 in Sydney NSW Australia
- Marriage (2): Mary Ann Martha ALLYN  on 17 Jun 1782 in Probus CON
- Died: 1 Aug 1835, York Lodge Windsor NSW aged 76
- Buried: St Matthew Windsor NSW
John entered the Army in 1778 exchanged for his brother who was said to have been pressed, he served for a further 45 years. He was said to have served his early years with the British Army in America, probably until independence was granted in 1782. Army records show John serving with the Coldstream Guards from 1785 (earlier records have been destroyed by war), working his way up the non-commissioned ranks until he was discharged in June 1795. He distinguished himself being chosen as a member of the Duke of York's bodyguard, King George III presented John with his personal sword for saving the Duke's life in Flanders when the Duke's horse was shot from under him. Family lore has it that he was also offered a knighthood which he turned down saying, he was only doing his duty. However he received his commission in the NSW Corps 5 May 1795, without purchase by command of the King.
His career from 1795 is recorded in the Army lists:
1796 Ensign John Brabant 6 May 1796 New South Wales Corps.
1800 Lt 15 August 1800
1809 Captain 11 February 1808 102nd Regiment of Foot.
1812 Captain John Brabham 1829 - Veteran Company attached to such Corps as may be stationed in New South Wales.
Upon his return to England from the Netherlands Expedition John was commissioned and sent by the Duke of York to Plymouth then on to Cork to join a security detachment of 25 Army volunteers to join the Marquis Cornwallis taking 163 male and 40 female convicts to Sydney Cove Australia. They sailed on the 9 August 1795 arriving Sydney Cove 11 Feb 1796 a passage lasting 186 days. On the 15th Sep 1795 plans for a mutinous insurrection by the convicts and some crew, to take over the ship were intercepted, the leaders were arrested and dealt with harshly and the crisis averted.
After giving evidence at an enquiry into the threatened mutiny, on the 24 Mar 1796 John Brabyn sailed with his family on HMS Supply from Sydney Cove to Sydney Bay Norfolk Island, arriving 2 April 1796. John was bearing Letters Patent from London, to establish the authority of a Criminal Court on Norfolk Island.
John's wife Mary had died in April 1795 soon after their arrival and he was left with his two young children, he was granted 19 acres of land leased at a yearly rent of 19/- in Sep 1796 and with the assistance of staff raised his children farmed his land, traded and served with the military until he returned with his family to Sydney on the HMS Porpoise arriving 7 Feb 1801. He was promoted to Lieut 15 Aug 1801 and on the 31 Dec of that year was granted 200 acres, by the Governor King, in a District variously known as Eastern Farms, Brush Farms, Field of Mars. By the time of his marriage this had risen to 300 acres, he was growing wheat on part of it. He continued to acquire land in the area, which he worked with convict labour.
John had a significant role in putting down the Castle Hill uprising 4 Mar 1803 (Battle of Vinegar Hill) when Irish convicts and labourers went on a destructive rampage.
A muster of 14 August 1804 shows that John and one child were victualled by the government, his wife and 2 daughters were not.
New South Wales Corps, Lieutenant John Brabyn to be a Captain of a Company, without purchase, vice Savory, removed to the 57th Regiment. John was appointed Commandant of Port Dalrymple (Tasmania) sailing on the Porpoise 2 Nov 1808 with his family. They took up residence in Government House in Launceston which was evidently no palace. John was granted land which in the 1820's was occupied by his daughter Jennyfer. John held this position until he was replaced on 27 Jan 1810, returning to Sydney Cove 10 Mar 1810.
John's Regt the 102nd had been called back to England and after selling his York Place farm in the Eastern Farms District he bought Winsley Farm (Clifton Cottage), 300 acres in the Hawkesbury to settle his wife and daughters on until he returned. He departed 12 May 1810 via Cape Horn arriving Spithead 25 Oct. John departed England on the Guildford for Sydney Cove 3 Sept 1811.
Settling back into life in the Colony John appears to have over committed himself financially with the purchase of the farm at Windsor in the Hawkesbury. Compounding this was his work as Capt of the Veterans Corps (This Corps was the residue of men from the 102nd who stayed in the Colony) dividing his time between Sydney, Parramatta and his home at Windsor. In Jan 1816 he offered Winsley Farm for lease, he had tried unsuccessfully to sell his Commission to raise money, then in Mar 1816 he returned to England to settle his affairs, he was nearly 60 and wished to retire from the Army.
John was again unable to sell his Commision in England or to arrange his discharge from the Army instead an appointment on half pay was suggested. However upon his return to the Colony on 22 Nov 1817 he was given permission to become a free settler and appointed a Magistrate at the Court in Windsor (unpaid). By 1819 he was being described as a J.P.
On the 17 Aug 1819 a deed was executed by the Governor in favour of John Brabyn Esq for a grant of 1200 acres in Prospect in recognition of his long and meritorious service in the Colony and his numerous family. However John considered it poor land and it was 20 miles from Windsor so on Oct 19 1821 sold it for L480. The stipulation that land granted by the Government could not be sold for 5 years was overlooked.
In the 1820's John's address was given as Clifton Cottage the later name for Winsley Farm, it was situated on Rickabys Creek a tributary of the Hawkesbury River, and he took a leading role in the civic developement of Windsor town.
On the 24 Sept 1823 John paraded his Royal Veteran Company before the Governor of NSW after which it was disbanded and John returned to civilian life after 45 years of Army service. John then petioned the Governor on the 24 May 1824, with a memorial of his service and activities in the Colony, seeking a further grant of land. He received a prompt reply a week later allotting him 800 acres at Fal Brook in the Hunter Valley. In 1832 this land became the home of his daughter Mary Louisa and her husband John Gaggin where they built a homestead and called it Sydenham.
John considering the 800 acre grant uneconomic applied to the Governor for permission to purchase a further 1000 acres adjoining Sydenham, asking permission for a further 1000 acres adjoining, when the first is paid off. This was promptly granted.
On the 4 Mar 1831 John put Sydenham in Trust for his grandson Frederick Charles Gaggin as his son in law John gaggin was insolvent.
On 19 August 1824 the press reported:
$60 reward - whereas Capt J Brabyn, JP was stopped, dragged from his Gig, and most inhumanely beaten and left for dead, on the evening of 9 July last in the Township of Richmond; any person or persons who may be able to throw any light on the Subject, and can prosecute the Offender or Offenders to Conviction, shall receive $60 reward, by applying to Captain Brabyn.
John in later life had become devout and enthusiastic parishioner of St Matthew's (St Andrew) Church of England Windsor.
On the 4 Jul 1828 agreed to buy York Lodge/Cottage from the Church for L450, it was in poor condition but he obtained it on favourable terms.
The 1828 census shows John Brabham as holding 1100 acres, 300 at the Hawkesbury and 800 at the Hunter. He also held six horses, 123 cattle and had 82 acres under cultivation. Two government servants were assigned to him at Windsor.
On February 1829, 70 year old John Brabant tended his resignation from the Magistracy. It was accepted. Eliza Sophie Mills, not yet 16 years of age, married James Glare on 3 February 1830 at Launceston.
In 1832 John sold the Clifton Farm estate on Rickabys Creek Windsor for £1200 to the Rev Docker incumbent of St Matthews. He and Sarah then moved to York Lodge/Cottage.
The Will of John Brabham.
1 August 1835.
Windsor New South Wales.
In the Name of God Amen. I John Brabham of York Lodge Windsor in the Territory of New South Wales Esq do make this my last Will and Testament.
I direct my Debts Funeral and Testamentary expenses and legacies to be paid out of my present Estate.
I give and devise my House called York Lodge with the Land and Premises thereunto belonging situate at Windsor aforesaid unto my friends William Richardson of Windsor aforesaid, Esq., Surgeon, and the Reverend Henry Tarlton Hyles of the same place, To hold the same unto them their Heirs and Assigns upon Trust to pay the Rents Issues and Profits of the same unto & permit the same to be received used held and occupied by my dear Wife Sarah Brabyn during her life for her sole separate and peculiar use and benefit. And from and after her decease to the use of my Grand-daughter Sarah Gaggin the daughter of John Gaggin and Mary Gaggin her Heirs and Assigns for ever.
I give and bequeath all my Household Furniture Place China Wines and Liquors Live Stock consisting of Horned Cattle and Horses unto the said William Richardson and Henry Tarleton Hyles their Executors Administrators and Assigns Upon Trust to permit and suffer the said Sarah Brabyn to have the use and benefit of the said Household Furniture Plate China Wines and Liquors at all times during the term of her natural life. And also Upon Trust as regards the said Live Stock to permit the said Sarah Brabyn to use and benefit thereof for her natural life. And for that purpose it is my will and I direct my Trustees that when they consider it just and expedient for the comfort and maintenance and Support of my said Wife to sell any part of the said Live Stock or the Increase thereof, to cause the same to be sold at the best price or prices that can be obtained for the same and to pay over the proceeds of such a sale to my said Wife for her sole use and benefit. And from and after the decease of my said Wife and within a reasonable time thereafter,
I direct my Trustees to sell or cause to be sold the whole of my said Household Furniture Plate China Wines and Liquors and such remaining part of my Live Stock at & for the best price or prices that can and maybe obtained for the same. And after such sale that they my said Trustees do and shall divide the proceeds thereof be between and amongst my three daughters Jeneferen [sic] Mills of Launceston Van Diemen's Land, Mary Gaggin and Elizabeth Marsden the wife of Charles Marsden of Mature, South Creek, Esquire, share and share alike as Tenants in Common, and not as joint Tenants.
I give and bequeath unto my Son in Law the said Charles Marsden the large Glass Table in the front Room, and also I give and bequeath unto my grand-daughter the said Sarah Gaggin the large Glass Table in the Dining Room.
And as to all the rest and residue of my Personal Estate I give and bequeath the same to my Wife the said Sarah Brabyn her Executors Administrators and Assigns.
And I hereby declare and it is my will that after the decease of my Wife and during the minority of my said Grand daughter my said Trustees shall be at liberty out of the Rents and Profits of the said House Land and Premises hereinafter devised to her to pay advance and lay out the said Rents and Profits or any part thereof at any time and from time to time during such minority for and towards the education maintenance and advancement in life of my said Grand daughter. Provided always and I do hereby further declare that my said Trustees and the Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns of them each and every of them shall be charged and chargeable respectively for such monies only as they respectively shall receive by Virtue of the trusts hereinafter reposed in them notwithstanding them or either of them giving or signing or joining or giving or signing any receipt or receipts for the sake of conformity. And one or more of them shall not be answerable or accountable for the other or others of them or for involuntary losses. And also that it shall and maybe lawful for them with and out of the monies which shall come into their respective hands by Virtue of the trusts aforesaid to retain and reimburse themselves respectively and also to allow to them as Trustees all costs charges and damages and expenses which they or either of them shall or may suffer or sustain expend or disburse to at or put into in or about the execution of the aforesaid Trusts or in relation thereto.
In Witness whereof I the said John Brabyn the Testator have to this my last Will and Testament contained on one sheet of paper set my hand and seal this First day of August One Thousand eight hundred and thirty five.
Signed Sealed Published and Declared by the said John Brabyn as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names in his presence and in the presence of each other.
Wm. Cox, senr. Windsor. Franci~ Beddek, Windsor Ed. Wallam, Sevt. to Capt. Brabyn" .
Ref: John Brabyn of the NSW Corps. by B G McGrath.
Image courtesy of Gary Ayton's Photography 2015
John married Sarah ELLIOTT  [MRIN: 5135] on 14 Oct 1802 in Sydney NSW Australia. (Sarah ELLIOTT  was born about 1768 in Britain, died on 17 Dec 1847 in Mamre Sth Creek NSW and was buried in St Matthew Windsor NSW.)
John had a relationship with Mary Ann Martha ALLYN  [MRIN: 5136] on 17 Jun 1782 in Probus CON. (Mary Ann Martha ALLYN  was born in 1763 in Cornwall, UK and died on 29 Apr 1796 in Norfolk Island AU.)