John Maxwell of Liddleton Station.



John Maxwells

Brick Cottage at Bathurst

Maxwells Homestead was called Liddleton and was one of the finest homes in the West.  It once was owned by Messrs Wolsley and Caldwell and it was here that  Wolseley  was able to bring his shearing machine to perfection. It was  the first instance of machines being used for general shearing.

John Maxwell was the Magistrate and was the Supertinent of Stock at Wellington from

At Hartley, John Maxwell lived in a cottage which had approximately 16 steps leading up to it., with the Farmers Inn and the Shamrock Inn on either side of it. 

It was destroyed by fire many years ago but rebuilt some fifty years ago.

Ivy Cottage dates from some time between the late 1850s and the early 1870s. Standing on a granite rubble footing, the cottage has brick walls, sandstone front steps, a verandah and a shallow pitched roof which is gabled at the front. 

 While the basic design is the same, some minor alterations took place the front verandah was shortened by the addition of a room which takes in the end of it.

He sold Liddleton in 1854 to Lunn.  In 1863 it was sold to Mr Geoffrey  C Mitchell.

The original homestead at Liddlton, was destroyed by fire and a shed now stand son the site, built out of convict made bricks.  A second house built some 300 yards further west was also destroyed by fire and the third homestead erected in 1888 by Mr Warden Harvey Graves was burnt down in 1955.

Liddelton remained in the hands of the Mitchel Family till 1981 when it was sold to Mr Richard Austen of the coal mining firm of Austen an Butta.


John Maxwell died in 1871 and was buried at Bathurst, where he was residing.  He was born in Scotland

Thomas Brown, who is best claimed to be the founder of Lithgow was born in Scotland and he married Mary Maxwell  who was the Aunt of John Maxwell. Thomas Brown leased Andrew Brown's property and Flourmill, "Cooerwull" at Bowenfels, for two years from 1 April 1839, as Andrew Brown was planning to return to Scotland to marry along with his wife, her brother and sister and nephew all lived in Andrew Brown's small cottage on the property. During the lease, part of Thomas Brown's duty was to oversee the construction of Cooerwull House for Andrew Brown.

Source: Letters of John Maxwell  1823-31 Bertha Mac Smith  & Brian Lloyd

John Maxwells letter book óf 1823-23 was left at his property of Narrogal. It is thought to be the only record of the Government Stock Establishment at Bathurst.  The book was found in a loft in a stable




In June 1823, John Maxwell was appointed Superintendent of Government Stock at Bathurst. He took charge of 2,670 head of horned cattle, 2,050 sheep, 63 horses and 62 convict stockmen and shepherds. Maxwell was to set up strategic stations beyond the areas permitted for settlement; supplying Bathurst and Wellington convicts and officials with meat.

The first of these stations was at Frederick's Valley. The western extremity of the valley was 3 kilometres west of present-day Lucknow; its eastern boundary was at present-day Shadforth. Other stations followed at Kings Plains (Blayney), Kings Plains No 2 (Millthorpe), Black Rock, Queen Charlotte's Vale, White Rock, Princess Charlotte's Vale, Caloolah, George's Plains and Bell's River.

For wages, Maxwell was to receive 5% increase of all Government stock west of the Blue Mountains.

But aboriginals held the white intruders responsible for driving away kangaroos and opossums. They retaliated by attacking cattle for a substitute diet. Two stockmen working for the Reverend Samuel Marsden were murdered in 1823, near Guyong. G. T. Palmer also had his stock station at Guyong and one of his men, Charley Booth, was nearly shot in a native affray. By November, Judge Wylde reported that aboriginals had killed cattle, attacked Charley Booth and speared another worker. Wylde handed in his special ticket of occupancy and abandoned the station. Governor Brisbane declared a state of martial law in 1824 and numerous natives were hunted like animals and shot for bounty payments.