Land Grant of 1839
Saturday 15. Dec 1821

I set out this afternoon in my own Carriage, accompanied by Sir Thos. Brisbane, on my projected Tour of Inspection to Bathurst; putting up at Govt. House Parramatta for the Night, and commencing my Journey with Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde on the Day following.

Gentlemen accompanying Gov Macquarie & Brisbane

  • Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde,
  • Mr. David Johnston
  • Mr. Meehan the Dy. Surveyor Gen.

Gov Macquarie rested at Mount York in  Dec 24th 1821

we pursued our Journey to the foot of Mount York in the Vale of Clwyd, where we arrived at 3 P.M. ourselves, and the whole of the Baggage in about an Hour afterwards; the distance from the last Stage being 23 Miles. — Here we found a large Drove of between 2 and 300 Head of Horned Cattle on their way to Bathurst, which on enquiry we found belonged to Mr. Brown of Sydney; his two Nephews Messrs. O'Briens being in charge of them; – Mr. Wm. Broughton Junr. making one of their Party. We all got up at 5 this morning to prepare for ascending the Great Pass to the Summit of Mount York. — It was a very fine morning – but promised to give a very hot Day. — At ½ past 5 the first Cart was sent up the Pass. — At ½ past 6 we Breakfasted – and had all the other Baggage Carts packed up, and sent off in their Turn – one after the other; the good Horses having to return down the Pass to assist the indifferent ones. — We set out ourselves at 8, to ascend the Pass. — I rode up the easy part of it – and walked the rest of the more Steep part of it. — The whole of the Carts (5 in number) did not arrive on the Top of the Mountain till ¼ before 11,O'Clock – and then moved on for Black-Heath – the men as well as the Horses being greatly fatigued with the labour of ascending the Mountain, in consequence of the extreme Heat of the day and the constant hard work they had to undergo. — Mount York is only 700 feet high from the Vale of Clwyd, but the length of the Pass from the Top to the foot of the mountain is three quarters of a mile.

In 1839 Pierce Collits wrote to the Governor  to ratify the situation in relation to the deeds for the land on which he had built his Inn at the base of Mount Victoria. There still is confusion as to the details of each of the parcels of land. One does not imagine that Pierce would arouse the ire of a Governor by writing incorrect details, after all he was a district Constable and held very important positions in the community.  There are  gaps in the communications trail, so one has to fill in where possible.

The facts are that Pierce was granted a pasturing license by Gov Macquarie for the Cox's River. He established Collits Station there. He built a house and stockyards on the banks of the river at the crossing on Lockyers Road. Sophia wrote to Gov. Darling on 31st January 1831.

That your Petitioner's Father received a Grant of Two Hundred Acres of Land to be taken in any place the most suitable to his purpose from Sir Thomas Brisbane; and about 18 months ago he fixed upon a piece of ground situated at Coxs River on the line of road opened by E Lockyer Esq.

That your Petitioner together with her husband have since that period resided thereon and succeeded in cultivating a considerable portion of ground.

That your Petitioners Father has, in consequence of the New Line of Road having taking a different direction to the one some time before marked out, resolved upon taking his Grant on the New Line of Road near Mount Victoria for the purpose of building an Inn for the accommodation of the Public.

So in 1831 Sophia wanted the title deeds to Collits station on the Cox's.  But in March  1831, Joseph  applied for the property of 100 acres and James took up the other 100 acres. Why Joseph should have wanted the land is a mystery, but it must have been  advantageous for Sophia to move to Mt Victoria with Thomas to live on the 200 acre parcel. 

According to the Government Gazette  of 1839 Pierce was granted 320 acres and on the plan it states   "as compensation"  One supposes it was for the change in the line of road of Lockyer's bypassing the Inn on the Cox's River. 

James had taken possession of 640 acres at Bebula River and on the other side of the river Pierce took up 317 acres.

So  Sophia got the 3 acres at Riverlett instead in 1834 but it  was not proclaimed till  21st September 1839.

The Rivulett Inn probably was built around 1835. More than likely there was an Inn at the 200 acre lot  in 1831 where Rose Inn now stands and Thomas and Sophia would have been living there. When they started building an Inn in 1834, Amelia Skeen probably moved in and ran the Inn as The Rising Sun.  Joseph was down in Sydney running the Dog and Duck in George Street. There are no records then till 1846. Publican License records start at June 1830 at Bathurst, then in 1836 the Hartley Bench held records for 1836 to 1839.



By His Excellency Sir George Gipps, Knight,


621 Pierce Collits, three hundred and seventeen  acres, parish Unnamed, at Corroindra.

Promised by Sir Ralph Darling on the 13th January, 1831, and possession given on 24th March 1834, being part of an additional grant of 320 acres.

Quit rent £'2 I2s lOd sterling per annum, commencing 1st January, 1835.

12th October 1839 Joseph applied to sell the land to Joseph Rawsthorne, Sophias son. and the property was to be called Spring Grove.  Sophia's husband Thomas had died in 1838, so there must have been quite a great deal of juggling going in the households.

Note:  (it is still a mystery how Pierce got 320 acres 'as compensation")


On the 1st October 1839 Pierce prepared a lease in relation to a farm  at the Vale of Clwyd of Joseph for 21 years, however it is not registered till 8th August 1841. It contained an overridder that Pierce agrees on his part that as soon as the said Joseph Collitts shall erect a house separate from that he now resides in on the said farm - the rent before mentioned is to discontinue altogether.

All that Farm of two hundred acres of land situate lying and below in the Vale of Clwyd in the County of Cook in the Territory of  New South Wales.

The yearly rent of Fifty Pounds to be paid on the first day of January in each and every year during the said term. Lease for twenty one years from the 1st day of October 1839.

The lease was registered 3 days before his mother Mary Collits died. She died on August 4th 1841, aged 73 years.   The inquest was held on the 9th August 1841  with the note by Heyward Atkins. as "Accidently Killed" (Intox?) Why it took 2 years to register probably would have something to do with his mothers death.


27/8/1825 Surveyor Hoddle measures P Collits 200 acres

A/O2625 No 238 p4

Gov Macquarie made mention of spending the whole day at Emu Plains.. the crossing there was right opposite Pierce Collits house.

 We all got up pretty early, took a Slight Breakfast, and ordered the Baggage Carts to be loaded – and to proceed leisurely to Emu Plains; there to halt a whole Day to refresh and rest both Men and Cattle; then to continue their Journey to Sydney, halting one day on the Western Road at Rope's Creek to rest themselves again.

Early in April 1822 Gov. Brisbane discovered with some surprise the ease with which grants of land had hitherto been obtained. He immediately introduced a new system under which every grant had the stipulation that for every 100 acres (400,000 m2) granted the grantee would maintain free of expense to the crown one convict labourer.

Gov. Brisbane left Sydney in December 1825.

Letter to Sir Thomas Brisbane from Pierce Collits:


I humbly beg leave to inform your Exý that Gov Macquarie on his return from Bathurst prior to his leaving the Colony send for me to meet him, at Emu Plains to point out a convenient spot for the building of the Inn that was then in contemplation at Mt York.

He also told me that your Exy was pleased to say when the building of this Inn was first submitted to your Exy for your approval that from the very strong recommendation your Exy received of me from the Gentlemen present, you would add two hundred acres of land as a gift from yourself to Gov Macquarie's grant to me, but owing to press of business of more importance no doubt it has slipped your Exys memory and only wants reminding of it which I humbly beg leave to do so as the surveyor is now in this neighbourhood etc etc Pierce Collits. A/O R1078 p804.

8th Nov 1825

From F Goulburn, Colonial Secretary

Mr. Collits letter of the 7th last September, to which he refers in the accompanying enclosure, I have never seen and am therefore not aware of the particular circumstances narrated in it which he supposes to have raised a doubt in the mind of Your Excellency.

15th November 1825 Grant of Land

200 acres  Portion 27 at the foot of Mount York granted to Pierce Collits by Sir Thomas Brisbane LTO

List of Lands Granted 24/5/1824 to 1/12/1825. Pierce on list for 200 acres.


Pierce Collits Claim to Land

Mount York

28th Oct 1839


With reference to those two hundred acres of land advertised in my name  in the Gov Gazette of the 16th Inst No 693 I beg leave to inform you that those two hundred acres of land were promised me by Governor Macquarie  in (1821) One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty One for the express purpose of building an Inn.

Those two hundred acres granted by Sir Thomas Brisbane in 1825 lays at the foot of Mt Vittoria bound south by  the Bathurst Road East by a Gov Reserve & North & West by unlocated lands and was not measured until 1830.


I have the Honor to be Sir

Your Obt Servent

Pierce Collits

The Honble The Colonial Secretary Sydney.


Deed executed January 1/40 in favour of Pierce Collits dispatched March 10/40

Joseph Collits did not obtain the deed till 1877 when he sold the land to Elizabeth Lewington.

26th June 1830. Surveyor Major Mitchell wrote to the Colonial Secretary...

I have now marked the road from the Vale of Clewydd to this settlement (Bathurst) I have succeeded in finding a very favourble descent from the Blue Mountains by a ridge nearly parallel to Mt. York but more in the direct line so that the angle formed by the present Road descending by Mt York is cut off. I regret Colletts Inn should be thrown out offline...and I beg leave therefore to recommend any request of Collets for additional land to His Excellency's favourable consideration.  There is an eligible spot near the foot of Mount Victoria where Collett also wishes to select a small grant for his son.

M/L CY 541 Pp665 on

He went on while writing from Colletts Inn referring to the road that James Collet had advocated as some vague report of any illiterate clown.. He received a letter dated 2nd September 1830 that the road down the Pass could be continued.