The Meurants of Hartley
  • Ferdinand Charles Meurant was a Huguenot Jeweller born in Frontignac, Champagne, France in 1765. In 1789 he escaped from France through Belgium to Ireland during the French revolution. Ferdinand married his first wife Sophia in 1781 and had two children.

    Meurant was convicted in March 1798 with John Austen (an engraver) at Kilmainham, Dublin, Ireland and sentenced to death for forging bank notes on the Bank of Ireland. This sentence was commuted to life to be transported to Australia on the Minerva as a Catholic. His wife Sophia petitioned the court on 3/1/1799 & 29/3/1799 to accompany Ferdinand but was unsucessful and remained in Ireland. (The National Archives of Ireland.)

    Meurant, being of aristocratic class, apparently had influence (and money) as he immediately entered into and agreement with Captain Cox, the newly appointed paymaster of the NSW Corps, which enabled him to take his engraving instruments on board. During the voyage Meurant sat on deck working on ornamental watches purchased by Capt. Cox, which were then sold at great profit whilst on a stopover in Rio.

    The Minerva arrived in Sydney at 11am on 11/1/1800. Meurant was immediately given a ticket of leave and set free to practice his profession in the colony.
    Granted a 5 year lease by Governor King in 1802, he built his first house behind old Government House at Sydney where he conducted the first jewellery business in Australia, the governor being amongst his clientele.

    On 19 June, 1803 he was granted a free pardon and farming land on the Hawkesbury, the pardon at the intercession of Mrs King provoking a storm of protest.

    Governor Bligh’s arrival in the colony led to the cancellation of leases around government house, between July and November, 1807 Ferdinand had his fine house demolished.

    In 1808 the Rum Rebellion forced him into self-imposed exile at his Hawkesbury farm. Eventually he returned to Sydney where he had businesses at 13 and 84 Castlereagh St. In 1817 he retired to his land grant at Seven Hills (now Glenwood) which he named Frontignac after his birthplace in France.

    Ferdinand had two children, William Edward b.1803 and Elvira b.1804 with his assigned convict servant Mary Pritchard. William later moved to New Zealand and Elvira died in a farm house fire on her fathers farm in 1810 aged 6on the Hawkesbury. Mary later married John Maskey.

    In 1811, he married his second wife, Rosetta (Rose) Martin (born in the colony to convict parents Owen Martin and Sarah Walden) at St Johns C of E Parramatta and was married by Rev. Samuel Marsden. Ferdinand and Rosetta had twelve children together.

    Ferdinand had land grants at Hawkesbury, Seven Hills and Dural. Ferdinand died in 1844 aged 79 years and is buried on the family property at Meurants Lane, Glenwood. Part of the properties building still stands.

    c.1810 building. Photograph (c) David Powell, 2005

    There is, however, dispute as to just who built Meurant's Cottage and when it was built. Blacktown Historian Hazel Magann has proposed the alternative origin for the homestead:
    The original Charles Ferdinand Meurant (a convict) built the family's original home on the site of where this cottage stands today. The same year Charles died, 1844, the original home burnt down all that remained was the chimney. His son, Ferdinand Napoleon Meurant, built the second cottage around this chimney (stove outlet). I have also been working on these two cottages for many year I believe both belonged to the Meurant and that Daniel Brien's [sic] three homes in the area were on different sites.




  • Name: Rose Martin
  • Given Name: Rose
  • Surname: Martin
  • Sex: F
  • Ancestral File #: 1GNF-WPT 1
  • Change Date: 6 MAY 2001 at 20:09:15

    Marriage 1 Ferdinand MEURANT
    • Married: 1811
    1. Has Children Albert Maximilian MEURANT b: 5 JAN 1815 in <,Tenterden,Kent,England>
    2. Has Children Juliet MEURANT b: 4 MAR 1822 in Prospect,N.s.w.,Australia
    3. Has No Children Augustus MEURANT b: 1826 in Prospect,N.s.w.,Australia
    4. Has No Children Elvira MEURANT
    5. Has Children Selina MEURANT b: 1828 in ,Prospect,New South Wales,Australia

    Name: Albert Maximilian MEURANT

    ·  Given Name: Albert Maximilian

    ·  Surname: MEURANT

    ·  Sex: M

    ·  Birth: 5 JAN 1815 in <,Tenterden,Kent,England>

    ·  Death: 24 AUG 1864

    Father: Ferdinand MEURANT
    Mother: Rose Martin

    Marriage 1 Selina Diana Jarvis b: 13 APR 1825 in ,Tenterden,Kent,England

    • Married: 19 DEC 1842 in Prospect,N.s.w.,Australia


    1. Has No ChildrenAlbert Henry MEURANT b: 28 NOV 1843 c: 25 FEB 1844 in Prospect,N.s.w.,Australia

    2. Has No ChildrenRebecca Sarah MEURANT b: 16 MAR 1845 c: 19 JUL 1846 in Prospect,N.s.w.,Australia

    Has No ChildrenFerdinand MEURANT b: 6 AUG 1851 in <Prospect,N.s.w.,Australia>



  • ID: I0254
  • Name: Ferdinand Charles Meurant 1
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 8 NOV 1765 in Frontignac, Champaigne, France 1
  • Death: 4 NOV 1844 in "Frontignac", Prospect, NSW, Australia 1
  • Immigration: 11 JAN 1800 came to Sydney as a convict on the ship 'Minerva' 2
  • Note:

    Colonial Secretary Index 1788-1825(State Records of NSW)
    16/01/1816 - on list of persons to receive grants of land in 1816.
    06/04/1816 – on list of persons licensed as publicans for 1816 at Sydney
    11-12/4/1816 – Juror at inquest on Daniel Tonar held at Sydney
    20/02/1817 – Licensee of the hotel The Rose in June. Had received notice to quit on account of debt. (Rose hotel George St, Sydney)
    20-21/2/1817 – his application for renewal of licence for The Rose in June opposed by R Brooks
    19/04/1817 – Publican of the Bee Hive. On list of persons licenced as publicans for 1817 at Sydney (Bee Hive Hotel George St, Sydney)
    21/10/1818 – gave evidence against Edwin Tobin in a charge of neglect work.
    1820 – Memorial
    1822 – Deprived Edwin Tobin, his assigned servant of money owed.
    8,19/11/1822 – application for himself and family to be victualled
    19/11/1822 – Re victualling for himself, family and convict servant.
    14/09/1823 – certifying to the character of Christopher Limebear Bridges, schoolmaster at Seven Hills.
    15/09/1823 - convicts landed from “Earl St Vincent” assigned to at Parramatta
    25/05/1824 – memorial
    07/06/1824 – on list of lands granted and reserved by Sir Thomas Brisbane
    10/1825 – on list or persons liable to serve as jurors at Parramatta or Liverpool, listed as Murong.
    Bench of Magistrates cases 1788-1820 (State Records of NSW)
    25/02/1817 – on a list of licences granted for the sale of victuals, beer, ale, cyder and spiritous liquors - Sydney
    (Irish Convicts to NSW 1791-1830) (Blacktown City Council) (State Records of NSW)