Name: Thomas Michael PEMBROKE
Birth: ABT 1796 in Tralee,,County Kerry,Ireland
Death: ABT 1840 in Sydney,,N S W
!ARCHIVES OFFICE OF N S W & "CLAIM A CONVICT" - LESLEY UEBEL:
Convict: Thomas Michael PEMBROKE, County Kerry, Ireland.
Trial Place: Madras, India, 17 Oct 1818.
Sentence: 7 years.
Occupation: Linen Draper.
Age: 23 years.
Complexion: Fair Pale.
Arrival: 28 Nov 1819 aboard the "St Michael" at Port Jackson, N S W.
!GENERAL MUSTER OF NEW SOUTH WALES - 1822:
Reference Number: 2686
Name: Thomas Michael PEMBROKE
Change Date: 06 APR 2008
Birth: ABT 1796 in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland
Note: Thomas Michael was the son of an Irish merchant
Michael Pembroke who died the year he was born.
Death: 09 JUN 1840 in Benevolent Society, Corner of George
and Devonshire Streets, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Note: Thomas was a patient at the Benevolent Society
Burial: 18 JUN 1840 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Thomas PEMBROKE, Convict.
Sentence: 7 years.
Ship: "St Michael".
Occupation: Government Servant.
Employer: F Painter, Windsor.
Michael was presumably buried at the nearby cemetery which is now
the site of Sydney Central Railway Station.
Note: Thomas was admitted to the asylum at The Benevolent
"Thomas Michael Pembroke was a literate, educated man used to a more
ordered society than that which he found in the Colony. He battled
for legitimacy of Title where most did not. He fought for his
neighbour, an illegal squatter to be evicted and failed. He suffered
the ignominy of a second conviction having asserted his innocence in
simply collecting a few slabs of wood left behind by one of his
employed splitters." [Gloria Crammond in collaboration with Cynthia
Kardell, both descendants of Thomas, 22 March 1994]
12 May 1825: Convict transferred from in the District of Evan
Letter written by Thomas Michael Pembroke to His Excellency, Sir
Thomas Brisbane KGB in 1825.
"That your Excellency's Memo'ist is Free by Servitude that he
arrived in this Colony under the unfortunate circumstances of
transportation for the term of seven years which was passed on him
in India, and which he has served in this Colony with impeccable
character. That your Excellency's Memo'ist was seven years in the
service of The Honourable East India Company's Corps as Matross and
Sergeant for which period Memo'ist has certificates of Good
behaviour. That Memo'ist is married to a native female of this
Colony by whom he has two children ..... etc.".
15 November 1825: Thomas was on the list of persons who have
received orders for grants of land and on the on list of lands
granted and reserved by Sir Thomas Brisbane
In 1837 in a letter written by Francis Pembroke to His Excellency
Lieutenant General Sir Richard Bourke 31.12.1837.
"The Humble Petition of Frances Pembroke that your petitioner is the
unfortunate and destitute wife of Michael Pembroke now a prisoner of
the Crown ...(who) is under sentence for two years in Irons on the
public roads passed upon him in July last at the Windsor Quarter
Sessions for removing in the open day and had to pass through the
stockade at 17 Mile Hollow) a few slabs the property of Government
which he did in a mistake he having had a person employed splitting
similar slabs adjacent to those of Government at some distance in
the bush ..... and induce you to grant him such commuted
amelioration as in your great mercy may deem fit".
In a reply 19.2.1838 from the Colonial Office to Frances Pembroke
"Is informed in reply to her Petition that His Excellency the Acting
Governor has been pleased to reduce to one year the sentence of two
years in Irons passed on her husband Michael Pembroke. Signed TC
The land grant was the subject of latter correspondence 17 November
1829to the then Governor, Lieutenant General Ralph Darling in which
it was stated that -
Note: a grant of "2 acres of land confirmed for the
establishment and proposed, with a promise of an additional grant after
2 years to complete my Establishment.
Note: Thomas started planning to build an Inn named the
'Sign of the Woodman' at Woodford. A grant of 50 acres of land was made
by Governor, Sir Thomas Brisbane on 15 November 1826.
"as your Excellency suggested a House of Accommodation would be more
necessary at 20 Mile Hollow than where he at present resides, he
humbly petitions to have that 50 acres measured there and with the
offered assistance of his father-in-law at Mount York, will
immediately commence and complete a Respectable accommodation.."
` 14 December 1829 - from Pierce Collits to the Honourable Alexanda
McLeay Esq. "in reply to your letter of the 5th instant I beg leave
to state that I am ready to assist TM Pembroke in building an
The actual building of the Inn commenced in 1831 and was largely
complete by February 1833
Note: Letter from Thomas Michael Pembroke to His Excellency
Major General Richard Bourke CB "and I have erected a Commodious Inn
comprising ten apartments tho not yet finished I have expended upwards
of Sixty pounds already on two acres of a Rock and what little is
received by accommodating travellers (without spirit selling)..."
Note: Authority for licence to sell spirits is given in
Licence No. 34/400. He writes that a large Inn is now in place. Thomas
Michael's letters went largely unanswered. The reasons are not known
however many were subsequently found July 1834 in Governor Bourke's
'oubliette' prompting a review and the question "What is the present
state of the matter?" in August 1834. However bureaucracy can work
exceedingly slowly as it was not until - 20 October 1835 that Primary
Grant 42/626 was issued to Mr.T.M. Pembroke of the Woodman Inn. Although
a further licence for two years to sell spirits had been granted 23 June
1835 and issued 17 July1835 (No. 35/390).
12 April 1831 - Thomas was "compelled to come on the land in
consequence of being ordered to quit the Crown land he then resided
on (i.e. 24 Mile Hollow).
8 December 1831. While still residing at 24 Mile Hollow Thomas
states in a letter ...... Sir, I am instructed to erect a
Respectable Inn, which is in progress, having Stone Masons,
Carpenters, Splitters and Fencers employed since August last when
the Surveyor General (in company with Mr. Rusden, Asst. Surveyor)
was pleased to call and inform me "My S election was approved of". I
was to consider the land as mine and consequently may commence
Improvements - he has "expended near thirty pounds in building
materials for the purpose of erecting an Inn...." as at this date.
"In 1833 at Twenty Mile Hollow (now Woodford) ex-convict Thomas
Pembroke erected an inn known as "The Woodman". It was frequented by
soldiers stationed at nearby Bull's Camp to supervise convict road
gangs, as well as by travellers going west."[http://www.midmountainshistory.org.au/academy.html]
Thomas Michael's fortunes deteriorated - perhaps due to the
continuing wrangling with his neighbour Mr. William James. James ran
an illicit grog shop.
Note: Thomas Michael entered into a mortgage by demise on
the Woodman Inn and surrounding property for a consideration of sixty
pounds. His initial debt was increased over the next few years to
culminate in a conveyance by lease and release to Mr. Michael Hogan of
Penrith 24 September 1839.
Note: A 'severe fit of illness' resulted in his being
unable to attend personally as required by law at Penrith Courthouse to
secure the renewal of his liquor licence - a situation which he was
unable to rectify despite significant efforts on his part.
Note: Thomas had been convicted for theft and sentenced to
hard labour on the Road Gangs.
Note: Thomas Michael had been freed by an act of clemency
by mid 1838, but it is not known whether he ever returned to Woodford.
Thomas was involved with the court case when James was charged with
the murder of his wife. Thomas was a material witness for the Crown
but was too inebriated to finish giving evidence.
Mr. Justice Burton immediately directed that he should be taken to
the General Hospital, there to undergo a course of purgation, by
means of the stomach-pump or emetics; and, in the mean time, His
Honor adjourned the Court for an hour on February 3 to dry out and the case adjourned until 8
December 1836 when James was found guilty, but later pardoned for
reasons of fairness in regard to the Judge's wrongful discharge of
the Jury in the first instance.
After waiting much beyond that time, the witness was again produced,
and upon being put once more into the box, was asked by the learned
Judge if he though himself sober enough to state what he knew; to
which he replied that ``he hoped he was." Mr. Therry, the
prisoner's Counsel, then came into Court, and the examination was
resumed by the Solicitor-General.
It had not, however, proceeded far, when it was made quite
evident that the ``course of medicine," or whatever other ``course"
the witness had undergone at the Hospital had not been sufficiently
powerful to render him a fitting witness in a case of murder. The
learned Judge soon professed his utter inability to understand what
the witness meant to convey to the Court; and the Jury, through
their Foreman, told the Judge that they could not think of forming
an opinion upon testimony given by a person in such a state.
His Honor said that the Court was placed in a situation of great
embarrassment in the case, and suggested that the prisoner's Counsel
should consent to the Jury being discharged, and the trial commence
de novo on the following morning.
His Honor then directed the cause of all this scene of confusion
and delay - to wit, the drunken witness - to be consigned to the
watch-house or gaol till the following morning, and then to be
brought before the Court.
In the course of the morning the witness, whose intoxication
yesterday had led to all the inconvenience which followed, was
brought before the Court, and after a very severe reprimand, and
serious remonstrance on the impropriety of his conduct, was sentence
to a month's imprisonment, for the contempt of which he had been
Justice Kinchela and a Military Jury.
William James, a
free man, residing at Twenty-mile Hollow, in the district of
Bathurst, was indicted for the wilful murder of Mary his
wife, by strangling her with a handkerchief on the 12th
The Attorney-General briefly stated the case to the jury. The
prisoner's wife had threatened to hang herself, and had tied a
handkerchief to a rafter for that purpose, when the prisoner not
only put it round her neck, but shoved her off the box. If he
proved these facts the Judge would tell them it was murder. The
prisoner had been arraigned last Session, but a witness being drunk
Mr. Justice Burton discharged the jury.
following witnesses were then called:-
private in the 4th Regiment, being sworn, stated, on the
12th October last, I was in company with Corporal Spence at
the prisoner's house, at Twenty-mile Hollow; we called in to
light our pipes in the afternoon; we remained but a very
short time, we saw the prisoner and some children; three or
four minutes afterwards a female named Smith called me in to
see Mrs. James; I looked between the slabs and saw her
hanging by a black handkerchief from the rafters; there was
a box near her feet, she appeared to be dead; he hands were
up as if she had been trying to lay hold of the
handkerchief; I called out to Corporal Spence and told him;
the prisoner was in the kitchen, and he came to me when I
called out, and said ``go and cut her down," I told him to
go himself, and I saw the prisoner's son go in the room with
a knife to cut her down and I think the prisoner helped him;
a publican named Pembroke, who resided near the spot, came
up, and him, me, and the Corporal, went into the room, the
deceased was lying on the floor, and Mr. Pembroke said he
was sure she was dead; the prisoner was sober, he appeared
to be melancholy.
Cross-examined - When we first went in we saw the
prisoner near the fire; not more than five minutes had
elapsed when Jane Smith called me, I went in immediately,
James was still in the kitchen; I cannot say whether the
door was locked inside; Corporal Spence went to Pembroke's;
I did not hear the deceased when we first went in; if she
had made any alarm I must have heard it; Creran did not give
me the alarm, it was Jane Smith; I saw Creran in the house
after Mr. Pembroke had arrived; some time had then elapsed;
I saw him come out of another room; there was no time for
the prisoner to have hung his wife from the first time I
entered until I gave the alarm; no person without peeping
could see Mrs. James hanging
Creran - I have been free three years, I have been ten years
in the colony; I was at Pembroke's the day Mrs James was
hanged; one of her sons came crying out that his mother was
hanging; it was about eight or nine o'clock in the day; I
went up to the house; I saw James, and I asked him what was
the matter, he said there was nothing the matter and asked
me what business I had there; the children were all laughing
at the door; I went into the room and saw the woman hanging;
I cut her down; James was standing with his back to the
fire; he threatened me, and said I had not right to
interfere; there was a dispute between me and James; I got
him fined forty shillings, he did not like to see me about
the house; I heard James say, ``let her hang and be d--d;"
this was before I cut her down; she was hanging by a red
handkerchief; when I cut her down she was a long time before
she came too; when she did come too she took some rum that
James had, but he gave her a push and she fell down; I had
seen Mrs. James before that morning; while I was trying to
recover Mrs. James, the prisoner was in the kitchen, he gave
me no assistance; when Mrs. James came into the kitchen she
said she understood I was the b--y rogue that cut he down;
she was angry with me; I said I did cut her down, and I
asked her if she was not glad of it; she replied no, the
prisoner had been long enough trying it on, and that if I
had not interfered she would have been in a better world.
The prisoner and his wife then had a dispute about Jane
Smith, and I went into another room, and by standing on the
sofa I was able to see into the room in which the prisoner
and his wife usually slept; I saw Mrs. James with a black
handkerchief in her hand which she tied to a rafter; she
asked the prisoner, who was in the next room, where her
eldest son was, and he said he had gone for sugar; Mrs.
James then got on a box, and the prisoner came to the room
door and asked her if she was as game as she pretended; she
said she wanted to see her eldest son; the prisoner said
stop a minute, and then put the handkerchief round her neck
and pushed her off the box; he then dragged her by the feet;
he then left her and went into the kitchen; the son almost
immediately came in and cut her down; the sudden jerk he
gave her must have hung her; I saw the soldiers come in; I
heard the soldier sing out; I was on the sofa and was
looking over the wall when I saw the prisoner drag his wife
by the feet; I intended to have cut her down, but the son
was before me; the boy entered the room almost immediately
after the prisoner left it.
Cross-examined - I was
drinking at Pembroke's when the son came to me; I was at the
door and saw the boy; I got there in time to save her; I was
in the house the second time but was not in time then; it
was after the soldiers had come in to light their pipes that
James acted as I described; I do not know whether the door
was locked inside; I did not tell constable Abrahams that
the door was locked, I should have made an alarm if I had
not been afraid the prisoner would have escaped; if I had
done such a deed I should have run away; I knew he had
pistols in the house; and I told the magistrates at Penrith
that was the reason; the prisoner had threatened to take my
life; I thought it was necessary for me to keep my eye on
him; there was no time lost before the soldiers made an
alarm; I did at one time say I saw the deceased through the
slabs, but it was the first time I alluded to; I do not
think I said so with regard to the second time; the box was
about half a yard high; it might have been more or less; I
did not hear Jane Smith call the soldiers; I did not see the
soldier from the time he lit his pipe until Mr. Pembroke was
in the house; I did not see him look through the door; when
I saw the prisoner leave the room; I got down as gently as I
could in order that the prisoner might not hear me for fear
he should blow my brains out, and I got out of the room as
quick as possible but the son was before me.
Cahan re-called, I never left the house from the time
Smith called me until Pembroke came up; if Creran had been
trying to cut the woman down I must have seen him.
Cross-examination of Creran continued. I laid two
informations against James, I convicted him on one of them;
I was charged with perjury but it could not be proved; I was
in the house about settling one of the informations, the
prisoner sent for me and offered me a pound and a pistol; I
have just been giving evidence in the other court; I swore
that all my clothes were stripped off me, and the man who
was with me swore I was not stripped, but it is easy to get
people to swear any thing; James was partly drunk; I was not
out of the house from the time she was hanging the first
time until the second time; I remained in the room all that
time through what I heard amongst them; I wanted to see
whether she was for hanging herself, or he was for hanging
her; I saw that officer (Mr. Faunce) come in.
Mr. Pembroke an inn keeper residing at Twenty-mile
Hollow. Corporal Spence called me and said Mrs. James was
hanging; I went up to the house; the body was cut down; I
recommended James to send to the depot for a medical man,
but he refused; the body was quite dead; I saw Creran in the
Cross-examined - The prisoner refused to send for a
medical attendant; he afterwards appeared to be in great
tribulation; the deceased was subject to take a drop; Creran
called me on one side and pointed out a place from where he
said he saw the prisoner commit the act; I did not know
anything about the deceased having attempted to hang herself
before; I do not think Creran was at my house that morning;
I understood Creran to say he had seen through the slabs; he
did not tell me that he had got on the sofa and looked over
the wall; I cannot say whether he could have done so; no
person came to my house and called Creran to go and cut the
Mr. Thomas Black, surgeon - On examining the body of the
deceased, I found one or two slight contusions on the eye,
but think they were inflicted by her falling forward after
she had been cut down; she died by strangulation, which I
have no doubt was caused by hanging.
Cross-examined - Creran said he saw the transaction
through the slabs; he never said anything about sofa or
bark; he said her feet were about the height of the table
from the ground, but that was impossible, as from the
position of the handkerchief, her feet could only just be
clear of the ground; I recollect Creran was flogger at the
station; from the very inconsistent manner in which he gave
his evidence I would not believe him on his oath.
The prisoner made no defence, but called the following
District Constable Samuel - I was sent to the Twenty-mile
Hollow; Creran told me the door was bolted inside; he took
me into the inside room and shewed me where he said he stood
to see James put the handkerchief over his wife's head; I am
a taller man than Creran, but when I got on the sofa I could
not see over; I could not lift the bark, I was not high
Lieutenant Faunce, 4th Regiment - I was on the spot with
Mr. Campbell the magistrate just after the affair; Creran
did not offer his evidence; after all the persons had been
examined, Mr. Campbell said as Creran was a constable he
would examine him, and then he told this long story; I would
not believe him on his oath; The box pointed out as the one
from which the deceased was thrown, was about seven inches
Mr. Foster said that he had other witnesses, but he did
not think it was necessary to call them.
Mr. Justice Kinchela said, that in law, a person who
assisted another to commit suicide, was guilty of murder; so
that in a case where two disappointed lovers agreed to
commit suicide, and went out in a boat for the purpose of
drowning themselves, and one of them survived, the survivor
was held to be guilty of murder, and the case was afterwards
argued before the twelve judges, who were of the same
opinion. The present case as it affected the prisoner,
stood solely on the evidence of Creran; they had heard his
evidence, and they had heard what had been said about him,
and it was for them to shew by their verdict whether they
When the Jury had been absent about half an hour, they
returned, and the Foreman (Captain Macpherson) said that
they wished to examine James the son of the prisoner, who
cut his mother down. Mr. Justice Kinchela said that they
were bound to return a verdict on the evidence laid before
them; they could re-examine any witness they pleased, but
they could call no new ones; neither the prosecutor or the
defendant had called him, and the Jury could not. Captain
M. said that there was no likelihood of their agreeing, and
they again left the Court which was adjourned for two hours.
Soon after seven o'clock the Jury again returned to
Court, and said that they were unable to agree upon which
His Honor said that he was very sorry, but he must lock them
up for the night. He could not discharge them without the
consent of the Crown and the prisoner. If the Crown would
forego the prosecution entirely, or the prisoner consent to
be tried again, a Juror could be withdrawn, otherwise they
were entitled to a verdict. Mr. Carter on the part of the
Attorney-General, and Mr. Foster on the part of the prisoner
refused to acceded to the suggestion, and the Jury were
locked up for the night.
Saturday, August 13. - Upon Mr. Justice Kinchela taking
his set this morning, the jury in James' case, who had been
locked up all night, came into Court and returned a verdict
of Guilty. Death. Ordered for execution on Monday
morning. His Honor stated that he would respite the
prisoner until he could take the opinion of the Judges on
the point raised in his behalf by Mr. Foster.
Dowling A.C.J. and Burton and Kinchela JJ, 19 August 1836
Source: Burton, Notes of Criminal Cases, vol. 26,
State Records of New South Wales, 2/2427
the 12th January 1836 the prisoner named in the margin was
put upon his trial before His Honor Mr Justice Burton in the
Supreme Court for the wilful murder of his wife. After the
Jury had been sworn and charged with the prisoner and some
of the merits of the case were gone into a material witness
for the prosecution being put into the box the presiding
Judge discovered that the witness was so drunk as to be
incapable of giving Evidence. Whereupon the learned Judge
adjourns the further prosecution of the case for two hours,
and directed that in the [p. 93] meantime the witness should
be taken to the General Hospital, for the purpose of having
remedies applied to him, as were within the skill of the
Surgeon to restore him to a fit state to give evidence.
After the lapse of considerably more than two hours the
proceedings were resumed the witness then appearing to have
recovered he was sworn and proceeded with his evidence far
enough to shew that he was a very material witness when he
became again incapable of giving evidence from the operation
of the healed Court upon his previous intoxication.
respited until the opinion of the Crown Lawyers in England
was made known. In the meantime, he was still in the
condemned cell in November 1836: Australian, 8
On 26 Aug 2007, Geraldine James wrote;
"Thomas Michael Pembroke was in part responsible for the
difficulties that William James had as he was always reporting him
to the court at Penrith. After William's wife hung herself in 1835,
a short time after the birth of her 6th child and William was
charged with her murder, the 6 children of the James family were left
to fend for themselves.
When Pembroke was approached for assistance by the children he took
their corn and returned them very little for it. After the children
were found destitute by Mr Therry,
him and also owned a neighboring property Pembroke was again approached
this time by Mr Therry, who stated in a letter to Sir John Jamieson
of Regentville that he found him to be a person who drove a hard
bargain and that he only agreed to help the children after he was
assured of payment for any help that he gave. Mr Therry gave him
assurance of this and so the children were saved from absolute
starvation until other arrangements could be made for them.
The baby died shortly after its mother, aged just about 6 weeks,
having been cared for by the 8 year old Caroline from the time of
her mother's death till the time of the baby's death.
Also Pembroke was ordered to pay William James for the land that he
was squatting on and had applied for a grant, until Pembroke started
all the trouble with the courts, but no payment was ever received by
William James or his family.
William was given leave to apply to the High Court in England for a
pardon and this was granted to him, in part because Pembroke had
perjured himself at William's trial.
It also appears that after the children were a little older the
Collits family had the girls at least, and possibly the two older
boys, working in one of their inns at Hartley and married William,
whom his father described as of unsound mind, off to the young
Caroline who was only 13 when the marriage took place in November
1840. Caroline was born in Liverpool NSW in April 1827. She was the
third child and first daughter of William amd Mary James.
younger siblings were as follows;
+ Maria who was born in 1829 at Stonequarry Creek, now Picton, and
married at 12 to John Welsh, who was responsible for Caroline's rape
+ Simon who was born about 1831 at Twenty Mile Hollow and
+ the baby who died born about September 1835 also at Twenty Mile
I wonder how much influence Pembroke's interference had on Mary's
decision to hang herself. Caroline's name has been blackened by the
Collits family unfairly, she was simply an innocent child in the
whole sordid story and her life was snuffed out before she reached
her 15th birthday.
Details of the children's ages dates and places of birth are
contained in a deposition given by William James after he was taken
to gaol and accused of Mary's murder"
[Geradline James, World Connect Post Em, 26 Aug 2007]
A Sydney Morning Herald advertisement listed a property for sale
"50acres, 20 cleared, well built stone and wood house Inn known as
"Sign of Woodman", licensed comprising 9 excellent rooms, stabling
for six horses, store, stock and sheep yards with a productive
garden and overflowing spring of water". Mr. GK Bryant was the
lessee and licensee presumably therefore providing some financial
support for Thomas Michael who by then gave his address as simply
Note: Thomas Michael authorised Mr. Michael Hogan of
Penrith to apply for the formal issue of the Primary Grant in his name -
relinquishing all claimt o the property by a conveyance on the 24
September 1839 for final consideration of 90 pounds
Note: After probably being reared by his extended family,
he was given an education and the opportunity to enter The British East
India Co. transfering to India in 1814. The circumstances of his
subsequent Court-martial and transportation are not known,
notwithstanding the many letters which remain to tell us so much about
this man who together with wife Frances and assisted by father-in-law
Pierce Colits erected the first substantial Inn & Residence in the
Woodford and "The Kings Arms"
Note: Thomas sought permission to marry at Castlereagh
Woodford is a small and quiet township in the Blue Mountains,
located 84km from Sydney. While building the first road across the
Blue Mountains, William Cox placed a marker peg near the site of the
present-day Woodford railway station in 1814. He named it 'Twenty
Mile Hollow' as it was located about twenty miles from the river
crossing at Emu Plains and the locality retained this title until
1871. It initially served as a reserve for traveling stock owing to
its good supply of water.
William James, from Worcester, England, was the first known white
resident on this site. He was listed as a convict among 136
disembarked from the 'Baring' on 3/7/1819. He built a rough stone
and slab squat thought to comprise 5 rooms, stable and stockyard.
James had been asked to leave the squat in part due to his
reputation for the illegal sale ofa lcohol. In the Colonial
secretary's papers of November 30th 1831, he is described as the
only "illegal" squatter on Bathurst Rd.
Thomas Michael Pembroke of Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland, arrived as
a convict aboard the "St. Michael" in 1818 aged 22. By 1831, he had
been given a grant of land at Twenty Mile Hollow. This site included
William James's squat. That year, Pembroke employed fencers,
splitters and stonemasons to erect an inn which was largely complete
by 1833. In 1839 this 'for sale' advertisement appeared in the
Sydney Morning Herald "50acres, 20 cleared, well-built stone and
wood house, inn known as 'Signo f the Woodman', licensed, comprising
9 excellent rooms, stabling for 6horses, store, stock and sheep
yards etc. with productive garden and overflowing spring of water" (SMH
14/6/1839, Mitchell). He sold the property to a Michael Hogan of
Penrith for £450.
The earliest parts of Woodford Academy (as it became known in 1907)
--those fronting the highway -- remain largely in original condition
and, although there is evidence of alterations, the plan form is
typical ofan 1830's inn. [http://infobluemountains.net.au/history/wood_ac.htm]
In 1855 it was decided that the police presence at Weatherboard (now
Wentworth Falls) be moved closer to Penrith and a police paddock and
lock-up were established at Twenty Mile Hollow. They were located
just up the hill from the inn, adjacent the present highway, between
Arthur St and Woodbury St.
Another ex-convict, named William Buss, purchased the King's Arms
in1855 and it thence became known as 'Buss's Inn'. A popular
watering hole, it served those traveling west to the goldfields.
The railway passed through in 1866-67 and the original railway
station was known as Buss's Platform. However, Buss died in 1867 and
the railway probably detracted from the road traffic and thus
retarded custom at the inn. At any rate, in 1868 Buss's widow sold
the building to Alfred Fairfax who renamed it Woodford House.
Consequently the railway station was renamed Woodford which became
the official name of the settlement.
The most significant historic building in Woodford is the Woodford
Academy, located on the northern side of the Great Western Highway,
between Arthur St and Woodford Av. Owned by the National Trust,
this collection of brick and sandstone Georgian buildings dates back
to the1840s. The first structure on this site was a weatherboard inn
built in the early 1830s by an Irish ex-convict named Thomas
Pembroke. A single-storey stone building and single-storey kitchen
wing, which form the basis of the present group, were probably
erected in the 1840s when the tavern became known as 'The King's
Arms'. A brick second storey was later added to the kitchen and a
two-storey stone wing was built, with the group completed in its
present form, by 1862. Another ex-convict, named William Buss,
purchased the establishment in 1855 and it thence became known as
'Buss's Inn'. A popular watering hole, it served those raveling west
to the goldfields.
At the time of Buss's death in 1867 the railway was passing through
and, although it brought more people to the mountains, it detracted
from the road traffic and probably retarded custom at the inn. At
any rate, in1868, Buss's widow sold the building to Alfred Fairfax
who renamed it Woodford House. Fairfax resided there intermittently
until the 1880swhen it became a guest house to serve the growing
trade of holidaymakers.
By 1897, when it was purchased by David Flannery, the property
had expanded to 90 acres, though it was soon subdivided. He leased
Woodford House in 1907 and it subsequently became an educational
institution for boys, focusing on the liberal arts, and was known as
Woodford Academy. John McManamey purchased the house in 1914 but it
remained a school until 1936 when it served as a residence for
McManamey's two daughters.
It is one of the thirteen historic inns listed on the excellent
History Highway Inns website. Check it out at History Highway Inns
which offers detailed information about the historic inns in the
Situated at 91 Great Western Highway, Woodford, the Academy
buildingsare the oldest group of buildings in the Blue Mountains and
one of the most significant in NSW. Most of the building is dated to
the 1880'swith part of the original 1830's Inn built by the
ex-convict Thomas Pembroke still in existence.[http://www.nsw.nationaltrust.org.au/wood.html]
His wife appealed for clemency, requesting support
from an important family in the district, who also appear to have been
the employers of coachman Charles Fell. A year later
Sarah Nash's future husband John Fell was born.
Frances COLLITS b: 26 SEP 1804 in Parramatta, New South Wales,
- Married: 07 JUL 1822 in Castlereagh, New South Wales,
- Note: The Pembroke Family Tree suggests that the
marriage date was 25 July 1822
Mary PEMBROKE b: 22 MAY 1822 in Castlereagh
Thomas de Goggin PEMBROKE b: 1823
William PEMBROKE b: 24 NOV 1824
Garrett De Grogan PEMBROKE b: 14 AUG 1826
Pierce PEMBROKE b: 1828
Edwin PEMBROKE b: 1829
Thomas PEMBROKE b: 21 DEC 1830
Ellen PEMBROKE b: 25 MAR 1833
Henry PEMBROKE b: 1835 in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
Sarah PEMBROKE b: 23 OCT 1837
John PEMBROKE b: 08 NOV 1838 in Castlereagh, New South Wales,
- Title: Pembroke Family Tree, 13 June 1987 (Included in research
material from Faye Young for Ron Prowse
Abbrev: Pembroke Family Tree, 13 June 1987
- Title: Thomas Michael Pembroke - Personal Details
Abbrev: Thomas Michael Pembroke - Personal Details
Author: Gloria Crammond and Cynthia Kardell
Publication: 22 March 1994
- Title: Colonial Secretary Index, 1788-1825, (NSW)
Abbrev: Colonial Secretary Index, 1788-1825
Page: (Reel 6063; 4/1786 p.101b)
(Fiche 3149; 4/1843B No.638 pp.1051-4)
(Fiche 3266; 9/2652 p.99)
(Fiche 3269; 9/2740 p.23)
- Title: Sydney Morning Herald
Abbrev: Sydney Morning Herald
Page: 17 February 2005.
- Title: Colonial Secretary Index, 1788-1825, (NSW)
Abbrev: Colonial Secretary Index, 1788-1825
Page: (Reel 6009; 4/3506 p.10)