William Cummings  of Bathurst

19/02/2011 01:09 PM

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William Cummings arrived in Australia  about the convict ship  Prince Regent on the 15th July 1824 .He was one of 180 male convicts who had boarded at Cork.   William was a labour/shepherd  born in Kilkenny County.  At the age of 17 he was dragged from his parents home as a result of breaking a curfew and branded a convict rebel by the British Government.   William Cummins was born to Keiran Cummings and Elizabeth Shelly in 1804. His family had lived in Kilkenny for over 300 years. He was found guilty and sentenced to seven years transportation.  He gained an early ticket of Leave on the 15th July 1829, by a Government Order of 1st January 1827.  He was restricted to the locality of Parramatta.   In 1828  he was recorded as part of an iron gang  at  Baulkham Hills.

Once obtaining his Ticket of leave, set about building a new life for himself.  He married a young Irish lass from Kilkenny.  Mary Ann Ducie/Ducey was 18 years old when they married in 1829.   Over the next 30 years  William acquired  vast holdings of land and was passionate about his reason for being transplanted and those injustices.  He recounted how he came to be in Australia, when  he spoke of his early days in the colony when he was elected as the member for the seat of East Macquarie n Bathurst. in July 1859

Excerpt from newspaper.

'On his health being drank, Mr. Cummings rose and in a forcible and clear manner peculiarly his own, thus expressed himself. he felt justly proud of the situation in which the unbought suffrages of the electors of East Macquarie had placed him, he who, when only 17 years of age was dragged from his native home , and branded as a convicted rebel by the existing policy of the British Government which at the time, (35 years ago) was mainly through the instrumentality of spies and xxxxx, he was convicted under the Insurrection Act, for being found out of his father's house after nightfall and of course concerned in the Ribbon Conspiracy; his youth and his previous good character availed him not, the government declared their determination to put down the Irish traitors, and  if transporting young, innocent, and inoffensive persons could accomplish that end, they succeeded to the fullest extent. He was the first of his family ever bought before a court of justice, and he defied any person to say a word derogatory to is  parents, who though not wealthy, were respectable industrious persons.  If the tombs in the old church yards of the locality where he was born were examined, it would be found that the name he bore was an honourable one, as the memory of some members of his family had been honoured at their death by costly and substantial monuments some of which were three hundred years old, and there was no doubt, that they were the owners of the soil which his father had afterwards pay rent for.  He had but once before referred to the circumstances  under which he lived forbidding anyone under any pretence to leave the house after sunset.  Some of the authorities called at his fathers house before 8 o'clock in the evening, they called also at the houses of twenty five other young men, and having ascertained that they were not at home at that time, they were all arrested and ultimately banished from their friends.  As now he had succeeded in attaining the object of his ambition - the peoples representation, he would not betray the trust reposed in him, by seeking at the peoples expense to favour his own worldly interests.  No, he would work well and zealously for them and his first effort would be directed to a thorough Reform of the Land System.
William Cummins


Irish Rebel:           Religion:      

Age on arrival: 20

Marital status:
Calling/trade: Shepherd
Born: 1804        Native place: Queens Co
Tried: 1823      Maryborough (Port Laoise) Queens Co          Sentence: 7     Former convictions:
Ship: Prince Regent I (2) [1824]

Port Laoise is  a country town  in the midlands of Ireland.standing at a major crossroads in the  Irish  roads network  where the  major roads leads to Dublin, Limerick and Cork.  

The town   was established by an act of Parliament during the reign of Queen Mary of England in 1557. The English renamed the town Maryborough and the county was named "Queen's County" in her honour. The area had been a focus of the rebellion of Rory O'More, a local chieftain who had rebelled and had lost his lands, which the Crown wanted to be settled by reliable landowners. The following year, following widespread dislocation and dispossession of the native Irish in the region due to the newly established English colonists, the   (O'More) and   (O'Connor) families and their allies reacted against the English. For the next fifty or so years, the English settlers in Maryborough waged a continual, low-scale war of aggression against the native Irish inhabitants of the surrounding region who retaliated against the new colony.




William Cummings was a man of passion and he was constantly involved in some sort of legal hassles. The first one was when he was charged with assault with a horse whip and he was sentenced to hard labour. Of course he had a lot of  supporters in his circle of friends, one being James  Martin who became Premier.

William  Cummings firstly resided at Kissing Point, Parramatta River  then he moved to Clear Creek at Bathurst. around 1831 and his  wife Mary Anne bore  four  sons and three daughters. His eldest son Thomas was born in January 1832 at Kissing Point.  William Cummings was born at Clear Creek near Bathurst on June 6th 1834, Keiran in....,  John was born in 1842. Catherine born in 1845, Ellen in 1847.

Mr Cummings, being a large contractor in connection with Government works for many years, was compelled to visit various districts in the west, but upon almost every occasion he was accompanied by the partner of his joys, and the happy couple invariably returned to their home at Clear Creek when they desired to enjoy a peaceful holiday.

In 1792 the settlement east of Parramatta extended to the present Ryde area and became known as Eastern Farms or Kissing Point. Although there were Catholics among the first settlers, there were few priests in the Colony to minister to them prior to the arrival in 1835 of Dr John Polding, later to be constituted Sydney's first Archbishop.  No doubt William Cummings


Cummings  cquired some valuable station property on the Lachlan, devoted much of his time thereto, and eventually became one of the most successful and wealthiest of colonial squatters. He then entered Parliament, and while there proved himself one of its most active and energetic members. It was owing to his persistency and determination that the Government of the day were forced to build a railway over the Blue Mountains, and for this act alone his name should long be held in respectful remembrance by the people of the west.


Ultimately in 1869 Mr Cummings was deprived of the greater portion of his station properties ., the old homestead  at Clear Creek and some property in the vicinity of Bathurst was all that was retained.

Land Acquitions

William Cummings of Clear Creek Roxborough paid 247 for 991 acres,  next door to Mrs Suttons grant and Fitzgeralds 700 acres 17/4/1838.

On the 1/01/1838 he paid 266 pounds for 1064 acres at Roxborough

He had purchased 20 acres on 14/11/1834 for $6.5s for an Inn approved by Gov Burke in the Country of Roxborough.

This 20 acres was situated about a mile and a half to the east of a ridge at the Barg on Brush at a plain known by the name of Sawyers huts on the new line of  Road  to Bathurst.

Bounded on the west by a line North commencing at a marked tree close to the road in the north a line by the new line of Road to Bathurst. Being the land sold for the purpose of erecting an Inn on lot 12 in pursuance of advertisement on 13th May 1834

Depasturing Licenses held by William Cummings

CUMMINGS William - Lachlan - 20/04/1844
CUMMINGS William - Lachlan - 30/09/1844
CUMMINGS William Bugalia Maneroo Cura Creek 27/07/1842
CUMMINGS William Bathurst Wellington Draggery on the Lachlan River 08/11/1839
CUMMINGS William Bathurst Wellington Gregary 09/02/1842
CUMMINGS William Bathurst Wellington Gregary 09/02/1842
CUMMINGS William Bathurst Wellington and Lachlan Gregary and Warradery 01/10/1842
CUMMINGS William Bugaba Maneroo Kiora Creek 25/06/1842
CUMMINGS William Bugalen Maneroo Kiora Creek 25/06/1842
CUMMINGS William Kora Creek Maneroo Kora Creek 02/09/1844
CUMMINGS William Kora Creek Maneroo Kora Creek 05/07/1843
CUMMINGS William Bathurst Lachlan (adjoining Wellington) Warradery 09/02/1842



 Roman Catholic

William Cummings, Nathaniel Connolly and Jeremiah Grant  being the trustees for the Roman Catholic church along with Revd Michael O'Reilly .



THE Two beautiful Blood Horses, the Property of Mr. William Cummings, WAVERLY and DISCOVERY.

Waverly was bred by Captain Harper, got by Emigrant, out of a Blood Mare. It requires no further comment than to say that in 1834, he took the Australian Agricultural Company's Medal, being the best Colonial-bred Horse produced. He will Travel to O'Connell Plains every ninth day for the Season, and will Stand at Mr. Hart's Stables, calling at J. Street's, Esq., J. P., and at J. Bean's, Esquire.

Discovery is a fine chestnut, bred by Major Mitchell, got by Camerton, out of a splendid Blood Mare; his racing qualities are so well known in this District, that they require no comment ; he will not Travel ; a good Paddock gratis.

The greatest care possible will be paid to Mares sent to either of the above Horses.

TERMS :                                                  s. d.

Waverly-Single Mares.                           2 10 0

For. more than one from the same Person . 2 5 0

Discovery-Single Mares .                           3 0 0

For more than one from the same Person.    2 5                Groomage included.

All Payments to be made on or before the 1st January, 1838.



Honorary Secretary. N. B-It was unanimously resolved

at a respectable and numerous Public Meeting, that no horse

in which Mr. William Cummings, of Clear Creek, near Bathurst, i

s  directly or indirectly interested, should be allowed to enter for these Races,







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