William Watson

William Watson and Elizabeth Hill lived in Whitby, Yorkshire and were married in 1811. William whose family originally came to Yorkshire from Bishop Briggs near Glasgow, had family who settled in Bradford. William and Elizabeth had four children, two sons and two daughters.

John born 12 April 1814, died 2 November 1881 Married Amelia Alomes
Thomasborn 6 May 1816, died 8 March 1864Married Mary Ann Garlick (21 Jan 1851)
Marthaborn 1818, died Married William Winspere
Hannahborn 1820, died 5 February 1911Married Christopher Calvert (16 Jan 1837)

They were steerage passengers on the ship Harvey which arrived in Hobart Town in May 1825.

William Watson was allotted a land grant at Muddy Plains (Sandford) on June 11, 1825, which he called York Grove. However within two years, William died and was buried in St. David's Cemetery. In February 1827 George Stokell, a creditor and friend of William, was granted rights of administration over his estates.

After the death of Mr Watson, word was received from England in effect that property had been left to his widow and children. The consequence was that Mrs Watson, Thomas, Hannah and Martha returned to England. Thomas and Martha remained in England for some years with Mrs Watson and Hannah returning to York Grove to where John was managing the property so well that it was classed as one of the best in the state. He was no doubt advised by his father's old friend George Stokell, as he was only thirteen years old when his father had died and left him the property.

Elizabeth Watson, widow of William Watson, died on Thursday 29 November 1877 at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Winspere, Muddy Plains,formerly of Whitby, Yorkshire ; aged 86 years.

Land Grant

It was believed that the orginal grant of land that became York Grove was to William Watson. It appears that no-one has been able to find proof of the actual land grant for William Watson in 1825 because it never existed!

The State Archives has a land grants map shows the land (670 acres) was actually granted to Edward Paine Butler and Robert William Nutt. These two gentlemen were lawyers in Hobart in the 1840s. More information on the Butler family can be found here. The family law firm Butler, Nutt and Butler later became Butler, McIntyre and Butler which is still a well known law firm in Hobart.

An original index at the Lands and Titles Office in Hobart indicates the land was granted to Butler and Nutt in 1843. Soon after, it appears that William's son John took out a mortgage and lease of the land. In 1853, it appears the mortgage was discharged and John took over ownership of the land. You can click on the links to download and read the documents. John of course was only 11 years old in 1825 and his father died in 1827. In 1843, John would have been 29 years old.

The original land grant document is on microfilm and can be seen here. The current title for the land shows Butler and Nutt as the original land grantees. The area of the land sold by my grandfather has since been subdivided into two lots.