John Grant - Moyne Farm Coxs Road

John Grant


Elizabeth West, wife of John Grant

The Blue Mountains were first crossed in 1813, and John Grant, as the first emancipated settler there is regarded as the father of Hartley. John Grant was born in 1792 in Moyne, and in August 1810 he was sentenced at Clonmel to transportation to Australia for the attempted shooting of his landlord's son.

Governor Macquarie promised him 50 acres and in March 1821 he settled on land at the foot of Mount Victoria. He named his property Moyne Farm, after his home in Ireland. The government assigned him a considerable number of convicts to clear the land. He is  recorded as selling wheat to a government store in Hartley in 1823.


John Grant was just eighteen years old when he arrived in Sydney abroad the "Providence" on Tuesday 2nd. July,1811. He diligently worked his time and  when  was 28 years old  Governor Macquarie  promised him 50 acres in the Vale of Clwydd. He was assigned to Doctor William Redfern.  William Redfern, the emancipated assistant surgeon. who himself had been  deported to Australia He worked on Redfern's farm at Campbelltown, rising to the position of overseer by 1817. William Redfern had formed a friendship with John Macqthur after saving his  daughter from a serious illness

He was kept in prison for four years until sent to New South Wales in the Minorca, on whose indent his name is bracketed with thirteen others as 'Mutineers'. On board he helped the surgeon and reached Sydney on 14 December 1801. (Pierce Collitt also sailed on the Minorca and more than likely  formed a friendship. On 19 June 1803 he was given a free pardon by Governor Philip Gidley King. For five years he worked hard there and gained a good medical reputation; when he returned to Sydney in 1808,

Macquarie appointed Redfern as a magistrate.  In 1818 he was granted 1300 acres (526 ha) in the Airds district. This he called Campbell Fields in honour of Mrs Macquarie. In July 1824, received a further grant at Campbell Fields and acquired land near Bathurst and Cowra. He left 23,190 acres (9385 ha) in New South Wales, including 6296 (2548 ha) at Airds and 11,362 (4598 ha) at Bathurst. He also had land at Hartley.

Redfern put John Grant in charge of his farm at Campbelltown and for the next two years he was busy felling trees and clearing the land.

On the 10th January, 1814, John Grant married Jane O'Brien in St. Phillip's Church of England, as there was no Catholic Priest in the Colony at this time.John was listed as 'Roman Catholic'.

 Later, when two Catholic Priests arrived, within six weeks of their arrival in 1820, John & Jane consecrated their marriage according to the rites of the Catholic Church.

In 1820 Grant was made a Constable of the Campbelltown District.  In this year Grant bought his own land, some 60 acres at Liverpool. In the same year he was given a Government contract to clear the land in the Campbell town area.

In 1821 he took up his allotment of fifty acres at Hartley, on a property he called "Moyne". He was one of the first three colonists to be given an allotment in the Vale of Clwydd near Hartley

At this time he owned nine head of cattle, 180 sheep and 34 hogs and one horse. It was at Hartley that he built the "first house west of Penrith to be built by private labour".

That house still stands today, as part of the Australian Heritage. John Grant was later to become known as the "Father of Hartley".

Disaster struck John Grant in 1823 with the death of his wife Jane. She died at Bathurst where her death is registered as number 7 in the Register of Deaths at Holy Trinity Church ,Kelso. John took her body for burial to the family property in the Vale of Clwydd. He was left with three small children., Jeremiah, Mary and Eleanor. The Redferns persuaded him to remarry, and introduced him to Elizabeth West, then aged 21 and the daughter of a free Protestant settler from Northern Ireland. They married in 1833 and had nine children. Soon afterwards the Redferns returned to England. It is of interest that he married a Protestant, after first marrying a Catholic-Jane O Brien.


Over the next thirty years he acquired a considerable quantity of land. In 1853 his eldest son John married Julia Finn of Hartley, and he gave them Moyne Farm plus 160 acres as a wedding present. He lived on his estates at Merriganowry on the Lachlan River where he owned several thousand acres. The two surviving sons of his brother Jeremiah (the highwayman) came out to Australia after the famine, and John set them up with land. In his later life he became quite withdrawn from public life and ran his own affairs quietly.He eventually died on 13th December 1866, aged 74, after several years of illness. He is buried at Merriganowry, and left an estate worth 3000.

The summer of 1826-27 was a severe drought and Grant decided to to take some of his sheep and cattle and go west looking for new pastures.

He gathered an expedition of seventeen men, 1000 head of cattle, seven flocks of sheep of 500 to 1000 each flock and set forth in search of feed. for the flocks.He journeyed as far as the legendary Lachlan flats, marking land as he went in his own name or that of Redfern . Eventually, he settled at "Merriganowry" and "Belabula".

In 1833 John Grant's second marriage took place, to Elizabeth West. By this marriage they had nine children. In later years he was known as the "Father of Canowindra". He spent his remaining years between Hartley and Merriganowry. It was on one of these trips in 1862 that he had an accident near Carcoar, that left him an invalid until his death. He died on 13th. Februay, 1866, and was buried at Merriganowy. At the time of his death he was supposedly the richest Catholic man in Australia

For further information about John Grant's life see "Providence" by Jacqueline Grant


John Grant's first marriage was to Jane O'Brien on 10th, January,1814 in St.Phillip's Church of England

By this marriage he had three children:- Jeremiah, Mary and EleanorJane

Jane O'Brien died on 19 May 1826 at Bathurst. She is registered as N 7 amongst the burials at Holy Trinity Church, Kelso.

However, she was not buried there, as John Grant took her to be buried on the family property at Cox's River.


His son Jeremiah married Rose Flanagan on the same day of his father's second marriage in 1833.They travelled together in the same sulky to the ceremony.


His daughter Mary married William Redfern Watt


Another daughter Eleanor Jane married James Flanagan in Sydney on the 11 Jun 1835  and after his death, Charles Russell.


Eleanor died in17 Jul 1867.

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


Their numerous progeny are listed in "Faces of the Grants of Moyne."

Pierce Collit opened his Collits Inn in 1823. Moyne Farm still stands today.

COMMENTARY  as at September 2009.


Council is in receipt of a Development Application for the subdivision of rural/residential land on a predominantly rural property into 49 rural small holding allotments and a residual of approximately 366 hectares. The site is known as 302 Coxs River Road, Little Hartley. The property has a total area of 492.3ha and is open grazing land with intermittent water courses and drainage lines traversing the property. The property retains direct access onto Cox's River Road, and links with Baaners Lane. The property is currently made up of 20 allotments the majority of which are old title portions. The proposed development will access (and construct a new road) off Coxs River Road that is currently used to access a number of other properties, and will be upgraded to a public road. The residual allotment accesses from Cox's River Road and is made up of rural zoned land.


Legal Description :

Lot 28 DP 751644

Lot 35 DP 751644

Lot 42 DP 751644

Lot 43 DP 751644

Lot 106 DP 751644

Lot 118 DP 751644

Lot 121 DP 751644

Lot 124 DP 751644

Lot 170 DP 751644

Lot 184 DP 751644 Vol 13276 Fol 00065

Lot 185 DP 751644 Vol 13276 Fol 00065

Lot 245 DP 751644 Vol 4251 Fol 00208

Lot 351 DP 751644 Vol 13276 Fol 00059

Lot 172 DP 751644 Vol 13276 Fol 00063

Lot 173 DP 751644 Vol 13276 Fol 00063

Lot 174 DP 751644 Vol 13276 Fol 00064

Lot 175 Sec L DP 751644

Lot 176 DP 751644 Vol 13276 Fol 00064

Lot 181 DP 751644 Vol 13276 Fol 00061

Lot 182 DP 751644 Vol 13276 Fol 00062

Lot 183 DP 751644 Vol 4329 Fol 00141


  James Flanagan and Eleanor Grant  
    1. Has Children Jane Elizabeth Flanagan b: 1833 in Parramatta, NSW
    2. Has No Children William Flanagan b: 12 MAR 1840 in Bathurst, NSW
    3. Has Children John James Flanagan b: 12 MAR 1840 in Bathurst, NSW
    4. Has Children Rose Flanagan b: 5 AUG 1842 in Bathurst, NSW
    5. Has Children Emily Willie Flanagan b: 26 DEC 1844 in Hartley, NSW
    6. Has No Children James Jeremiah William Flanagan b: 5 NOV 1846
    7. Has Children Annie Eugenie Flanagan b: 20 OCT 1848
    8. Has Children Selina Mary Flanagan b: 23 NOV 1851 in Hartley, NSW
    9. Has No Children Agnes Flanagan
  •  William Redfern Watt
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1 JAN 1813 in Belfast, IRELAND
  • Death: 17 OCT 1894 in Waverley, NSW
  • Burial: 18 OCT 1894 Waverley, NSW
  • Immigration: C 1832
  • Occupation: Grazier
  • Religion: Anglican
  • Father: James Watt
    Mother: Mary Redfern

    Marriage 1 Mary Grant b: 1817 in Hartley, NSW
    • Married: 1838 in Hartley, NSW