Charlie Booth

By , April 26, 2011 11:17 am

Charlie was born near North Wheatley in Nottinghamshire about 1786, 2 years before Botany Bay had been visited by the First Fleet. He had a difficult start in life when he was transported to Australia for forging currency. He had stopped at a pub, perhaps after a hard day’s work and was one of seventeen people arrested when several forged one pound notes were found therein. The trial was held in the York Assizes and the evidence against him is confusing but there are suggestions that he may have been wrongly convicted.

Nevertheless he was transported to Botany Bay in 1817 for the crime. He left a pregnant wife, Rebecca, and a young family, Nathaniel (5) and Job (2). A daughter Kezia was born a few months later. He was aged just 31.

Job and Kezia later married (she to a George Pickering) and with their spouses, followed their Dad to Australia in the early 1840’s. They both left many descendants to the betterment of the nation. Some of these have provided much of the information to this article.

Despite an inauspicious start Charlie made good. His farming skills led to him being assigned as an overseer of stock to G T Palmer (son of the ship’s Purser on HMS Sirius) working on various Palmer grants from Bathurst to Wellington and beyond. He came to Guyong about 1829 and eventually became the first person to obtain a land grant at what is now called Millthorpe. During his time with Palmer he lived in a house that he presumably built himself, at Guyong. Here he played host to Surveyor Thomas Mitchell in 1832 and 1835 when the latter was passing through on his explorations to the west. Mitchell notes the fact in his diary in 1835 and recalled that the place had improved noticeably (it now had curtains) since his first visit there, due he thought, to the presence of a woman. Charlie had married Mary Anne Griffen who was aged 23. (A gap of seven years effectively legally rendered null his first marriage to Rebecca). They must have left soon after the 1835 visit to take up his grant at Millthorpe that he had obtained in 1834. The next recorded occupants of the house were Richard and Emma Glasson and their family of Emma, Lydia, Gustavus and Maria. They probably moved there about 1846 when Richard was renting land from the Guyong Estate.

Charlie Booth served 11 years of his 14 year sentence, 3 years on a ticket of leave and a further 4 years as a free man before he obtained his first land grant.

One of Charlie’s descendants, through his UK born son, Job Booth, was Daniel Booth. He married a Lavinia (?) Hart and they lived at at what today we call Hartly Cottage, now part of Godolphin. Dan sold Hartly to Bruce Gordon in 1952 when Dan’s wife died. An old milk pail to be seen in the stables at Godolphin has Daniel’s name stencilled on it. One of Dan’s five sons was Gilbert Booth who lived in Cadira with his wife, Floss and daughter Jenny in the 1950’s when he was working on the property.

Dan’s sister Bessie married a Mr H Cutler and they lived at Cadira, a home on the Godolphin property about 400 m west of Hartly. Their son was called after Charlie and went barefoot to the local school (so he used to jokingly tell his friend, Bruce Gordon) at Shadforth. He later became deputy premier of NSW as leader of the NSW Country Party. (The former Governor of NSW and VC winner, Roden Cutler was a cousin but probably never went barefooted).

One of Charlie’s great great grandsons, Brian, achieved sporting celebrity status when he played cricket for Australia in the 1960’s and also represented the nation in Hockey in the 1956 Olympics.

Charlie died on 15 October 1851, aged 68 [this means he was actually born in 1783 and not 1786]and was buried at the original cemetery at the Cornish Settlement (now called Byng). His executors were his wife Mary Anne and John Glasson (Richard’s brother) of Bookannon. He left the main property and the stock and plant of “Grove Farm” (1027 acres) to his wife and about 700 pounds in cash, split variously between Nathaniel, Job and Kezia. Specifically, Job Booth received the sum of one hundred Pounds Sterling, 600 ewes (“not to be above five years old”) and ten mares selected by the executors. The farm went out of Booth hands when Mary Anne who had no children with Charlie, remarried a neighbour William Bray in July 1852.

This was just months after the gold discovery at Ophir and the year the end of convict transportation became official. Charlie would no doubt have approved of both developments.

His house at Grove Farm can still be seen at the newly developed “Grove Estate”.

Not a bad legacy for a bloke dudded in a Nottinghamshire pub 35 years previously.

For more about Charlie follow the links shown.

3 Responses to “Charlie Booth”

  1. Margaret Small says:

    Peter Booth has today emailed me about your website, which is most interesting. I’m descended from Samuel Bray, Charles Booth’s wife’s second husband’s brother. Mary Anne left ‘New Grove Farm’ (William’s property) to Samuel to be divided between his children, but, alas, he was almost bankrupt soon after inheriting, and most of it was sold to pay his debts. Mary Anne left ‘Grove Farm’ to William’s sister’s four children, which seems tough on Charles’ children.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Margaret ..If Mary Anne left the farm to Samuel and he had to sell it to pay off his debts what then did she leave it to William’s four children? It seems Charlie had a rough time through his life and when de did make good his children inherited only his bad luck!

  3. David Booth says:

    Sadly, Grant Booth passed away September 1 2013.

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