Most of these properties, numbered 31 to 45 belonged to soldiers in the 73rd Regiment who arrived in January 1810 with their commander Lachlan Macquarie. The military barracks were situated close by and Erskine Street was the military road down to the foreshore where a military bathing area was designated and the Powder Magazine at Soldiers Point at Cockle Bay- it was named after Lt. Gov. Erskine C.B. Colonel commanding the 48th Regiment who left the colony in 1823. In early 1814, the 73rd Regiment shipped out to Ceylon, and the soldiers sold their properties prior to their departure in March 1814. George Ruff, who already owned No. 34 (bought in 1811), further purchased No.17 (₤15), No.31 (₤36), No.36 (₤20), No.38 (₤12), No.39 (₤40), No.40 (₤9), No.45 (₤20).
At the same time, James Dempsey (Wexford rebel who also arrived on the 'Atlas 2', stone mason and devout Catholic) purchased No 35 (₤28) a 'house and premises, and other premises as therein described'; No. 53 (₤25) with Michael Ryan, 'a house a Premises with furniture'; and an un-numbered property in Kent Street from James Connor of the 73rd for ₤26, a house and allotment of ground. This may be the James O'Connor of the 73rd who had sold his property, No 34, to Geo Ruff in 1811.
The description also indicates that the property was on the western side of Kent street facing east which is Section 57 on the maps of the Parish.
As noted, one of James Dempsey's properties was No 35 Kent Street. Columbus Fitzpatrick wrote to the Goulburn Argus in July 1865:
Father O'Flynn left the Blessed Sacrament at the house of the late Mr James Dempsey of Kent Street near to Erskine Street, and next door to the then residence of Mr Thomas Day, the boat builder.
(1828 Census, 1832 and 1834 Sydney Directory- Thomas Day b.c.1794-97, boat builder, Monument House, Kent Street- son of Thomas Day Snr arr. 2nd Fleet).
The following advert appears to confirm that Dempsey's property and therefore Butler's both backed onto Cockle Bay. It also confirms that Dempsey no longer owned it:
Looking at a 1833(?) map of Section 57, one can see that Thomas Day owned two properties in this section, which makes it difficult to then pinpoint which property would have been Dempsey's and thereby Butler's. Notably both of Day's properties adjoin Cockle Bay at the rear with the one on the right more suitable for a boat builder.
Notably, the McGuigan's and James Dempsey's son Cornelius Dempsey (who followed James from Wexford in 1817) were involved in a Chancery dispute over properties in George Street and 19 perches in Kent Street (which of Dempsey's Kent street properties is not specified). This dispute was after James Dempsey's death on 6 February 1838, leaving son Cornelius Dempsey as an executor. Notably James's Kent Street properties were not mentioned in his will.
As well, Mary Ann McGuigan, aged 11, was living with Cornelius Dempsey at Lower Minto in the 1828 Census, indicating a close relationship between the McGuigan's and the Dempseys.
As stated in Laurence Butler's Will, his estate included the property No. 32 Kent Street described in the sale agreement as:
" a dwelling house, outhouses, yards, gardens, ground and premises."
The Kent Street property was subject to a case in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in December 1829, 'Bell vs Leary'.
George Bell rented the premises in Kent Street from Miles Leary (viz. the man who took charge of Butler's workshop after his death) for 15s./week and was behind two weeks rent- probably George Bell, labourer, wife Martha and 6 children named in the 1828 Census living in Kent Street.
The Australian newspaper reported that Bell stated he had notice from a 'Mr Butler' to pay Leary no rent (ie. Laurence's son Walter Butler). The Sydney Gazette reported that 'Young Butler' had demanded to be paid rent instead of paying it to Leary. Witness John Connell (the Butler's neighbour in Pitt St) stated that he was appointed executor jointly with Mr Davis (ie. William Davis- Wexford rebel and close friend of Butler's) following the death of Laurence's wife Ann Butler in 1824, and the house in question was demised to defendant (Leary) on condition of his effecting certain repairs, in consideration of which, he was to receive the rent until his expenses were reimbursed, but that he had never sent in his bill.
Conclusion of trial: Bell was ordered to pay the 30s. owing)
(refer to full details of this trial in chapter on Ann Roberts and Miles Leary)
Miles Leary died before June 1834 and his estate demised to William Davis and John Leary by the Court. They were named as beneficiaries in an unsigned Will by Leary, witnessed by Leary's solicitor who stated that Leary was too ill to sign the document. It is unknown what then became of the Kent Street property. In the 1832 Post Office Directory for Sydney, Lawrence Butler Junior is listed as living in Kent Street- whether at this property in unknown, but seems likely. The Sydney Directory of 1834 had George Bell living at 100 Pitt Street, so he was no longer occupying the Kent Street property. By 1834 both Lawrence Junior and Walter were the licensees for pubs in Pitt Street and George Street
The following adverts give an idea of the value of the Kent street properties in the 1830's:
George Lane who sold the property to Laurence, and who still owned a property behind the said property in 1820 when Butler sold his to Willmot, was living in Philip Street in the 1828 Census, a stone cutter who arrived in 1802, and died in 1835.
George Allen, solicitor, who arrived with his mother in 1816, was admitted as a solicitor in 1822 and opened his practice in Elizabeth Street in 1825.
Contact email address: butler1802 @hotmail.com (NB. no spaces)
Link back to Introduction:
Links to all the chapters in this blog:
The 1798 rebellion
Laurence Butler's trial for his role in the Rebellion
Analysis of Butler's trial
Laurence Butler at the Battle of Tubberneering
Laurence Butler's imprisonment
Butler's life and family in Wexford
Laurence Butler's transportation to Sydney in 1802 on the Atlas 2
Conditions on Convict Ships
Life as a convict in Sydney
Laurence Butler's property investments in Pitt Street Sydney
Sydney Town in 1800-1810
Laurence Butler's petitions to the Governor
Laurence Butler's 100 acre land grant in District of Petersham
Butler's membership of the Commercial Society of Sydney
Laurence Butler's court cases
Laurence Butler's business interests in Sydney
Laurence Butler's cabinet making business
Laurence Butler's property investments in Sydney
Laurence Butler's colonial family
Laurence Butler's death in 1820
Laurence Butler's issue- Walter, Lawrence Junior and Mary Ann
The Catholic Community of Sydney up until 1820
Genealogy- Butler's possible ancestry and possible descendants in Ireland, and BDM records
Butler's fellow Irish rebels transported to Sydney
Conclusion about the life of Laurence Butler