Ballina & Richmond River GenWeb
Stephen King was a convict (born 1812) who arrived in Australia in 1829. He was a brass cutter by trade. He was assigned to James Devlin & worked in a timber yard at Pennant Hills for 5 of his 7 sentenced years. He was granted a ticket of leave in 1834. This meant Stephen could choose his own employer within the Pennant Hills district. After another 2 years he gained his ticket of freedom. Stephen married Sarah Puttock. Their first child, Elizabethwas born in 1847 In 1838, Stephen was involved in an exploratory trip on the schooner, the Susan, to the Clarence. The sawyer in Steve liked the big cedars & he settled on the Clarence with his wife & daughter. Their second child, James John, was born in 1840.In 1842, Steve & some others, made an overland trip in search of the river up north. The Kings moved to the Richmond River, on the schooner, the Sally. Their third child, Robert, was born in 1843. Their last child, Richard was born at Tintenbar in 1844. Sarah & Stephen both died in 1859.
Biography of Steven King as donated by: Yvonne Szwedyz
Stephen King, aged 15
Edward Allen of No3 New John Street Birmingham labourer
deposith as follows:
John Meakin says: I am a shoemaker and lodge in the dwelling house of Thos. Wagstaff. of no. l37 in New John Street, Birmingham - On the 23rd of April instant between 6 and 7 o'clock I saw three lads come out of Mr Osler's yard in New John Street. I watched them and soon after I saw them return and go into Mr Osler's shop through the window, shortly after 1 saw two more lads go into Mr. Osler's yard and one of the lads who were in the shop came to shop window and said something to one of the two lads who were in the yard and those two in the yard then went into the shop and one held up his hand as a signal to those other lads who were standing at a distance and who stood out of sight. I then heard a noise in Mr Osler's shop like a saw and labourer at work - 1 gave the alarm to the wife, Edward Allen, a servant of Mr Olser. I then called to the lads in the shop to come out and I secured the prisoners John Allcock and Stephen King who were two of the lads to come out of the shop and the third lad who came out of the shop was the prisoner George Chidlow and he was secured by William Isles before I had lost sight of him. These three last mentioned lads I delivered to Edward Allen shortly after they were apprehended - when the prisoners were apprehended the other five lads ran off.
Al1en further says - I was sent for on about 7o'clock
on the night of the 23rd April instant and there found
the three prisoners in the custody of John Meakin in
Mr Osler's yard in New John Street. I then went into
Mr Osler's shops mentioned, and discovered that 18 feet
of lead piping which had been affixed to the building
of the said shop and which 1 saw as affixed on the morning
of that day had been cut or ript from the walls and
was cut into pieces of different lengths ready to carry
away. lt was laying on the shop floor where upon a police
officer was sent for and the three prisoners and the
lead so found delivered to him.
Sworn at Birmingham aforesaid
was assigned to one Thomas Develin (stepson of Thomas
Small), where he worked in the timber yard at Kissing
Point, Paramatta - as well as on Small's schooners.
(Thomas Small was a son of Sergeant John Small, who
came to the colonies as Doctor's dispenser on Govenor
Phillip's flag ship, the Sirius, in 1788. He weighed
well over 20 stone) Steve became one of the "trusted
men" and by the time he married Sarah in 1836,
he already had the reputation and respect of his mates
as the best allround workman and saw keeper of the day.
The area along the Richmond River where he first made his home still bears his name - Steve King's Plain. By 1843, Steve had cattle on the plain, but his family had to come by boat, and Sarah did not join him till after the birth of Robert in April of that year.
Though Steve made his home at Ballina, he was forever
on the move (the timber licences never gave the cedar
cutters permanency), following the cedar. He was at
Tintenbar in 1851 and Brunswick Heads in 1852.
died at Ballina from inflammation( probably TB) ten
months after the death of Sarah. The informant was Richard
King, who was living at Emmigrant Creek at the time.
"Stephen King "- by his son in law, Charles Jarrett:
The first of the pioneers, Stephen King, should take precedence, he being the leading spirit and recognised leader of the sawyer pioneers of the Richmond. Joined to this was a restless, persevering disposition, ever on the alert for fresh adventures and new cedar lands.
Steve, Sarah and members of their family have headstones or plaques in the Memorial Wall and Pioneer Cemetery at Ballina.
His brother Richard, followed him to Australia some
years later - how he came, I do not know.
The Bawden Lectures; June1886, July 1886, August 1888.
There arises some difficulty as to who, outside the officials,
is entitled to the honour of first receiving and acting
on the information from Craig* as to the cedar producing
and pastoral qualities of this district. It seems that
the information was communicated to two sets of people
at the same time. Both Thomas Small Snr, of Kissing Point
and Francis Girard of Sydney despatched sailing vessels
from Sydney to the "Big River", the former sending
the "Susan", the latter, the "Taree"-
subsequently wrecked on the bar. Francis Girard was a Frenchman,
but had been living in London before arriving in Sydney
in 1820. In 1825, he set up a bakery in George Street
and in 1828 had the Government contracts for supplying
the soldiers and convicts with bread. He was frequently
"mulct" for its bad quality, and on 22/7/1828
the soldiers rioted and broke windows of his house with
his own ill-baked, unwholesome bread. His windmill for
grinding his flour was at Darlinghurst, near what is now
the corner of Macleay and Roslyn Streets. In 1826 he fenced
in a piece of crown land adjoining it, and defended his
possession against the redoubtable Governor Darling for
over four years. He recovered 60 pounds damages and 57
pounds costs against authorities for pulling the fence
down, but was eventually "cast".
His vessel, the "Taree", was built by William Wynter on the Manning River and first arrived in Sydney on 12/9/1834. She was 48 tons, carvel built and rigged as a brigantine with square sails on her foremast. She had one deck, a standing bowsprit, a square stern and no galleries. She was 52ft6" long, 15ft wide and her hold was 7ft6" deep. The figurehead represented a black native.
The "Susan" was a schooner of 52 tons and was named by Thomas Small after his second daughter - who became the wife of Capt. Henry Alderson. In the "Susan" were a number of sawyers, amongst them one known as Steve King. It is highly probable that King's Island was named for this Steve King.
Steve's son James, was the first white child born at the Clarence.
In about 1842, when the best of the cedar had been cut
from the Clarence, he moved to the Richmond. A letter
of the late Henry Barnes states that when he came to the
Richmond in 1843, there were already cattle on "Steve
King's Plain", near Wyrallah
Capt. Henry Burns was at this time, one of the crew. The
Susan appears to have been the first to enter the river.
The "Taree" also had a number of sawyers on
board, a person named Williams, as overseer. The latter
pitched upon the place now known as Tynedale for his headquarters
- it being known as "William's Flat" for many