The Glen, or "First Farm".
 

First Farm since the current restoration.



One of the more interesting properties in the valley is that now called “The Glen”, this is situated behind the hill on which the township of St. Albans sits. It is about 8 kilometres on the Wollombi road towards the St. Albans Common. On this property, back from the road overlooking a small lagoon, is a single-story sandstone house. This house was built by the first settler John Bailey to be granted land in “The Town of Howick” that was close to the Town of Macdonald that later became St. Albans.

St. Albans was thought to have been named by John Bailey in memory of his father after the town is England where John’s Father William Bayley was supposedly born. [The name became Bailey because John misspelt his family name.] This has been proven to be untrue as William Bayley has been identified in the English records as born in Staffordshire in 1756 and was sentanced in Staffordshire [30th. July 1788] to seven years deportation arriving aboard the "Matilda" in August 1791 aged 35 years. St. Albans is in the English county of Hertfordshire some considerable distance away.
He married his first wife Ann Archer [also a convict] in Australia in 1797 and settled at Portland Head near Winsor, where his son John was born. In later years William and his Wife moved to live with his oldest freeborn son. John was granted the "first" land near the village in 1823 and named it named "First Farm". John was a prolific breeder….. He married twice and fathered some 18 children; many direct descendents still live in the valley to this day. He was known locally as "Governor" Bailey.

John's first substantial stone house was two storeys plus attics and cellar, the cellar was severely undermined in the 1889 flood and the whole building rendered unsafe. It was demolished and some of the stone re-used to build the current stone house now called “The Glen”; that is situated on higher ground than the earlier house and is smaller. The original house was situated on the site of the present farm sheds on a small rise nearer the lagoon. It was not listed in the 1841 census so it must have been built after that, the flood that ruined it was the great flood of 1889 mentioned above.

John was granted his land on his petition dated at Windsor on the 28th. June 1820 by Governor Macquarie, he was 21 years old. The title deeds were issued on the 13th. June 1823 to John Bailey, 60 acres, County of Northumberland, Township of Howick. It would seem that our John knew the area well as he had selected one of the best locations of the Crown lands available. No doubt that he probably spent much time "up the First Branch" as Portland Head where he was raised was not far away on the road to Windsor.


 

The Original Petition.

The Original Petition to Govenor Macquarie.
Sourced by Roslind Marsh Genealogy.

This was written, probably on behalf of John by a scribe or solicitor, when he turned 21 years old and as he was "free born" and now "of age" he is eligable to petition for land. This elegibility is confirmed by the note by John Croft who has vetoed the document for the Govenor. The actual Title deeds were not issued until 3 years later on the 13th. June 1823. It also confirms other records as to our William Bayley arriving aboard the "Matilda" and residing at Portland Head. Notice also, in the top left corner, the casual script "60 acres" presumably written by the Govenor who at the stroke of a pen, gave away 60 acres of the so called "terra nullus" and started the destiny of a new settler.
 
 



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