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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 came to the colonies as a convict. A copy of the indent papers(A.O.N.S.W.Ref.:reel 398) from the "John 2"(the brig he was transported in) state the following:

Age: 17 Religion: Protestant Education: read & write
Status: single Native of: canterbury Calling: brass castor
Offence: "shop breaking" Tried: Warwick. 14/7/1828
Sentence: 7 years - no former convictions. Height: 5'2"
Complexion: ruddy, freckled. Hair: brown Eyes: blue
Remarks: scar on left side of forehead perpendicular scar at left side of mouth. SK and scar on right arm. 1K anchor and HN on left. Small scar at right temple circular scar over right eye. Left arm broken and crooked.
Disposal: Thomas Develin, Kissing Point.

The butts of tickets of leave, 1834(Reel 921) was dated 26/5/1834 (#34/427) and allowed him to reside in the District of Pennant Hills. His certificate of freedom is :Reel 995 #35/902.

Whether the injuries he sustained were the result of a difficult early life or occurred sometime after his arrest is unknown .However, it is testimony to the wild, free spirit and courage of the young man, that would be shown again and again throughout his life.

Stephen King, aged 15

WARWICKSHIRE- Edward Allen of No3 New John Street Birmingham labourer deposith as follows:
I am a servant to Mr Thos. Osler,on Wednesday the 23rd April instant between 5 and 6 o'clock I discovered that about from about 50 to 60 feet in length of the large lead main pipes which had been affixcd to the building of Mr.Osler's shops in New John Street, Birmingham for conveying gas to light those shops and about 60 feet in length of leaden…..pipes which had been affixed to the rain buttage together with 5 or 6 brass stop cocks attached to the same had been cut or ript and stolen from the said shops and that a lead pump with its appendages had also been stolen from the same shops but I did not see anybody about the premises. All these things I had seen safe in the shops but a few days before, and what led to discovery was that I first saw that the shop door was open and had been forced. This door I saw safely made the day before - the shops had not been used as for some weeks owing to Mr Osler having removed his brass factory from these to Great Charles Street. The leaden pump was not affixed to the building.

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.

Edward 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.
John Wefson a police officer for Birmingham being sworn his oath says: The 23rd April instant about 9 o'clock I received at Mr Osler's shops in New John Street, the three prisoners, Allcock, King and Chidlow into my custody and these pieces of the lead piping which I now produce which was lying on the shop floor and was shown to me by Edward Allen.

Sworn at Birmingham aforesaid
before us of his Majesty's justice of the peace for Warwickshire
23rd April 1828.
NB. Chidlow being only 11 Years old sent to the county asylum.

Steve 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.
Stephen was on the first boat to go to the Clarence and in 1841 he secured a timber lease and built a slab home for his young family. His son, Jimmy, was the first white boy born at the Clarence. In 1842, after stories of a large river told to him by the aboriginals with whom he had a great relationship, Steve took a few mates - James Maguire & co. from the Clarence area to search for this river and new stands of the rapidly disappearing cedar that was the basis of their livelihood.They had to cut an overland track through the scrub to the Richmond River area. King and Maguire(McGuire) used a whale boat, which they had carted on Joe Maguire's bullock dray, to investigate the waterways and terrain of the area. Success! An abundance of timber was found all along the river and creek banks. Steven King returned to the Clarence River to take his family and other cedar getters like Thomas Chilcott, George Cooper, Joseph Shelley, and others to the Richmond River onboard the "SALLY", which had been equipped by Mr.Small and another ship called "Northumberland", arriving at a point called Codrington, on the Lower Richmond River Northern NSW. It has been said that Steve, Sarah and several of the cedar cutters mentioned above went to New Zealand, and that the natives killed some of the children and kidnapped others, only releasing them when the men promised to take their families and leave the country.

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.
He explored and logged up to the Brunswick River with Johnny Boyd, Tom Boyd, Tom Ainsworth and Joe White. Steve was on the Burnswick sawing when the great hurricane and flood occurred on the 7th & 8th of May, 1849. Stephen King & friend Johnny Boyd went down to the beach for a break and came across an upturned ship. It was the wreck of the ‘George’. When Johnny Boyd knocked on it with a stick they were amazed to hear knocking from inside. They smashed the hull and found two men (Brown & Green). The men had spent two days and two nights in the upturned boat. The Captain stayed several weeks with the hospitable King and his wife, Sarah where his injuries were kindly attended to. (Notes of Charles Jarrett)

Stephen 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.
More about Steve can be found in Louise Tiffany Daley's book "Men and a River", "The Bawdin Lectures", "Reminiscences of James Ainsworth" and the notes of his son in law, Chares Jarrett. These can be found at the Richmond River Historical Society at Lismore among other places.

"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.
Steve King's Plain can be seen from the Bora Ring at Tucki Reserve, near Lismore and Coraki. N.S.W.

History of the Clarence and the Richmond: Settlement at the Clarence -

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".
(A full account may be read in The Historical Records of Australia, Series1, Volumes XV & XV1.) Afterwards, he appears to have lived at the corner of Oxford and Liverpool Streets.

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 years.
Mr Small's first party settled at Rocky Mouth, but subsequently proceeded to Woodford Island. Small appears to have been the first to bring cattle to this region, by boat, in 1836.

Copy of page originally transcribed by Mandy O'Neill (content remains unedited)
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