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Edward Drinkwater

Edward Drinkwater, one of 172 convicts transported on the Minerva, 26 July 1821

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Edward Drinkwater
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1790
Occupation: Publican
Date of Death: 14th April, 1870
Age: 80 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 14 years

Crime: Receiving
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Minerva
Departure date: 26th July, 1821
Arrival date: 16th December, 1821
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 172 other convicts


Primary source: Huntley parish records
Source description: This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.

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Community Contributions

Anonymous on 24th March, 2012 wrote:

Edward Drinkwater was about 30 years old and keeper of the General Townsend public House in Oxford Street, when he was indicted for receiving stolen goods (a teapot and plates etc.,) from William Robinson and William Powell.(old Bailey).

Col.Sec.12/4/1824: On list of prisoners assigned.
11/10/1825: Petition for Conditional Pardon.

Gov.Rec.1825: TOL District of Parramatta - born in Glouscester and trade was a servant.
1829-1840 CSre Land: papers re land originallyh owned by John Fuller 1838-39.
6/9/1832: Rocommended for Conditional Pardon.
He held Publican Licenses from 1835 to 1846 for the Union Inn, Parramatta and
the Coach and Horses, Parramatta. from then he owned land and was farming and had livestock, a man called Thomas Contact was his overseer for the property.  He became quite a prominent figure in the town of Parramatta, having a servant ((Ann Stilton, Grenada,)  assigned to him and also signing community petitions for a medical man in Parramatta etc.

1841 Census: He was in the parish of Hunters Hill, District of Parramatta.

1845: He married Elizabeth Hillas at C of E Hunters Hill.
They had 9 children.

14/11/1868: Funeral of his wife Elizabeth, aged 41 and was living in Sorrell Street, Parramatta.

16/4/1870: Edward’s funeral at St. Ann’s church and his residence was Longsight, Ryde.

Brian Leckey on 1st May, 2012 wrote:

I am a great,great,great grand son of Edward Drinkwater, convict, and some of the information you have on Edward Drinkwater, convict, is not correct. He did not marry Elizabeth Hillas he married Elizabeth Moon before he was convicted and only had one son, Edward Frederick Drinkwater and it is his son that married Elizabeth Hillas.

After Edward Drinkwater, Convict, was given his Ticket of Leave, his wife and child came to Australia, free and first class on the "jupiter" in 1823 and joined their husband and father and set up a business on the corner of George and Phillip Sts, Parramatta, as a cake and bakery shop.
I have a lot more information on Edward Drinkwater and am in the process of obtaining more. I will provide this at a later time when I have finished my investigation

D Wong on 19th March, 2014 wrote:

The following history notes were prepared by Brian Leckey, great, great, great grandson of Edward Drinkwater, Convict, from information obtained from items published in Newspapers, Sydney & Government Gazettes and periodicals distributed in Sydney, Parramatta, Ryde & Maitland during the life of Edward Drinkwater.

1. Edward Drinkwater was born about 1788/90 and was a native of Huntley, Gloucestershire. He married Elizabeth Moon from Godalming, Surrey and they had a son, Edward Frederick Drinkwater who was born in Gloucester, England, about 1820. They had no other children.

2. In 1821, Edward Drinkwater was the keeper of the “General Townsend” public house at No.251 Oxford Street, London, not far from Marble Arch, when he was charged with receiving stolen goods [a silver teapot, silver stand, silver spoons and plates]. He pleaded innocence but was found guilty and was sentenced to 14 years in the colonies.

3. Later in 1821, he was transported to Australia in the “Minerva” [172 convicts]. The master of the “Minerva” was Captain Bell, who gave Edward Drinkwater a good report. His convict number was 582/2056, he was 5ft 8inches tall of ruddy complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair. On his arrival in Sydney on 16 December 1821, he was assigned as valet and manservant to Captain Fennell of Parramatta, previously ADC to the Governor.

4. In 1823, his wife Elizabeth [nee Moon} and their only child, Edward Frederick, came to Sydney on the “Jupiter” travelling first class. His wife joined her husband at Parramatta.

5. Edward Drinkwater was industrious and well behaved and recommendations from Captain Fennell and the Parramatta Magistracy resulted in The Governor granting him a Ticket of Leave [Conditional Parole] on 7 November 1825 [Sydney Gazette 1 December 1825, p.3]

6. Edward and his wife then set up a cake shop and bakery in 1825 and in the 1828 census they are listed as shopkeepers and their address is given as “Coach and Horses” Inn, corner Church and Phillip Sts, Parramatta. He had been granted a licence in 1825 and was probably in charge of running the Inn and the cake and bakery were probably part of the Inn. [A sketch of the “Coach and Horses” is attached on page 6]

7. In August 1825, the dwelling house of Edward Drinkwater at the “Coach and Horses” Inn was broken into and a number of valuable items were stolen. The items were listed in the Sydney Gazette of 18 August 1825, p.4, [See Note 2, page 5] and they indicated he was already a man of some substance. This would indicate that his wife had brought with her a not inconsiderable sum of money & other valuable items. He offered a reward of 40 pounds for information that would lead to the apprehension of the thief.

8. In the early to mid 1830’s, he decided to become a farmer and purchased land at Kissing Point, Ryde. This property was the original Crown Grant of 30 acres to James Bradley in 1794. The property fronted the Kissing Point Road [now Morrison Road] and its southern boundary was the Parramatta River with a landing quay 265 feet long. Its eastern boundary is now Belmore Road. The property to the west was owned by Isaac Shepherd. Growing on the property were all types of fruit trees, berries, grapes & vegetables.

9. In 1829, a recommendation signed by 15 citizens for Edward Drinkwater’s conditional pardon was lodged with the Governor. The recommendation included the signatures of Gregory Blaxland, the explorer, his brother John Blaxland, Mr A Innes JP, the Police Magistrate and Rev. Samuel Marsden. His conditional pardon was granted in December 1835 [Pardon No.146] [Gov. Gazette 30 Dec 1835]


10. In 1835 he owned land at Wollombi, Hunter River, near the village of Ellalong, where he ran cattle and horses. His overseer was T. Cornack. The property was approximately 13 miles from Maitland and adjoined the properties of Capt Nicholson and Robert Crawford. He offered 20 pounds reward for the conviction of the person who stole 2 bullocks and one cow from his Wollombi property.
11. In 1837 he offered a 40 pounds reward after a five years old mare, a two years old colt and a filly foal went missing from Thomas Fuller’s paddock at Castle Hill near Parramatta.
12. His son, Edward Frederick Drinkwater [Pupil No. 238] attended The Kings School, Parramatta, in 1838 and 1839 as a day student.
13. In 1838 he was successful in winning the Case of an Eviction Order brought against him by an heiress of Governor Bligh who claimed the property. The property was at the corner of Phillip and Church Sts, Parramatta, and was the site of the “Coach and Horses” Inn. The property had been leased by Sir Thomas Brisbane to Charles Steward [deceased] and occupied by Drinkwater. Drinkwater produced evidence to the court that he had spent 1000 pounds on improving the property and was entitled to a Deed of Grant as provided in the lease. He won his case and the “Coach and Horses” became his. He then advertised it for lease for a period of any term of years as agreed upon, as the current lease with Mr John Piesley expired on 1 July 1838. The property consisted of nine rooms, good stabling, bake house, gardens and good yard; was near the new bridge and opposite the intended new market place. At this time he was probably living at his Kissing Point property.
14. He was on the Committee of the Australian Horticultural Society in 1839 & 1840 and submitted exhibits in 1841 and on 27 April 1843, he was elected on a Committee for the establishment of the Cumberland Agricultural Society for the promotion of agriculture and the improvement of breeding stock. He entered oranges, mandarins, lemons & pears in exhibitions in 1844 & 1845 by the Floral and Horticultural Society and won prizes.
15. He was interested in horse racing and may have owned race horses as he was breeding horses. He made subscriptions to the Parramatta Turf Club in 1841.
16. He purchased four blocks of land in Palmer Street, Parramatta, extending from the Church Street corner to his friend, Mark Hillas’ property at the Sorrell Street corner and one of the blocks had a frontage to Parramatta River. He leased one of the Palmer Street blocks to John Fuller in 1841.
17. He held a publicans licence for the Union Inn, Church Street, Parramatta, from 1835 to 1846. The exact location of this Inn has not been established but was probably at the corner of Church & Palmer Sts.
18. In 1841 he offered 40 pounds reward after 2 mares went missing from his Kissing Point paddock and in 1844, he offered 10 pounds reward following the theft of 55 young mandarin trees and 25 orange trees from his Kissing Point property.
19. In July 1844 he was a jury member at the Central Criminal Court for the case against George Vigors, Thomas Burdell and John Rankin for the murder of James Noble by stabbing on the evening of 26 May 1844. They were found guilty and sentenced to be hanged.
20. On 25 November 1845, his only son, Edward Frederick Drinkwater, married Elizabeth Hillas, the daughter of Mark Hillas of Stanhope Farm, Toongabbee. They had nine children, the youngest, Georgina Catherine Drinkwater was born on 3 August 1866 and only survived for eleven months. [See also Item 35]
21. In October 1847, he entered items in the maiden show of the Cumberland Agricultural & Horticultural Society and won prizes for strawberries & mandarins, but missed out on awards for his cows and heifers.

22. In October 1847, he put his 30 acres Kissing Point property up for sale for 4500 pounds, which was at that time a considerable sum. The description of the property by the selling agent indicates a substantially developed property with access to Parramatta River by a quay as well as road access. [See page 8 for property description] It is not known whether it was sold at that time, but his address was still Kissing Point in 1852. He probably purchased his other property “Longsight” about this time and at least prior to 1857. The location of “Longsight” has not been determined exactly, but it is described as being on the Great North Road about half a mile from Ryde Town Centre, about one mile from the Kissing Point Ferry and was near John Blaxland’s property, “The Hermitage”. Edward Drinkwater was the owner of the 65 acres originally granted to John Stroud in 1795, and this grant was on the Great North Road and was close to “The Hermitage”. He was also the owner of properties known as “Bradley Cottage” and “Pino House”, which are described as being adjoining or opposite “Longsight”. Pino House was located on 35 acres, which was part of the 75 acres originally granted to William Richardson in 1795. As Richardson’s Grant adjoined Stroud’s Grant, it would be reasonable to assume that “Longsight” & “Bradley Cottage” were located within Stroud’s Grant. [See Item 39] If not located within Stroud’s Grant, they would be located on land nearby.
23. In 1848, 1849, 1856 and 1857, he signed a number of petitions requesting various gentlemen to stand for the Legislative Council. These gentlemen included William Macarthur of Camden Park, Charles Cowper, Nelson Lawson, Robert Fitzgerald, James Bynes of Edgeworth Cottage, Parramatta, John Beit and Henry Parks.
24. In Jan 1854, he made a subscription for the testimonial to E Deas Thomson of £1-1-0. The total contributions to that date were £2260. [Mr Thomson was Colonial Secretary and the testimonial was presented to him when he travelled to England to restore his health]

25. Sometime during the 1850’s, he became a Trustee of the Field of Mars and Hunters Hill Commons and there are many references in local newspapers concerning his actions as a Trustee. He resigned as a Trustee in 1869, due probably to his advancing age and health reasons

26. A notice in the SMH on 13 May 1854 stated His Excellency, the Governor General has notified the receipt of a letter from the Warden of the Town of Parramatta, certifying the return of the following gentlemen [Mr Edward Drinkwater and two others] to serve as Members of the District Council of Parramatta.

27. In February 1855, he attended a public meeting at the Parochial School House, Ryde, to consider the establishment of a “Patriotic Fund” to accept contributions to support Great Britain in the struggle in the Crimean War. He was elected to a committee to receive contributions and moved a motion that Mr John Bettington act as treasurer and secretary. Edward Drinkwater contributed £5-5-0, Mrs Drinkwater £5 and Master Edward Joseph Drinkwater, their grandson of 9 years of age, 5/-.

28. In 1856, Edward Drinkwater was elected a Director of Parramatta River Steam Navigation Co [He was also a shareholder]. Other Directors were I Shepherd, J Devlin, C Blaxland & D W Joubert. The object of the company was to obtain a steam vessel to convey produce from Ryde to Sydney Markets.

29. In May 1857, he attended a meeting at William’s Hotel, Parramatta, to consider the subject of Steam Boat communication with England via the Panama.
30. In November 1857, the following notice appeared in the SMH – “Public House to Let – The old established public house on the corner of Church and Palmer Streets, Parramatta, known as ‘The Sign the Case is Altered’ at present in full licence. Rent not to commence until 1 January 1858, due to it undergoing repairs. Application to be made to James Gallaway, Macquarie Street, Parramatta, or to Edward Drinkwater, Kissing Point. [This may have been previously known as the Union Inn].
31. In 1860, he signed a petition to the NSW Government to declare Ryde a Municipality. The petition was unsuccessful and Ryde was not declared a Municipality until after Edward Drinkwater’s death.
32. In 1861, a proposal was being considered to sell part of the Field of Mars Common to finance the construction of roads and bridges so as to connect the Great North Road with Sydney. As a Trustee of the Common he was against the sale of part of the Common and organised meetings to gain support against the proposal. In June 1863 a meeting of commoners was called to consider a petition urging the Government to resume the Field of Mars Common for the above purpose and as Edward Drinkwater had purchased and sold property near the Common, he was examined on the value of the land in the Common. During the same year, Edward Drinkwater submitted a petition to the Legislative Assembly, as Trustee of the Field of Mars Common requesting the Government to not divest any of the Common from its original purpose. Sometime after Edward Drinkwater’s death, the Government resumed part of the Common and it was sold to finance the construction of the above roads and bridges.
33. In 1867, a formal application was made to the Council for Education for a public school to be established in Ryde for 200 pupils. A local contribution of 100 pounds [Guaranteed by J S Farrell, Edward Drinkwater, G Wicks, W Small & J Devlin] was promised towards the cost of a school building. The site selected was Stanley’s Inn in Parks Street – a stone building with a shingle roof in an area of 10 acres. The site was purchased for 280 pounds and the school opened in June/July 1868.
34. In 1867, the following notice appeared in Bell’s Life in Sydney & Sporting Chronicle in regard to the creation of a new Parish Road:-
Parish Road – Road from the road from Pennant Hills to Parramatta, to the Great North Road at Drinkwater’s 65 acres, with two branch roads therefrom to the Field of Mars Common and The Great North Road running through the lands of Drinkwater, John Blaxland, Mrs Bennett, Timothy Small, ? Darvall, Mrs Foster, William Foster, James Eyles, Thomas Hughes and John Bevan.
35. On 22 May 1867, Edward Drinkwater’s wife Elizabeth [nee Moon] died at their property “Longsight”, Ryde. She was 76 years of age and the daughter of John Moon of Godalming, Surrey, England. The death notice stated that Edward Drinkwater was a native of Huntley, Gloucestershire, England. She was buried by the Rev. George E Turner on 24 May 1867 in St Anne’s Cemetery, Ryde. No headstone on the grave has survived.
36. On 12 November 1868, Elizabeth [nee Hillas], the wife of Edward Frederick Drinkwater [Edward Drinkwater’s son], died at her husband’s residence at the corner of Palmer and Sorrell Sts, Parramatta, and is buried in All Saint’s Cemetery, Parramatta. Edward Frederick Drinkwater died on 1 February 1897 and is buried with his wife. The grave headstone has survived. Their youngest child, Georgina Catherine, who only survived for eleven months and is the only one of the nine children that is buried with them. The other eight children reached adulthood.

37. In October 1869, a notice appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald advising of a meeting of the Field of Mars and Eastern Farms Commoners to fill the vacancies of two trustees due to the resignation of Edward Drinkwater and E P Laycock, such meeting to be held at the Court of Petty Sessions, Ryde on Thursday 28 October 1869.

38. In December 1869 and January 1870, Edward Drinkwater lodged an application under the Real Property Act to obtain title to the following property:-
“Application 2454 – North Parramatta, Parish of Field of Mars, 1 acre 3 roods 20 perches at the intersection of Wentworth and Macquarie Streets and bounded on the east by Macquarie Street, southerly 5 chains, then westerly, then south, west by Hunt Street and north by Wentworth Street, being part of the 50 acres granted to Joseph Saville”.
Wentworth and Macquarie Sts do not now exist and Wentworth St may have been the local name given by residents to the road separating Saville’s Grant and Wentworth’s Grant.


39. A notice appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald of 2 March 1870, offering for sale “Longsight”, “Bradley Cottage” and “Pino House”, but the properties were not sold due to the death of Edward Drinkwater shortly afterwards. They were again offered for sale on 2 November 1870. The notice stated:-

“FOR SALE, the FARM at Ryde, known as LONGSIGHT, near the residence of the Hon. J. Blaxland, estimated at 18 acres, planted with the choicest fruit trees and vines. On it is erected a Cottage, with 11 rooms, good cellar, coach-house and usual out-buildings, together with stone tank, 161/2 feet square.
Also BRADLEY COTTAGE, opposite Longsight, containing 6 good rooms, one large 3-stalled stable and shed, a tank of good water, never known to fail. It stands on about 25 acres of land, four of which, planted as an orchard, contain the choicest fruit-trees.
Also, PINO HOUSE, and about 35 acres of land, portion of Richardson’s grant, twenty of which planted with fruit-trees. The house contains 4 good rooms, a kitchen and store-room, with all necessary out-buildings, and a never-failing tank of good water.
Apply to Mr. E. DRINKWATER, on the Premises; or to Mr. Dawson, Solicitory, 136, Pitt-street, Sydney.”

40. Edward Drinkwater died on 14 April 1870 at his property “Longsight” and was buried in St Anne’s cemetery, Ryde, on 16 April 1870 by the Rev Fred Creemy, near his wife. His grave headstone has not survived.

1.  A property title search will be required at the Land Titles Office to establish the dates Edward Drinkwater bought and sold his many properties in Parramatta and Ryde. Not all the properties he obtained during his lifetime are referred to in the above history notes. It is known that he also obtained title to Crown Land near Braidwood, NSW.
2. Items stolen from Edward Drinkwater’s home at the Coach & Horses Inn as listed in the Sydney Gazette of Thursday 18 August 1825, page 4:-
4 Pairs of Linen Sheets
2 Gowns
1 Apron
1 Petticoat
1 Pair of Stays
2 Silk Handkerchiefs
1 Pair of Kerseymere Breeches with Pearl Buttons
1 Blue Frock Coat
1 Blue Waistcoat
1 Marseilla Pink Waistcoat
1 Silver Watch with 3 Gold Seals with one of the Seals engraved with the Initials ED
on a Cornelian Stone, one an Egyptian Stone and the other a Blood Stone
with an Olive Leaf
Reward 40 Pounds

3.  Brian Leckey’s ancestry showing his relationship to Edward Drinkwater, convict, is shown on Page 7.



To be sold by public auction
On Monday 1 November 1847
At the Mart King Street
At 12 o’clock precisely

It is situated and bounded on the south by the Parramatta River, on the north by the Kissing Point Rd and Mr Devlin’s property, on the west by the orchard of the late respected Mr Shephard and on the east by that of Mrs Blanch.

You enter upon the property south by a landing quay 265 feet long where the contexture of the neighbourhood presents the happiest disposition of objects. A little further on you pass the semicircular grove of orange trees which ornament beautifully and give value to the foregrounds. Rounding the “Actium” or the promontory fixed for the site of the mansion, the road leads through an avenue 740 feet long, with three tiers of vine terraces and parapet stone walls, showing the extraordinary exertions, industry and taste, which has been adopted by the proprietor to bring this division of the grounds into its present state of completion, besides perfecting grottoes, cucumber and radish beds, for the growth of stomachics and other esculents.

NOTE – The auctioneer, craving the indulgence of the public, may be permitted to point out that the occupation of such a nursery is eminently calculated to make a man superior to himself in lieu of mixing with the drudgery and turmoil of Sydney life; he revels in the enjoyment of the blossoms, fragrance, fruits and productions, which are constantly changing in the review before him, and he becomes more respectable by become more allied to nature – “twould require the pen of a Michie to do justice to its beauties

First – A cut stone cottage with four rooms
Second – A weather-board ditto with five rooms
Both very comfortable
Third – A stone cut Store, 25 x 15, and loft above
Fourth – A stone cut Store, 46 x 25, - coach

D Wong on 19th March, 2014 wrote:

The above contribution was supplied by Brian Leckey on 19/3/2014.

D Wong on 25th March, 2014 wrote:

The following notes are a continuation of the information by Brian Leckey:
Fourth – A stone cut Store, 46 x 25, - coach-house, stable, two loose horse boxes, harness-room, flagged and finished in first-rate order, and a splendid floor above for the preservation of raisins, figs and other dried fruits.
The northern division of the plantation embraces all that can be imagined of oriental novelty and tropical production, including the Vineyard of 5 acres, trenched and planted with the most delicious varieties of
Thousands of other varieties of other fruits such as apples, peaches, pears, apricots, quinces, nectarines, plums, loquats, figs, cherries, mulberries, strawberries, raspberries, all vigorous and in their separate “compounds” and presenting the most splendid outbreak of the union of nature and art, which is to be seen either in this or any other colony.
Further notice of this unequalled property may be summed up by referring to the certificate of its value as appraised by Messrs Goodall and Bemi, viz, on the 25 June last:-
“Certificate of Valuation of the property of Mr Edward Drinkwater lying and situated at Kissing Point, in the Parish of Hunter’s Hill, in the County of Cumberland, being an original grant from the Crown to James Bradley-
“We the undersigned, do hereby certify that we have carefully surveyed the above Estate and we estimate the value to be:-
Cards to view may be had by applying to the Auctioneer, at the Mart, King Street.
Terms- £1000 of the purchase money may remain on mortgage at 6 per cent, £500 cash, and the residue as may be agreed upon.
With immediate possession.

Brian Leckey on 27th March, 2014 wrote:

The age of Edward Drinkwater at the time of his death in April 1870 was about 80 years. This has been assessed as follows:-
1. At the time of his conviction in February 1821, his age is given as 30
2. When he arrived in Sydney in December 1821 his age is given as 31
3. His birthday was sometime during 1821
4. This makes the year of his birth as 1790
5. He died in 1870
6. He was therefore 79 or 80 at the time of his death
7. His age could therefore be stated in the Convict Records as Approx 80

Jan on 9th April, 2014 wrote:

Edward was baptised on 25 April 1790 in Huntley Gloucestershire, the son of Thomas Drinkwater and Mary Peddy.

Convict Changes History

Anonymous on 24th March, 2012 made the following changes:

date of death 1870-04-16, gender m

D Wong on 25th March, 2014 made the following changes:

date of death: 14th April, 1870 (prev. 16th April, 1870)

D Wong on 27th March, 2014 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1821 (prev. 0000)

D Wong on 27th March, 2014 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1790 (prev. 1821)

Jan on 9th April, 2014 made the following changes:

source: Huntley parish records (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/4, Page Number 78)

This record was discovered and printed on ConvictRecords.com.au