This soldier made many attempts to return to New South Wales but without success. Lieutenant Hadley Remained in England where he died. He has been given his own page as he would have made a contribution to Australian History as he was a member of the New South Wales Corps and one of the few uncorrupted officers
Some information supplied by Karen Hadley email@example.com
Written by, and the property, of Karen Hadley no part may be copied unless with express permission from the writer. This article is governed and protected by the copyright of this web site
William Hadley was born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire on 1st February 1777. He was the 5th child of Isaac Hadley and Anne Glover. He married Sarah Felton, daughter of John & Mary, at St. Peters Church, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire on 14th April 1796.
At the age of 22 on 3rd May 1799, William joined the Royal Birmingham Fencibles. The Fencibles were hostilities-only full-time regulars who were limited to home service; he served with them for 5 years before joining the 37th Regt as Ensign without purchase on 21st April 1804. He transferred to various Regiments after the 37th Regt. and in doing so travelled the globe and gained promotion. But it was the next chapter in his career that would remain with him throughout his lifetime, and would have repercussions within his family for the next two generations.
On the 18th May 1808 William, accompanied by his wife Sarah and their five children aged between 18 months and 11 years, sailed from Falmouth aboard the convict ship “SPEKE”. William helped guard its cargo of 99 women, two of whom would not survive the voyage. The women were destined for the Female Factory in Parramatta, where they would make rope and spin carded wool. The trip lasted 182 days arriving at Port Jackson in Sydney on 16th November 1808.
He had only been in New South Wales for a few months, when in April 1809 under the self- constituted government formed after Governor Bligh’s arrest during the Rum Rebellion, Lieutenant Governor William Paterson rewarded William with a land grant in recognition of meritorious services performed in connection with the quelling of a convict outbreak. He received 100 acres of land in the Parramatta District in the Parish of Liberty Plains, which he cleared and cultivated before building a house for his ever-growing family.
In December 1809 England regained control of the colony with the arrival of the newly appointed Governor Lachlan Macquarie, who issued a proclamation declaring as null and void all grants of land made by the “Usurped Government”. By the same proclamation the Governor declared that it was the Royal will and pleasure that all such grants should upon proper application, and subject to the Governor’s approval, be renewed, but under no circumstances whatsoever was the concession to be extended to any officers of the 102nd Regiment.
It was under these circumstances that William’s grant was annulled, and that as an officer of the 102nd Regiment, was debarred under the Governor’s proclamation from receiving another grant in lieu.
In April 1810, the officers of the disgraced 102nd Regiment were ordered to return to England, but Governor Macquarie gave William, subject to his resigning his commission, permission to remain in the colony as a settler, because he had not been in Sydney on the date of Governor Bligh’s arrest and therefore had nothing to do with the Rum Rebellion. The 102nd Regiment left Port Jackson to return to England via Cape Horn on 12th May 1810. William did not sail with them, not because he had resigned his commission but because he was on Sick Certificate.
It is not clear at this point, what William’s official status was or where he re-sided. Effectively he had been left behind whilst sick. He had not resigned his commission, was considered, as still in the army and therefore not a settler, and in addition he no longer legally owned the land he had been granted. His main concern at this time would have been to continue to support his large family and this would have been the main basis for the decisions he made. He used this interim time to apply to the Governor for land and men to work it, however his requests were denied on the grounds that having not resigned his commission he could not be considered a free settler and therefore not accorded the advantages of such.
On 24th August 1811, having heard that several ships were leaving the colony for England, William wrote to his Commanding Officer Captain John Piper, asking him to apply on his behalf to Governor Macquarie for passage for him and his family so that he could rejoin his Regiment. He also asked for lodging money since he had been left behind on Sick Certificate when his Regiment left the Colony almost 18 months previous. The Governor was unable to grant payment for passage money, as the Government was not in the habit of paying for Officers who missed embarkation whether through sickness or not. However he did grant payment for his lodging money, from the date the Regiment sailed.
In September 1811, William approached the Governor with a view to obtaining the original grant of land he had lost when the Grant was annulled. He explained that he had incurred considerable expense in clearing, cultivating and building a house on the land and that in addition he had a large family to support.
William’s petition received favourable consideration, no doubt upon the grounds that he had not been personally involved in the Rum Rebellion, but the Governor being debarred by the King’s instructions and by his own proclamation from making any grant to William as an officer of the 102nd Regiment, promised immediate issue of a grant of 100 acres to William’s wife Sarah for the benefit of their family. On 19th September 1811 the original Grant was re-granted to Sarah Hadley.
On 16th November 1811 William placed a notice in the Sydney Gazette requesting anybody who had any claim or demand on him to present themselves for settlement as he intended to sail on the ship “Friends” leaving for Sydney for London on Monday 2nd December 1811.
Although William did leave the colony it is not certain that he left on the ship “Friends”. Nor are the circumstances or reasons for leaving the colony known. It is strange that having legally regained ownership of his land albeit in his wife’s name, and having permission to become a free settler providing he resigned his commission, he retuned to England. However having left it would appear from his correspondence he intended to return as soon as possible. In the meantime he left all of his affairs in the hands of Dr Charles Throsby giving him power of Attorney in his absence.
After arriving in England circa June 1812 William continued his services in the Army. On 2nd December 1813 he was promoted to Captain of the 8th West India Regiment and went out immediately to Barbados until he was sent to Jersey on the advice of the Army Medical Board in 1816. Whilst in Jersey William became aware that orders had gone out to reduce the numbers of his Regiment so he planned to remain in Jersey where he could join a Veteran Battalion which might afford him the chance of returning to the colony. William transferred to the 2nd Veteran Battalion as Captain on 2nd May 1816 but he was unsuccessful in his quest to return to NSW.
However, this did not thwart or deter him and he continued to try to find a way back to the colony. On the 30th October 1817 William wrote to Henry Goulburn, Under Secretary of State for the Colonies seeking permission from Lord Bathurst to settle in the Colony. Sadly it would seem that this request also failed as William remained with the 2nd Veteran Battalion until 1st November 1819 when he transferred as Captain to the 5th Royal Veteran Battalion.
After 24 years service William finally retired on Full Pay on 25th July 1821. But this was by no means the end of his efforts to return to New South Wales. On 31st March 1824 William sent another letter to the then Under Secretary of State for The Colonies Mr Willmott Horton. He provided a brief outline of his situation and expressed his desire to return to NSW and requested that he may be granted a short interview to explain his case further. William received a holding on 3rd April 1824 and in response enquired on 9th April 1824, if His Majesty’s Government would be pleased to facilitate his passage to New South Wales and if so, under what terms.
It is clear from William’s letters 1817 to 1824 that he endeavoured to make arrangements to return to the colony but was hampered by want of means, but that did not prevent him from placing his case in the hands of lawyers.
It seems that, Throsby a retired Naval Surgeon and one time Magistrate under the rebel administration during the Usurped Government period, failed to provide William with any account of his administration throughout William’s absence and ultimately in 1828 William took steps to prosecute him with the result that Dr Throsby committed suicide. However in an article in the Sydney Gazette of 4th April 1828, an extract shows that although Dr Throsby did commit suicide as a result of financial embarrassment, nothing could be traced to connect the event in any way with William’s affairs. It is later stated that Dr Throsby appropriated for his own use other property belonging to William to the value of £500, which had been sent from England whilst Dr Throsby’s son occupied William’s land.
William’s son (William) and later his grandson (Arthur) brought the land case and property issue under notice of the Government on five further occasions, 1838, 1847, 1851, 1897 and 1910, and for varying reasons, to no avail.
Last revised: Thursday, 06 November 2008 02:33:07
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