European land allocation
The British authorities allocated land along the Clarence Plains Rivulet to Europeans, formally making grants under their own law for exclusive individual use and profit. This completely ignored the Aboriginal connections to “country” and the way the land and its rich resources were being managed.
The eight European families who settled along this part of the Rivulet came from Norfolk Island in 1808. All but the Chipman family arrived on the 'Estramina'.
The people from Norfolk Island had been promised land in lieu of the farms they had been forced to leave behind, but land wasn't allocated on a strict one for one basis. Three of the women on adjoining farms along the rivulet had owned land on Norfolk Island. All three married prior to the formal land documents being issued from Sydney. Under British law of the time, a married woman's property was controlled by her husband. Of the three, only Deborah Davis ended up being allocated land in her own name. All their husbands, William Atkins, James Waterson and John Broughton, were given land along the rivulet even though they hadn't personally owned any land on Norfolk Island. The rest of the land was allocated to men who had owned land on Norfolk Island, and to Michael Lackey, a stepson of Joseph Chipman who had been allocated land nearby.
Early European farmers
By the time the 1809 muster was taken, the Europeans were raising cattle and sheep and growing wheat, oats and barley in naniyilipata / Clarence Plains. Most of the European families allocated land along this part of the rivulet remained on their farms for another decade or two, but by 1833 only the Chipmans remained.
The descendants of Joseph and Catherine Chipman continued to farm their original allocation of land as well as other farms around naniyilipata / Clarence Plains well into the twentieth century. The original homestead and associated farm became known as ‘Clarendon Vale’. The early grant grew into a larger farm as adjoining land was bought and incorporated into the farm. By 1927, when the farm was sold to Joseph Reynolds, it included most of what is now the suburb of Clarendon Vale.
Richard Holmes, the school master, bought the grant of James Waterson and some of William Atkins’ land in the 1820s. After his death, his widow Sarah Holmes successfully ran the farm for another 24 years. In 1877, her son sold it to another widow, Eliza Percy, and it was subsequently managed as a part of the larger Percy estate.
Sources: Estramina Norfolk Island to Hobart May 1808 by Cathy Dunn. Land musters, stock returns and lists, Van Diemen's Land 1803-1822 edited by Irene Schaffer.
Links to more information on other websites
Directions to next sign
Keep following the path north for about 100 metres and the Prominent Homes sign is on your left.
Boundaries based on Footprints p116, Land Tasmania deeds 01-0107(1), 05-2275 & 17-3412.