John Joseph William Molesworth OXLEY, ,"The Explorer".

Male 1784 - 1828  (44 years)


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  • Name John Joseph William Molesworth OXLEY 
    Suffix ,"The Explorer". 
    Born 1784  Kirkham Abbey, Westow, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened 6 Jul 1784  Bulmer Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 26 May 1828  Kirkham, Camden, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried the Devonshire Street Cemetery, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I21416  Kirkpatrick Family
    Last Modified 9 Mar 2017 

    Family Charlotte Jane THORPE, ,Transported Convict,   b. 1795,   d. 1828, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 33 years) 
    Children 
     1. Jeanette Oxley THORPE,   b. 1813, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jan 1875, Vaucluse, New South Wales , Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)
     2. Frances Oxley THORPE,   b. 19 Jan 1815, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Nov 1891, Sunnyside, Tenterfield NSW.Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
    Last Modified 9 Mar 2017 
    Family ID F8047  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • John Joseph William Molesworth Oxley was an explorer and surveyor of Australia in the early period of English colonisation.He was the eldest son of John Oxley(b.1760) and his wife Isabella Molesworth(b. c1767).

      In October 1802 he was engaged in coastal survey work including an expedition to Western Port in 1804-05. In 1805 Governor King appointed him acting lieutenant in charge of the Buffalo, and in 1806 he commanded the Estramina on a trip to Van Diemen's Land. Next year he returned to England where, on 25 November, he was commissioned Lieutenant.

      He returned to Sydney in November 1808 to take up an appointment as first lieutenant in H.M.S. Porpoise, having sailed out as agent for the Transport Board in the convict ship Speke.
      He had obtained a grant of 600 acres near the Nepean River, but Lieutenant-Governor Paterson granted him 1,000 acres. Oxley had to surrender these in 1810, but Governor Macquarie granted him 600 acres near Camden which he increased in 1815 to 1,000 acres (400 ha) again.He called this property Kirkham.
      When Paterson allowed the deposed Governor Bligh to leave Sydney in the Porpoise in March 1809 Oxley was aboard and sailed with Bligh to the Derwent.

      In London he applied for the post of Naval Officer in Sydney, and then, according to John Macarthur , he twice sought that of surveyor-general.
      Oxley always denied that he had been a partisan of Macarthur when Bligh was deposed, but his letters show that he was on very intimate terms with the rebel leader. He became engaged to Elizabeth Macarthur,but this was broken off when her father discovered the extent of Oxley's debts.
      In 1811 he had retired from the navy, and in May 1812 sailed for Sydney in the Minstrel to take up his new duties.
      More information is available in The Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2
    • (Research):On 31 October 1821 John Oxley married Emma Norton* (1798-1885) at St Philip's Church. They had two sons, John (b.1824) and Henry (b.1826), but earlier Oxley had had two daughters by Charlotte Thorpe and one by Elizabeth Marnon.( This child drowned ,aged 3, in a well opposite Oxley's Sydney house in Macquarie street.)

      *Oxley married Emma Norton (1798-1885),(Ref:NSW BDM 2823/1821 V18212823 3B), the youngest sister of James Norton who had followed her brother out to New South Wales from Sussex after he had established himself as an attorney in the colony.Oxley and Emma Norton had two sons. The elder, John Norton Oxley became a Member of the Legislative Assembly. The younger son, Henry Molesworth Oxley, also became a Member of the Legislative Assembly.

      These records will detail the descendants of John Oxley and Charlotte Jane Thorpe.

      Oxley kept a substantial town house in Sydney, opposite St James's Church, and he built a fine country seat at Kirkham (a 600 acre estate near Camden,NSW ,granted to him by Governor Lachlan Macquarie).

      John Oxley died virtually penniless , and the Executive Council felt compelled to recommend special assistance to his widow and children.


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