Beecroft-Cheltenham History Group

Francis Allsop Jr.

Francis Allsop, Jr, was born in the district in 1835, son of a convict father and free mother, Frances Allsop and Ann Eyles. In 1848 Francis Jr. married Rachel Thompson, born in 1827, the daughter of a convict Thomas Thompson and his wife, a free settler named Hannah (née Russell).[1]

On a property on New Line Road, West Pennant Hills, given to them by Rachel’s father, Francis began an orchard and mixed farm. When the ‘Mount Wilberforce’ property on Pennant Hills Road (originally granted to the Rev. Samuel Marsden) came on the market in 1855, Francis purchased 28 acres of the eastern portion for £210. On the eastern side of the junction of Castle Hill and Pennant Hills Roads he built a timber house, with mantles, shutters and skirting boards of hand-cut cedar, and a large stone fireplace.[2]

This new property was named ‘Camerton’ and an orchard was planted on the sloping land. Family tradition tells that Rachel was given two Moreton Bay figs, two camellias and a Christmas bush by her father which she planted in the front garden when they first took up residence there in the 1850s. The Moreton Bay figs stood there for nearly 100 years until they became the victims of road widening.

This junction of the two main roads was to become known as Thompson's Corner in the 1880s when Thomas Thompson Jr., Rachel's brother, built his general store there. Rachel was related to many of the Pennant Hills/Dural people through the marriage of her eight brothers and sisters into local families especially those who were members of the Wesleyan (Methodist) Church.

Rachel and Francis had a family of six girls and two boys, and all were members of the Pennant Hills Methodist Church on New Line Road.

Francis Allsop died in 1882 and Rachel later went to live with her son James in Glenorie. She died in 1911 at the age of 84 years and was buried with her husband in the Methodist Cemetery, Pennant Hills (now Cherrybrook Uniting Church cemetery).

The property ‘Camerton’ remained in the Allsop family until 1905, when it was sold to Samuel Oxley.

 

 



[1] For further information on these families see Hornsby Shire Historical Society, Pioneers of Hornsby Shire 1788 to 1906, Sydney 1979, pp. 98-102.
[2] Land Titles Office 38/787.
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