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diane simmonds family history

EARLY SETTLEMENT - William Lawson, cont. P.15

crossing blue mountain

William Lawson cont.

Lawson returned to Sydney in 1812 on the Guildford and accepted a commission as lieutenant in the New South Wales Veterans Company. When Governor Lachlan Macquarie confirmed Lawson’s grant at Prospect, Lawson built a 40 room mansion, Veteran Hall.
 
In 1813 Gregory Blaxland invited William Lawson on the expedition to find a route across the Blue Mountains with William Charles Wentworth. The old surveyor's skills in keeping accurate records enabled the route to be easily retraced.
 
Their reward for crossing the mountains was a grant of 1000 acres (405 ha) each, west of the mountains. Lawson selected his on the Campbell River near Bathurst. He was appointed commandant of Bathurst in 1819 to 1824, after which he retired back to Prospect.
 
While Commandant of Bathurst, he went on three journeys to find a pass to the Liverpool Plains, but failed. However, he tried again, following in Blackman’s tracks, and was responsible for helping to open the rich pastoral district of Mudgee.
 
Although James Blackman Jnr had discovered the Cudgegong River region in 1821, Lawson claimed the discovery of the site of Mudgee 10 miles on, the claim seemingly ‘splitting hairs’ to some, but over the years the glory has been shared between the two, with James Blackman Jnr given credit for being the first white man to enter the Mudgee district and William Lawson, accompanied by James Blackman’s brother John, credited for being the first to reach the site of the town of Mudgee in November 1821.

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