William Dean

William Dean arrived in Sydney on 26th July, 1799 on the ‘Hillsborough’ at the age of 23. He had been sentenced on 17th July, 1795 at the Old Bailey, to be hanged for stealing 20 pounds from his employer, James Hassen of Cavendish Square, London. His sentence had been respited to transportation for the term of his natural life, to New South Wales.

On Christmas Day, 1806, William Dean married Elizabeth Hollingsworth at St John’s Church of England at Parramatta. Elizabeth had been born 19th November, 1781 in London. She had been tried in February, 1803 and sentenced to transportation to New South Wales for 7 years for stealing one pound from her employer William Adams. She arrived on the ship ‘Experiment 1’ on 24th June, 1804, and was taken to the Female Factory at Parramatta. From there she was assigned to William Dean.

William Dean obtained a ticket of leave on 19th January, 1811. By this time William had set up a new and satisfactory lifestyle for himself and his family at Eastern Creek. Here he grew wheat and raised cattle, supplying grain and meat to the Government store.

On 24th January, 1817, Governor Macquarie granted William Dean 100 acres of land. This land grant was located on the south side of the Western Highway, and a condition of this grant was that Dean had to “maintain and keep a house of entertainment for travellers, otherwise the grant reverted to the Crown.”

In 1818, nineteen years after arriving in New South Wales, William Dean was granted a conditional pardon.

In 1819 William held a licence to retail wines and spirits on the Western Road under the sign of the

‘Bush Inn’. This inn was also later known as the ‘Corporation Inn’ and the “Red Lion’. The licence was

renewed in 1820 after an application which stated he had “Commodious Premises for the Accommodation of Travellers and the Cattle”. William and Elizabeth had, at that time, 7 children.

The 1829 census shows William Dean prospering with 210 acres of land, 100 cattle and the ‘Bush Inn’. He also weighed, by 1838, 139.5kg! Hence his nickname, ‘Lumpy’ Dean because of ‘his extreme corpulency’.

William and Elizabeth Dean had eight children – 3 sons (William, John and Thomas) and five daughters (Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, Anne and Martha). He died on 7th November, 1847, aged 78 years. Elizabeth pre-deceased him on 1st February, 1839.

Learmonth, Anna. A Memoir of William Dean – The Last Waterhole. Blacktown and District Historical Society. Vol. 1. No. 11. April, 1980