Obadiah Ikin’s grant of 30 acres in 1794

Grahame Thom grthom@bigpond.com
30 acre grant to Obadiah Ikin in 1794
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Copy of the original document

Lane Cove

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Recent map superimposed with the boundaries of the first grants at Lane Cove

Notes prepared by Hordern House in support of the above document included in a sale catalogue of twenty-four manuscripts on web site www.hordern.com

Land Grant to Obadiah Ikin of thirty acres in Lane Cove, later transferred to Henry Hacking.

Folio, manuscript in ink on paper, 440 x 365 mm., with original paper seal, official stamps and annotations including cancellation stamp dated 1940, detailed manuscript notes to the reverse; good, some water staining but the important signatures still clear, wear to old folds repaired with india paper in several places. Sydney, 3 October, 1794.

An interesting land grant from the first years of settlement, signed by Francis Grose (acting governor for two years following Phillip’s departure), witnessed by John White, William Paterson, and Edward Laing, and inscribed by David Collins as Governor’s Secretary. Significantly, Ikin later sold the land to Henry Hacking, surely one of the most experienced of the early Sydney hands, serving on the First Fleet (Sirius), returning to Sydney on another early convict vessel in 1792 (Royal Admiral), as well as serving as first mate on the Lady Nelson, companion vessel to the Investigator on its survey of the Queensland Coast. At different times he also served as harbour pilot in both Port Jackson and Hobart, as well as making any number of inland expeditions to the Blue Mountains and as far south as Port Hacking, named for him by Matthew Flinders. Here, Hacking has witnessed the transaction with his mark.

The grant records the awarding of thirty acres to Obadiah Ikin at Lane Cove, to be known as “Ikin’s Farm.” Ikin was from Shropshire, and came to Australia as a corporal in the New South Wales Corps on board the Surprise in 1790. After a tour of duty on Norfolk Island and promotion to sergeant, he was back in Sydney by late 1794 and was promptly awarded this grant, on the site of the present day Lane Cove shopping centre. Soon after he was also granted a town block, which probably prompted Ikin to sell the land to Henry Hacking, who had an accompanying plot. Ikin was discharged from the New South Wales Corps in 1802, finally settled south of Penrith, and died sometime around 1812.

The grant is signed by Grose and witnessed by three important figures in colonial Sydney, the surgeon and author of an important account of the First Fleet, John White; then second-in-command of the New South Wales Corps, William Paterson; and the surgeon’s mate Edward Laing, who had arrived on the Pitt in 1792. The final signature is that of David Collins, the longest serving of any of the major First Fleet officers, then acting as secretary to Grose.
This land grant also has the further history of the plot written to the back of the document. Ikin sold the land for £6.6 to Henry Hacking on 13 August 1795 (witnessed William Sutton and Duncan Campbell, and also signed Obadiah Ikin); Hacking, in turn, sold it for £19 to James Wilshire and William Bennett on 16 September 1803 (witnessed John North and signed Henry Hacking “his mark”).

Ryan, ‘Land Grants’, p. 26, no. 198.

Added July 2010

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