William Carlisle

(circa 1784 - 1852)

Detailed biography

     For a detailed biography of William Carlisle click here.

Personal details


     William was born circa 1782.1,2 He was the son of William Carlisle and Ann Scarborough.3,4

Family surname

     For more information about the Carlisle surname click here.


     His body was interred circa 27 July 1852 in the Old Carwell Cemetery, Rylstone, AustraliaG.1,4 He died on 27 July 1852 in Rylstone, AustraliaG. Surname spelt "Carlyle."1,4

Family life


     He married Mary Ann Gordon on 11 September 1811 in St Matthew's Church, Windsor, AustraliaG. The marriage certificate indicates that the marriage was by banns.5,3,6,4 He married Elizabeth Blackman circa 1816.4

Child of William Carlisle and Mary Ann Gordon

Children of William Carlisle and Elizabeth Blackman

Life event details


Census, occupation and residence information

  • In the land sale between Thomas Gordon and an unknown person circa 1804 in Land Grant 100 acres, Mulgrave Place, AustraliaG, William was listed as a neighbor.10,3
  • He purchased land from an unknown person on 16 July 1804 in 100 acres, Richmond, AustraliaG.4
  • He appeared on the Muster for Settlers census of 18 July 1804 in Sydney, AustraliaG.11
  • He purchasedland from Thomas Gordon on 5 September 1809 in Land Sale, Mulgrave Place, AustraliaG.
  • He was employed as Assistant School Master by the Church Missionary Society in 1816. "William Carlisle of New South Wales reached New Zealand early in 1816 to act as assistant to Kendall in the first school established in the country." (D A Rae)
    "Marsden had seen to it that school work began within the first few weeks; but after his departure, Kendall found it impossible to carry on with any regularity. In fact Hall, writing in January 1816, reports that the 'school' was 'dispersed' as soon as Marsden left and had not, at that date, been restarted. In August of that year, however, the first school-house in New Zealand was opened with thirty-three pupils, a number which had risen to seventy within the next few months". (Simpson).2,12,4
  • He was employed as schoolmaster and settler by the Church Missionary Society on 5 November 1816 in Rangi Hoa, New ZealandG.13
  • On 9 January 1819 William Carlisle lived in Bay of Islands, New ZealandG.14
  • He was employed by as in Rangi Hoa, New ZealandG, on 10 February 1820.13
  • In 1828 William Carlisle was occupied as a painter.4
  • He was employed by his own coach factory in Bathurst Street on 28 February 1832 in Sydney, AustraliaG. A note in the Return says "now with Urquart". This is, preumably, a reference to the preceding line in the Return, which refers to another coach manufactory in George Street, owned by Mr Urquart..15
  • He was employed by as tutor in 1844. "Among those locked in this room (by bushrangers) was Mr Carlisle, the tutor.".16
  • He was employed by as in Carwell, Rylstone, AustraliaG, circa 1845.4

Witnessed events

  • He was a witness when John McIntyre held up the Nevell property 1844. "In 1844 ... the bushrangers ordered them all to go into the next room. ... Among those locked in this room was Mr Carlisle, the tutor; this gentleman had his meals with the family, but slept in a room adjoining the school-house. He was a noted sportsman and shot. In his room were two fine guns, and he intended getting these and in turn holding the marauders up; but, as he was getting out through the window of the room, he was seen by a bushranger, and was beaten back with the stock of a blunderbuss.".16

Remaining events

  • William Carlisle and Thomas Gordon wrote to Governor Lachlan Macquarie 31 January 1810 re a dispute with Archibald Bell. The dispute concerned a convict names William Siggan. The true facts are unclear because some of the details in William Carlisle's letter conflict with a subsequent letter to Governor Macquarie by Archibald Bell (3 February 1810).
    Carlisle claims that he refused to sell part of his farm to Archibald Bell who retaliated by reneging on a lease which Carlisle had on some land owned by Bell. Carlisle claims his lease had 9 months to run when Bell re-leased the land to Siggan. Since Carlisle had a half-grown crop of wheat growing on the land, he claims to have reached an agreement with Siggan. The agreement was that Siggan could reap the wheat when it was ready for harvest and, in return, Siggan would pay Carlisle's existing debt to Joseph Sampson (worth 30 bushells of wheat).
    Carlisle claims that Siggans did reap this crop (which amounted to 50 bushells). Then Siggan died and Archibald Bell sent Siggans wheat to Mr Cox's to be thrashed. Bell then refused to pay more than £1/4/6 towards Carlisle's promissory note to Sampson.
    Carlisle warns the Governor that Bell will claim the wheat as rent owed to him by Siggans. He counters this expected argument by observing that the rent was properly payable to himself as he held a valid lease (witnessed by Mr Fitzgerald) on the land until July 16, 1809 (3 months after Siggans died).
    Macquarie instructed his secretary, John Campbell, to write to Bell "to say that the Governor desires that immediate Justice may be done by himself".
    Bell wrote to the Governor to put his side of the story a few days later. He says that he bought 25 acres from Carlisle for £55 but agreed that Carlisle could retain occupation of "so much of the land as he might wish for that season; the remaining part I let to ... Siggans". He justifies his removal of the wheat as necessary to avoid it being "plundered". He put the proceeds toward the rent and the funeral (£3) and paid the balance (£1/4/6) to Carlisle.
    Bell concludes that he is willing to allow the matter to go to "arbitration of any two respectable persons in the neighbourhood and ... he shall have the liberty of nominating both."17,18
  • William traveled in Bay of Islands, New ZealandG, circa February 1816.4
  • William traveled from Bay of Islands on SS "Active" to in Sydney circa December 1816. "He returned to New South Wales a year later to bring his brother-in-law, Charles Gordon, employed as an agriculturist, accompanied by wives and families, back in April 1817.".2,19,4
  • William, Charles, Maria, Elizabeth and Amelia traveled in Bay of Islands aboard SS "Active" in April 1817. "(William Carlisle brought) his brother-in-law, Charles Gordon, employed as an agriculturist, accompanied by wives and families, back in April 1817." (D A Rae)
    "The ranks of the women in New Zealand were swelling. Mr and Mrs Carlisle and Mr and Mrs Gordon came in 1817; the Butlers, the Kemps and the Puckeys arrived in 1819; the Shepherds in 1820; the Leighs in 1822; in 1823 Mr and Mrs Henry ..." (Simpson).2,12,13,9,4
  • Amelia, William, Charles, Maria, Elizabeth, James and John traveled from Bay of Islands on SS "Active" in Sydney on 9 November 1819. "Writing privately to Josiah Pratt after his return to the colony, Marsden had the 'painful duty' of reporting, with a mixture of biblical metaphors, that he had found the settlers like so many sheep without a shepherd, each seeking his own advantage, so that the Enemy had made dreadful work amongst them, sowing tares in the wheat and stirring them up to mutual accusation. All had neglected their proper tasks, competing in private trade as a means of procuring food and gaining influence over the Maoris. ... William Carlisle and James Gordon felt humiliated at being seen by the Maoris as common labourers. Carlisle resigned, unable to cope with a timorous and clinging wife, Gordon was dismissed, and both men were shipped out with their families in the Active when Marsden left on 9 November. As a measure of the harshness he was capable of showing to his fellow man, Marsden let it be known in the colony when Gordon's wife died that it was a judgement of God upon his sins".20,4
  • He wrote to Reverend Josiah Pratt 10 January 1820.21
  • He wrote to Reverend Josiah Pratt 26 July 1820.22
  • He wrote to Reverend Josiah Pratt 6 March 1821.23
  • He travelled from Sydney circa 1822 in Bay of Islands, New ZealandG.4
  • He travelled from Bay of Islands circa 1822 in Sydney, AustraliaG.4
  • William wrote to the Colonial Secretary 31 January 1822 to explain why he had "sold" rum. The letter is a memorial which offers an explanation of the circumstances which resulted in his arrest for selling rum.
    The letter reveals that William was in the process of building a new house in the township of Richmond..24



  1. [S46] Journal article, Burial Register (or Dead Book) relating to Cemetery near Rylstone, NSW, Mrs E Nevell, Descent, Vol 6 Part 2, June 1973, Fleming Family History Archive held by Jim Fleming.
  2. [S47] Journal article, William Carlisle and Charles Gordon, D A Rae, Auckland-Waikato Historical Journal, Vol 41, September 1982, Fleming Family History Archive held by Jim Fleming.
  3. [S156] Journal Article, Thomas Gordon, Australian Biographical and Genealogical Record, 1788-1841, ABGR 1788-1841 p161, State Library of NSW.
  4. [S230] Journal Article, Carlisle William, Australian Biographical and Genealogical Record, 1788-1841, ABGR 1788-1841 p.62, State Library of NSW.
  5. [S60] Marriage Record for William Carlisle and Mary Ann Gordon, Number 1278, Volume 3, NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, 11 September 1811.
  6. [S157] Journal Article, Mary Ann Gordon, Australian Biographical and Genealogical Record, 1788-1841, ABGR 1788-1841 p161, State Library of NSW.
  7. [S108] Newspaper article, Ship News, Sydney Gazette, 24 June 1804, State Library of NSW.
  8. [S111] Newspaper article, Experiment prisoners, Sydney Gazette, 1 July 1804, State Library of NSW.
  9. [S158] Journal Article, Gordon, Charles Moltson, Australian Biographical and Genealogical Record, 1788-1841, ABGR 1788-1841 p.159, State Library of NSW.
  10. [S113] Deed of Land Grant, To Thomas Gordon from Governor King, 1804, Land Titles Office of NSW.
  11. [S112] Newspaper article, General Muster, Sydney Gazette, 15 July 1804, State Library of NSW.
  12. [S56] Simpson, "Before Waitangi" in The Women of New Zealand. ).
  13. [S115] Committee Minutes, Church Missionary Society, FM4 1454, Archives Office of NSW.
  14. [S117] Newspaper article, Active return, Sydney Gazette, 9 January 1819, State Library of NSW.
  15. [S130] William Carlisle, Return of Manufactories, Sydney, 1832, Archives Office of NSW.
  16. [S55] Mrs Bertha Phelps, "Bushrangers at Carwell and Other Places" in An Australian Tells England.
  17. [S58] Letter from Thomas Gordon, William Carlisle and J S Freeman to Colonial Secretary, 3 September 1803, PRO 13 CO201/28 Page 41, Archives Office of NSW.
  18. [S59] Letter from Archibald Bell to Governor Lachlan Macquarie, 3 February 1810, Archives Office of NSW.
  19. [S114] Newspaper article, King George arrival, Sydney Gazette, 7 December 1816, State Library of NSW.
  20. [S52] Chapter, "Samuel Marsden" in The Bigge Commission of Inquiry.
  21. [S118] Letter from William Carlisle (Sydney, NSW) to Pratt, 10 January 1820, NZ Mission L's FM4 1503, Archives Office of NSW.
  22. [S120] Letter from William Carlisle (Sydney, NSW) to Pratt, 26 July 1826, Letters FM 4 1503, Archives Office of NSW.
  23. [S119] Letter from William Carlisle (Sydney, NSW) to Pratt, 6 March 1821, NS Letters FM 4 1503, Archives Office of NSW.
  24. [S63] Letter from William Carlisle to Colonial Secretary, 31 January 1822, Archives Office of NSW.


Family forebears chart
William Carlisle's descendants