Esther Lees1

F, #819, b. 12 January 1812, d. 26 July 1875
FatherJohn Lees1 b. c 1777, d. 28 Aug 1836
MotherMary Stevens1 b. c 1778, d. 26 Jul 1839
Relationship3rd great-grandmother of Keith Graham Bassett
ChartsAncestors of Keith Graham Bassett
Last Edited5 May 2022
Birth*12 January 1812 Windsor, NSW, Australia1 
Baptism2 February 1812 St Matthews, Windsor, NSW, Australia;daughter of John & Mary Leese1 
(Daughter) Muster 18251825 Evan, NSW, Australia;John Lees,, CF, Ganges 1797, Landholder, Castlereagh & Evan
Mary Stephens,, FS, Earl Cornwallis, Wife of John Lees, Evan
John Lees, 18, BC,,, Son of J Lees, Castlereagh & Evan
Mary Lees, 15, BC,,, Daughter of J Lees, Castlereagh & Evan
Esther Lees, 14, BC,,, Child of J Lees, Castlereagh & Evan
Timothy Lees, 10, BC,,, Child of J Lees, Castlereagh & Evan
Sarah Lees, 8, BC,,, Child of J Lees, Castlereagh & Evan
Cornelius Lees, 4, BC,,, Child of J Lees, Castlereagh & Evan;Head=John Lees, Wife=Mary Stevens2 
News-Arct*8 October 1830 "The Australian", Sydney, NSW, Australia;
Sydney, 10th Sept. 1830.
To the Editor of THE AUSTRALIAN, MR. EDITOR, A few leisure days on hand. I ventured a ride to Penrith and its vicinity. Having passed through Parramatta, we got on the western road, leading to Penrith, where we arrived about two o'clock, and put up at the "King's head." I threw myself on the sofa and began to read your interesting paper, which had been handed to me by the landlord.— To surprise me the more agreeably, my friend Mr. G—, came in as dinner was announced— and feeling similarly disposed with myself, he readily acquiesced with my proposal, to join me in discussing some of the substantial fare, which decorated the board before us. Our repast consisted of a brace of roast ducks - a boiled leg of mutton, and a pair of fowls—with abundance of vegetables and good wine, and porter, succeeded by some delicious pastry. I must not forget the zeal and attention to our comfort and convenience, evinced by the worthy host and hostess. Dinner over, I suggested to my friend, a walk to the Emu Ferry on the Nepean river, about a mile further on.
We visited in succession the Police Office, Post Office and Gaol. I found the Western road extremely good. We discovered other pendent insignia, denoting the existence of an inn kept by Mr. C. W—n, a relative I am told, of Mr. J— , in Sydney. My attention was attracted to a variety, of building materials, which with a newly erected brick Stable and granary, upon an extensive scale, induced me to conjecture that it was the intention of "mine host," to improve his accommodations, which surmise was afterwards confirmed.
From where we now stood we could observe the Nepean River beneath us, about 150 yards broad —and the punt was plying to and fro. On the opposite side we beheld spacious plains of Emu, and to our left were pointed out to us, several buildings, as the Govt. House, —the Theatre, —the Camp, &c. &c. Having so far satisfied our curiosity, we returned to the "King's head." 
Next morning, I resolved to have a look at the settlement of Emu, and having ordered the horses, I wished my friend "good day," and proceeded on my little tour. We again took the road to the ferry for about three quarters of a mile, and then turned off towards the right along a kind of bye road. My attendant informed me that I was now on Capt. M—'s farm, of which Mr. McH—y is the lessee. Proceeding along the same bye road, for about half a mile, I found myself' entering the estate formerly granted to Mr. Chapman, and lately purchased by Mr. McH—y. Here appeared a rapid progress of improvement, fencing, felling and clearing "by Arson," ploughing &c. I am told Mr. McH has let a great proportion of this Estate in small farms, varying from 30 to 40 acres, with a lease of 14 years. The income from such tenantry, it is supposed will amount to 1,360l. annually. Several of these tenants are native Youths, who unable to procure land, have had recourse to the alternative of becoming Mr. McH's feudatories. About half a mile from the south side line boundary of this property, Mr. McH. has erected a water mill on the Nepean river. It is not yet completed, but from what I have heard, and the information given at the mill, besides my own personal observation, I would consider the arrangementents [sic] and mechanical part especially to be of the first order, if indeed Mr. McH. by to a nicety of improvement, in the mechanical construction, does not render the attempt unsuccessful, I discovered as I proceeded, that the banks of the Nepean, forming the settlement, had been populated by settlers for many years. The crops looked highly promising. Little attention I perceive, is paid to the comfort or durability of their habitations or out buildings —most of them presenting a wretched, tattered, and dilapidated appearance. In this remark, I speak as relates to the generality of those I have seen, —there were, notwithstanding few, of a more encouraging aspect.
I had now arrived at a spot which my servant informed me, is called "Bird's Eye Corner," where the river from running westerly, takes a northerly direction. "Whose little cottage is this James," I asked my servant as we approached it.—"This belongs to Mr. Pierce Collett of the "Golden Fleece -Mount York," he replied, at present occupied by Mr. Edward Field, his son in law,— but his poor wife dying about a year ago, leaving (though a young woman) a very numerous family— he finds it necessary to "take another" to himself, and I believe he is about asking the fair hand of Miss — "Old Parson — s daughter— he is an industrious, respectable young man, Sir, I assure you."—" You seem to know all about the matter James" I said— but where is Jacksons' Water mill you promised to show me?" O' sir, we have just passed it —but we can if you like, go to it through Mr. Field's yard; he will have no objection." I agreed to my servant's proposal and followed him for about a quarter of a mile, through several shifting pounds until we arrived at the mill. The late rains had caused the water in the river to rise, so as at prevent the mill's working. It is a compact little wooden building, and I undersand [sic] the proprietor has a considerable income therefrom. I staid but a few minutes at the mill, and then retraced my way into the road again. 
At Mr. Field's back gate I found a high road, running north and south. I was informed that this was the north and south communicating between Richmond and Evan; and the road by which we were to proceed. Riding onward, the first object was a wooden building, over the door of which, facing the road, I perceived a aintedp [sic] board with the following inscription: "Prepare to meet thy God !'' I was not a little struck at this memento mori, and enquired of James, to what purpose the building was designed; he told me that it was a Missionary Chapel, commonly called "Lee's Chapel," that he believed it was used at present as a public school house, where Mr. John Pringle taught the "first rudiments." On the left, opposite, resides Mr. Jackson, the proprietor of the mill I have just mentioned; and about one hundred yards lower down, on the same side, is a public house kept by John Blackman. On the right, as we approached Blackman's, the eye was entertained with extensive fields of some thousands of acres of cleared and cultivated land, belonging to Mr. Samuel T--rr--, extending to the bottom of the highland hills, and on the top, were conspicuous— the elegant little cottage residence or Mr. Fraser, Clerk of the Court of Magistracy; the parsonage house, occupied by the Rev. H. Fulton; and finally, Mount Pleasant, the Rev. H. Fulton ; and finally, Mount Pleasant, the rural seat of the wealthy proprietor of the vast lowlands beneath. For a mile further on, on the left hand side of the road, the lands are occupied for the most part by Mr. Terry's tenantry.
Mr. Single's cottage now began to heave in sight, and being slightly acquainted with that gentleman, I resolved to give him a call on my "maiden tour" to this part of the country. I had heard much of Mr. S's establishment, and of the rich quality of the soil on his estate. It was satisfactory to find the description, in fact, too faintly drawn. Having alighted at his cottage door, I was welcomed with every generous demonstration, and received throughout, the most hospitable kindness from both Mr. and Mrs. S, I indulged myself with a regular survey of his farm, his barns, granaries, stabling, and offices of every description, erected in the most substantial and uniform manner, The whole of his cultivated land, amounting to upwards two hundred and fifty acres, is all divided into paddocks by five-rail fences, contain - from ten to fifty acres, agreeable to his judgement of necessity and propriety. He has forty acres of the finest growing wheat, barley, and peas I ever witnessed. The potatoes he produced of this year's growth, were of the largest size and best quality I have seen. And then, there is such a stud of well-bred horses,— and his entire chesnut [sic] horse by "Chilton." Sties full of fat pigs,— and a poultry yard, diversified with every species "after its kind.' It were needless to extend the various sources from which this gentleman derives contentment, happiness, and affluence.
I forgot, however, to observe that Mr. S. has a full view of "Regent Ville," and the windmill lately erected by the wealthy proprietor, from the verandah of his cottage. It is Mr. S's. intention shortly, to erect a spacious building upon the high lands, above his present residence, whence the view will be extensive, grand, and picturesque; and will immediately overlook his present establishment; from whence, he may look down upon the soil, that assisted by his industry and exertion, has rendered him independent. My hospitable host assured me, there was little worth seeing further down the settlement; and I agreed, at his suggestion to return to the "King's Head," by way of Castlereagh, over the high lands, by which means I should describe a circular kind of course on my return. About two miles from Mr. Single's, the building occupied as the Castlereagh Church was pointed out to me, on my left,— a neat looking edifice, but enveloped in a forest. A little farther on, on the right, I passed close by the front of Mr. Fraser's cottage, before-mentionede [sic] as seen from the low ground ; it forcibly brough [sic], to my recollection, a country villa in India, belonging to Captain Points,, an intimate friend of mine. I must not forget the garden— which appeared to contain about four acres, and was, though evidently in its infancy, truly superb— and described with much taste. The Parsonage was neat,— " Mount Pleasant" succeeded, and was the last "left behind," until I arrived at the "King's Head," rather fatigued, but much gratified with my day's excursion.
I omitted to mention, that as I approached the Inn this evening, the august person of the venerable chief constable presented itself, returning to his antique villa, demurely sitting in a gig.— No doubt cogitating for the public safety.
I went to bed early— arose— breakfasted— and wishing my landlord and lady a good morning, began to retrograde to the metropolis;- where I arrived about, 4 o'clock the same evening; and where I am at present, dictating them new memoranda, for your service, if you think them fitting.
Your's truly,
P. S. I forgot to mention, that while at Penrith and Evan, I heard serious and public complaints about the roads leading front the settlement into the Western Road; there being no practicable passage thence, for the market carts at present. The Government should assuredly listen to a representation of this matter, and afford those industrious farmers some free outlet to the main road.
P. P.3 
Marriage*18 October 1830 Christ Church, Castlereagh, NSW, Australia;
Edward Field, free, of the parish of Castlereagh
Esther Lees, free, of the parish of Castlereagh
by banns
Witnesses Thomas Higgins of Sydney & Sophia Higgins of Sydney
;Groom=Edward Field4 
Married Name18 October 1830 Field5 
Death of Father28 August 1836 Nepean, NSW, Australia;Principal=John Lees6,7 
Death of Mother26 July 1839 Christ Church, Castlereagh, NSW, Australia;
Name: Mary Stevens
Abode: Castlereagh
When Died: 26th July 1839
When Buried: 27th July 1839
Age: 64
Quality or Profession (if bond, name of ship): Royal Admiral, Widow to John Lees
By whom the ceremony was performed: Henry Fulton;Deceased=Mary Lees8 
Death of Spouse7 December 1846 Castlereagh, NSW, Australia;
age 49, Innkeeper, abode Castlereagh;Principal=Edward Field9 
Married Name19 October 1847 Wilson10 
Marriage*19 October 1847 Castlereagh, NSW, Australia;
Thomas Wilson of this Parish Bachelor and
Esther Field of this Parish Widow were
married in this Church by Banns with the consent of
this 19th day of October in the year 1847
By me John Vincent Chaplain
The marriage was solemnized between us:
Thomas Wilson
Esther Field her mark
In the Presence of:
Will Field his mark of Castlereagh
James Fraser of Same place
;Groom=Thomas Wilson11 
Death*26 July 1875 Forbes, NSW, Australia;Esther Wilson, 63 or 64, Disease of the heart (verdict of Coroners Jury), born Castlereagh, Penrith
Father John Lees, Wesleyan Minister
Mother not known
Married Edward Field, age 18
Children 4 males, 1 female living, 1 male deceased
Married Thomas Wilson,
Children 1 female living
Informant John F Armstrong, Coroner and John Field, son Forbes
Buried 27/07/1875 Forbes, Rev E Dunstan, Church of England12 
Inquest26 July 1875 Forbes, NSW, Australia;
No.: 616
Date of Inquest or Inquiry: July 26 1875
Where Held: Forbes
Name of Deceased: Esther Wilson
Before Whom: J. F. Armstrong
When Received: July 29 1875
Finding: Disease of the heart13 

Family 1

Edward Field b. 16 Sep 1797, d. 7 Dec 1846

Family 2

Thomas Wilson


  1. [S1220] NSW Baptisms 1788-1855.
  2. [S1328] 1825 Muster for NSW, Australia.
  3. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online, The Australian, Friday, October 8, 1830.
  4. [S1570] NSW Early Church Records 1788-1855, V1830135 14/1830 Edward Field & Esther Lees.
  5. [S164] NSW Marriage Certificate V1830135 14/1830 - Field and Lees.
  6. [S1223] NSW Deaths 1788-1975.
  7. [S1241] Penrith City e-history.
  8. [S1480] Christ Church Castlereagh Burial Register.
  9. [S1570] NSW Early Church Records 1788-1855, V1846739 31B/1846 Edward Field.
  10. [S1225] The "Distant Fields" - the roots of our tree.
  11. [S1219] NSW Marriages 1788-1857.
  12. [S1294] NSW Death Registration Transcription.
  13. [S1598] NSW Registers of Coroners' Inquests, 1821-1937, online, Esther Wilson 1875.
  14. [S48] Lees Family Reunion.
  15. [S129] NSW Death 4301/1868 - Henry Field.
  16. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online, The Evening News, Saturday, June 28, 1873.