William Augustus Watt + Ann Bird
Family Group Information
|Marriage|| 9 February 1836|
Port Macquarie, Mid North Coast, New South Wales, Australia
St Thomas Church of England
Source: Australian Dictionary of Biography. Online edition. [database - on-line]. Canberra: Australian National University, 2006
Text: Ann appointed William Augustus Watt, a former convict and ticket of leave man, as editor of the Gazette. Watt, who wrote stinging articles exposing the slave-owning mentality and practices of many of the colony's wealthy landowners. In particular, he drew attention to the activities of a group in the Hunter Valley including James Mudie, a bitter opponment of Bourke's. Brought before the Sydney bench on trumped-up charges, Watt was removed by the Governor to Port Macquarie, where the Howe estate had a land grant on the Macleay River.
In 1836 Ann petitioned Governor Bourke for permission to marry William Watt. Mudie attempted to prevent the marriage by producing evidence that Watt was a notoriously bad character who had both a wife abandoned in Scotland and a child from a liaison with a convict woman in the Female Factory. Bourke ruled that the charges were malicious and the couple married on 9 Feb 1836 at St Thomas Church of England, Port Macquarie.
In the same year, the merchant Richard Jones used his position as executor of the estate of Robert Howe and guarantor of outstanding loans, to trigger a foreclosure and transfer of ownership of the newspaper from Ann to Robert Howe's eldest son, Robert Charles (by Elizabeth Lees).
|Last change|| 17 April 2010 - 10:49:01|