Painter (Paynter) Family of Braidwood and Queanbeyan, NSW


John Painter and Susannah Wainwright were married on 15 September 1834 at Bong Bong, New South Wales. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. John Vincent from Sutton Forest.

John was born in about 1803, probably in or around Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, and he was about 18 years of age when transported to the British penal colony of New South Wales (NSW).  He had been tried the previous year at the Hereford Assizes and, with an accomplice Richard Moore, was found guilty of breaking into, and stealing from, the house of Edward Butt of Ledbury in Herefordshire.  Originally condemned to death, both miscreants were reprieved on condition of being transported for life.  On 22 December 1820 John left England on the ship Speke, knowing that he could never return. After a sea voyage of nearly 5 months, he arrived in Sydney on 18 May 1821.

SusannahWainwright (or McNally), a native of Manchester, was born in about 1813.  At the age of 19 she was tried at the Chester Assizes and found guilty of receiving upwards of £429, stolen by an accomplice, 17 year old Peter Anderson, from Mr George Parrott of Brinnington. Susannah was sentenced to transportation for 14 years. She sailed from England on 11 December 1832 on board the ship Diana, arriving in Sydney, after a voyage of 5 1/2 months, on 25 May 1833.



 Descendants of John Painter and Susannah Wainwright


Further Notes on John Painter and Susannah Wainwright

John Painter had not been long in the colony of NSW before he began to establish for himself a reputation for trouble.  Between 1822 and 1827 he absconded from custody on at least five occasions, and was finally sent to the penal colony of Moreton Bay for three years.  Upon his return from Moreton Bay in 1830 he was soon on the run once more, absconding from his employer, Mr Hawkins of Blackdown near Bathurst. This time he managed to remain at liberty for several years, adopting the identity of Andrew Gandon, a sailor who had recently arrived in the colony, and whose discharge certificate, or a forged copy of it, had somehow come into John's possession. 

Using his false papers John Painter was able to secure employment with a number of respectable landowners in the Braidwood district. It was during this period, while he was employed by the Curlewis brothers of Jinden, that John met and married Susannah Wainwright, who was assigned as a servant to Mr and Mrs Kennedy of Krawarree. Susannah was apparently unaware of her husbands's true identity.

After they were married John secured employment with Major Elrington, on his estate of Mount Elrington on the Shoalhaven River.  Unfortunately, luck was about to run out for John and Susannah. They had not been married 12 months when John's true identity was discovered and he was taken into custody by the mounted police, leaving Susannah alone with a baby daughter to fend for as best she could, and condemned once more to a life of penal servitude. Things did not turn out as badly as they might, however, as Major Elrington showed some sympathy for Susannah's plight, and at least allowed her to remain at Mount Elrington.

While separated from her husband Susannah had a second child, William, in 1837.  The father was almost certainly William Chatterton, a sheep overseer employed by Captain John Coghill at Bedar Vale near Braidwood.   A second daughter, Martha, was born in 1839.

Susannah applied to the Governor for permission to marry William Chatterton in 1836, but her petition was refused, presumably on the grounds that she was already married. In 1837, several months after the birth of William junior, Susannah was in Sydney, in the service of John and Ann Simanton of Philip Street. She once again applied for permission to marry, this time stating herself to be a single woman. On this occasion permission was granted, though no marriage appears to have taken place, and Susannah was eventually reunited with her errant husband.

After being recaptured in 1835 John Painter appears to have settled down and caused no further trouble to the authorities.  By 1840 John and Susannah were back together and living in the Bathurst district.  They had both obtained tickets of leave, which allowed them to have some measure of freedom and to earn their own living, though they were required to remain in the Bathurst district and attend regular musters.  They were granted ticket of leave passports in 1842 which enabled them to travel freely between Bathurst and Mudgee, which suggests they may have been in the carrying business, perhaps transporting provisions to the newly developing town of Mudgee.  In 1843 John and Susannah applied for permission to return to the Braidwood district, where they settled with their growing family and where in 1848 John was granted a conditional pardon.

In 1855 John purchased a small property at Tantulean Creek, near Braidwood, and settled down to life as a respectable farmer. Unfortunately financial difficulties forced him to sell the property by 1862, and the family moved to Mockens Flat near Hoskinstown.  John appeared on the Electoral Roll for Mockens Flat until 1878.  As nothing more is known of him, he is presumed to have died around this time. Susannah later moved to Laurel Hill between Batlow and Tumbarumba, near to the property of her son in law Adam Livingstone and daughter Susan.

The story of John and Susannah finally came to an end on 4 February 1901 at Newington Asylum in Sydney, with the death of Susannah Painter. She is buried in the Roman Catholic section of Rookwood Cemetery. 


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