The Laycock family

Thomas and Hannah Laycock’s youngest daughter Elizabeth married my great great great grandfather Thomas Pitt, hence the connection between the two pioneering families.

Thomas Laycock travelled to New South Wales in 1791 as a quartermaster with the New South Wales Corps. His wife Hannah came with him along with their elder children. Elizabeth was born in Sydney in 1796.

Laycock senior was at various times granted huge tracts of land in the Sydney area, including 80 acres at Parsley Bay (where Vaucluse House now stands) and at Homebush, which he named.

Click here for the map of Homebush Estate (1803)

He was involved in the notorious incident of ‘Boston’s Pig’, when he ordered Susanna Pitt’s husband-to-be William Faithfull to shoot a pig that was trespassing on land belonging to Captain Foveaux, and in 1804 he helped to quell the rebellion at Castle Hill. In his later years he appeared to go off the rails rather and was courtmartialled in 1805 for among other things using mutinous language against his superior officer. He died in 1809.

The battle of Vinegar Hill (aka the Castle Hill rebellion). Thomas Laycock is on the left.

There’s more to read about Thomas in Ken Laycock’s self published booklet (available at the Mitchell Library in Sydney) LAYCOCK: A Pioneer Australian Family.

Thomas’s wife Hannah left the colony for England in 1806 to be with her daughters, who were being educated there, and did not return until 1810, after her husband had died. She had been granted land at King’s Grove in 1804 in her own right, which was unusual for a woman, but later she went to live in Sydney, where she died in 1831. The suburb of Kingsgrove is named after Hannah’s property.

Plaque marking the site of King’s Grove Farm, corner of Homer St and Rosemeath Ave (City of Canterbury)

Hannah’s story has been written up by Sheila Tearle in Hannah Laycock of King’s Grove Farm (Hurstville Historical Society, 1972), and in Kingsgrove: The First Two Hundred Years, by Ron Hill & Brian Madden (Canterbury & District Historical Society, 2004).

Hannah Laycock

Elizabeth Laycock spent her youngest years being educated back in England and was 14 years old when she returned to the colony with her mother and sister. She married Thomas Pitt at the age of 16 at St John’s Parramatta and they lived together at Pitt and Nelson’s farms (later known as Bronte) near Richmond. They had five children before Thomas died in 1821. In the years following Elizabeth produced four more children by William Scott, overseer on her property at the Hawkesbury.

Elizabeth died in 1835, aged 38.


20 thoughts on “The Laycock family

  1. Hello again Patsy – I have just re-read your brief story on the LAYCOCK family. I note you had included references to a couple of stories written about Hannah. Additionally, a good research paper “LAYCOCK: A Pioneer Australian Family” was self-published by Ken LAYCOCK in 2000 which was the result of many years of study in Australia and in UK. I suggest it woulde a worthy inclusion into the story of the famil above.

  2. Hi my fathers name was thomas william laycock, I’m wondering if he was a descendant of this bloodline. Do you have any advice on how I would find this information, I don’t know his fathers name though which is making things difficult.

    • Hello Levi, thanks for getting in touch. Where do you live? Laycock isn’t a particularly uncommon name so it’s hard to tell if you father was part of ‘my’ Laycock family. Your best starting point is probably – you can sign up for free for two weeks and find out a whole heap of information through their search engines, especially if you have dates and places, for your father at least. Let me know if you need any more help and good luck!

    • Hello Luke – always good to ‘meet’ another relative. I was in Wollumbi recently and was looking at local parish records, to see your great great grandfather was married, to Mary Matcham Pitt, five months after she gave birth to their first child…

      Best regards

  3. My ggggrandfather William Broggy/Brophy arrived asa convict in the Colony in 1829 and was assigned to the service of Elizabeth Pitt and received his ticket of leave in 1832 and received a pardon in 1835. He entered into a defacto relationship with a Mary White and had two children Michael and Margaret. He died in 1844.

      • I’ve been fortunate enough to record the family’s history into a 800 page book called Not Famous Just Battlers. After William Brophy’s death in 1844 his defacto wife Mary White married a John Callinan in Maitland and had three more children. Between her five children, they used various derivatives of the Callinan surname until in 1870 they all used the surname Callaghan. I am currently trying to find a connection to William Broggy back in Co. Clare Ireland.

  4. Hannah Laycock was my great great great grandmother. Her daughter Elizabeth had a daughter Elizabeth Scott and she was the mother of my grandmother Mary May Timmins

    • Hello Maria – I’m delighted to hear from a Timmins descendant. In the book I am writing at the moment about my ancestor GM Pitt Jack Timmins features strongly. I’m particularly interested to know more about that side of the family and in particular why Elizabeth Scott’s father William left her out of his will. Another family genealogist claims it was because he disapproved of her marriage to Timmins but offers no evidence of it. Do you know anything about this?

  5. I have no idea but will investigate further. It may be because the Timms family were Catholic. James Timmins and Ann Balwin were convicts who settled in Windsor NSW. Jack Scott wrote a book about the Scott’s so I will go through that text . Jack’s sister Jean married a Makeham and her son Alex married Sarah Ferguson’s (Prince Andrew’s ex wife) sister Jane.
    Jack Timmins was James Timmins son. He is linked to the breeding of the Australian Blue Heeler and was a drover.

    • The Jack Scott book you mention – is this available to the general public? I presume he was descended from William. I’d love to read that book if I could get hold of a copy. Jack T and Elizabeth married in a Presbyterian Church I gather, which muddies the waters even more…

      • Jack Timmins was probably a Catholic.
        As there were few if any Catholic priests in the colony at that time , Catholics were permitted to have their marriage performed by a Protestant Clergyman.
        That Church law changed in 1908 with the ‘Ne TEMERE’ Decree.

    • Hi, Re..Jack Timmins “linked to the breeding of Australian Blue Heeler”. My information is that he was not the original breeder of the Australian Cattle Dog or Blue heeler. He was the original breeder of the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. Which is a very different breed of dog.

  6. In addition, Elizabeth Scott was pregnant when she married John
    I will search the house for the Jack Scott book and send you the details.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s