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GARNHAM BLAXCELL. - Indenture made on 20th April 1815 between Garnham Blaxcell and Sir John Jamison leasing large parcels of Sydney to Jamison in receipt of payment of five shillings.

n.p. 1815 Folio, three pages on two conjugate leaves, folded with docket title on the last page. Paper quite discoloured but sound, ink faded but legible. Signed and sealed by Blaxcell. A Lands Titles Office stamp of 1868 on the docket doubtless relates to an application under the Real Property Act for some land originally part of Blaxcell's grant. ¶ A splendid and telling foundation document for the history of that most Australian heroic icon - continued in an unbroken line from Blaxcell to now - the unscrupulous and overreaching entrepeneur who ducks the consequences. Blaxcell was only one of the network of grasping shonks that constitute the noble pioneers of this new nation - most of them are familiar place names now - but I gather he was the first to go from titan to vanishing fugitive pretty much overnight. His empire had been precarious if not illusory since at least 1809 when he began mortgaging his property to business partner Thomas Jamison but still he was part of the consortium that made the Sydney hospital for rum deal with Macquarie and was issuing currency notes* as late as 1814 while his promissory notes continued to be dishonoured. Thomas Jamison's son, Sir John, arrived in the colony in 1814 and obviously set about collecting on Blaxcell's debts to his late father. The first and largest plot is the 1125 acre grant now known as the suburb Granville and I lost count of the smaller plots - each between 25 and 60 acres - in Petersham. I'm puzzled by what exactly this document is. There is mention in this agreement of rent of one peppercorn that I don't understand. Was this some scheme to hide rather than lose his assets or, more likely, a way for Jamison to collect his debt without joining the queue? Certainly this agreement pops up again in 1820 in the case of Campbell v. MacArthur and Oxley - crony and estate administrator of Blaxcell respectively - when the double dealing solicitor William Henry Moore boasted that he could "overturn the settlement made between Sir J. Jamison and Mr Blaxcell" (Sydney Gazette 1820). In any case, Blaxcell, aware that the authorities were closing in, snuck out of the colony in April 1817 and quickly drank himself to death in Batavia. *One of these worthless currency notes sold a couple of years ago for $6700, apparently a decent return for a 200 year wait for payment of ten shillings. Doesn't seem enough to me.
AUD 1350.00 [Appr.: EURO 865.5 US$ 1041.01 | £UK 747.5 | JP¥ 112445] Book number 9792

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