who was matthew pearce?


Who was Matthew Pearce?

Matthew Pearce was one of the first settlers in the area and our school is built on part of his property.

Matthew Pearce and his wife, Martha, arrived in Sydney in October 1794 on the convict ship "Surprise". They were both free settlers. He received a grant of 160 acres in the District of Toongabbie on the 22nd of July, 1795.

Originally from Kings Langley in England, he named his property after his birthplace and commenced building a modest home for himself and his wife. It is said that the area around the farm was named Seven Hills by Matthew Pearce, due to the seven hills which surrounded his house. This name has been in use since 1800.

Matthew became a prosperous landholder, increasing his holdings in August, 1820 and by 1822 he was supplying wheat to the Government Stores in Parramatta.

Matthew had six children - Elizabeth, Eliza Sophia, Charlotte Augusta, Martha, Matthew Woodward and William Thomas.

The white house that remains on the original grant called Astoria Park today, was originally called "Orange Grove" when the first portion was built by Matthew Woodward Pearce for his bride in 1834. Many extensions and alterations are evident to the original house.

Various members and descendants of the Pearce's came to own vast tracts of land in Baulkham Hills. Virtually the whole of Mrs Macarthur's Seven Hills Farm was, at one time, owned by the Pearce family. The names of some of these properties included Amisfield, Eastborne, Stanhope and Wooragee. These have since become the names of the school's sporting houses.

Extract from "BAULKHAM HILLS  A DISTRICT SECOND TO NONE"  by local author Pam Trimmer.

" If you look around the area, you can see various reminders of Matthew Pearce. Firstly, the Old Pearce Family Cemetery on Seven Hills Road, near Old Windsor Road. There you will find the grave of Matthew Pearce who died in 1831, (aged 69), his wife Martha who died in 1843 (aged 76) and various members of the Pearce Family.



Who was Matthew Pearce?

School History





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