Archibald Bell talk at Hawkesbury Museum

Remnants of Bell's house. Picture: Mary Avern
Remnants of Bell's house. Picture: Mary Avern

Find out which famous current Australian actor and film director has an ancestor who was “unfairly treated” by Archibald Bell at an upcoming talk on Bell’s life.

Was Bell a well-respected pillar of the early Hawkesbury community, or a scoundrel who ill-treated convicts and even helped overthrow the Governor of NSW?

These are the two extremes of the complex character of Archibald Bell, the man who founded the famous Belmont estate on Richmond Hill around 1807. (It was his son after whom Bells Line of Road was named.)

Neil Renaud of the Colo Shire Family History Group will explore the life of this man, the first paid magistrate in NSW and the first Hawkesbury resident to sit on the Legislative Council of NSW, at an illustrated talk on Saturday, morning, August 26.

Bell arrived in the colony of NSW in 1807 with his wife and eight children, a junior officer in the NSW Corps. Within seven months he was plunged into the thick of the infamous Rum Rebellion, which probably changed the course of his life.

He emerged from the turmoil to establish, over the next 29 years, a notable career as a soldier, magistrate, landholder and community supporter, if somewhat controversial in some ways.

He also, importantly, founded and developed the farming/grazing property “Belmont”, which subsequently developed a rich history under the Charleys, becoming the the St John of God Hospital at North Richmond.

This fascinating presentation, with morning tea, is $7, and $5 for history group members. It will be held as part of the next general meeting of the history group at 10.30am in the Hugh Williams Room at Hawkesbury Museum, Baker Street, Windsor. 

Book with secretary Carol Roberts on 4577 6882 or Joy Shepherd on 4588 5867.

Remnants of Bell's house. Picture: Mary Avern

Remnants of Bell's house. Picture: Mary Avern