SUTTOR, George (1774-1859)

SUTTOR, George (1774-1859)
was born at Chelsea, England, in 1774, the son of a gardener and botanist on the estate of Lord Cadogan. Coming under the notice of Sir Joseph Banks (q.v.) he was sent to Australia with a collection of trees and plants including grape-vines, apples, pears, and hops. These were put on board H.M.S. Porpoise in October 1798, but delays took place and it was not until September 1799 that a proper start was made. A gale, however, came on, the Porpoise was found to be unseaworthy, and a return was made to Spithead. In March 1800 another start was made on a vessel taken from the Spaniards and re-named the Porpoise, which arrived at Sydney on 6 November 1800. In spite of these delays Suttor managed to land some of his trees and vines still alive. It was agreed that he was to be given a grant of land, and he settled at Chelsea Farm, Baulkham Hills. In a few years time he was sending oranges and lemons to Sydney, obtaining good prices for them, and had become a successful settler. At the time of the Bligh (q.v.) rebellion in 1808 he took up the cause of the deposed governor with great courage. When Colonel Paterson (q.v.) arrived Suttor's was the first signature to an address presented to him promising to give him "every information and support in our power in order that full satisfaction and justice may be given to the governor (whom we highly revere) . . . we cannot but feel the most confidant reliance that you will take prompt and effectual means to secure the principals in this most unjustifiable transaction". Suttor was, however, arrested and sentenced to be imprisoned for six months. The stand taken by him was much to his honour; a full account of it will be found in the Historical Records of Australia, vol. VII, pp. 131-7. He always spoke of Bligh as a "firm and kind-hearted English gentleman, no tyrant and no coward" (W. H. Suttor, Australian Stories Retold, p. 6). In 1810 he was summoned to England as a witness on behalf of Bligh, and arrived in Australia again in May 1812. In 1814 he was given the position of superintendent of the lunatic asylum at Castle Hill and he was still in this position in 1817, but he took up land again and in 1822 removed to beyond the Blue Mountains. Nine years later Suttor was living on the Baulkham Hills property, and he also built a house at Sydney. He visited England in 1839 and was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society. In 1843 he published a volume on The Culture of the Grape-Vine and the Orange in Australia and New Zealand, and in his old age he remembered his first patron, and wrote the Memoirs Historical and Scientific of Sir Joseph Banks, which appeared in 1855. Suttor died at Bathurst on 5 May 1859, He married in 1798 a Miss Dobinson and founded a distinguished Australian family. Mrs Suttor died in 1844, but five sons and three daughters survived their father. Of the sons, William Henry (1805-1877) was a member of the New South Wales legislative council from 1843 to 1854, and a member of the legislative assembly from 1856 to 1872. He died at Bathurst on 20 October 1877. His eldest son, William Henry Suttor (1834-1905), entered the legislative assembly in January 1875 and became minister for mines in the Farnell (q.v.) ministry in December 1877. He was nominated to the legislative council in 1880 and in 1889 became vice-president of the executive council and representative of the Parkes (q.v.) ministry in the legislative council. He was one of the representatives of New South Wales at the March 1891 federation convention. He died in 1905. He published in 1887 Australian Stories Retold. His brother, Sir Francis Bathurst Suttor, is noticed separately. Another son of George Suttor was John Bligh Suttor (1809-1886), who for some years represented East Macquarie in the legislative assembly, and at the time of his death was a member of the legislative council.
S. M. Johnstone, Journal and Proceedings, Parramatta and District Historical Society, vol. I, p. 71; Historical Records of Australia, ser. I. vols. II, VI, VII, IX; W. H. Suttor, Australian Stories Retold; The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 May 1886.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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  • George Suttor — (11 June 1774 – 5 May 1859) was a pioneer settler of Australia.Early lifeSuttor was born at Chelsea, London, England, the son of a gardener and botanist on the estate of Lord Cadogan. Coming under the notice of Sir Joseph Banks he was sent to… …   Wikipedia

  • Suttor family — /ˈsʌtə/ (say sutuh) noun an Australian pastoral and political family in NSW. 1. George, 1774–1859, pioneer orchardist, born in England; brought to NSW a consignment of trees and shrubs sent by Sir Joseph Banks. 2. his son, William Henry, 1805–77 …  

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