Remembering the Past Australia

Terms of Land Granted to Settlers in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land 1828

The following terms, published in the Colonial Times (Hobart) on 18 January 1828, were directed to potential settlers setting out the regulations for land grants in the Colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.


FOR the information of Persons proceeding to New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, as Settlers, it has been deemed expedient to prepare the following summary of the Rules which His Majesty’s Government have thought fit to lay down for regulating the Grants of Land in those Colonies:-

1.—A division of the whole Territory into Counties, Hundreds, and Parishes is in progress. When that division shall be completed, each Parish will comprise an area of about 25 miles. A valuation will be made of the Lands throughout the Colony, and an average price will be struck for each Parish.

2.—All the Lands in the Colony not hitherto granted, and not appropriated for public purposes, will be put up to sale at the average price thus fixed, or be granted to Settlers upon other conditions.

3.—Until a survey and valuation of the whole of the Lands shall have taken place, persons desirous of purchasing, as well as these who wish to obtain Lands without purchase, will have the permission of selecting their Land within certain prescribed limits, and the Land which they may so select, will be surveyed and valued as soon as practicable, and be sold, or be granted under Quit-rent, according to the option of the Settler.

4.—All Persons proposing to purchase Lands, must transmit a written application to the Governor in a certain prescribed form, which will be delivered at the Surveyor General’s Office, to all parties applying, on payment of a fee of two shillings and six-pence.

5.—The Land selected by individuals who have obtained leave to purchase, will be valued by the Commissioners with as little delay at possible, and will be put up to sale for one mouth (by Proclamation) and will not be sold at a lower rate than the value fixed. Sealed tenders for the purchase of the land advertised, as above, to be addressed under cover to the Colonial Secretary, and marked “TENDER FOR LAND.” At the end of a month from the date of the Proclamation, the Tenders will be opened in the presence of such Persons as the Governor may appoint, when the Land will be disposed of to the Person making the highest Tender, if approved of by the Governor.

6.—All correspondence with the Local Government respecting Grants of Land, must take place through the office of the Surveyor General, in the same manner as is prescribed in regard to the land which the parties may be desirous of purchasing. 

7.—A deposit of 16 per Cent. upon the whole value of the purchase to be paid down, the remainder to be paid half yearly by Promissory Notes, payable at such intervals of time, and under such regulations as may be agreed upon by the Governor.

8.—On Payment of the Money, a Grant will be made in fee simple to the purchaser, at the nominal Quit-rent of a Pepper Corn.

9.—The largest quantity of land which will be sold to any individual is 9,600 acres. The lands will generally be put up to sale in lots of 3 square miles, or 1920 acres. Persons wishing to make more extensive purchases, must apply to the Secretary of State, in writing, with full explanations of their object and means.

10.—Lands may also be obtained without immediate purchase, but upon different conditions.

11.—Persons desirous to become Grantees without immediate purchase, will address themselves to the Colonial Secretary, who will furnish them with the established form of application. When the Governor shall be satisfied of the character and respectability of the applicant, the Colonial Secretary will be instructed to furnish him with a Letter to the Land Board, in order that the amount of capital which he can command may be ascertained. Stock of every description, implements of husbandry, and other articles which may be applicable to agricultural purposes, are to be considered as Capital, as likewise any half pay or, pension which the applicant may receive from Government.

12.—The Land Board will carefully investigate the particulars of the capital which the respective applicants are stated to possess, it being of importance that Settlers should not receive a greater extent of land than they are capable of improving, and that grants should not be made to persons who are desirous only of disposing of them. The regulations fixing the period within which persons receiving grants, without purchase, will not be allowed to alienate the lands (Without subjecting themselves to a forfeiture of the grants) will be hereafter notified.

13.—When the Governor, is satisfied as to the amount of capital possessed by the applicant, (who must have the power of expending in the cultivation of the lands a capital equal to one-fourth part of their estimated value at the least) the latter will be furnished by the Colonial Secretary with a Letter to the Surveyor General, who will afford him every necessary information, and will give him a written authority, for which he will pay a fee of 2s. 6d. to proceed in search of land.

14.—When he has made this selection, he will apprise the Surveyor General, by letter, who will point out in his report (to be transmitted twice a month for the Governor’s information) the situation, &c. of such lands as have been selected. If approved by the Governor, the Colonial Secretary will give the applicant a written authority to take possession of the land (in which the conditions will be specified) until the grant be regularly made out.

15.—The largest grant that will be made to any fresh Settler without purchase, is 2,500 acres—the smallest, 320 acres.

16.—Lands to be granted in square miles, in the proportion of one square mile or 640 acres for every £500 sterling of capital which the applicant can immediately command, to the extent of four square miles, or 2,560 acres, which is the utmost that can be granted without purchase. The Crown reserves to itself the right of making and constructing such roads and bridges as may be necessary for public purposes on lands to be granted, as above, and also to tuck indigenous timber, stone, and other materials the produce of the land, as may be required for making and keeping the said roads and bridges in repair, or of compelling the proprietor after a certain period, to construct roads through his own property, or to contribute either by money payments, or by work performed towards an object so desirable.

17.—A Quit-rent of 5 per Cent, per annum, upon the value of each grant of land, as estimated in the survey, will be levied on all such grants; but such Quit-rent will not commence to be levied, until the expiration of the first seven years next succeeding the issue of such grant; at the expiration of the above-mentioned seven years, the Grantee will become possessed in fee simple of the grant, subject to the payment of the Quit-rent; or he will be entitled to redeem such Quit-rent, if he prefer that alternative.

18.—The Quit-rent will always be redeemable at 20 years purchase; the power of such redemption commencing at the termination of the first seven years, when such quit-rent is first levied.

19.—Every Grantee without purchase, must at the expiration of the before-mentioned term of seven years, prove to the satisfaction of the Surveyor General, that he has expended in the cultivation and improvement of his land a capital equal to one-fourth of its value, as that value was estimated at the time of his grant; on failure of such proof the land will be forfeited to the Crown.

20.—No additional grant of land will be made to any person, who has not proved, as last-mentioned, the necessary expenditure of capital on the lands already granted to him, and that he has sufficient capital in hand to enable him to cultivate to advantage the additional grant for which he applies.

21.—Persons receiving a second grant of land without purchase, will become liable to pay a Quit-rent upon the lands comprised in such second grant, immediately from the date of it; but any Grantee who can shew an expenditure of capital upon his first grant, to the amount of five times the estimated value of that grant at the time of its being made to him, will be entitled to a further grant, with a reduction in his Quit-rent at the rate of 2½ per cent. on the estimated value of such grant, on proving that he has sufficient capital still in hand to cultivate to advantage the additional grant.

22.—The same regulation will apply to purchasers of land who may make application for a second purchase, and who can shew that they have laid out, capital upon such land to five times the amount of its estimated value. In such a case, half the estimated value of the new land will be remitted.

23.—Persons desirous to receive grants of land without purchase, on terms different from those above stated, must lay before the Secretary of State, through the Governor of the Colony, if resident there, a full, explanation, in writing, of the circumstances which induce them to claim exemption from the operation of these general rules.

24.—The personal residence of individuals on the land which they may obtain by grant, or purchase, or the employment on the spot of a free man of approved character and respectability will be made an indispensable condition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.