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Skelton & other ships
Map of Tasmania

Firstly again, I would like to also take this opportunity to thank Janet Headlam, nee Napier, for providing extensive details on the Headlam's of Tasmania and Australia, after many years of research.

On the 7th July 1820 the ship "Skelton", (some references state "Skelton Castle" and set sail on the 1st June), captained by James Dixon, left Leith and Portsmouth, bound for the Cape of Good Hope & Hobart, & New South Wales, Australia. On the 22nd November 1820, it arrived in Hobart, Tasmania, Van Diemans Land as it was called then. Another ref. states arrived 27.11.1820, in the Derwent on 27th November, with 80 settles. On the 16th January 1821, it left Hobart, bound for Sydney.

On board was John Headlam, (son of Anthony John Headlam and Hannah), John's wife Ann Slade, and their children Mary Ann, Eleanor Margaret, William, John Slade, Charles and Frances. John Headlam was a native of Eggleston, County Durham, England. See Map of Durham dated 1610.

Early 1821, Governor MacQuarrie granted John Headlam 700 acres of land at MacQarrie River. Another ref. states John had a land grant from King George III of the Egleston property. This was 775 acres, of which his son Charles increased to 8,600.

During their first three years in Hobart, they built and established a Boarding School at great expense - 700. John also acted as Advocate in the Lieut. Governor's Court until 1824.

In 1823 the Headlams moved to Eggleston and at once started clearing and making other improvements After two years he leased the farm and started a boarding school in Launceston. In 1828 he applied for additional land, stating that he had erected at Eggleston "a dwelling House 32' x 14' weather boarded, brick knogged, floored, brick chimneys and oven, consisting of four rooms (two furnished and the materials ready for the others), a kitchen (detached), a dairy, a large barn, fowl house, pig house and cart shed - value of buildings 250.

During his absence in Launceston the property was run by an overseer. About 1831 he gave up school mastering and returned to Eggleston where he built the present house before 1842.

Extract from the Launceston Examiner 1898
Charles Headlam (son of John Headlam & Ann Slade), was appointed Justice of Peace 11/2/1846. He served Campbell Town Council for 4 years from 1866 - 1869, first meeting 18/9/1866.

In September 1852 he advocated continuation of transportation. In 1888 he gave site for school at Conara and subscribed to Campbell Town Hospital. He became one of the largest stock owners in the state, shearing 60,000 sheep. In the early 1890's he installed the first shearing machines in the district at "Egleston" & "Vaucluse".

In 1851 Charles Headlam began his stud flock with five ewes & one ram, all pure Saxon Merinos. At "Mona Vale" sale in 1872 he purchased all the 400 pure bred ewe lambs & 100 ewes from the number one flock. The same year he bought the "Ashby" flock of 372 ewes & 100 ewe lambs. These were run with the "Mona Vale" sheep and in 1876 three specially selected St. Johnstone rams were joined. One by "Sir Thomas" & one by "King Billy" and a third by "Wool King" all from special ewes. These rams cut over 17 pounds of wool. "Egleston" wool was fine and very dense. In 1872 "Egleston" topped the market for wool with 2/82 per lb. & in 1874 received highest price of greasy wool of 1/7 per pound.

The first shearing machines installed at "Egleston were driven by the steam engine which also worked the hot water wash on the river.

In 1880 Charles Headlam had 3,103 sheep. In other districts 2,461 sheep & 2,460 Lambs. In Oatlands 11,856 sheep & 2,500 lambs. In Great Lake 19,475 sheep. In Ross 22,161 sheep & 2,460 Lambs.