Cutter, George and Ann

Full name:

Cutter, George and Ann

Dates recorded for being in Berrima:


Occupation if known and land ownership:

Innkeeper and contractor for construction of gaol


Arrived Free

Though George Cutter worked with his neighbour and business partner Robert Notley on the construction of the gaol in 1835/6 he may not have lived in Berrima until later in life when he married Winifred McMahon, the widow of publican Bryan McMahon.

Cutter was a free settler who arrived with in the colony in 1819 or 1820 with his Ann (née Lane).[1] In 1821 he applied and received a grant of 300 acres in Mittagong. He was also allowed three convict tradesmen (one of which at some time was James Gould who in 1840 married Ann Richards of Berrima) and six-months supply of rations for them and for his family.

His early life in the colony was notable for several minor offences and when in 1827 he erected the Kangaroo Inn at the intersection of Bong Bong Rd and South Rd he had no compunction about initially operating it without a licence. Nearby he erected a stone windmill for grinding grains, a large barn, stockyards and piggery. The inn operated until 1832 when Cutter was declared insolvent and in 1834 Cutter’s property was sold to the explorer Charles Sturt.[2]

Cutter and his wife took out a lease on the new inn (also called the Kangaroo Inn but later renamed as the Fitz Roy Inn) built alongside Mitchell’s new line of road in 1835 where, though listed as the licensee, his criminal record prevented him from running the premises. He was found guilty of cattle stealing and was in Carter Barracks, Sydney, during 1836 and 1837. In 1837 he assaulted John Burstott, who had taken over the licence and was sentenced to another six-month gaol term.

The confusion as to the date when he and Ann arrived in the colony comes from the gaol admission papers between 1837 and 1839 relating to his being charged for stabbing a second licensee, William McGrath, in 1837, for which he was found guilty and sentenced to fifteen years in Van Diemen’s Land.[3] On some of the paperwork his arrival is given as 1819 on the Surry and in others as being in 1820 on the Sally. He is described as being born in 1791 and from Hereford.

Cutter served only seven years of his sentence and when he returned he fired a shot at Alexander Brand who was then running the inn.

A year after Ann’s death in 1858 Cutter married to Winifred McMahon, the widow of publican Bryan McMahon, in Berrima. Cutter died in 1860.[4]


[1] Most of Cutter’s life-story is taken from the account in Shylie Brown’s Life behind the Bar: Inns and Hotels in the Southern Highlands. BDH&FHS, Mittagong, 2014

[2] Charles Sturt. His Life and Journeys of Exploration. 07/070039

[3] SRNSW: Register of criminal cases tried at country Quarter Sessions. Series Number: 848; Reel:2758 and Australian, 12 February 1839

[4] Anglican Diocese of Sydney Records