Thompson, Frederick Lee Chalmers

Full name:

Thompson, Frederick Lee Chalmers

Dates recorded for being in Berrima:


Occupation if known and land ownership:

Police Magistrate


Arrived Free

Frederick lee Chalmers Thompson was Berrima’s first police magistrate appointed on 1 March 1836.[1] His salary was £250 per annum. He had been a magistrate in the area since 1833 and served until November 1839 when he was succeeded by George Meares Countess Bowen.[2]

His name first appears is the press in in 1831 when he was assigned two convicts. His location at that time is given as Camden where he was a neighbour of the Macarthurs.[3]

In 1831 Governor Darling also promised him 2560 acres near Tarlo, north of Goulburn, which he subsequently calls Rhyanna. The deed of this property was not transferred to him until 1839 but he was obviously occupying this land earlier as the deeds for his 1834 purchase of adjacent 120 acres refers to him as ‘of Goulburn Plains’. He paid £30 for these 100 acres. This land is close to that of his Camden neighbour, James Macarthur. He added a further 2000 plus acres to his holdings in 1841.[4]

Given the duties of the police magistrate, especially at a time when there was a significant contingent of convicts and workmen in the township, it is likely he resided in Berrima. This is supported by an advertisement in 1838 requesting an overseer for his Tarlo property which gives his address as Berrima.[5] The exact location is identified by his successor, George Bowen, who, in a letter to the Colonial Secretary, makes it clear Thompson lived in the cottage on Wingecarribee Street, alongside the gaol, moving into a house vacated by John Lambie, the roads surveyor.[6] In 1838, he purchased six allotments in Berrima in Section 13, well away from the centre of the township and on the other side of the river, but given his intention to resign soon after that they were likely purchased as investments.

Frederick Chalmers Lee Thompson died at Rhyanna without issue in 1843.[7] The sale of his estate listed 8000 sheep![8]

[1] Returns of the Colony, 1836
[2] Australian, 10 May 1833
[3] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 21 June and 28 June 1832
[4] Sydney Herald, 10 November 1841
[5] Sydney Herald, 29 January 1838
[6] Sydney Monitor, 11 May 1836 (The purchase date on the memorial for his six allotments in Berrima is March 1838 – he is described as of ‘Bong Bong’ on the Memorial but this may simply relate to Bong Bong being the name of the administrative district when he first applied for the land.)
[7] Sydney Morning Herald, 1 November 1843
[8] Sydney Morning Herald, 21 June 1844