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John Laughton was born 1815 in Stromness, Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom to Peter Laughton (c1784-) and Isabella Brown (1788-) and died 14 September 1901 in Laughtondale, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia of unspecified causes.

In 1838 John Laughton at the age of 23 married the 18 year old widow Charlotte Alce (nee Goodsell), and became step-father to her young son John Alce. (Alce is the correct spelling for this surname. Some have incorrectly changed it into Alice.)

John Laughton arrived in Australia on 21 March 1836 at the age of 21. He was a ship's carpenter on the ship Stirling Castle which was captained by the famous Captain Frazer. John jumped ship in Sydney, New South Wales. He came to the Hawkesbury River because of his ship building and carpentry interests. In 1838 he married a daughter of convicts, who had been recently widowed. The record of his marriage confirms that, as he was not a convict but a freeman, and as his wife had been born a freewoman in the colony, they did not need the g Governor's permission to marry. (Biographical information can be sourced in a small publication - accessable on-line from the National Library of Australia - produced by the Epworth Printing and Publishing House, Kent St Sydney, NSW. The author of this publication was Rev. James Colwell. The title of this publication Methodist pioneers : Mr. John Laughton, a lower Hawkesbury veteran, local preacher, class leader, circuit steward for 50 years. There is no date of publication but it was written after his death in 1901 in memorial of his life and service as a local preacher of the Lower Hawkesbury.)

Please note that another different John Laughton arrived in Sydney, New South Wales on 5 July 1835 as a convict onboard the Marquis of Huntley.

Laughtondale, NSW, Australia is named after him. From the Dictionary of Sydney ( we learn that Laughtondale is located on the banks of the Hawkesbury, downstream from Wisemans Ferry. John Laughton settled in the the Hawkesbury area in the 1840s, making a living from boatbuilding and later from both boatbuilding and orcharding. (We also learn that when John Laughtondale arrived in the colony of New South Wales in 1835 as a crew member on board the Stirling Castle that it as fortunate for him that he absconded from the ship when it reached Sydney Harbour as the ship was later wrecked near Fraser Island. It is after one of the passengers wrecked on the island, Eliza Fraser, that the island was named.) From Hawkesbury People and Places ( we learn that John Laughton bought land in the place now called Laughtondale for his orchard at Windsor on 11 March 1868. He selected 6 portions totalling 280 acres, 1 of 40 acres, 2 of 60 acres, and 3 of 40 acres. Much of the land was described as "tea tree swamp" which was often inundated by high spring tides. See futher page 58 of the book Pictorial History Hawkesbury by Michelle Nicols, Kingclear Books, 2004 which also references the stated biographical details, and contains a photo of one of the boats that Laughton built together with the Greentrees.

Obituaries published in the Windsor and Richmond Gazette on 28th Septemebr 1901:

The Late Mr. John Laughton. [By an old friend.] By the death of Mr John Laughton, of Laughtondale, Lower Hawkesbury, another of "the old familiar faces" has passed out of sight. The writer was privileged, as he esteems it, to be intimately acquainted with the deceased, and a few appreciative remarks will be acceptable to the numerous readers of the Gazette. Mr Laughton was a native of Scotland, and had all the tenacity of convictions conspicuous in his countrymen. His principles of any class, religious, social, or political, were not held feebly or intermittently, but as a part of his nature vital to it. As a lay preanher in the Wesleyan Church the greater part of his long life, Mr Laughton was highly intelligent and acceptable. He was a clear, sound theologian, and read books, deep and beyond the mental grasp of many of his compeers. Mr Laughton knew exactly what he believed and why he believed it, and the religious influence he wielded was widespread and helpful to his fellow men. He was faithful in the various church offices he filled, and a generous contributor to religious and charitable objects, as far as moderate means would permit. Social reform had in him a warm advocate, and he stood by the temperance cause unflinchingly. In politics he was always for freedom. He was a freetrader, and upheld progressive aims generally. Having lived for over half a century on the Lower Hawkesbury, Mr Laughton could tell some Gruesome stories of the convict times whan the unfortunates were cruelly dealt with as they laboured at Wiseman's Ferry to cut roads through solid rock, and build up an enduring highway on mountain sides of precipitous slope. At 82 years of age he was "the old man eloquent," whose "tales of a grandfather" were really fascinating, not only with facts of ancient days, but enlivened with gleams of wit and humor. Had Mr Laughton written the experiences and observations of his life, an attractive booh would have resulted. As a friend he was true as steel - one to be depended upon implicitly, and the hospitality of his home was hearty and generous. A good man has completed a life of 86 years, lived in usefulness and kindliness, and leaving behind him a memory his family may be proud of, and an influence that will go on blessing the world to the end of time. The good old Patriarch leaves a large family of sons and daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and the name of honest John Laughton is not likely to disappear from the Hawkesbury. May his virtues continue in his descendants. - South Coast September 18th.

The patriarch of Laughtondale, Mr John Laughton, senr., peacefully passed away on Saturday week, in his 87th year. Repeatedly he was so ill that his life was despaired of, but a strong constitution and unwearied attention on the part of his daughters helped him on his feet again. However, an attack of influenza proved too severe this time to one weakened by illness, of such advanced years; thus the hour of his departure drew nigh, and it was all 'peace, perfect peace' — a mere passing 'within the veil'. Truly the prophet's words were verified in our old friend's case: 'Thou keepest him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee'. For more than forty years he laboured for his Master as a local preacher, supplying many preaching places in the large Hawkesbury circuit — sparing neither labour nor time to reach the widely-scattered centres. There was a large funeral on Monday afternoon last, when his mortal remains were deposited in a grave alongside of his faithful partner, who was buried on the estate about nine years ago. The Rev J Colwell, of Sackville Reach, conducted the funeral service, giving a short but very impressive address, and informing the mourners that the next time he is due at the Lower Hawkesbury Chapel he intends to hold a memorial service, which no doubt will be largely attended. We shall miss the old, familiar face; still to him 'death is gain', for be longed to join those who had gone before, and just as the immortal spirit passed away a 'foregleam of heaven' was granted to two of his daughters-in-law, who were near him (one supporting his head and the other holding his left hand) for they both heard the playing on a harp producing most delightful music; it seemed as if the 'heavenly watchers' accorded him a hearty welcome. 'Mark the perfect man, for the end of that man is perfect peace'. May we all strive after greater perfection, so that whensoever the summons reaches us to pass from time into eternity, we may bo ready, as was our dear old friend, the late Squire of Laughtondale.


Offspring of John Laughton and Charlotte Gutsell (1819-1891)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Peter Laughton (1838-1855) 1838 Windsor, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia 18 December 1855 Windsor, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia
Fanny Laughton (1839-1921) 1839 Windsor, New South Wales, Australia 15 October 1921 Gosford, New South Wales, Australia John Banham Hewitt (1827-1885)

Isabella Laughton (1841-1912) 22 July 1841 St Albans, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 1 March 1912 Kogarah, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Samuel Watkins (1843-1941)

John William Laughton (1843-1912) 1843 Windsor, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia 31 July 1912 Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Eliza Gill (1858-1920)

James Laughton (1845-1927) 14 November 1845 Windsor, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia 25 May 1927 Chatswood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Jane Reid (1848-1879)
Mary Ann Douglass (1853-1944)

William Schofield Laughton (1847-1847) 1847 Wisemans Ferry, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia 1847 Wisemans Ferry, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia
Elijah Laughton (1848-1911) 10 October 1848 Windsor, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia 8 April 1911 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Ann Jane Chaseling (1854-1942)

Charlotte Margaret Laughton (1851-1898) 1851 Windsor, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia 23 June 1898 Wisemans Ferry, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia
Joseph Samuel Laughton (1853-1939) 1853 Windsor, New South Wales, Australia 14 March 1939 Windsor, New South Wales, Australia Ada Elizabeth Ashton (1861-1955)

Mary Catherine Laughton (1855-1935) 24 March 1855 Wisemans Ferry, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia 23 October 1935 Willoughby, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Henry Reid (1844-1910)

David Laughton (1857-1924) 1857 Windsor, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia 15 August 1924 Matraville, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Jessie Gill (1867-1947)

Fairlena Laughton (1860-1934) 1860 Windsor, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia 2 February 1934 Chatswood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia George Wells (1874-1934)

Frederick S Laughton (1863-1866) 1863 Windsor, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia 1866 Wisemans Ferry, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia

Footnotes (including sources)

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