Carol Carruthers, Hawkesbury Historical Society
William Cox (1764 –1837), builder, road maker and military officer was born at Wimborne in Dorset. In 1789 he married Rebecca Upjohn from Bristol and by 1797 had joined the army and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the New South Wales Corps.
Accompanied by his wife and four of his six small sons in 1799, William sailed to the colony on board the “Minerva”. On arrival, William bought Brush Farm at Eastwood from John Macarthur, whom he had succeeded as paymaster to the Corps. By 1804, he had overstretched himself and was sold up by his creditors, and of course, suspended from office as paymaster.
His creditors were paid out within a few years and William re-established himself and bought Clarendon, the site of the current RAAF base in the Hawkesbury. He was sent back to England for the trial of Governor Bligh. On his arrival back in the colony, Governor Macquarie made him a magistrate at the Hawkesbury for which he became well respected as a most humane person.
Cox obtained Government contracts to build the Court House at Windsor and possibly the Rectory to St Matthews Church. He supervised the construction of the road over the Blue Mountains in 1814, following the route of his neighbour, the surveyor, George W Evans, whose house still stands at Clarendon.
Rebecca died in 1819 and William married again having four more children by his second marriage. William passed away in 1837 and is buried with Rebecca at St Matthews Church, Windsor.
William’s property at Clarendon was a self-sufficient village, as the transcription below will show, with the variety of occupations such as its own boot makers, sawyers, drovers and even a collar maker!