Located at 135 Francis Street, Richmond, New South Wales, ‘Clear Oaks’ has also been known as Onus Farm and as Moxey’s Farm after two of the previous owners. The land was part of a 100 acre grant to David Langley (Portion 55 Parish of Ham Common) given by Governor Gidley King in 1804.
The house is believed to have been built pre 1819 during the time of Governor Lachlan Macquarie by David Langley, a former sea captain and glassmaker. Langley’s wife, Ann, died in 1818 when she fell down the outside steps of the house. In 1819, the farm comprising 25 acres became the property of Joseph Onus (1782-1835) for which he paid Langley £189.
The family name Onus figures prominently in the history of the town of Richmond. The founder of the family in NSW was Joseph Onus (snr) who arrived as a convict aboard the Glatton in 1803. A native of Kent England, Onus (snr) was the son of Thomas Onus (spelt Honess) and Sarah Field. Joseph (snr) married Ann Elizabeth Eather and the couple named their first son Joseph born in 1818.
The non-symmetrical footprint of the structure and the construction materials suggest that the house was built in stages over time.
The property remained in the ownership of the Onus family for just over 100 years until July 1920 when it was purchased together with the surrounding 20 acres of farmland by Alfred Richard Moxey, a dairyfarmer from Hexham, New South Wales. From that time, the Moxey family expanded their farming interests and by the 1960s carried extensive dairy farming on the Richmond Lowlands.
Over the years, the curtilage of the property has become much reduced to less than one acre when it was last sold in 1973.
See also Hawkesbury Gazette
For further information go to Hawkesbury Library Service - Local Studies Collection
See also article published on 10 April 2008 - Sydney Morning Herald
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