Matthew James Everingham was only a boy of 15 years when he stood in the dock at the Old Bailey in 1784 accused "for that, he being a profligate person, on the 17th June did falsely pretend to Owen Owens, servant to Samuel Shepherd Esq: in the Middle Temple that he was sent to Mr Shepherd, from Mr Clermont's for Burn's Justice or Compton's practice meaning certain books, by which he obtained the same books, value 10s, the property of the said Samuel Shepherd, whereas he was not sent with that message." He was employed as an attorney's clerk and for thus obtaining books by false pretences and attempting to sell them, he was given a sentence of seven years transportation. He was put aboard 
Scarborough on 24 February 1787.  

Being literate and well-educated, he was employed as a clerk to Assistant Commissary Zachariah Clark. Although punished with 25 lashes for "drunkenness and falsehoods," he gave evidence at the trial of Sarah Bellamy, and was moved to Rose Hill to assist Henry Dodd, supervising the "pitt sawyers and the women employed at needlework."  

On 13 March 1791 Everingham married Elizabeth Rymes at Parramatta and they made their home on a grant of 50 acres at The Ponds. He records in a letter that his first years as a farmer were a struggle, but by 1792 he was producing crops of corn, wheat and barley, and had some pigs and "poultrys." 
By the time his family had grown by the addition of four children, he was on a farm at the Field of Mars and was himself the district constable. In 1806 he held a grant of 50 acres at Sackville Reach, and was employing a convict and a freeman to help run the farm. He now had six children. 

His steady advance suffered an hiatus when his farm was attacked by aborigines. He, his wife, and a servant were wounded by spears, and his house was burnt down. He recovered from this set back and continued to play an important role in the affairs of the district. His family grew to 11 children, and he received a further grant of 135 acres at Kurrajong in 1816.

Matthew Everingham met his death on Christmas Day 1817. He had been enjoying the festivities of the day when he was called out as district constable to investigate the activities of suspected smugglers of spirits on the river. Everingham fell from his boat into the river and was drowned. He was buried at St John's, Wilberforce, survived by nine children.



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