Painting of John Pye's daughter
According to the Pye Family bible John Pye was born around the 12th March 1769 in Birmingham. Though no formal dates have ever been found, the family had lived in the Birmingham area for four generations.
John Pye was convicted of robbery in a dweling house in 1790 and sent for transportation to New South Wales. He arrived on the ship the Brittania in 1791
Mary Philips had been convicted of stealing from a dwelling house also and arrived in New South Wales on the Mary Ann in 1791. John and Mary were married on the 11th December 1791 at St John Church in Parramatta.
John Pye received his first land grant on the 30December 1796, this was for thirty acres and was in Toongabbie. It became known as Pye Farm. He then received another thirty acres in 1797. John had five men working for him from this year. Then in 1802 Pye was given another seventy acres in Toongabbie. Johns success continued and by 1806 John and Mary had twenty-five acres of wheat, forty-one acres of pasture, twenty acres of maize, five of fallow, four of barley and one of orchard. Plus, oxen, and sheep. There was also the one hundred acres of land that was Vincents Farm.
It was in 1810 that John started to grow oranges.
In-between 1796 and 1808 John and Mary had eight children; Mary, Joseph, John, Thomas, Sarah, James, Elizabeth, Jane.
Lachlan Macquarie visited both John Pye and his neighbour George best on their properties in 1810 during his Tour of the Interior and had this to say:
‘I am highly gratified with the them….Best and Pye. Two very industrious, respectable settlers, who have their farms well cultivated and in excellent order, with good offices and comfortable, decent houses’
In 1818 John was granted three hundred arches of land in Bathurst, in 1821, a further one hundred and thirty acres in Castle Hill, at this time he also held eight hundred acres in Baulkham Hills.
In 1821 Pye branched out and built an inn, The Lamb and Lark. He was granted his hotel licence in 1822, with his spirits licence being granted that year as well. The inn was built at the near the corner of Windsor, Castle Hill and Seven Hills Roads into Parramatta and was ran by Pye’s son John.
John Pye passed away on the 22 September 1830 and is buried at St Johns in Parramatta. His many properties passed to his sons, John, James, and Thomas. To John he left his inn The Lamb and Lark, to John he left seven properties in Toongabbie and in Bathurst. And to James he left three farms and up to two hundred and thirty acres of land.
Neera Sahni. Research Services Leader, City of Parramatta, 2022
Pye, James (1801–1884). Australian Dictionary of Biography; retrieved 31 October 2018. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/pye-james-4422
The Late Alderman James Pye: The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912) 17 January 1885: 109. Retrieved 31 March 2022. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page16632464
A Genuine Public Spirited Man: the late Mr James Pye: Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW: 1870 - 1907) 10 January 1885: retrieved 31 March 2022. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71022166
Thomas, Christine, A Family of Significant Substance: 197 years of the Pye Family in Australia. Christine G Thomas, 1989.
Parramatta & District Historical Society, Men of Parramatta, Parramatta & District Historical Society, 2000.