Louisa Le Sage (1792?-?)

by Colleen Arulappu

 

Louisa Le Sage was born in Bretagne, France about 1792. Louisa was tried at the Old Bailey on 7 September 1794 for feloniously stealing a silver watch, value 2P. a metal watch key, value 1d, a black mode clock, value 10s, a dimity petticoat, value 2s. 6d. and two cotton shawls, value 5s, from the house of James Brocke. Louisa had been working as a maid in the house and when the articles were missed the police were called. Louisa was questioned in French, her lodgings searched and some items found there and more at the pawnbrokers in the Borough. Louisa said that she had known the Mr Brocke, the master of the house, before she met the lady and that he had given her the watch. Another servant girl gave evidence against that statement. A jury made up of half-English and half-foreign members found Louisa guilty and she was sentenced to 7 years’ transportation. She arrived in Sydney Cove on 30 April 1776 aboard the Indispensible.

On 7 February 1800 at St John’s Church Parramatta Louisa married Gabriel Louis Marie Huon de Kerilleau, a soldier and tutor and pioneer grazier, who claimed to be of a noble family and refugee from the French revolution. Governor King had given permission for the marriage which was conducted by the Rev Samuel Marsden. Gabriel had arrived in Sydney aboard the Surprise in 1794 as a private soldier, and after his discharge from the army in 1807 tutored two of John Macarthur’s sons. He was held in high esteem by most of the early governors and regularly visited Government House. He received several small land grants and in 1810 Governor Macquarie granted him 400 acres at Narellen.

Louisa and Gabriel had five children. Their first child and only daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1797, married Captain William Mitchell, a retired officer. In 1823, Louisa’s husband, Gabriel, her son Paul, and son-in-law, William Mitchell received a ticket of occupation for a large tract of land at Bungonia. Louisa and Gabriel built a slab home, “Karn” on their part of the land and their daughter and son-in-law named their home ‘Brisbane Meadows’ on their part of the property. Two years later Gabriel brought another thousand acres at nearby Corrundaroo

Gabriel Huon de Kerilleau is believed to have died in December 1828. He had set out to walk from his property to visit his son at Campbelltown and became lost in the gullies of the Shoalhaven River area. His body was never found. Louisa died in 1842, aged 70, and was buried at ‘Brisbane Meadows’ the property of her son-in-law, William Mitchell.

Louisa and Gabriel Huon de Kerilleau had established themselves as respected and successful settlers and among their descendants are many notable pioneers of the Albury and surrounding districts.

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