By Cathy Jones
Named for James Underwood [1776?-1844], a shipbuilder, distiller and merchant. Underwood married Mary Ann Powell, one of the daughters of Edward Powell, in 1812. Powell was one of the original Liberty Plains land grantees. After Powell’s death, his land holdings were passed to his son Edward, who sold these landholdings to Underwood in 1823.
Though Underwood died in 1844, it took an Act of Parliament in the 1870’s to allow the sale of his lands. These lands were sub-divided under the title of the ‘Underwood Estate’, commencing in 1878 with the ‘Village of Homebush’, the largest portion of the Underwood Estate, extending from Homebush Road in the east, Bridge Rd in the west and Coventry Rd in the south. The northern side of the railway. The area which is currently known as Homebush West was subdivided in 1882 under the title ‘Underwood Estate’.