Amboise Willoughby Bean's Grant 
The early history of Erina is extremely complex, and littered with financial disasters and dubious dealings.
Extent of Amboise: Amboise was a narrow 2,000-acre property that stretched from the coast between Wamberal and Terrigal Lagoons, all the way to Erina Creek, and lies between today's Terrigal Drive to the south, and The Entrance Road to the north.
Willoughby Bean: Willoughby Bean, was a native of Hampshire, England. His father had been captured by the French in the Napoleonic wars, and sat out the remainder of the war at Amboise in France. On Willoughby Bean's arrival in the colony, he was granted 2,000 acres at Brisbane Water. In August 1825 Bean was given a certificate of occupation for the land, and he travelled there with six assigned convict servants. He was appointed Magistrate at Brisbane Water in 1826. Finding it difficult to make a living from Amboise during the recession of the late 1820s, Willoughby Bean sold to David Maziere in 1829. Bean lost his house, any improvements made to the property, and his status as a landed gentleman. Bean stayed in the district for a while after selling his property, managing other properties for wealthy landowners. 
Leaving Erina: In 1837 he married Harriett Battley, sister of another local settler Thomas Cade Battley. The couple left the area in 1839, living in the Hunter Valley, then Cook's River areas. After another difficult financial period during the 1840s depression, Willoughby returned to England to study as a clergyman. On returning to Australia during the late 1840s, the Beans settled at Port Phillip in Victoria. In 1877 Willoughby Bean died in Melbourne.
Richard Jones & David Maziere: In 1834, a Sydney merchant, Richard Jones, was granted 2000-acres at Erina. This land was the same land that Willoughby Bean had sold to David Maziere in 1829. David Maziere had in turn sold the land to David Aspinall. When the 1834 Land Grant to Richard Jones was gazetted, no one objected, not even the supposed owner Richard Aspinall!
The land grants system in New South Wales was a mess. It is not sure whether Richard Jones ever truly held title to the land at Erina. Jones was in debt to John Terry Hughes, owner (although once again, land title was in question) of the adjoining 600-acre property Runnimede on Erina Creek. Jones was declared insolvent in 1843, after John Terry Hughes' company collapsed. In turn, this brought on the financial collapse of the Bank of Australia and precipitated the wider 1840s depression.
Meanwhile, in 1842, David Maziere had sold Amboise (remember, that this property stretched all the way from Erina to the coast) to Edward Cory for the incredibly low sum of 50 pounds. With all this confusion over ownership, and with no one living at or particularly interested inAmboise, the situation was right for a squatter to move in to the former Bean property. 
Henry Donnison
Arrival at Brisbane Water: In 1832, Henry Donnison and his family moved to Brisbane Water. Donnison immediately occupied the old Bean house and property, and for over fifty years they held this large and increasingly valuable portion of land.
Timber industry: Henry Donnison had established himself as a merchant in Sydney in the late 1820s. Farming around Brisbane Water was in its infancy in the 1830s. The land was heavily forested, and deemed unsuitable for anything but cattle grazing and timber-felling. Donnison saw in the huge blue gum, turpentine and blackbutt trees the possibilities of large-scale timber getting. On Amboise, and other leased properties around the district, Donnison made a living from timber. Bullock teams would drag logs to Erina Creek. Logs were barged via Erina Creek and Brisbane Water to Sydney. Fine orchards were a feature of the property.
As many of Donnison's neighbours had been bankrupted and had little to do with their properties anyway, Erina was essentially theirs.
Donnison as master: Up to 50 assigned convict servants were employed on Donnison's lands, many as pit-sawyers. He was a hard master, who was unpopular with assigned servants owing to harsh punishments (he had a reputation for violence), and with district residents for a brusque manner and hard business dealings. He was class-conscious, and enjoyed entertaining people of a similar social status.
Brisbane Water Case: In 1837-38 Donnison was caught up in a war of words between local residents. This complicated saga in a complicated history of Erina is best told elsewhere, but the legal case involved Donnison, Willoughby Bean, George Meadows, John Moore of Avoca and a badly behaved cow named Blindberry. Ownership of the cow was at issue, and charges of cattle stealing were brought against Bean, Donnison and Moore. The gentlemen were clapped in irons, kept in the Gosford watch-house, and despatched to Sydney.
All were acquitted, and paid compensation for being poorly treated.
Henry Donnison was also a JP, and sat as a magistrate on the Bench at Brisbane Water. He died in July 1847, after a falling tree branch gave him a fractured skull. He was buried at Point Frederick Cemetery. His wife Margaret died in 1852.
Donnison's daughters: Eventually Hannah and Laura, the Donnison daughters who retained control over Amboise, claimed the property legally after over 30 years of undisturbed possession. At the height of their activities in the district, the Donnison family controlled either by occupation or lease most of today's Erina and Springfield, and parts of Terrigal and Wamberal.