John Parkes (also known as John Perks or Parks) was a convict sentenced for life and transported from England. He arrived on the ship Indefatigible in 1811 and got his Ticket of Leave in 1829.
Parkes was given a grant of land in 1831 which was bounded by Woolcott, Spark and William Streets and stretched almost to Earlwood Avenue. He and his sons were sawyers and the grant was known as "Parkes Camp", meaning headquarters of a group of sawyers. The area became known as "Parkestown", later Earlwood. His land contained the site of Earlwood Park. It is believed the original Parkes homestead stood on the western side of Earlwood Park fronting William St.
When he died John Parkes' fifty acres of land was divided into five acre lots between his sons.