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Events in Australia - 1811 - 1820


Jan 1 Gov. Macquarie's police regulations for Sydney (issued 6 Oct. 1810) come into effect; Sydney Police Court established.
Apr 10 Toll bars come into operation on the newly completed turnpike road from Sydney to Parramatta (one in George St, Haymarket; the other at Boundary St, Parramatta).
Jun 5 At his court martial in London, George Johnston is convicted of mutiny and sentenced to be cashiered from the army (but allowed to return to NSW); Macarthur is ordered to remain in England.
Jul 2 Providence arrives at Port Jackson with 174 convicts, including Edward Eagar.
- D'Arcy Wentworth appointed Principal Surgeon following the death of Thomas Jamison in England (27 Jan.).
Sep 1 Maj. Thomas Davey commissioned as Lt-Governor of Van Diemen's Land.
Oct 8 Brig Governor Macquarie launched in Sydney.
10 Friends arrives at Port Jackson with 100 female convicts; Edward Smith Hall also on board as passenger.
26 Macquarie appoints W. C. Wentworth acting Provost-Marshall (the first native-born Australian to hold an important official position).
Nov 4 Macquarie leaves Port Jackson in the Lady Nelson to visit Van Diemen's Land and the Hunter River.
23 Macquarie arrives at Hobart, visits New Norfolk and fixes the site for the town of Elizabeth (27th), and crosses overland to Port Dalrymple (2-8 Dec.).
Dec 2 Samuel Marsden exports 1,800 kg of wool to England in the returning transport Admiral Gambier.
16 Macquarie decides to move the settlement at Port Dalrymple back to the George Town site on Outer Cove (renamed York Cove).
20 Macquarie sails from Port Dalrymple in Lady Nelson for Port Stephens (arrives 31st).
• Mental asylum established at Castle Hill.


Jan 1 John Oxley (in England) appointed Surveyor-General of NSW.
3 Gov. Macquarie visits Newcastle (to 5th) and inspects coalmines, lime pits, and cedar camps.
18 Guildford arrives at Port Jackson with 199 convicts, including Andrew Bent (who continues to Hobart, 2 Feb.).
Feb 12 House of Commons appoints a select committee to consider transportation.
Mar 6 Methodist laymen meet in Sydney and resolve to form two fellowship classes.
9 Private John Gould of the 73rd Regt hanged for the murder of the wife of a fellow private.
25 G. W. Evans sails in the Lady Nelson to survey Jervis Bay.
Apr 4 Returning overland from Jervis Bay, Evans traverses the sites of Nowra, Port Kembla, and Wollongong (to 11th; arrives Appin 15th).
Jun 19 USA declares war on Britain, bringing the Australian colonies also into conflict with America.
Jul 10 Select committee of the House of Commons reports on transportation to NSW.
Sep 12 Macquarie orders the branding of all cattle.
Oct 19 Indefatigable, the first convict transport to sail direct to Van Diemen's Land, arrives at the Derwent with 199 convicts, including Michael Howe.
25 Minstrel arrives at Port Jackson with 125 female convicts; passengers include Thomas Davey and John Oxley.
Nov 26 Samarang arrives at Port Jackson from India with £10,000 in Spanish dollars.
30 Armed brig Emu, en route to Hobart with 49 female convicts, is captured by US privateer Holkar and taken to New York as a prize. (Captain and convicts released at Cape Verde Is. on 17 Jan. 1813.)


was the eldest son of John and Isabella Oxley. His father was of landed stock, his mother was a daughter of Viscount Molesworth. He was born at Kirkham Abbey near Westow, Yorkshire, in 1783, and entered the navy when he was 16. He arrived in Sydney in October 1802 as master's mate of the Buffalo, and was promoted to second lieutenant in 1805. He returned to England in 1807, was appointed first lieutenant of the Porpoise, and rejoined her in 1808. Two years later he was again in England and on 1 January 1812 was appointed surveyor-general of lands in New South Wales. In April 1815 he was with Macquarie (q.v.) when Bathurst was founded, and in March 1817 he was instructed to take charge of an expedition to ascertain the course of the Lachlan River. He left on 6 April with G. W. Evans (q.v.) as second in command, and Allan Cunningham (q.v.) as botanist. Bathurst was reached on the fourteenth, but they were detained there by bad weather for five days. The Macquarie River was reached on 25 April and its course was followed for several days, part of the stores being conveyed in boats. Much of the country was found to be swampy, and on 9 May the way was barred by a huge marsh. Retracing their steps for some distance they then proceeded in a south-westerly direction, and on 20 May found themselves in very dry country. Hardly any water was available and what was found had to be boiled twice before it was drinkable. For the next five weeks dense scrubby country was constantly encountered and there was a great shortage of water. One of the horses died and another had to be shot. It rained several times but this gave them little water; Oxley says in his journal that the soil absorbed all the rain that fell like a sponge. On 23 June the Lachlan was reached and found to be about 30 feet broad and running freely. The course of the river was followed for a fortnight, much marshy country was crossed, and on 7 July Oxley was "forced to come to the conclusion that the interior of this vast country is a marsh and uninhabitable". After resting for two days a turn to the east was made and Bathurst was eventually reached on 29 August.

The results of Oxley's first expedition were disappointing, but he was hopeful of having better success by following up the Macquarie River. At the end of May 1818 he led a second expedition from Bathurst and again had the assistance of Evans. After following the river for about five weeks it was found that it was running into an ocean of reeds, so a halt was called and Evans went to the north-east to test the country in that direction. He returned on 18 July and reported that he had found a new river, which was named the Castlereagh. Their way lay alternately through scrub and marsh and progress was slow. Early in August they found good pastoral country, the Liverpool Plains, and the journey became easier. On 2 September on climbing a mountain they saw the sea, and finding a river, which was named the Hastings, they made their way to Port Macquarie. Turning south down the coast a difficult journey was made to Port Stephens, where they arrived on 1 November 1818. Oxley published in 1820 his Journals of Two Expeditions into the Interior of New South Wales, a translation of which in Dutch appeared in the following year.

After two or three pieces of minor exploration work Oxley left Sydney in October 1823 instructed to examine and report on the suitability of Port Curtis, Moreton Bay, and Port Bowen, as sites for convict settlements. He arrived at Port Curtis on 5 November and after carefully examining it reported against it. He then turned to the south, entered Moreton Bay on 29 November, and three days later discovered the Brisbane River. He was helped in doing this by two white men who had been wrecked on the coast some months before and were kindly treated by the aborigines. Oxley went some 50 miles up the river, and was much impressed by the country which included the site of Brisbane. As a result of his recommendations a settlement was begun there shortly afterwards. In March 1823 he received an increase in his salary of £91 5s. a year in consideration of his increased duties, and in January 1824 he was appointed a member of the newly formed legislative council. In the following year a dispatch from Earl Bathurst requested that Brisbane would convey to Oxley his "approbation of the zeal and intelligence with which he appears to have performed the important duties confided to him". This had special reference to his last expedition. In October 1826 the new governor, Darling, mentioned that he had sent W. H. Hovell (q.v.) to report on Western Port because Oxley could not be spared from his duties in Sydney. His health became impaired about this time, and in March 1828 Major, afterwards Sir, Thomas L. Mitchell (q.v.) had to be placed in charge of his department. He died at his country house near Sydney on 26 May 1828. He married a Miss Norton who survived him with two sons.

Oxley was an excellent public servant and explorer. He was not afraid to take risks, but he knew how to husband the strength of both his horses and the members of his party. He never lost a man, though his own health suffered. He was unable to solve the riddle of the rivers, which appeared to lose themselves in marshes, but he added much valuable land to the known territory of his time.

Crossing the Blue Mountains

A gigantic barrier frustrates attempts to penetrate the inland until Blaxland, Lawson, and Wentworth show the way. A quarter of a century after the arrival of the First Fleet, the formidable bulk of the Blue Mountains still frustrated the colony's westward expansion. Six attempts to conquer the mountains, sixty kilometres west of Sydney, had been thwarted by towering ridges and tortuous gullies. In the drought year of 1812, as the need for new pastures became urgent, Governor Macquarie decided another assault should be made. The expedition leader was Gregory Blaxland, a 41-year-old free settler who had landed with his family from
The formidable barrier of the Blue Mountains held out to be impassable for twenty-five years before a breakthrough was discovered. (Photographic Library of Australia) Kent in 1806. He was a prosperous, forthright landholder who had been deeply involved in the schemings against Governor Bligh. His companions were Lieutenant William Lawson, a skilled military surveyor in his late-30s who had also played an active part in the Rum Rebellion, and 20-year-old William Wentworth who was born at the penal station on Norfolk Island. He was the son of D'Arcy Wentworth who had come to the colony voluntarily after having been acquitted of highway robbery in England. His mother was a convict girl, Catherine Crowley. Young Wentworth had inherited his father's height and powerful build. Accompanied by four servants and four packhorses, they left Blaxland's homestead on 11 May 1813. The going was appallingly hard and they traversed only thirty kilometres in the first week but, by avoiding the gullies, they made the crossing of eighty kilometres in three weeks. From Mount York, they gazed upon seemingly limitless grasslands. They hurried back to Macquarie to give him the news — and receive a reward of 400 hectares each. Later in the year Macquarie sent a government surveyor George Evans to mark out the route for a road. Convict workmen, spurred by thepromise of free pardons, built the road in only six months in the second half of 1814 and Macquarie himself rode across to choose the site of the future city named Bathurst. Graziers were quick to follow . . . and the colony was no longer chained to the coastal lands.



was born at Norfolk Island, apparently during the latter part of 1792 (A. C .V. Melbourne, who consulted the Norfolk Island returns at the colonial office). His father was D'Arcy Wentworth, who belonged to an Irish branch of the well-known Wentworth family. There is some doubt about the name of his mother, but there is reason to believe that originally it was Catherine Williams (Melbourne). D'Arcy Wentworth (1762-1827) came originally from the north of Ireland and went to London to study medicine. In 1787 he was charged with highway robbery and acquitted, but in December 1789 he was again charged with the same offence. He was not convicted, but agreed to go to New South Wales, having obtained the position of assistant-surgeon on the Neptune. He arrived at Sydney on 28 June 1790. He was immediately appointed an assistant in the hospital at Norfolk Island, became a superintendent of convicts in 1791, and acted at the same time as assistant-surgeon. He returned to Sydney in 1796, eventually became principal surgeon and superintendent of police, and a magistrate. From the time he arrived in the colony until his death in 1827 his life was free from blame. He laid the foundation of a large fortune as one of the contractors for the building of the "Rum Hospital", known by that name because the builders of it had agreed to erect the building on condition that they were allowed a monopoly of the sale of spirits for three years.

Little is known of the youth of William Charles Wentworth. He was sent at an early age to England to be educated, and his father made unsuccessful efforts through his friend and distant kinsman, Lord Fitzwilliam, to have him admitted to the military academy at Woolwich, or to obtain an appointment in the East India Company's service. He arrived in Sydney again in 1811, and in August 1812 was granted 1750 acres of land. In the following year, with Gregory Blaxland (q.v.) and Lieutenant William Lawson (q.v.), Wentworth crossed the Blue Mountains and found a way to open up the fertile country to the west of them. Many attempts had been made before, but all had failed. Only 17 miles were covered in the first week, but at the end of the third week they saw from Mount York the open country beyond. Wentworth, however, found that the privations he had endured had injured his health, and in 1814 took a voyage to the Friendly Islands to enable him to recover. In 1816 he went to England. His father hoped that he would enter the army, but Wentworth was anxious to study law. In a letter to Lord Fitzwilliam he spoke of acquainting himself "with all the excellence of the British constitution, and hope at some future period to advocate successfully the right of my country to participate in its advantages". It is clear from this letter that Wentworth intended to make the bar a stepping stone to the fulfilment of greater ambitions. He entered at the Inner Temple and began a five years' course of study. At this time he was friendly with John Macarthur (q.v.) and his two sons, and obtained parental consent to a marriage with John Macarthur's daughter. The elder man, however, advised Wentworth to complete his law studies before returning to Sydney, and a subsequent quarrel with the Macarthurs made an end of the proposed marriage. In 1817 Wentworth went to Paris, lived there for more than a year, and obtained a good working knowledge of French while not entirely neglecting his study of the law. In Paris he was in close touch with John Macarthur junior, who suggested that he should write a book on the state of New South Wales, which he practically completed by May 1818. About this time he suffered a great shock. He found in a public letter addressed to Lord Sidmouth by the Hon. H. G. Bennet a statement that his father had gone to New South Wales as a convict. He interviewed Bennet and denied the charges, but from further inquiries he learned that his father had twice been tried for a capital offence. His distress was great but he did what he could. Bennet amended the wording of his pamphlet, and made "a somewhat ambiguous apology in the house of commons", and Wentworth wisely carried the matter no further. His book was published in 1819; its long and cumbrous title will suggest the scope of it--A Statistical, Historical and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales and its dependent Settlements with a Particular Enumeration of the Advantages which these Colonies offer for Emigration and their Superiority in many Respects over those Possessed by the United States of America. The book contained a remarkable amount of information relating to the colony, with many proposals for the improvement of its government. It went into a second edition in 1820, and the third edition, considerably revised and augmented, appeared in 1824. John Macarthur did not approve of it and objected strongly to Wentworth's estimates of the profits to be made by growing fine wool. Neither did he approve of trial by jury nor ex-convicts being eligible for the proposed houses of parliament, both of which were advocated in Wentworth's book. In 1823 Wentworth became a student at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, and shortly afterwards entered a poem for the Chancellor's gold medal. It was placed second to a poem by Winthrop Mackworth Praed, afterwards to become well-known as one of the most graceful and polished of English minor poets. More than one good judge has questioned this decision. The subject was Australasia and Wentworth not only knew more about his subject, he felt a genuine emotion for it. Apart from a few early anonymous satires this was the only verse written by Wentworth. It was published in 1823 and reprinted 50 years later. Extracts from it have been included in various Australian anthologies. Wentworth was called to the English bar, and having revised and completed the third edition of his book on New South Wales during 1823 he sailed for Sydney and arrived about September 1821.

In England Wentworth had become friendly with Robert Wardell, LL.D. (q.v.). They came to Sydney together and immediately started a paper, the Australian. It was conducted with ability, fought against the colonial office, and demanded an elected legislature. When the new governor, Sir Ralph Darling (q.v.), arrived he soon realized that Wentworth was a force in the community. The case of Sudds and Thompson, two soldiers who had committed a theft so that they might be sentenced to transportation, was seized on by Wentworth and others as a means of harassing the government. The two men had been sentenced to hard labour in irons and Sudds who was ill died. Wentworth in letters to the governor and secretary of state allowed his strong feelings to run away with him, and to some extent defeated his own object by the extravagance of his language. A new constitution act had been passed in 1828, but though minor changes had been made no concession of importance had been made to the views of Wentworth and his party. On 9 February 1830 a draft of a petition to the house of commons was brought before a public meeting. The objects desired by Wentworth's party were trial by jury and a "House of the People's representatives" (The Australian, 10 February 1830). The petition was presented to the house of commons without effect. The agitation was renewed early in 1833, and in May 1835 the Australian Patriotic Association was formed. Wentworth took a leading part, but the fervour of youth had departed, and he was now a rich man, becoming much more conservative in his outlook than when he wrote his book on New South Wales. The exclusives and the emancipists were still at odds but there had been great increases in the number of free settlers coming to the colony. The adoption by the home authorities to some extent of Wakefield's (q.v.) land policy brought the hitherto opposed James Macarthur and Wentworth together, and Wentworth gradually lost his place as the people's leader. Wentworth was not in most circumstances a man of a grasping nature, indeed it is recorded of him that when he bought his estate, Vaucluse, finding he had got it too cheaply he insisted on paying an additional amount. But when seven Maori chiefs arrived in Sydney early in 1840, he made a bargain with them that in consideration of a pension of £200 each, they would sell him 100,000 acres in the North Island and 20,000,000 acres in the South Island. It was an audacious scheme, but though the rights of native races were little recognized in those days, Governor Gipps (q.v.) refused to ratify the bargain. The governor was right in his action, though unwise in denouncing the transaction as a corrupt job, and Wentworth never forgave him.

Wentworth's early labours for the people had at last begun to have effect. Trial by jury had become law in 1838, and the first real step towards representative government was effected in 1842 when a new constitution act was passed. In 1843 writs were issued for the election of 24 members to the legislative council and Wentworth received full credit for his part in the long-awaited reform. At the election held in the middle of 1843 he was returned as one of the members for Sydney. When the council met Wentworth let it be known that he would like the position of speaker, and was much disappointed when even his best friends declined to support his candidature on the ground that it should not be held by a partisan. Wentworth made a long speech in which he admitted there was force in the argument, and that he had been a partisan for the liberty of the press, for trial by jury, and for an elected house of legislature. He argued that McLeay (q.v.) who had been nominated for the position was just as much of a partisan in his way. McLeay, although 77 years of age was elected to the position. Wentworth became leader of the opposition, which included all the elected members, and it was not long before he was in conflict with Governor Sir George Gipps. He identified himself with the cause of the squatters and a bitter struggle ensued. It was not until 1846, when some concessions were made to the squatters, that the agitation temporarily died down. In 1844 a select committee had been appointed to inquire into "General Grievances". The report of this committee gave Wentworth an opportunity of advocating a further development in responsible government. His views on the relations between the colonies and the United Kingdom may have been before their time, but they have practically been adopted in the present century. In the meanwhile all that Wentworth could do at this period was to obtain more control over the colony's revenues. He also took part in improving the state of education, and in bringing in a lien on wool and live stock act, a most useful measure. In 1846 Lord Grey, the new secretary of state for war and the colonies, tried to bring in a new constitution with a system of double elections. District councillors were to be elected who in turn would elect members of the legislative council, which gave Wentworth an opportunity to thunder against it with all his power. It was also proposed to start transportation again and here he had Wentworth's support. Like the other squatters he was, for once, more interested in obtaining cheap labour for his stations than in the general good of the colony. Now he had Robert Lowe (q.v.) and the young Henry Parkes (q.v.) as his opponents. At the 1848 election he faced his constituents with characteristic courage, realizing that he was on the unpopular side. His power and personality carried him to the top of the poll. When yet another constitution act was passed in 1850 the existing legislative council in New South Wales was empowered to enact the constitution of its successor. An attempt was made to divide the representation so that the agricultural and pastoral interests should have a secure majority, and indeed after the election it was found that of the 36 elected members 17 came from agricultural and eight from pastoral constituencies. Wentworth had a hard fight for his Sydney seat. He had become unpopular with the Sydney press, and his speech on the hustings was greeted with groans and hisses. He was apparently unmoved and defended all his actions: "Whether you elect me or not," he said, "is to me personally a matter of no consequence, but it may be a matter of importance to you and to the public . . . if I am rejected--one of two questions will be decided, either I am not deserving of the constituency, or this constituency is not worthy of me. This question cannot be answered by men whose interests and passions are inflamed. It must be referred to a remote tribunal, where all the events and circumstances affecting it will be calmly weighed. It must be referred to the tribunal of posterity, and to that tribunal I fear not to appeal." He was elected the lowest on the poll of the three chosen. He had travelled far from the democratic ideas of his youth, and at the declaration of the poll told the electors that: "He regretted to find that there was a spirit of democracy abroad which was almost daily extending its limits."

Wentworth was far from satisfied with the constitution act of 1850. As leader of the elected members of the council he framed a "declaration and remonstrance" in which the legislative council of New South Wales solemnly protested and declared That the Imperial parliament has no power to tax the people of this colony or to appropriate any monies levied by authority of the colonial legislature, (2) that the revenue arising from public lands is as much the property of the people of this colony as the ordinary revenue, (3) that the customs and all other departments should be in the direct control of the colonial legislature, (4) that except in the case of the governor offices of trust and entolument should be conferred only on the settled inhabitants, (5) that powers of legislation should be conferred upon and exercised by the colonial legislature, and no bills should be reserved for the signification of Her Majesty's pleasure unless they affect the prerogative of the crown, or the general interests of the Empire. Earl Grey's reply to the remonstrance was unsatisfactory, but his successor, Sir John Pakington, was more sympathetic and he advised the council to draft a constitution. A select committee was appointed with Wentworth as chairman and the resulting draft of a constitution was strongly coloured with his views. On 9 August 1853 Wentworth obtained leave to bring in his "Bill to confer a Constitution on New South Wales". It was hotly debated, the chief cause of dissent being the proposal that the upper chamber should consist of members with hereditary claims of membership. "Why," said Wentworth, "if titles are open to all at home should they be denied to the colonists?" The hostility to this proposal was, however, so great that it was abandoned, and in the upshot the upper house became a nominated chamber and the assembly elective. Wentworth's unpopularity with the people increased; as Parkes expressed it nearly 40 years later (Wentworth's) "unwise proposals to secure his handiwork from alteration by those who might come after him, and his hasty and intemperate epithets of 'democrat', 'communist' and 'mob-rule' applied to his opportents made him extremely unpopular with large numbers who had not watched his steady, unwearied, and enlightened labours in championing the main principles of constitutional government. His aversion to the unrestricted franchise, and his desire to tie the hands of the legislature . . . were eagerly seized upon, and his noble contention throughout for the right of the country to dispose of its own lands, impose its own taxes, expend its own revenues, and appoint its own public servants, were lost sight of in the transient fury of opposition". (Parkes, Fifty Years of Australian History, p. 36.) In March 1854 Wentworth with Deas Thomson (q.v.) sailed for England to see the bill through the Imperial parliament. It received the royal assent on 16 July 1855. This was the crowning event of Wentworth's life. But he had realized that with the increase of responsibility must come increase of knowledge. Six years before he had moved for a select committee to consider the institution of a university at Sydney. He brought in a bill for that purpose in 1850, and the first university senate was constituted on 24 December 1850. Wentworth remained in England for some years. In 1853 his constitution committee had advocated a general assembly to make laws in relation to intercolonial questions, but nothing definite had been done. In 1857 Wentworth brought up the question again and prepared a short "enabling bill" which was sent to the colonial office. Copies of the proposals were sent to all the colonies. The time was, however, scarcely ripe and the proposals were allowed to drop. Wentworth returned to New South Wales in 1861 to find political affairs in confusion. (Sir) Charles Cowper's ill-advised attempt to swamp the upper house had resulted in the resignation of many of the other members, and Wentworth was persuaded to become president of a reconstructed legislative council in 1862. He supported a bill providing for an elected upper house. "I never contemplated," he said, "that any ministry would have the audacity to sweep the streets in Sydney in order to attempt to swamp the house . . . and I see no other alternative but to adopt in the constitution of this house some modification or other of the elective principle." The bill was adopted by the legislative council but Cowper allowed it to be dropped. In October 1862 Wentworth went to England, originally on matters of business, but he never returned. He died at Wimborne on 20 March 1872. He married on 26 October 1829 Sarah, daughter of Francis Cox, who survived him with two sons and four daughters. Wentworth's body was brought to Sydney for a public funeral, and was laid in a vault at Vaucluse. The chief justice, Sir James Martin (q.v.), delivered the funeral oration. A portrait is hung in the legislative assembly, his statue is in the great hall of the university of Sydney.

Wentworth was over six feet in height with a Roman head and a massive form. His vehemence and force were not always at once apparent, yet when he set himself to any task it was only a matter of time before it was accomplished. When little more than a youth he took part in a successful piece of exploration, the first crossing of the Blue Mountains. His first published writing, his book on New South Wales, ran into three editions within five years and had much effect on emigration to Australia. Then noticing that Australasia had been selected as the subject for the prize poem at Cambridge he confidently wrote and entered a poem of far greater merit than the average prize poem which, though it did not win the prize, deserved it. Coming back to Australia he established a reputation at the bar as an advocate, and, entering politics, a great reputation as an orator. Yet these all pale before the essential Wentworth, the patriot and lover of his country, though without his power as an orator he could not have achieved his tasks. His voice was powerful, his manner vehement, and once aroused his eloquence carried his hearers away. He was not always perfectly scrupulous in his methods, and his lapses into abuse of his opponents sometimes marred his oratory. But his disposition was really warm and generous, and he was ready to forget quickly his resentments. He had a good knowledge of constitutional law, quick comprehension, and great logical powers united with great force and accuracy of expression. Behind all this was an immense sincerity, the real secret of his power. He passionately felt that trial by jury, a free press, and the right of the colonies to govern themselves were things worth living for and fighting for, and while he fought for these things the sword never dropped from his hand. He was the greatest man of his time and possibly the greatest man in the history of Australia.


Feb 7 Isabella, bound for London from Sydney with Macquarie's first dispatches, is wrecked on a reef off the Falkland Is. (Crew and passengers—including Sir Henry Browne Hayes and Joseph Holt—rescued by HMS Nancy, 17 May.)
10 Col. Thomas Davey leaves Port Jackson for Hobart and (20th) takes up his post as Lt-Governor of Van Diemen's Land.
Mar 30 George Johnston returns to Sydney in the James Hay as a private citizen and takes up residence at his Annandale property.
Apr 23 Schooner Unity seized by convicts in the Derwent and is not heard of again.
May 8 New South Wales Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and Benevolence in these Territories and Neighbouring Islands established at a meeting chaired by Edward Smith Hall. (Reorganized as the Benevolent Society of NSW on 6 May 1818.)
11 Gregory Blaxland, Lt William Lawson, and W. C. Wentworth set out on an expedition to find a way across the Blue Mountains.
15 Gov. Macquarie issues an order restricting Sunday trading.
28 Blaxland, Lawson, and Wentworth reach Mount York and (31st) arrive at Mount Blaxland, beyond the Cox River, where they turn back, having found a way across the mountains and sighted the plains beyond.
- First Sunday school in Australia established by Thomas Hassall on the Parramatta property of his father, Rowland Hassall.
Jun 28 Macquarie again sets forth his emanicipist policy to the Colonial Office.
Jul 1 Proclamation issued regarding the introduction and design of the "holey dollar": "ring" worth 5s, "dump" worth is 3d, to become legal tender on 30 Sept. (but not in fact issued until Jan. 1814).
16 Two officers of the 73rd Regt who killed a settler are convicted only of manslaughter and given a six-month gaol sentence by the Court of Criminal Jurisdiction (Judge-Advocate and seven of their fellow officers); public outcry ensues.
31 Macquarie informs the Colonial Office of his dissatisfaction with the 73rd Regt and asks that no officer be allowed to remain in the colony after the regiment's withdrawal.
Sep - Road to Botany completed.
Oct 9 Earl Spencer arrives at Port Jackson with 196 convicts and some free settlers, including William Hovell.
Nov 19 G. W. Evans crosses the main range of the Blue Mountains (to 18 Dec.) and discovers and names the Fish and Macquarie rivers and the Bathurst Plains. (Returns to Nepean, 8 Jan. 1814.)
27 Macquarie prohibits meetings of more than six persons without notice to the Provost-Marshal and any attempts to influence rates of exchange through the issue of promissory notes.
Dec 20 Public meeting held in Sydney to form a society for the protection of Pacific Island natives.
- Convict Michael Howe escapes and joins a bushranging gang in Van Diemen's Land. (Later becomes its leader.)
* Turnpike road completed to Windsor.


Jan 31 Margaret Catchpole given a conditional pardon. - "Holey dollar" and "dump" go into circulation.
Feb 4 Second Charter of Justice provides for the establishment of three new civil courts—Governor's Court and Supreme Court in NSW, Lt-Governor's Court in Van Diemen's Land.
7 General Hewitt arrives at Port Jackson with 266 convicts, including Francis Greenway and Joseph Lycett, and a detachment of the 46th Regt to replace the 73rd Regt; passengers include Capt John Piper, returning to become Naval Officer and Collector of Customs.
11 Lt-Col. George Molle, commander of the 46th Regt and Lt-Governor of NSW (appointed 20 June 1813), arrives in the Windham with headquarters of the regiment.
28 Last inhabitants leave Norfolk Is. (which remains unoccupied for next 11 years).
Mar 22 Road from Sydney to Liverpool opened.
Apr 5 Lt-Col. Maurice O'Connell and members of the 73rd Regt leave Sydney for Ceylon.
May 14 First issue of the fortnightly Van Diemen's Land Gazette and General Advertiser appears. (Ceases publication, 24 Sept.)
Macquarie offers an amnesty to bushrangers in Van Diemen's Land who surrender before 1 Dec.
20 Three Bees (an. 6 May with 210 convicts) catches fire in Sydney Cove and explodes, some shot landing in Bridge Street.
Jun 14 Argo seized by convicts in the Derwent and not seen again.
Jul 14 Macquarie authorizes William Cox to build a road across the Blue Mountains along the Blaxland-Evans track.
28 Jeffery Hart Bent, bringing with him the Charter of Justice, arrives in Sydney on the transport Broxbornebury to take up his post as judge of the NSW Supreme Court (appointed in Feb.).
Aug 2 Court of Civil Jurisdiction dissolved and (12th) Governor's Court and Supreme Court established.
22 Russian ship General Suvorov at Port Jackson (to 11 Sept.).
23 J. P. Fawkner sentenced to 500 lashes and three years' gaol for helping convicts to escape from Hobart.
Oct 1 "Common stage cart" service begins between Sydney and ParramattaRichmond-Windsor.
Nov 28 Rev. Samuel Marsden leaves for New Zealand to take Christianity to the Maoris.
Dec 28 Macquarie calls a conference of Aborigines at Parramatta to try to induce them to settle.
31 Ellis Bent withdraws from the Bench without informing Macquarie, following the Governor's criticism of the magistracy.
Rum Hospital contractors' monopoly on the sale of spirits expires; government order allows importation of spirits and imposes a duty.


Jan 4 Frances and Eliza, en route to Australia with 123 convicts, is captured by
US privateer Warrior and pillaged. (Later allowed to continue)
14 Road over the Blue Mountains completed to the Macquarie River. 18 Residential school for Aboriginal children opened at Parramatta.
27 Attorney W. H. Moore, the first free solicitor in NSW, arrives in Sydney as
a passenger in the transport Marquis of Wellington.
Mar 23 Samuel Marsden returns to Sydney from NZ with several Maori chiefs.
Apr 24 Michael Howes bushranging gang raid New Norfolk, Van Diemen's Land; two settlers killed.
25 Lt-Gov. Davey proclaims martial law throughout Van Diemen's Land to check bushranging. (Revoked in Oct. following censure by Gov. Macquarie) Macquarie and party journey west of the Blue Mountains (to 19 May).
May 1 Jeffery Bent opens the Supreme Court and swears in William Broughton and Alexander Riley, Macquaries nominees, as magistrates.
5 Jeffery Bent rejects applications from emancipist attorneys George Crossley and Edward Eagar to appear before the Supreme Court and subsequently adjourns the court until a ruling can be obtained from the UK government on the matter.
7 Macquarie selects the site of and names Bathurst.
8 First sitting of the Governor's Court, presided over by Judge-Advocate Ellis Bent and two assistants, who (15th) refuse to permit emancipist attorneys to appear before the court.
13 G. W. Evans begins an exploring trip south from Bathurst and (25th) discovers the Lachlan River.
Jul 1 Macquarie complains to the Colonial Office about the conduct of the Bent brothers and says he will resign if they are not recalled.
Aug 8 Crown Solicitor Frederick Garling arrives in Sydney in the Frances and Eliza.
10 First Wesleyan minister in Australia, Rev. Samuel Leigh, arrives in Sydney in the Hebe to organize the Methodist Church in Australia.
Oct 27 Dr William Bland receives a pardon and establishes a private medical practice in Sydney.
Nov 10 Ellis Bent dies before the arrival of the letter recalling him.
Dec 9 Garling appointed deputy Judge-Advocate
12 James Kelly and four others circumnavigate Van Diemen's Land (to 30 Jan.
1816), discovering Port Davey (17 Dec.) and Macquarie Harbour (28th).
- NSW Sunday School Institution opened on a non-denominational basis, by Rowland Hassall and John Eyre.
' Simeon Lord establishes a woollen mill at Botany Bay.


Jan 18 Fanny arrives at Port Jackson with 171 convicts and news of the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815).
19 Colonial schooner Estramina (captured as a Spanish prize in 1805) wrecked on Oyster Bank, Newcastle.
Mar 3 Aborigines kill four whites near the Nepean River, NSW.
25 W. C. Wentworth sails for England to study law.
30 Gov. Macquarie appoints Francis Greenway as the government's Civil Architect.
Apr 10 Macquarie sends out three punitive expeditions against Aborigines along the Nepean, Grose, and Hawkesbury rivers; one party kills 14 Aborigines and captures several others.
Jun 1 Andrew Bent's Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter begins regular publication (trial issue published 11 May).
Sep 12 Convicts seize Simeon Lord's brig Thal in Port Jackson and escape. (Vessel
found wrecked north of Port Stephens—Thal Bay—in Jan. 1817.)
20 First free migrants arrive in Hobart in the Adamante.
Oct 5 John Wylde arrives in Sydney as a passenger in the transport Elizabeth to succeed Ellis Bent as Judge-Advocate; ship also brings dispatches recalling Jeffery Bent. (Macquarie stops Bent's salary as Supreme Court justice.)
Nov 20 Macquarie calls a meeting of 14 people to discuss plans for opening a bank. (Public meetings for subscribers held on 5 and 18 Dec.)
30 Advertisement in the Sydney Gazette calls for horses for export to India (beginning of export trade in horses for Indian army).
Dec 2 First land grants in the Illawarra district, NSW, allotted by Surveyor-General John Oxley on the site of present-day Wollongong. (Deeds issued on 24 Jan. 1817.)
11 Macquarie announces the recall of Jeffery Bent and proclaims that Bent no longer has any authority in NSW.


Jan 4 Gov. Macquarie's secretary, J. T. Campbell, under the name of "Philo Free", attacks Samuel Marsden in the Sydney Gazette.
Feb 21 Hawkesbury River in high flood; two lives lost.
24 Barron Field arrives in Sydney as a passenger on the transport Lord Melville to replace J. H. Bent as judge of the Supreme Court.
Mar 7 Bible Society of NSW (auxiliary of the British and Foreign Bible Society) formed in Sydney.
Apr 8 Australia's first bank, the Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac) opens for business in Mary Reibey's house in Macquarie Place.
Col. William Soren arrives at Hobart in the Cochin and next day takes office as Lt-Governor of Van Diemen's Land, replacing Thomas Davey.
20 John Oxley and party set out from Bathurst to explore the inland plains and trace the Lachlan River.
May 18 J. H. Bent leaves Sydney to return to England.
Jul 9 Oxley turns back after meeting swamps about 60 km from the Murrumbidgee River and (25th) discovers Lake Cargelligo.
25 Macquarie requests the withdrawal of the 46th Regt, which he has criticized for insubordinate conduct.
26 Transport Chapman arrives at Port Jackson with 186 convicts, 12 having been killed and 30 wounded during threatened uprisings en route; inquiry held immediately; military involved subsequently acquitted.
28 Charles Throsby explores south-west of Moss Vale (to 10 Aug.).
Aug 3 First detachment of 48th (Northamptonshire) Regt, under Lt-Col. James Erskine, arrives in Sydney to replace the 46th Regt.
19 Oxley reaches the locality of Wellington and names it Wellington Valley. (Returns along Macquarie River to Bathurst, 29 Aug.)
Sep 3 Lt Phillip Parker King and John Septimus Roe arrive at Port Jackson in the Dick to conduct hydrographic surveys.
17 Lt-Gov. George Molle brings charges against D'Arcy Wentworth consequent on a "pipe" by W. C. Wentworth lampooning Molle and demands a court martial. (Judge-Advocate John Wylde rules the court cannot try him.)
30 John Macarthur returns to Sydney as a passenger on the transport Lord Eldon, after an "exile" of eight years, on condition that he take no further part in public affairs.
Oct 7 First Methodist church in Australia, at Castlereagh, NSW, opened by Rev. Samuel Leigh.
10 Bushranger Michael Howe captured but escapes after stabbing and shooting his two captors.
21 Marsden brings a libel action in the Criminal Court against Campbell for his "Philo Free" letter in Sydney Gazette. (Action fails.)
Nov 9 Father Jeremiah O'Flynn, appointed prefect apostolic of New Holland but without official sanction of the British government, arrives in Sydney and is allowed to stay temporarily. (Subsequently avoids orders to leave.)
Dec 1 Marsden awarded £200 damages in a civil case against Campbell before Justice Barron Field in the Supreme Court.
Macquarie tenders his resignation to Earl Bathurst.
John Beamont leads an expedition to explore the interior of Van Diemen's Land (to 10th).
16 Francis Greenway given conditional pardon.
21 Macquarie recommends the adoption of the name Australia for the continent instead of New Holland.
22 P. P. King, with botanist Allan Cunningham and J. S. Roe, leave Port Jackson in the cutter Mermaid to survey the north-western coast of the continent.
* Jewish burial society formed in Sydney. (Early Jewish burial services and
memorial prayers conducted by German-born convict Joseph Marcus.)

Bank of New South Wales

A wealthy ex-convict's house becomes the first premises of Australia's largest trading bank In 1817 Lachlan Macquarie helped the settlers found the Bank of New South Wales, the colony's first. It was an event of tremendous significance because the new bank was able to stabilise New South Wales' wildcat currency and give the colonists a trustworthy trading system for the great years of pastoral expansion which were about to begin.
In its three turbulent decades, the colony had various currencies, ranging from rum to Spanish dollars. The one which caused the greatest concern in Macquarie's time was the promissory note. If one man purchased an item from another man, he simply wrote out a note saying he owed him the sum of money. The notes passed from hand to hand, a very unreliable sort of paper money because their value could easily be destroyed by speculation.
Macquarie had nourished the idea of a local bank from his earliest days in Sydney, but had received anegative response from the Colonial Office. The governor put the matter aside until a suitable opportunity arose to carry out his scheme. And this opportunity was presented to him in 1815 when the colony's economy was thrown into a state of confusion by a series of dubious court decisions. (Ellis Bent, the Judge Advocate, who was a notorious speculator in promissory notes, had ruled that they were legal. Currency frauds became rife. Soon afterwards, Ellis's brother, the Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Bent, closed the court because he
would not hear ex-convict attorneys. This meant that civil actions over promissory notes could not be heard.) In November 1816, at Macquarie's behest, the Lieutenant-Governor George Molle called some of Sydney's prominent businessmen together at the new Judge Advocate John Wylde's (Ellis Bent had died) chambers in Macquarie Street. Those present included D'Arcy Wentworth and Simeon Lord, a prosperous merchant who had been transported nearly thirty years before for stealing 'one hundred yards' of muslin and 'one hundred yards' of calico. They agreed to establish the bank, and called a meeting for 7 February 1817, at which it would be founded.
At this meeting Macquarie's private secretary, John Campbell, was unanimously elected chairman. No one questioned his qualifications because he had been manager of the
Bank of Cape Of Good Hope, which was Macquarie's ideal when he devised his plans for the Bank of New South Wales; nor did they question that Macquarie would have considerable influence at the bank through his loyal servant.
The bank's first premises were at 6 Macquarie Place, a building rented from the ex-convict Mary Reibey. When the public was invited to take shares in the new enterprise, there was a great rush; the biggest shareholder was the lawyer Edward Eagar who, unhappily, could not become a director because he had not finished serving his sentence!
On 8 April 1817, the bank opened for business with subscribed capital of £12 600. Soon it began issuing notes. When news of all this reached the Colonial Office in London the authorities were furious with Macquarie. But he ignored the fuss and, within a very few years, the bank's financial success had proved his actions to be correct.


Jan 8 Gov. Macquarie accuses Samuel Marsden of conspiracy against him and forbids him to come to Government House.
18 Great Western Road between Parramatta and Emu Ford (Plains) opened. 26 First Australia Day celebrations held.
Mar 3 Charles Throsby, Hamilton Hume, and James Meehan set out from Liverpool to find an overland route to Jervis Bay. (Throsby reaches Jervis Bay on 2 Apr.)
28 Samuel Marsden removed as JP and magistrate.
Apr 6 Prosper de Mestre arrives at Port Jackson from Calcutta as supercargo in the Magnet.
19 P. P. King discovers Port Essington and (8 May) the (East) Alligator River.
May 15 Father Jeremiah O'Flynn arrested and gaoled and (20th) deported because he lacked credentials.
20 King names Bathurst Is. and (21st) Melville Is.
28 John Oxley sets out from Bathurst with a party including G. W. Evans to explore along the Macquarie River.
29 First regular mail service between Hobart and Launceston begins, a road having been recently built between the towns.
Jun 19 King names Barrow Is. (Returns to Port Jackson, 29 July.)
30 Female orphans moved to a new orphanage at Parramatta.
Jul 8 Oxley sends Evans off to the north-east, where he discovers the Castlereagh River (12th).
Aug 8 Oxley reaches the Warrumbungle Ranges, discovers the Liverpool Plains (26th), and crosses the Peel River near site of Tamworth (2 Sept.).
Sep 12 Louis de Freycinet in the French naval corvette L'Uranie surveys Shark Bay, WA (to 26th) and at Dirk Hartog Is. finds de Vlamingh's plate (which he takes to Paris).
15 Oxley crosses the Macleay River and (25th) reaches the Hastings River, which he follows to the sea, discovering and naming Port Macquarie (8 Oct.)
Oct 21 Bushranger Michael Howe killed by Private William Pugh and convict Thomas Worrall on the banks of the Shannon River.
Nov 21 Macquarie issues a proclamation giving magistrates jurisdiction in wages disputes between master and servant.
Dec 24 King leaves Port Jackson in the Mermaid to survey Macquarie Harbour, Van Diemen's Land. (Completed 24 Jan. 1819.)
* Thomas Raine establishes a whaling station at Tivofold Bay, the first in NSW.
* Paper mill established at present-day Waterloo, Sydney, by Messrs Warren and Duncan.


Jan 1 Male Orphan School opened in Sydney in the former female orphan institution.
5 J. T. Bigge commissioned by Colonial Secretary Lord Bathurst to inquire into conditions in NSW and the administration of the colony.
Feb 27 Schooner Young Lachlan seized by convicts in the Derwent. (Apprehended in Java.)
Mar 6 William Gore suspended as Provost-Marshal and J. T. Campbell appointed in his place.
22 Macquarie forwards to the Colonial Office a petition by 1,260 colonists requesting a new legal system, including trial by jury, and the removal of restrictions on trade and the distillation of liquor.
Apr 25 Charles Throsby makes an exploratory journey from Moss Vale to Bathurst (to 9 May).
May 8 P. P. King in the Mermaid leaves Port Jackson to resume his survey of the north-west coast of Australia. (Returns, 12 Jan. 1820.)
22 Headquarters at Port Dalrymple transferred from Launceston to George Town.
Jun 4 Hyde Park Barracks officially opened by Macquarie.
5 Public meeting chaired by Macquarie decides to establish a savings bank.
25 Road from Hobart to New Norfolk completed.
26 Rev. L. H. Halloran arrives as a convict on the transport Baring. (Given a
ticket-of-leave, he opens a private school in Sydney on 10 Jan. 1820.)
Jul 17 First savings bank in Australia, founded by Barron Field and Robert Campbell and popularly known as Campbell's Bank, opens in Sydney, Parramatta, Liverpool, and Windsor.
Sep 26 Commissioner Bigge arrives in Sydney in the transport John Barry; with him are his secretary, T. H. Scott, and Dr James Bowman.
Oct 24 John Howe finds an overland route to the Hunter River (arr. 5 Nov.).
25 Bowman succeeds D'Arcy Wentworth as Principal Surgeon. (Redfern resigns from the medical service as a result of being overlooked.)
Nov 1 Macquarie appoints Redfern a magistrate. (Appointment subsequently overruled by Lord Bathurst.)
18 Capt. Louis de Freycinet in Port Jackson (to 25 Dec.) after survey in L'Uranie from WA to Timor, New Guinea, and the Marianas.
Dec 13 Henry Rice leads an expedition from the Coal River settlement (Richmond, 'Pas.) to St Patrick's Head and thence to Port Dalrymple.
• The 210-ton ship Frederick wrecked near Bathurst Bay (Qld) with the loss of 22 lives; five saved. (Wreck found by King in the Mermaid.)


Jan 26 James Hardy Vaux given conditional pardon.
27 Consecration of Sydney Burial Ground (Sandhills Cemetery) on the site of Central Station.
Feb 28 Russian exploration ships Blagonamerennoy and Otkrytie in Port Jackson (to 1 Apr.).
29 Gov. Macquarie again asks Earl Bathurst for permission to resign as Governor. (Granted, 15 July.)
Apr 1 William Minchin (holder of a land grant, Minchinbury, at Rooty Hill) appointed Superintendent of Police.
11 Russian ship Vostok (Capt. Faddei von Bellingshausen) arrives at Port Jackson on a voyage of scientific discovery, followed by the Mirnyi (Capt. Vasiliev) on 19 Apr.
- Russian Orthodox Easter service first celebrated in Australia at Kirribilli Point, Sydney, by the chaplain of the Vostok.
May 3 John Joseph Therry and Philip Conolly, the first Catholic priests officially appointed to Australia, arrive at Port Jackson in the convict transport Janus.
19 Vostok and Mirnyi leave for the Antarctic.
Jun 14 P. P. King sets out again in the Mermaid, proceeding via Torres Strait to Brunswick Bay, WA, naming York Sound and Prince Regent River. (Returns 9 Dec.)
Jul 29 Supplementary issue of Sydney Gazette printed on paper made at a mill established at Waterloo in 1818.
Aug 12 Australian Social Lodge, the first permanent masonic lodge in Australia, established in Sydney.
15 Macquarie issues an order enforcing left-hand driving.
19 Joseph Wild discovers Lake George and (21st) sights mountains he calls Snowy.
Sep 21 Vostok and Mirnyi return to Port Jackson for a stay of seven weeks.
Nov 25 Macquarie issues a government order permitting limited grazing outside the Cumberland Plains and (9 Dec.) allows grazing on the Goulburn and Breadalbane Plains—marking the beginning of the movement of graziers inland.
Dec 1 Campbelltown, NSW, marked out and named by Macquarie.
31 Frederick Goulburn arrives in Sydney to become Colonial Secretary, replacing J. T. Campbell.
* John Macarthur establishes a vineyard at Camden with cuttings brought from France in 1817.
• Benevolent Asylum—for the poor, blind, aged, and infirm—erected in Sydney under Macquaries direction and run by the Benevolent Society. (Opens 12 Oct. 1821.)

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