April 10 - 23 2016: Issue 259

 The Royal Botanical Garden Sydney Celebrates 200 Years: Great School Holidays or All Year Round Activities

Band Lawn is named after the Band Stand that stood here between 1858 and 1911 as you can see from the image from 1859. Military, quasi-military or municipal bands played every Wednesday - Thursday and every Sunday! Image Courtesy The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney and The State Library of NSW.


ON Thursday evening a large number of the citizens of Sydney availed themselves of an opportunity afforded them to hear the fine band of the 50th and at the same time aid in a benevolent work. The concert was given by permission of Colonel Waddy in aid of the funds of the Destitute Children's Asylum, and we trust the proceeds equalled the intentions of the donors. Tue band was ' under the direction of Mr. Gassner, bandmaster of the Regiment, and one .of the best musicians we have had in Sydney. MOONLIGHT PROMENADE CONCERT IN THE GOVERNMENT DOMAIN. (1868, October 3). Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872), , p. 13. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63514212 

 The Royal Botanical Garden Sydney Celebrates 200 Years

The Royal Botanic Garden is more than just a feature or a destination - it provides an invaluable inner-city oasis, helps showcase our nation’s rich biodiversity and contributes immensely to the attractiveness and liveability of our global city.”        -The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater and NSW Minister for Planning and Environment, April 8th, 2016

The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, established in 1816, is the oldest botanic garden and scientific institution in Australia. Home to an outstanding collection of plants from around the world with a focus on Australia and the South Pacific, these 30 hectares of grounds in the Gardens plus 34 hectares in The Domain, holds 8.900 plant species and 67,100 plant specimens and is home to 3.964 trees and 58 artworks (Sculptures). 

For a garden to last 200 years there has to be a concerted effort to keep it, to look after it, to grow it and to ensure it becomes everything anyone would want in a garden. A little while ago we brought you news about The Calyx, which is due to open in June 2016 - the same month accorded the beginning of the RBGS, only in 1816 - June 13th!

The intent for the Calyx is to undertake a significant refurbishment of the Arc (in the south western corner of the garden) for seasonally rotating, high impact horticultural displays that will be supplemented by a purpose built adjoining facility to replace the Pyramid and existing Foyer Space. 

This school holidays, or in the months afterwards, a stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens of Sydney will be a step back in time as well as a celebration of the future of this great resource for all who visit. 

With a range of free activities, including free guided tours, Exhibitions which include: Ikebana into the future, Botanica at Farm Cove, Margaret Flockton Award, the Scott Sisters (held at Australian Museum) and Ticketed events: Aboriginal Art Class, King and Queen of Green (kids activity) or Capturing Nature (kids activity), as well as some great competitions (#MyGardenStory)as part of year-long celebrations, it may be time to take the youngsters somewhere they’ve never been, or revisit a community asset that began 200 years ago!

The first farm in Australia was at Farm Cove, and established in 1788 by Governor Phillip. Although this farm failed, that land has been in constant cultivation since that time, as ways were found to make the relatively infertile soils more productive.

Right: Sketch of Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, 1788 - from ADMIRAL PHILLIP, THE FOUNDING OF NEW SOUTH WALES BY LOUIS BECKE  AND WALTER JEFFERY. 1897. Available online HERE

The Botanic Gardens were founded on this same site by Governor Macquarie in 1816 as part of the 'Governor's Domain'. Our long history of collection and studying plants began with the appointment of the first Colonial Botanist, Charles Fraser, in 1817. 

A few snippets from the current newspaper of that time, so you can realise it’s all relative and these words were read aloud, with breath, or read without speaking at that time! in places you may still stand in today – even if they’ve changed a little - you don't have to read all of these but we'll include them so you can come back to them if you want and imagine fields becoming streets and a small settlement becoming a town which became a city and how the parks associated around this Royal Botanical Garden of Sydney, The Domain (Demesne*) and Hyde Park  were first established:

General Orders.

Whereas His Excellency Governor Phillip did, by Instructions from His Majesty's Ministers draw two lines of demarkation in the Vicinity of Sydney, within which, no Leases or Grants of Land for building were to be given, the said Land being the property of the Crown. — And whereas, a number of houses adjacent to Government House, to its great annoyance, now occupied by David Dickinson Mann, Abraham Ramsden, John Apjey, William Kimber, John Shea, Ferdinand Meurant, and others, within the said Limits, have been built on Land particularly marked out as making part of the Domain of the GOVERNOR'S Residence; The GOVERNOR is pleased to extend the Notice already given to the first day of November next; at which time they, the present occupiers, are required and directed to quit possession of the said houses, taking away or disposing of their marterials, the said grounds being wanted for Government purposes.

His Excellency the Governor is ready on application to that effect, to grant permission to the said persons to build on such other ground, unoccupied, in the town of Sydney, as may not interfere with his arrangements on that head.

By Command of His Excellency, E. GRIFFIN, Sec. Government House, Sydney, July 23, 1807. Classified Advertising (1807, July 26). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article627477


Government House, Sydney, Saturday, 6th October, 1810.

HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR being extremely desirous to do every thing in his power that can in the least degree contribute to the Ornament and Regularity of the Town of SYDNEY, as well as to the Convenience, Accommodation, and Safety of the INHABITANTS there of, has already, in prosecution of these views, divided the Town into five separate Districts, and has given Directions for the erecting immediately a proper Watch-house in each District, for the Protection of the Inhabitants from Night Robberies, and for the more effectually securing the Peace and Tranquillity of the Town, and apprehending all disorderly and ill-disposed Persons committing nightly Depredations. In further prosecution of these views, HIS EXCELLENCY also intends to establish a well-regulated and strict System of Police in the Town, as soon as the Watch-houses are completely finished.

As a necessary preparatory step to the proposed Arrangement, HIS EXCELLENCY deems it expedient to give regular and permanent NAMES to all the STREETS and WAYS leading through the Town, and to order Posts and Finger-boards, with the Names of the Streets painted on them, to be erected in conspicuous parts of the different Streets where they cross each other, as well as at their respective Terminations. These Posts and Finger-boards are accordingly to be immediately put   up, and the Streets are henceforth to be known and called only by the new Names now given them.

The principal Street in the Town, and leading through the middle of it from Dawes's Point to the Place near the Brickfields, where it is intended to erect the first Toll Bar, being upwards of a Mile in length, and hitherto known alternately by the Names of High Street, Spring Row, and Serjeant Major's Row, is now named "George Street," in honour of our revered and gracious Sovereign.  

The open space of Ground, or Area, whereon the Church of St. Phillip now stands, and which is hereafter intended to be formed into a handsome Square (the Street hitherto known by the   Name of Church Street forming the West Side thereof), has been named "Charlotte Square," in honour of Her Majesty, by which Name only it is henceforth to be denominated.

It being intended to remove all those old Buildings and Inclosures now on that space of Ground which is bounded by the Government Domain on the East, by the Judge Advocate's, Secretary's, Chaplain's, and Commissary's Houses on the South, by the Spring of Water and Stream on the West, and by the Houses of Mr. Lord, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Reibey on the North, and to throw the same into an open Area, the said Area or space of Ground, has been named "Macquarie Place," and it is henceforth to be so denominated.

The present Market-Place being very badly and inconveniently situated, it is His EXCELLENCY'S Intention to remove the Market very soon to a more commodious and centrical Situation for the Inhabitants of the Town in general. The Place thus intended to remove the Market to is that Piece of open Ground (part of which was lately used by Messrs. Blaxland as a Stock-yard, &c.) bounded by George-street on the East, York-street on the West, Market-street on the North, and the Burying Ground on the South; and is henceforth to be called "Market Square."  

For the further Accommodation and Convenience of the Inhabitants in general, and particularly of those Persons bringing Corn or other Grain, Goods or other Merchandize, in Vessels or Boats from the Hawkesbury, &c. to the Market, it is intended to erect a Wharf immediately at Cockle Bay, contiguous to the new Market Place; and from thence there will be a good Road or Street made to communicate directly with the said Market Square; and which, when compleated, is to be called " Market Wharf".

The whole of the open Ground yet unoccupied in the Vicinity of the Town of Sydney, hitherto known and alternately called by the Names of "The Common," "Exercising Ground," "Cricket Ground", and "Race Course;" bounded by the Government Domain on the North; the Town of Sydney on the West; the Brickfields on the South; and Mr. Palmer's Premises on the East; being intended in future for the Recreation and Amusement of the Inhabitants of the Town, and as a Field of Exercise for the Troops, the GOVERNOR has thought proper to name the Ground thus described "Hyde Park" by which Name it is henceforth to be called and denominated.

THE GOVERNOR being desirous to prevent any Incroachments from being made on the Park by Brick-makers, and the Acting Surveyor having been directed to mark out for this purpose a Boundary Line, dividing Hyde Park from the Brick fields, and which Line of Demarcation runs from the Rear of Mr. Wilshire's Lease across to Mr, Palmer's Premises, His Excellency commands and directs, that none of those Persons who have obtained permission to make Bricks shall in future, on any pretence whatever, presume to cut up any Ground for that purpose beyond the Line fixed upon as the Boundary for the Brickfields.--Any Person transgressing this Order will be deprived of the Indulgence of making Bricks in future, and be prosecuted besides, according to Law, for such Trespass.

In further view to the Accommodation and Convenience of the Inhabitants of the Town of Sydney, particularly of those who have Horses or other Cattle that they may wish to have Grazing for within a short distance, it is His Excellency's Intention to have a large Common marked out immediately, within as short a distance of the Town as circumstances will admit; and which will be publicly notified as soon as the Ground is measured and marked out.

The following PLAN, containing the Names and Description of the New Streets of the Town of Sydney, is now published for general Information.

(Signed) LACHLAN MACQUARIE. By Command of His Excellency, J.T. CAMPBELL, Sec.  GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. (1810, October 6). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628087 

The same Notice but with something added regarding the brand new 'Hyde Park':



Thursday 4th October 1810

A very indecent and improper custom having lately prevailed of soldiers sailors and inhabitants of the town bathing themselves at all Hours of the Day at the Government Wharf, and also in the Dock-yard, His Excellency the Governor directs and commands that no person shall Bathe at either of those Places in future, at any Hour of the Day; and the Sentinels, posted at the Government Wharf and in the Dock-yard are to receive strict Orders to apprehend and confine any Person transgressing this Order.

By Command of His Excellency,  

J. T. Campbell, Sec.  

Government House, Sydney, Saturday, 6th October, 1810. 

It being highly necessary that Peace and good Order should be preserved at the ensuing Races, and that no Gaming, Drunkenness, Swearing, or Fighting, should be permitted, His excellency the Governor gives this Public Notice, that no Booths, Stalls, or Shops, will be allowed to be erected on or near any Part of the Race Ground during the Race Week, and that any Person selling, or attempting to sell any Wine, Liquor, or Beer, on or near the Race Ground, during the Race Week, will be deprived of their Licences (if they have had any), and prosecuted besides for a Breach of these Orders.

His Excellency therefore strictly forbids and prohibits all species of Gaming, Drunkenness, Swearing, Quarrelling, Fighting, or Boxing taking place on or near the Race Ground.—Any Person transgressing these Orders, or who is detected creating any Noise or Disturbance, will be immediately apprehended and confined in Gaol; and the Constables will have strict Orders to this Effect;

His Excellency the Governor being extremely desirous to do every thing in his power that can in the least degree contribute to the Ornament and Regularity of the Town of Sydney, as well as to the Convenience, Accommodation, and Safety of the Inhabitants there-of, has already, in prosecution of these views, divided the Town into five separate Districts, and has given Directions for the erecting immediately a proper Watch-house in each District, for the Protection of the Inhabitants from Night Robberies, and for the more effectually securing the Peace and Tranquillity of the Town, and apprehending, all disorderly and ill-disposed Persons comitting nightly Depredations, in further prosecution to these views, His Excellency also intends to establish a well-regulated and strict System of Police in the Town, as soon as the Watch-houses are completely finished.

As a necessary preparatory step to the proposed Arrangements, His Excellency deems it expedient to give regular and permanent Names to all the streets and ways leading through the Town, and to order Posts and Finger-boards, with the Names of the Streets painted on them, to be erected in conspicuous parts of the different Streets where they cross each other, as well as at their respective Terminations. These Posts and Fingerboards are accordingly to be immediately put up, and the Streets, are henceforth to be known and called only by the new Names now given  them.

The principal Street in the Town, and leading through the middle of it from Dawes's Point to the Place near the Brickfields, where it is in-tended to erect the first Toll Bar, being upwards of a Mile in length, and hitherto known alternately by the Names of High Street, Spring Row, and Serjeant Majors Row, is now named "George Street," in honour of our revered and gracious Sovereign.

The open space of Ground, or Area, whereon the Church of St. Phillip now stands, and which is hereafter intended to be formed into a handsome Square (the Street hitherto known by the Name of Church Street forming the West side thereof), has been named "Charlotte Square" in honour of Her Majesty, by which Name only it is henceforth to be denominated.    

It being intended to remove all those old buildings and inclosures now on that space of Ground which is bounded by the Government Domain on the East, by the Judge Advocate's, Secretary's Chaplain's, and Commissary's Houses on the South, by the Spring of Water and Stream on the West, and by the Houses of Mr. Lord, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Reibey on the North, and to throw the same into an open Area, the said Area or space of Ground, has been named "Macquarie Place" and it is henceforth to be so denominated.  

The present Market Place being very badly and inconveniently situated it is His Excellency's Intention to remove the Market very soon to a more commodious and centrical Situation for the Inhabitants of the Town in general. The Place thus intended to remove the Market to is that Piece of open Ground (part of which was lately used by Messrs. Blaxland as a Stockyard,&c.) bounded by George-street on the East, York-street on the West, Market-street on the North, and the Burying-ground on the South; and is henceforth to be called "Market square." 

For the further Accommodation and Convenience of the Inhabitants in general, and particularly of those Persons bringing, Corn or other Grain, Goods, or other Merchandize, in vessels or Boats from the Hawkesbury, &c. to the Market, it is intended to erect a Wharf immediately at Cockle Bay, contiguous to the new Market Place; and from thence there will be a good Road or Street made to communicate directly with the, said Market Square; and which, when completed     is to be called " Market Wharf."    

The whole of the open ground yet unoccupied in the Vicinity of the Town of Sydney, hitherto known and alternately called by the Names of, "The Common," " Exercising Ground," "Cricket Ground" and "Race Course" bounded by the Government Domain on the North, the Town of Sydney on the West; the Brickfields on the South; and Mr. Palmer's Premises on the East, being intended in future for the Recreation and Amusement of the Inhabitants of the Town, and as a Field of Exercise for the Troops, the Governor has thought proper to name the Ground thus described " Hyde Park" by which name it is henceforth to be called and denominated.

The Governor being desirous to prevent any Incroachments from being made on the Park by Brickmakers, and the Acting Surveyor having been directed to mark out for this purpose a Boundary Line, dividing Hyde Park from the Brick-fields, and which Line of Demarcation runs from the Rear of Mr. Wilshire's lease across to Mr. Palmer's Premises, His Excellency commands and directs, that none of those persons who have obtained Permission to make Bricks shall in future, on any pretence whatever, presume to cut up any Ground for that purpose beyond the Line fixed upon as the Boundary for the Brickfields. Any Person, transgressing this Order will be deprived of the Indulgence of making Bricks in future, and be prosecuted besides, according to Law, for such Trespass.      

In further view to the Accommodation and Convenience of the Inhabitants of the Town of Sydney, particularly of those who have horses or   other Cattle that they may wish to have Grazing for within a short distance, it is His Excellency's Intention to have a large Common marked out immediately, within as short a distance of the Town as circumstances will admit; and which will be publicly notified as soon as the Ground is measured and marked out.  

(signed) Lachlan Macquarie

By Command of His Excellency   J. T. Campbell, Secretary.    

GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. (1810, October 13). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628098

View of the Town and Cove of Sydney, New South Wales, circa 1811 / aquatint print by J. Moffat Image No.: a1528040, courtesy State Library NSW


Secretary's Office, Sydney; 7th Sept. 1811. IT being deemed expedient, that the Island situated in the Harbour of Port Jackson and near to Farm Cove, called Garden Island, should be comprised in, and considered in future as forming a part of the Government Domain, Notice is hereby given that all the Growth and Produce of said Island, whether Timber or Grass, is to be appriopriated in future to the exclusive Use of His Excellency's Establishment ; and all Persons are cautioned not to cut Grass or Timber there, as any Persons detected in so doing after this Public Notice will be prosecuted and severely punished. Persons detected or convicted of having set fire to any Wood or Grass in Garden Island, will be most severely punished for such wanton Mischief.

By Command of His Excellency the Governor, J. T. Campbell, Secretary. Classified Advertising (1811, September 7). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628313 

This is where we find another part of the garden established


Sydney, 17th October, 1812. THE whole of the Government Domain at Sydney, extending from Sydney Cove to Woolloomoolloo Bay, being now completely enclosed by Stone Walls and Pailings, except that part of it which AT PRESENT UNDER LEASE to Mr. Palmer and Mr. Riley, where their Windmills and Bakery are erected, Notice is hereby given, that no Cattle of any Description whatever are, after the present Date, to be permitted to graze or feed on the said Domain, those belonging to Government only excepted ; and any Horses, Cows, Sheep, Asses, Pigs, of Goats which may after this Notification be found Trespassing thereon, will be taken up and impounded for Damages.

The Public are further to take Notice, that for the future no Stones are to be quarried or Loam dug within the said Domain, for other than Government Purposes, unless by special Permission obtained from His Excellency the Governor; and none of the Wood or Shrubs growing within the said Domain are on any Account whatever to be cut down, or otherwise destroyed, on Pain of Prosecution for Felony; and no Boat, except those belonging to Government, are to land in Farm Cove, or on any other Part of the Shore bounding the Domain, except at Bennelong's Point, on Pain of being forfeited, and the Persons who shall have so brought them there severely punished, for Trespassing on the Government Domain, after being thus cautioned by Public Notice.

By Command of His Excellency The Governor,

J.T. Campbell, Secretary. Classified Advertising (1812, October 17).The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628555 

THE valuable POST WINDMILL, adjoining Mr. Palmer's at the Rear of the Government Domain, with the Lease of the Ground, five years of which are unexpired. Six, nine and twelve Months Credit will be given to an approved Purchaser. Classified Advertising (1815, March 25).The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article629086 

The official date given as the start of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney, is given as June 13th, 1816 as the road system started by Bligh, including the loop now known as Mrs Macquaries Road was finished by Governor Macquarie, and this was the date he informed by a gang overseer that the road was finished and this has been celebrated as Foundation Day. Apparently Macquarie gave the overseer and his gang of ten men five gallons of spirits with which to celebrate the occasion, despite his objections to the soldiers et al, most probably from The Barracks at Hyde Park, carrying on their own spirited celebrations.

Three weeks later he issued a Notice to guide others in their conduct should they wish to visit this area:


Government House, Sydney, Saturday, 6th July, 1816.

NOTWITHSTANDING the repeated and positive Orders which the GOVERNOR has deemed it expedient to issue and publish, with a View to caution and prohibit Persons from Trespassing on the Government Domain, which has been much injured, not only by Persons breaking down the Wall that incloses it, but by their cutting down or burning the Shrubbery, destroying the young Plantation of Trees, quarrying of Stones, removing of Loam, and stealing the Paling within the said Domain; and notwithstanding the Punishments that have been necessarily inflicted on some idle and profligate Persons who had been detected in committing open and direct Breaches of those Orders in several of the Instances above mentioned, His EXCELLENCY has observed with Regret that Trespasses of this Description are still continued; and as it has been found necessary, from these Circumstances, to have the said Wall recently repaired and considerably raised, all Persons are hereby again publicly warned, on no Cause or Pretence whatever to attempt to pull down or pass over the said Wall, or to injure or deface the same, or otherwise to Trespass in or upon the said Government Domain, on Pain of being forthwith imprisoned, and punished in a most summary and exemplary Manner.

These Orders, however, are not meant to extend to the prohibiting the respectable Class of Inhabitants from resorting to the Government Domain as heretofore, for innocent Recreation, during the Day Time; the Road some Time since constructed round Bennelong’s Point furnishing easy Access in that Quarter, and the Gate and Style, at the East End of Bent-street, offering free Admission in that Direction.

By Command of His Excellency,

J. T.CAMPBELL, Secretary. GOVERNMENT PUBLIC NOTICE. (1816, July 13). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2176721 

Evidence of tree clearing in The Domain - and a mention of one of Pittwater's earliest settlers - the gentleman who first owned Scotland Island - Andrew Thompson

GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. Government House, Sydney, Saturday, 10th August, 1816. CIVIL DEPARTMENT.

HIS EXCELLENCY the Governor has been pleased to direct, that the following STATEMENTS of the COLONIAL POLICE, and FEMALE ORPHAN INSTITIONS FUNDS, for the Quarter ending the 30th of June last, shall be published for general Information.

By Command of His Excellency. JOHN THOMAS CAMPBELL. Secretary.

The Executors of the Estate of the late Andrew Thompson, Esq., being the Rent of a Brick Building at Windsor, used by Government |||||124 | 0 | 0 | 

Mr. John Warby, and others, as Rewards for their Services in acting as Guides, &c. to the Military Detachments sent out in Pursuit of the hostile Native Tribes || 99 | 5 | 0 |

James Smithers, for taking up 24 Acres of Stumps in the Government Domain | | 42 | 0 | 0 | GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. (1816, August 10). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2176762 


SECRETARY'S OFFICE, SYDNEY. Saturday, 16th August, 1817.

HIS EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR having lately caused a small Landing Place to be constructed near Benelong's Point, within the Government Domain, for his own personal Accomodation and that of his Family, and it appearing that Boats have already landed Persons of various Descriptions there, contrary to the Purpose and Intention for which the said Landing Place was made, Notice is hereby given, that from and after Monday next, the 18th Instant, all Boats, whether belonging to Ships or Vessels, or to private Persons, or plying for Hire within the Harbour of Port Jackson, will be seized and forfeited for the Benefit of the Person or Persons seizing them, which shall be found landing or taking on board any Person or Persons from the said Landing Place, excepting only those Persons constituting His EXCELLENCY'S Family. The Constable in Charge at the Heaving Down Place, and appointed to guard the Domain, is particularly charged to carry this notice and Order into the Fullest Effect without Regard to Persons, as he will be made answerable for any Neglect therein after Publication of this Notice.  

By His Excellency's Command, J. T. CAMPBELL, Secretary.   GOVERNMENT PUBLIC NOTICE. (1817, August 23). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2177409 


GOVERNMENT HOUSE, SYDNEY, Saturday, 20th September, 1816.


HIS EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR has been pleased to appoint John Firth to be Constable, for the Care and Protection of the Government Domain at Sydney; and he is to be obeyed and respected  as such accordingly.

By Command of His Excellency, J. T. CAMPBELL, Secretary. GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. (1817, September 20). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2177472 

THE Constable of the Government Domain having some Time back discovered a Quantity of CURLED HORSE HAIR, and a young PIG, secreted in the Shrubbery at the Back of the General Hospital; the Owners thereof may have the same on Application to Major ANTILL, at Government House, making good their Claim to the Property, and satisfying the Constable for his Trouble. If not claimed within a Fort- night, they will be Sold for the Benefit of the Orphan Fund. [Govt. House, Sydney, Sept. 19, 1818. Wood v. M'Coin[?]—Welsh v. Same. (1818, September 19). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2178213 

The Billy Blue so often referred to by many historians as one of our early ferrymen was also at The Domain waterfront - Wiliam Blue (1767 ? to 1834) was a convict and settler who was possibly born in Jamaica, New York City, as he later claimed to have served with the British army in the American war of independence, he may have been a freed African-American slave from colonial New York. By 1796 he was living at Deptford, London, and working as a chocolate-maker and a lumper (labourer) in ships in the River Thames. On 4 October 1796, at Maidstone, Kent, he was convicted of stealing raw sugar and sentenced to seven years transportation. After spending over four years in convict hulks, he was transported to Botany Bay in the Minorca. The convict records described him as 'a Jamaican Negro sailor', aged 29 in 1796.

On the 27th of April 1805, at St Philip's Church of England he married Elizabeth Williams and they had six children. Blue was appointed harbour watchman and constable by Governor Macquarie in 1811, titles which enabled him to acquire a new home overlooking Sydney Harbour, the house becoming a local landmark known as 'Billy Blue's Cottage'. 

Right: Billy Blue, 1834 / J. B. East, This portrait is probably the one mentioned in the Australian 9 May 1834. Image No.: a928634, courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Governor Macquarie was a regular user of his ferry services; reporting in his diary in 1817 that his wife and son were taken up the river to Parramatta in Blue's boat. That same year William Blue was granted a farm of eighty acres (32.4 ha), naming this 'Northampton', at the southernmost tip of the north shore of Port Jackson. The headland became known as Billy Blue's Point and is now called 'Blue's Point' at North Sydney. 

As a landowner on the north side of the harbour, he saw the potential for operating a boat service to the site and quickly built up a 'fleet of ferries'. Macquarie light-heartedly dubbed him 'Commodore'; and Blue became known as 'The Old Commodore'. And then came this 'fall from grace' which resulted in his losing his position and wonderful home, which also illustrates his own association with The Domain:

A special Bench of Magistrates was convened on Thursday, to investigate a complaint exhibited against Wm. Blue, for having in his possession two casks of smuggled rum, contents of each about 120 gallons. These were found by the seizors lashed to his boat, and two others were found within the premises of a licensed victualler in George-street. The investigation lasted several hours, but as no final decision was made upon it, we forbear entering further into the case as it at present stands. The Hon. the JUDGE ADVOCATE, as President, made many remarks on the subject of endeavouring to evade the revenue, under circumstances so peculiar: for it is evident here, that every man who is inclined to make purchase of spirituous liquors, may obtain his wish without the slightest opposition or difficulty. In fact, the same liberties in the particular before us, are now as freely enjoyed as in the West India Islands themselves. The Worshipful Bench therefore, in their review of the case, could not look upon the transaction before it, as any thing short of fraud upon the public in two ways; the one the cheating of the revenue, and the other, the cheating of the public, by charging the same price for the commodity itself, as the duties of ten shillings per gallon had been actually paid upon it. What can we say of a delinquency of this character ?

Who does he benefit but himself? The fructification of crime may give callosty to the human heart and feeling, but can never produce in the mind of man those agreeable resources which melodize the ear and temper; for the constant dread of detection hardens us against the most necessary duties of society, Charity to all men' In the case of this unfortunate man Blue, there was a strong memorial in every breast, that his abetting and giving himself up to the practices he has been detected in was more than usually criminal: he is a man of colour with a very large family, who has been very much indebted to the humane feeling with which His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR has for many years been pleased to view him and them. A house was erected for his and their accommodation within the Government Domain, throwing the Cove wholly open to his observation, and had been himself appointed a Constable or Bailiff, for the purpose of detecting or preventing smuggling in the cove* yet this was the man employed by those who knew him best, for the work of deriving ten shillings a gallon for what he could smuggle by night, without any advantage accruing, save to their own particular interests. Smuggling is the robbery of the revenue; and yet there are many persons well off in the world who would discountenance any other crime but this, and why? Because their property and intercourse precludes them from the necessity of embarking or engaging in any other. To render smuggling productive there must be a proportion of capital. The man who has but a few pounds can venture little, and has a vast deal more of personal character at stake than him trifling profits from a slight risque could atone for. At the present, however, a mystery seems to pervade the enquiry, and what further discoveries may take place, must remain for a short period of time to develope. Sydney. (1818, October 17). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2178275 

The man appointed after Billy Blue:


HIS EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR is pleased to appoint, John Dew to be Constable and Watchman of and at, the Heaving Down Place in Sydney Cove, and  of that Part of the Goverment Domain immediately, adjoining to Bennelong's Point, in Room of William Blue, dismissed for improper Conduct.  

By His Excellency's Command, J. T.-CAMPBELL, Secretary. GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. (1818, November 7). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2178323

The old windmill referred to is finally removed: 

Thomas Williams, for removing the Windmill from Government Domain | 12 | 0 | 0GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. (1820, July 29). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2179639 

Richard Read (c. 1765─c. 1827), View of Government Domain & Part of Sydney Taken from Bunkers Hill, N.S. Wales c. 1820, Courtesy National Library of Australia nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1458821 - Top: Section from showing windmills - Below: in Full

Where did the plants and seeds come from?

The number of preserved plant specimens in Herbarium of NSW is approximately 1.2 million - we'll be runing a story on the Australian PlantBank at The Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan, which we visited around this time last year to begin our research for you on that one. 

The Australian PlantBank is a science and research facility for the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust located at the Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan. This houses the Trust's seedbank and research laboratories, specialising in the horticultural research into the conservation of NSW plant species.

That is now though. The oldest collection in the Herbarium of NSW is that dated 1770, collected by Sir Joseph Banks on the East Coast of Australia during the Voyage of the Endeavour. See: Banksias of Pittwater.

As indicated above, the RBGS is also a means to collect and preserve plants from around the world. In 2014 Pittwater's State Representative was then Environment Minister and among his focus on ensuring micro-beads polluting our waterways and sealife become passe, another positive was, from Issue 163:

"Also today, as a symbol of our collaborative conservation efforts to maintain plant biodiversity, the Princess planted the Chrysophyllum imperiale tree which is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 

The tree, from the rainforests of Brazil, is rare in its natural habitat and is unlikely to found outside of a small number of botanic gardens. 

Today, the world’s botanic gardens grow over 30 per cent of the world’s known plants.."

Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands (and FFI president) planted an endangered Chrysophyllum imperiale tree with Executive Director – Sydney’s Parklands and Botanic Gardens, Kim Ellis and Environment Minister, Rob Stokes.

So, where did they get the seeds and plants from, past these early explorers and botanists, and where did those they collected go? - a few examples - noting that some of those mentioned here have become 'weeds'!:

BOTANICAL SEEDS.-Captains of Ships and Persons desirous of procuring the Botanical Seeds of this Colony, are respectfully informed that  there are on Sale, at 96, George-street, several complete Sets, carefully collected by an experienced Botanist, each collection bearing neatly preserved slips of the shrubs or flowers plucked in full bloom. Classified Advertising (1821, January 13).The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2180011 

Letters have been received from Mr. Cunningham, Botanical Collector for Kew Gardens, announcing his safe return to Bathurst, after having discovered a fine tract of country, abounding in well watered plains and fine timbered land, to the north of that Settlement, and a pass, through a ridge of mountains, which stretch east and west to Liverpool Plains, discovered by Mr. Oxley in 1818. This latitudinal dividing range is situated on the other side of a stream, named by Mr. Lawson, who last year failed in his attempt to make Liverpool Plains, the Goulburn, and in many parts the mountains resermble the Blue Mountain ranges. The pass will be found to the N. W. of the Goulburn ; and Mr. Cunningham has marked trees from his last encampment 12 miles north through it to the southern large link of the chain of Liverpool Plains, which extend N. N. W. 45 miles at least, being only bounded by a faint blue horizontal line at that bearing. Thus has Mr. Cunningham effected a clear, interesting, well-marked route for the  grazier to Liverpool Plains from Bathurst; which he estimates at 140 miles throughout its course, in the discovery of which the spring heads of the Coal River  streams, as well as the country above Mr. Howe's track W. and N. W. have been examined.  MAGISTRATE FOR THE WEEK—THOMAS M'VITIE, Esq. (1823, July 10). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2182009 

The white thorn has been introduced into this Colony by Mr. McArthur; and a fine quick-set hedge of three years growth may be seen at Bayly Park. This was raised from laying down the long branches of the trees; for it will not grow from cuttings. But it is apt to lose its thorny character in this warm climate, - the Irish seed less than the English. Mr. Frazer, our Colonial Botanic Gardener, has procured seed from both countries, and has raised plants from each. The thorny acacia, the seed of which was brought hither from Rio de Janeiro by the Commissioner of inquiry, would make the best hedge for this climate, and would be always green. A tree of this beautiful kind, sown only three years ago in the Government Botanic Gar-den at Sydney, is now fifteen feet high, and in seed. Mr. Frazer would give any body a few of these pods, and they would want very little burying, before sowing. There is also in the Colony a very sweet scented thorny acacia from India, but its growth is much slower than the Rio tree. This was first introduced here, and liberally distributed by Mr. Blaxland. Should a British hedge be still preferred, till the haw shall be plentiful in Australia, perhaps the hip or dog-rose, or the sweet-briar, which is quite common in the Colony, would make nearly as good a fence. The seeds of these plants must be mellowed like the haws, by being buried together in the earth for a season ; but these will grow from cuttings. A lemon hedge supplants vegetation all round it by the spread of its roots; and the hedge berberry produces mildew in neighbouring wheat. B. F. No title (1823, August 28). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 2 (Supplement To The Sydney Gazette). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2182147 

And an insight into early further afield 'gardens' and why they were tired out:

At any time, and upon every occasion, it will be our ambition to give the promptest attention to any hint suggested by our contemporaries-especially those topics in which the Government are even remotely interested. We have authority to announce, that the Botanic Garden has been established with the liberal view of benefiting, not the Government, but the individuals under so considerate an Administration; and from thence we may glance at Emu Plains-at Port Macquarie-and elsewhere; and loudly proclaim, that these establishments have been formed merely with the view of ascertaining the capabilities of our soil, in order that the benefits, resulting from such experimental establishments, might be imparted to the Colonists generally. We are instructed to say, that not only may exotics be obtained from our indefatigable Colonial Botanist (Mr. Frazer), but also tobacco seed from Emu Plains, and the sugar-cane from Port Macquarie, will be at the service of any Gentleman-any laudable agriculturist-any interprising Colonist-upon application in the proper season. Can Government exercise a greater stretch of liberality ? It is hoped, therefore, that the Public will avail themselves of the attention manifested in their behalf, by His Excellency Sir THOMAS BRISBANE. THE NEW COUNCIL. (1825, May 12). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2184023 

After a succession of colonial botanists and superintendents, including the brothers Richard and Allan Cunningham, mentioned above and both also early noted explorers, John Carne Bidwill was appointed as the first Director in 1847 and Charles Moore was appointed as second Director in 1848 - a job he held for 48 years. The Gardens were in poor shape when he arrived. 

During his decades long tenure the first aviary was opened, and soon caged animals for Sydney's first zoo, which, incidentally was moved to Moore Park, (named for another Charles Moore - Mayor of Sydney 1867-69) in 1871 - we ran something about that for you in our 2015 Bird week feature: the Aussie Back Yard Bird Count: and Australia's First Bird Counts - a 115 Year Legacy

Charles Moore (born 'Muir' in Dundee, Scotland in 1820) the Director of Sydney's Botanic Garden, labelled plants 'showing the Natural Order, Scientific Name and Authority, English name and Native Country of each Plant', a system still followed, established a medicinal plant garden and herbarium, added a library, began lectures for Sydney University students in 1851 and was a voracious seeker of new seeds and plants for the gardens.

A Description of the assets, under his care, a decade on:


The committee managing the affairs of the Government Domain (about 300 acres), and the Hyde-park, (56 acres), have been actively engaged for some time past in works of improvement, which must tend, upon completion, very much to heighten the character of city residences within range of a resort to them, when, in the course of a few years, they shall give a quality of grateful rusticity to the centre of a huge city. The Inner Domain, enclosing Government House, and compassing the Government Botanical Gardens, being taken to include about half the Domain reserve, there is left for the public an exceedingly ample range for the different recreative exercises, to which invaluable pleasures and sanitary gains cannot fail to attach in the future. 

We purpose giving as succinctly as possible a general notice of what is going on upon these primitive pleasure grounds, making mention of the Botanical Gardens before doing so. These, which are deservedly our most popular attraction throughout the year, have always some new feature of interest, or old familiar delight to disclose -presenting continually a novel fascination, and in such diversity exhibiting vegetable development under cultivation as to make the study of their multitudinous series a business of untiring gratification to those who have any mind for it, or any degree of appreciative observation in reference to natural beauty. They are in excellent condition at the present time, although there are evident traces on the walks and elsewhere of the injury done to them by the late flooding torrents, which carried off with the harbour, so considerable an amount of gravel and earthy matter. This injury will take both time and expense to repair it. In another point of view, how-ever, the gardens will prove to have benefited largely   by the past season of excessive wet, the foundation of  a vigorous spring growth having been secured for many descriptions of trees and plants which remain to be put forth in full development; and although only now emerging from the winter everything has the charm of freshness and verdure, as if presenting to an English midsummer. 

There are many minor beauties in the upper garden, but what strikes us as possessing a most remarkable attraction are the splendid trees of the Erythrina, or coral tree, so gorgeously refulgent with their crimson flowering; whilst the less gay and conspicuous trees of Pittospo-rum undulatum, which are now in full flower, give out fragrance to the whole gardens. In another week beautiful Judas tree will be decked handsomely with full flowering. The active director of these gardens (Mr. Charles Moore), continues his judicious practice of thinning out duplicate trees for the purpose of creating space for additional species, of which he has at the present time a vast number in pots, awaiting the opportunity of being planted out in the open ground. By this system of planting out contiguous to each other, those plants which are most nearly allied, it is anticipated that a truly beautiful arrangement will in the end be accomplished. We observe workmen busily engaged on the western side of the lower garden, in trenching and draining. In this, as in other parts of the gardens, it has been found that, notwithstanding the large employment of convict labour in the original laying out, no portion of the ground has ever previously to the present time been trenched below a depth of fourteen inches. A bed of half consolidated iron stone, highly detrimental, and indeed destructive to vegetable life, lies beneath, and the works in operation, by which this will be replaced with more wholesome material, promise to be ultimately of great service. We are sorry to find that so little progress has been made towards completing the ground on the western side of the lower garden, which was enclosed from the harbour some time ago. There is a sufficient reason why it ought not longer to be allowed to present barren desolateness, in the circumstance that it detracts very much from the appearances of the garden. We observe, near the water's edge, towards the eastern side of this garden, preparation being made for the erection of a sundial, which we understand to be one of handsome proportions. It has been constructed by Mr. Ballen, who, we are informed, intends it for a gift to the gardens.

OUTER DOMAIN.-Eastward of the gardens, a course of busy operations is being engaged in. It has been found desirable to clear away a considerable quantity of the scrub which bounds the carriage ways and flanks the western border of the Woolloomooloo Bay, and the intention is to clear to a certain extent on both sides of the roads-the design being to group and clump the tree growth, with a view to effect. The old foot-path round Mrs. Macquarie's Chair has been partially destroyed by the formation of Macquarie Fort: but although the rock upon which the commemorative inscription was graven above the chair forms a portion of the outer works of the Fort, we are glad to see it has not been in any way affected by those works. The footway near the Fort has been lately regravelled, and now forms a smooth and agreeable walk. The ironstone gravel supplies lately dug out of the southern elevation of the Domain, beyond the Gardens, has been replaced by rubbish coming from within given limits of the city. This, when digested and consolidated, will form a superior soil, in which it is intended to plant ornamental trees that will afford a shade and beauty to the Domain. The lower road, or that   which runs along the edge of the bay, is undergoing re-construction, and when finished will make a beautiful and convenient drive from Woolloomooloo to Sydney. The proposed new entrance will be from Palmer-street, and the present road by way of the lower lodge will be abandoned as a carriage way. There are about 2 1/2 miles of carriage road extending through the outer Domain. The whole, with the exception of the lower portion of the road, is in good condition, and it is understood that a great portion of this will not be required after the completion of the new road.

Farm Cove, Sydney from Fort Macquarie] / B.C. Boake photographer, 330 George St., Sydney circa 1867-1877, Image No.: a089859, courtesy State Library of NSW.

HYDE-PARK.-The grounds lately trenched to form a continuation of the avenue from Macquarie street, have been enclosed and planted, under the supervision of Mr. Moore, as one of the committee of these grounds; and with the exception of about 100 yards on the rise of the hill, towards Lyons'-terrace,  which was found unsuitable for planting, the whole length, from Macquarie-street North to Macquarie-street South, has been completed. It is the intention of the committee, we understand, to forward during the ensuing year the due preparations for planting groups as well as single trees throughout the Park. This excellent work has already to some extent been carried on that portion of the Park situate near St. Mary's Church. Where the planting is continuous, the trees intended to remain are planted in the quincuncial form, twenty-eight feet apart, and a temporary growth of common colonial trees is interspersed. 

Hyde Park, Sydney, circa 1869, Image No.: a325016, courtesy State Library of NSW. 

These permanent trees-which, with the exception of two or three, consist: of the most interesting of Australian trees-are the Ficus Macrophylla, commonly called the Moreton Bay fig. alternated with Pinus- Hallpensis, or Aleppo pine. With these are associated a number of English oaks. The isolated trees are, as future ones and the groups will be, of a different description from these, and have been selected partly on account of their beauty, but principally be-cause they will, when of advanced growth, afford excellent shade. We have taken the trouble to ascertain the names of some of the choicer appointed ones,   which are as follows :-Eleocarpus cyanens, Lophoste-mon Australis, Nephelium ferrugineum, Quercus virens, Flindersia Australis, Pinus excelsa. Grevillea robusta, Bradlejia Australia. The Norfolk Island pine will be planted here and there throughout, for effect; and, under the guidance of so much excellent taste and zeal as is manifested by the gentleman to whose directions these grand operations must owe a great measure of their success, we shall thus have, in a few years, an arboretum worthy of the name. GOVERNMENT DOMAIN. (1857, September 10). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28632875 

As you can read in this article, some trees were removed as a 'thinning' for health effort or because they had 'two' while other records indicate some native trees were dying in 1861 and needed replacing:



Sir,-May I ask,, through your columns, what becomes of the wood from the trees so frequently cut down in the Domain? Are they sold on the public account for firewood? I conclude they must be, because I observe  that the larger proportion are of varieties suitable for that, purpose; while a number of dead and otherwise unsightly gum trees, which are known not to burn well, remain' untouched. There are several of these above the quarry, on the right hand of the central road. These seem to be overlooked by the woodmen; but a tree, near the lower gate, of another variety, called by the boys when I was at school, the honeysuckle-a good burner, l believe-which by some accident, lost a branch on Boxing Day, appears in virtue of that circumstance, to have been marked for destruction, and has been accordingly removed; although much the greater part of the tree was uninjured, and its position was such as rather to embellish the landscape. Would it not be as well that the dead trees should be removed, and the living ones left standing? INQUIRER. THE GOVERNMENT DOMAIN. (1861, January 4). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), , p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60504554

Charles Moore was also who landscaped and planted the grounds of the Garden Palace built in 1879 for Sydney's International Exhibition. This was known as The Farm Palace and was sited at what is today the southwestern end of the Royal Botanic Gardens (although at the time it was built it occupied land that was outside the Gardens and in the Domain). Constructed primarily from timber, its complete destruction when engulfed by fire in the early morning of September 22, 1882, saw us lose many significant records kept by the Government Departments then housed in this edifice.

View of Garden Palace looking south-west across the main Pond from Lawn 39, Botanic Gardens, Sydney / attributed to the New South Wales. Government Printing Office, 1879, Image No.: a089262, courtesy State Library of NSW.

View of Garden Palace looking west-south-west from Lawn 34, Botanic Gardens, Sydney: 1879-1882, Image No.: a089264, courtesy State Library of NSW

Sydney Harbour [from Garden Palace tower], 1880 by New South Wales. Government Printing Office, Image No.: a089865, courtesy State Library of NSW.

GARDEN PALACE AND GROUNDS, Royal Botanic Gardens - 1880 (State Library NSW)

"The Garden Palace was built for the Sydney International Exhibition which opened on 17 September 1879. It was said to have cost £192,000 at the time of the opening. The ground floor covered 5 1/8 acres which, when the areas of the basement, galleries and tower floors are added, made a total area of 8 1/3 acres. After the exhibition closed on 20 April 1880 it was used as an auditorium and gallery and to house the first mining and technological museum. It also provided office space for a number of government departments and the basement was used to house official records, such as the 1881 Census. These were lost when fire broke out at about 5:40am on 22 September 1882 totally consuming the building in about 40 minutes. Had it survived Sydney would have been very different, and so the Garden Palace may be seen as an aspect of Sydney as it might have been." [State Records NSW]

The only extant remains of the Garden Palace are its carved Sydney sandstone gateposts and wrought iron gates, located on the Macquarie Street entrance to the Royal Botanical Gardens. A 1940s-era sunken garden and fountain featuring a statue of Cupid marks the former location of the Palace's dome. 

Finally, should this have inspired you to go take a look, and while remnants of Sydney's past, an artistic display of the relics of demolished buildings and structures is preserved in the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens. Tour bus drivers refer to it as "Sydney's Stonehenge."

A sign amidst these architectural remnants reads as follows:

"Memory is Creation Without End" Kimio Tsuchiya. This spiral of sandstone blocks embedded into the Tarpeian Way consists of relics from demolished buildings & structures such as the Pyrmont Bridge. Each piece of stone, carved by stone-masons long ago, now darkened with age, testifies to their lost function & to the loss of those old buildings in the collective memory. Once quarried for the city's early sandstone buildings & to provide fill for the creation of Circular Quay the Tarpeian Way is now but a thin veneer of earth covering the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. 

'Memory is Creation Without End' symbolises the circular connection of past, present & future. In salvaging & reconfiguring the stones into this spiral unification of sculpture & landscape the artist endows them with new life, meaning & memory. Installed: April 2000. Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.

Go take a look, have a picnic, have  a stroll - you won't be disappointed.


Free Guided Walks

Explore the heritage and plant diversity of the Royal Botanic Garden with a knowledgeable Volunteer Guide. For individuals or small family groups. Tours run daily except on Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. For organised groups, bookings are essential and fees apply. Please phone (02) 9231 8317.

Location: Meet at the Information Booth Date and time: Daily 10.30 am and 1 pm Mon-Fri Price: Free

Find out more about all 200th Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney Celebrations by visiting: www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au


Demesne - from Old French demaine "land held for a lord's own use," from Latin dominicus "belonging to a master," from dominus "lord." In English common law the term ancient demesne referred to those lands that were held by the Crown at the time of the Domesday Book (1086). Immediately following the Norman Conquest of 1066 all land in England was claimed by King William the Conqueror as his absolute title by allodial right, being the commencement of the royal demesne. 

Also: 1. Law Possession and use of one's own land. 2. Manorial land retained for the private use of a feudal lord. 3. The grounds belonging to a mansion or country house. 4. An extensive piece of landed property; an estate. 5. A district; a territory. 6. A realm; a domain.

Description of from Notes and Sketches of New South Wales, During a Residence in that Colony from 1839 to 1844 by Louisa Anne Meredith. Published LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, 1844. Chapters V and VI (available in full online through Project Gutenberg Australia HERE):

Chapter V: George Street seems to be by common consent considered as the Pall-Mall, or rather as the "Park" of Sydney, and up and down its hot, dusty, glaring, weary length go the fair wives and daughters of the "citizens," enjoying their daily airing; whilst close to the town is the beautiful Domain, a most picturesque rocky promontory, thickly wooded and laid out in fine smooth drives and walks, all commanding most exquisite views of Sydney and its environs, the opposite shore, and the untiring ever-beautiful estuary of Port Jackson. It was our favourite spot; even after driving elsewhere out of town (for alas! the splendour of George Street had no charms for me) we generally made one circuit round the Domain and, as generally, found ourselves the only visitors. It was unfashionable, in fact, not the proper thing at all, either to walk or drive in the Domain. It was a notorious fact, that maid-servants and their sweethearts resorted thither on Sundays, and of course that shocking circumstance ruined its character as a place for their mistresses to visit; the public streets being so much more select.

Lady Macquarie had this Domain laid out after her own plans; walks and drives were cut through the rocks and shrubs, but no other trees destroyed; seats placed at intervals, and lodges built at the entrances. On the high point of the promontory some large horizontal rocks have been slightly assisted by art into the form of a great seat or throne, called Lady Macquarie's Chair, above which an inscription informs the visitor to whose excellent taste and benevolent feeling he is indebted for the improvement of this lovely spot. It always reminded me of Piercefield in Monmouthshire, but is far more beautiful, inasmuch as, instead of the black-banked Wye, here the bright blue waves of the bay wash the lower crags, and in place of looking only at one opposite bank, here is a noble estuary with countless bays and inlets, pretty villas and cottages, and dainty little islands, all bright and clear and sunny, with a cloudless sky above them.

The trees are chiefly different species of Eucalyptus, or "gum-tree," some of which bear large and handsome flowers, having a remarkably sweet and luscious scent, like honey, with which they abound. The name Eucalyptus is admirably descriptive of the flower, meaning covered well with a lid; and each closed blossom is shaped like a goblet, with a pyramidal cover, which in due time fills, or is thrust off, by the crowd of squeezed-up stamens within, that quickly expand into a starry circle when released from their verdant prison. The leaves are mostly of a dull green, with a dry sapless look about them, more like old specimens in a herbarium than fresh living and growing things, and, being but thinly scattered on the branches, have a meagre appearance. They are, however, "evergreens," and in their peculiarity of habit strongly remind the observer that he is at the antipodes of England, or very near it, where everything seems topsy-turvy, for instead of the "fall of the leaf," here we have the stripping of the bark, which peels off at certain seasons in long pendent ragged ribands, leaving the disrobed tree almost as white and smooth as the paper I am now writing on. At first I did not like this at all, but now the clean stems of a young handsome gum-tree seem a pleasing variety amidst the sombre hues of an Australian forest.

Several species of tea-tree (Leptospermum) form the chief portion of the shrubbery here, producing their small pretty blossoms very abundantly, whilst various other shrubs and many species of acacia (generally called Mimosa or Wattle here) display innumerable novelties of leaf and flower to the admiring eyes of an English visitor. One beautiful shrub grows on some of the low rocks, which I have not observed elsewhere: the leaves are large, and not unlike those of a Camellia; the flower, in form, size, and colour, resembles a fine single yellow rose.

Opposite the south shore of the Domain, and forming the other boundary of a beautiful cove, is another similar point or promontory, called still by the native name of Wooloomooloo (the accent being on the first and last syllables), on which a number of elegant villas have been erected by the more wealthy residents in Sydney, being to that place what the Regent's Park is to London. The views from many of these are beautiful in the extreme, looking down into two bays, one on either side, and beyond these to the town and port, with the magnificent heads of the harbour closing the seaward prospect. Vines flourish here luxuriantly, and many tropical plants and trees mingle with those of European growth. Hedges are often formed of geraniums, and sometimes of the fruit-bearing cactus, called the prickly pear (C. opuntia, or C. nana?), a detestable thing, which if touched, even with strong leathern gloves, so penetrates them with its fine long spines, that the hands of the unlucky meddler are most annoyingly hurt by them. Some of our rarest greenhouse passion-flowers grow here unsheltered, and flower profusely; and the Brugmansia often forms the centre of a grass plot, with its graceful tent-like white bells hanging on it in hundreds. Geraniums thrive and grow very rapidly, but I did not see any good ones; none that I should have thought worth cultivating in England. A Horticultural Society has now been established some years, and will doubtless be the means of much improvement.

The Government Gardens are tastefully laid out round the sloping head of a small bay between the Domain and Government House, and contain (besides abundant vineries, and all other productive matters) a strange and beautiful assemblage of dwellers in all lands, from the tall bamboo of India to the lowly English violet. A group of graceful weeping-willows overhang a pretty shady pool, where a statue, by an English sculptor (Westmacott, I think), is now erected to General Bourke, formerly governor of New South Wales. It had not arrived when we left Sydney, or I should have much rejoiced to see the first specimen of high art which the colony has obtained, placed in so lovely and, with us, so favourite a spot. The grand Norfolk Island pine, the fig, orange, mulberry, and countless trees, shrubs, and flowers new to me, add to the gay beauty of these gardens; and when tired of roaming about the sunny and fragrant walks, there are grassy lawns and shaded seats—and such a lovely prospect around that, much as I should dislike to dwell in Sydney, I left its beautiful gardens with great regret. Yet, will it be believed, that even these are very little frequented by the inhabitants? They are evidently, from some cause unknown to me (but doubtless nearly allied to the cause of the Domain's desertion), not considered correctly fashionable by the fancied "exclusives" of the place, though constantly frequented by all new-comers; at all events, the former prefer the hot, glaring, dusty pavement of a town street for their promenade, to these delicious gardens.*

[* Since writing the above, I have seen some remarks in a Sydney newspaper which imply a more general resort to the "Domain" than was the case at the time of which I speak. I rejoice to find that the beauties of so delightful a spot are becoming more properly estimated.]

Chapter VI: Sydney boasts her "Hyde Park;" but a park utterly destitute of trees seems rather an anomaly. It is merely a large piece of brown ground fenced in, where is a well of good water, from which most of the houses are supplied by means of water-carts. There is also a racecourse between the town and Botany Bay, racing being a favourite amusement among the gentlemen of the colony, and sometimes among the ladies, for I was told of a race somewhere "up the country," in which two "young ladles" were the riders, the prize being a new side-saddle and bridle, which was won in good style by one of the fair damsels; the horse of the other receiving a severe castigation from his gentle mistress, for having swerved and lost the race.



RECENT additions and alterations in both the domain and Botanical gardens have added much to their general appearance, and lent additional beauty to -what our citizens are Justly proud of as one of the sights of the city. Our illustration shows the lodge recently constructed at the north-east entrance to the inner gardens, which all our Sydney readers know bound the shores of Farm Cove. Here, in rockey alcove, on mossy bank, or beneath the refreshing shade of numerous umbrageous trees, the visitor may sit and watch the traffic on our harbour, the war vessels lying in the cove, or some of our fine yacht squadron slipping their moorings, and, with canvas spread, flit away like some white winged bird ; while the refreshing sea-breeze and perfume-laden zephyrs which steal from the numerous flower-beds make the whole scene like some fairy landscape which, once seen, is rarely ever forgotten.

A VIEW of THE BOTANICAL GARDENS-TUB NORTH ENTRANCE AND LODGE. THE LODGE, INNER BOTANIC GARDENS. (1867, March 16). Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872), , p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63513381

1900 Expansion of:

The Botanic Gardens.—It is the opinion of the Colonial Secretary that when the eight or nine acres of land forming portion of Government House demesne, but now practically lying waste, are added to the Botanic Gardens the latter will be greatly improved. The addi-   tional area is peculiarly well situated for effective landscape gardening, and as it occupies a commanding position overlooking Farm Cove   and other portions of the harbour the extention will be exceedingly advantageous to the public. At present considerable damage is done to shrubs, plants, and trees by thoughtless people and unruly children, and it is intended, in order that no one can doubt the authority of the rangers en-trusted with the task of seeing that no damage is done, to have them dressed in uniforms. An enormous quantity of litter is left about the gar-dens by picnic parties and others eating their luncheon in the gardens, and a number of men have to be employed in gathering it up ; otherwise the place would soon become disfigured. It is in-tended to provide orderly bins or baskets, and visitors will be requested by notice to deposit all rubbish in these receptacles. THE BOTANIC GARDENS. (1900, November 5). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14345058

A PIttwater Botanical Gardens connection with Queensland

Some New South Wales Grown Mangoes. 

Since the article on mango cultivation appeared in these columns, a great deal; of Interest has been awakened In this valuable sub-tropical fruit. The other day, Mr. J. S. Edgar brought to this office several very fine mangoes that had been grown in the late Mr. R. Robinson's garden at  Pittwater, Broken Bay. The trees, which are now about five years old, were obtained from the Botanic Gardens, Rockhampton, Queensland, and have borne excellent crops this year. They are growing in a deep, rich soil, about 50ft above sea level, and are a picture of health.Notwithstanding the very dry season that has been experienced, the fruit is well developed, and of good flavor. The mango trees at Pittwater go to prove that this sub-tropical fruit can be produced in - sheltered posi-tions in the neighborhood of Sydney. Some New South Wales Grown Mangoes. (1899, March 11). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), , p. 17. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71325097

Another on our 'Natural' garden:

Amongst those who have done something in the way of cultivating Australian flowers is the Director of the Botanic Gardens (Mr. J. H. Maiden), but; with a multiplicity of duties to accomplish it is clearly only a side-line with him. There is a rich field, full of surprises before the man who will cultivate our flowers. For commercial purposes, the waratah has been grown, and proves most profitable. At Pittwater there is one fine garden, where the gorgeous bloom is grown to profusion. What an opportunity there is for some of our flower culturists to undertake the growing of the flannel flower, now being thinned out near Sydney, the native rose, the bottle-brush, the boronia, the wattle, the Christmas bell, and many more flowers of a purely indigenous character. NOTES OF THE WEEK. (1906, October 10). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), , p. 916. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article163682824

The 100th Anniversary:



(By J. H. Maidon, F.L.S.)

While we in Australia cannot point out the site where Alexander the Great planted a date-palm, or Julius Caesar landed, the people of Sydney are able at least to lay claim to the possession o£ a Botanic Garden that can, relatively, boast o£ a very respectable antiquity. Most of the Institutions of Government have sprung into existence since the establishment of the Botanic Garden, the centenary of which we are about to celebrate. Part o£ its alto was devoted to cultural (mainly agricultural) purposes on the foundation of the colony in 1788, and was conducted as a garden partly for the use of the Governor and partly for the use of officials, until it was finally constituted a Botanic Garden, in 1816. It may be news to some that Sydney's Garden is one of the oldest In the world. We may, therefore, for a brief space, take a walk in the Garden and look upon some of the features which are of historic interest. 

Remember that this State was founded on January 26, 1788. The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay, published in London in 1789, contains a map dated July, 1788, and we see marked on it a creek of "fresh water," which is the creek that runs through the Garden at the present day, spanned with rustle bridges and lined with ferns and other plants. We see also "a farm; nine acres In corn;" this was on the east bank of the creek, and gave the name of Farm Cove to the pretty bay which the Botanic Garden surrounds. In this farm the seeds and plants brought by the First Fleet were cultivated. The chief requirement of the infant colony was wheat and other cereals, but by-and-bye the ground was found to be unsuitable, while the crops were attacked by rust. As a matter of fact, the site of the Botanic Garden in Sydney is naturally as sterile as any other part of Port Jackson, and it has been brought to its present state of fertility only by utilising soil from the foundations of buildings, road sweepings, and other manure for over a century. 

Consequently, in the early days, it was found that the Parramatta and Hawkesbury districts wore more suited for field crops. However, the land at Farm Cove (south of the present wall) was persevered with, and fruit trees, vine, and vegetables were assiduously cultivated, the land on both sides of the creek being used. This was securely fenced, and before 1816, as one of the boundaries of a portion of Mrs. Macquarie’s Road (see the inscription on Mrs. Macquarie's Chair), the massive stone wall, which is one of the features of the Garden, was erected. 

Mr. J. H. Maiden, Who for the last 20 years has been Director of the Sydney Botanic Gardens.

The ground south of the wall as for as the hot-house avenue is known as the Middle Garden, and most of it is long oblong beds. This was laid out be cause the ploughed lands could be most conveniently utilised in that shape. In fact we may say' that they were determined by the direction of the furrows and the paths necessary for the laborers to work the land. 


In 1791 Messrs. Muir, Pahner, Skirving,  Gerrald, and Margarot were condemned in Edinburgh for sedition, and transported to New South Wales for 14 years. They were known as the Scotch Martyrs, and their "sedition" would be ignored at the present day. Gerrald was allowed to purchase a block of land near the creek in the present Garden, and here he built a house, and formed a garden, where he was buried in March, 1796. Tradition says he was buried between the Wishing-tree and the creek, but I have no evidence in support of that statement. 

What is known as the Lower Garden — i.e., between the stone partition wall and Farm Cove, was laid out in its present form at least as early as 1838. The sandy flat which extended as far as Cunningham's monument was reclaimed from 1870 onwards, six acres being added to the Garden, and the present semi-circular stone wall built. The obelisk to Allan Cunningham is on a tiny Island in the top pond in the Lower Garden, and was erected to his memory by some admirers in 1844. He was buried in 1839 in the old Devonshire-street Cemetery, and his remains were removed and placed within the obelisk in 1901. He was fourth Superintendent or Director of the Gardens, and the most eminent man who has ever held that office. He was a distinguished botanist, but he is best known to most Australians, particularly Queenslanders, as one of the most successful of Australian explorers. He discovered the Darling Downs, for example. Before the erection of the wall round Farm Cove the tide used to come up to Cunningham's monument. The Norfolk Island pine In the middle of the Middle Garden, and known as the Wishing-tree, was perhaps planted in its present situation In 1817 by order of Mrs. Macquarie, It being too big for Its place in the Government House Garden of that date. 

Government House was then at the corner of what are now Phillip and Bridge streets. If you turn your back on the Wishing-tree, and walk along the main avenue until you come to the Iron entrance gates, you will pass two sentinel palms— labelled Livistona chinonsis (L. mauritlana)— at the corner of the hot-house avenue. These were brought from the Isle of Bourbon, in sugar barrels, by Mr. Jules Joubert in 1817. They used to mark the entrance of the Botanic Garden from the Domain side. 


This entrance to the Garden from the Domain was approached by a narrow fenced avenue lined with trees. On Sundays there was no admission to the Gardens until after church. We have been often told how the Governor, after attendance at morning service at St. James's Church, and accompanied by his family and officials, would walk across the Domain to this entrance as a roundabout and pleasant walk to Government House. A man would be in attendance to open the Garden gate for his Excellency, and after he and his entourage had passed through, the common people would be allowed entrance to the grounds. AUSTRALIA'S AGRICULTURE (1916, June 11). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), , p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article221366742 

Other government Gardens - Domains


Government House, Sydney, Saturday, 10th August, 1815. 

1. IT appearing that the Government Public Notice bearing Date the 22d September, 1810, and published in the Sydney Gazette of that Date, prohibiting all Persons from walking in the Government Garden and Domain at Parramatta, unless properly authorised to do so, has not been fully understood or attended to; His Excellency the Governor is now pleased to direct and command, that no Person shall hereafter enter or walk in the said Garden or Domain, except for the Purpose of transacting Business with His EXCELLENCY or some Person of his Establishment, or having a written Order for that purpose from the GOVERNOR, or from one of the Gentlemen of His Family, or from Mr. Richard Rouse, the Superintendant of Government Works at Parramatta; who is hereby authorised to grant Permission at his Discretion to any respectable Free Persons who may wish to see the Grounds; taking Care that the Gardener shall be on such Occasions in Attendance on them.

The Gardener, and all the other Servants at Government House in Parramatta, are at the same Time strictly prohibited from admitting Strangers either into the Domain or Garden, or to view the Inside of the House, unless with such written Order as is herein prescribed.

2. Persons presuming to force a Thoroughfare or Passage through the Government Garden or en-closed Domain after this Notification, will be prosecuted for the Trespass according to Law. All Animals found feeding in the Domain, and not be-longing to Government, are to be impounded until due Compensation shall be made for the Injury sustained ; and any Person who shall be found to drive Sheep, Pigs, Goats, or other Animals into the Do-main, will be punished in a most exemplary Manner.

3. The Government Garden and Domain at Windsor being now also fenced in and enclosed, the same Regulations in all Respects are to take place there, as are prescribed for the Government Gar-den, Domain, and House at Parramatta, except, that instead of Mr. Richard Rouse giving Permissions in Addition to those from His EXCELLENCY or the Gentlemen of his Family, they are only to be granted at Windsor by Mr. Richard Fitzgerald, the Superintendant of Public Works at that Place.

His Honor the Lieutenant Governor, Officers at the Heads of Departments, and the Magistrates of the Territory, are to be exempt from the above Regulations, and have at all Times an unrestrained Access to the Gardens and Domains of Government, both at Parramatta and Windsor.

By Command of His Excellency The Governor, 

J. T. CAMPBELL, Secretary. Classified Advertising (1815, September 2). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article629177 

Messrs. Turner, Richardson, and Suthers, for fencing in the Government Domain at Parramatta. } |||| 184 | 2 | 0 | GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. (1816, February 10). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2176544 

Henry Hitchcock, and John Kennedy, for taking up Stumps in the Government Domain at Parramatta |47 | 2 | 6 |. GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. (1816, May 11). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2176651 


Now that the new Government House, Sydney, is completed, it would be of incalculable advantage to the good folks of Parramatta, if the Domain were thrown open to them as a carriage drive, for with the exception of the Kissing Point and Pennant Hill roads, which are not of the most picturesque character, there is not a single chance of inhaling the fresh breeze. Although, through the urbanity of the worthy Member for the town, and his kinsman on the opposite side, no objection is made to any well conducted individuals, enjoying the beautiful drives round their several estates, yet many of the inhabitants feel a disinclination to intrude upon private property, and as the expense of completing a road in the required route would be but trifling compared with the comfort of the inhabitants, no reasonable objection we think would be made to the boon, if an application were made in the proper quarter. PARRAMATTA.—GOVERNMENT DOMAIN. (1843, October 12). The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), , p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37117648 



THE OBSERVATORY.-The building which was formerly used as the astronomical observatory is now the residence of one of the constabulary; it seems to be fast going to ruin, and the fencing in a dilapidated condition.

THE BATHS.-The Bathing-house appears to have been a very handsome building; it is circular in shape, the bath being in the centre of the house, with a suite of rooms surrounding it. The bath-room was furnished with a flue shower-bath formed in the roof, whither the water was conveyed by large pipes. An adjoining room was fitted with an apparatus for generating steam, and a third was adapted simply to healing water. Each of the rooms was ornamented with a handsome cornice, and the manner in which the doors and windows had been designed and finished showed that much taste and a large sum of public money bad been devoted to the construction of the building. It is now in ruins not caused by the hand of time but by the hands of determined spoliators. The doors have been torn off their hinges and some of them carried off; the windows together with their frames have nearly all been destroyed, or wholly taken away, for it is clear that nothing short of violence could have wrenched them out of the brick work. The fireplaces and walls have been defaced and broken with a kind of systematic regularity; and the large leaden pipes which at one time conveyed the water to the shower-bath have been hacked and cut about in a manner which reflects infinite disgrace on .the barbarian who took so much pains to render his work effective; and it is needless to say that a large portion of the leaden piping has been stolen.

THE OUTHOUSES AND STABLES.-Nearly the whole of the out offices in the Government domain may be classed under two heads-those that are in ruins and therefore useless ; and those that will be so very soon, if steps be not taken to prevent this undesirable consummation. We noticed whole rows of out-offices without doors, windows, or roofs-nothing in fact but the bare walls indicating that they ever had been used. Of the other class-those which will be in ruins very soon if something be not done to prevent it-they have suffered more or less from the partial loss of a window or a door. As for fencing there is just enough left to show that the premises had been at one time protected by something of the kind. The stables are no exception to the general scene of decay.

THE GOVERNOR'S HOUSE.-The roof of this building looks as if it had been suffering from some cutaneous disease; the asphalt coating which had been laiden over the shingles having peeled off here and there, and so left the shingles exposed through the cracks and rents. This piebald character of the roof has a most unsightly appearance.

THE DOMAIN.-This fine piece of ground contains upwards of 4000 acres, and appears to be unusually fertile, judging from the quality and quantity of the grasses and their effect upon the cattle. Various portions are fenced off into paddocks, others have been under crop, and the remainder appears to be in a natural state, being timbered with many specimens of the eucalypti family. A considerable breadth of ground has been denuded of its timber in a very rude manner-as, for instauce, where the stumps are left in the ground after the trees had been fallen. At a short distance from this locality a great many tons of wood had been cut and stacked, but before it could be removed, the legality of falling timber in the domain was called in question, and so its removal was forbidden. The native cotton plant grows in great abundance in this locality-many of the plants standing over six foot in height. The scenery in and about the reserve is really interesting, and must supply, to a great extent, the want of more artificial places of recreation.

LADY MACQUAUIE'S SEAT.-The good Lady Macquarie seems to have had an eye for the beautiful in nature; for at any price, if a good sight was to be had, she would have it, even from the top of a gum-tree; in proof whereof we may refer to the highest gum-tree in the Parramatta Domain. A prisoner of the Crown having observed at a distance, that this particular tree over-topped its follows climbed out of mere curiosity to the top and was gratified with tho splendid prospect it commanded of the country all round as far as the eye could scan; knowing her ladyship's penchant for fine sights the man resolved to turn his discovery to account and therefore took care that his vice-regal mistress should not long remain in ignorance; her ladyship having learnt the discovery in, a fit of enthusiasm promised to obtain a conditional pardon for the discoverer if he would devise means which should enable her to ascend to the top of the tree; the man immediately out a series of incisions in the tree, inserted in them a number of rude steps which wound round the trunk something like a circular stairs; a chair was constructed on the top and thus elevated to a height of more than 60 feet. Lady Macquarie frequently sat for hours scanning the circumjacent country. The prisoner obtained his liberty as his reward,-so the story is told. PARRAMATTA. (1857, January 19). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), , p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60273302 

The Domain used as a place to stash stolen items!:

Jonas Delworth and William Smith were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the warehouse of Mr. Simeon Lord, on the 16th of August last, and stealing therefrom a quantity of jewellery, and some  silk handkerchiefs; and Margaret McKennel was indicted for receiving the same, knowing them to be  stolen.

Mr. John Black, clerk to Mr. Lord, deposed, that on the night of the 16th, or morning of the 17th of August last, the warehouse had been broke into, and   various articles, consisting of jewellery and silk handkerchiefs were discovered to be stolen, together with a     chronometer, value 40l. but which, with most of the stolen property, had been since recovered. Mr.   Black also stated, that subsequent to the apprehension and committal of the prisoner Delworth, he had been informed by him that he, Delworth, had found  the articles in the Government Domain, round Bennelong's Point, and that he would conduct him to the spot where some of the articles remained secreted ; that he availed himself accordingly of such information, and went with the prisoner, and some of the   property now before the Court was then and there found.      

Mr. Thomas Dunn, chief constable, deposed, that he went, attended by several peace officers, to the house of the prisoner Margaret McKennel, in Phillip-street, on or about the 20th of August, a few days   after the robbery, where the prisoner Delworth lodged, having the authority of a search warrant to  discover whether certain information that had been   laid before the Superintendent of Police was correct. The prisoner, Margaret McKennel, upon being made acquainted with the nature of his errand, resisted his authority for some time, but being conscious, upon speedy reflection, any opposition would be fruitless, she consented. That on searching a box in the bed-room, sundry articles before the Court, which were sworn to by Mr. Black, were found therein ; and on being questioned to whom they belonged, the prisoner unhesitatingly declared the property to be her own ; that in a few minutes after she desired Mr. Dunn to be seated, when the whole affair should be explained. She then   said that the articles had been brought home by the prisoner Delworth, who told her he had found them in the Government Domain, and requested her to keep them secure for him. The prisoner Delworth being then in the house, he was secured—The above testimony was confirmed by that of three other peace officers.

Levy Abrahams, an assigned Government servant to Mr. Josephson, jeweller, deposed, that the prisoner William Smith had offered to sell him various articles of jewellery, asserting he had received an assortment from a person who was apparently a seaman ; that he acquainted his master with the circumstance, who directed him to procure a sample ; and meeting the prisoner again in a day or two, according to appointment, he obtained various articles, which he delivered to his master, Mr. Josephson, in whose mind suspicion being awakened on the occasion, he very properly and judiciously had the prisoner, William Smith, brought to him, whom he conducted, with the proffered articles, to the Police Office ; from whence the prisoner was committed to take his trial, in con-junction with his associates at the bar. Other testimony was called to prove the tracing of the property to the possession of the prisoner Jonas Delworth, who in his defence still declared that he had found the property in the Government Domain.—Wm. Smith denied all knowledge of the transaction, further than that of receiving the articles from Delworth to sell ; and Margaret McKennell strenuously denied, in a written defence, all felonious intention on her part,  but the chain of evidence adduced, and the evident connexion between the prisoners, was too clear to admit of the possibility of doubt existing as to the guilt of either of the prisoners, who not having any witnesses to corroborate their assertions, they were found guilty. Jonas Delworth and William Smith— life to Newcastle ; Margaret McKennell, whose original term of transportation had only expired while in custody for the present offence—7 years to Newcastle. Sydney. (1820, November 25). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2179900 

SYDNEY GAZETTE; UNDER the Shipping Intelligence will be perceived the annunciation of the arrival from England, on Wednesday last, of the merchant ship 'Royal George", Captain Powditch, on board of which vessel has arrived, His Excellency Major General Sir Thomas Brisbane, K. C. B. with Lady Brisbane and infant Daughter and Miss McDougall, Sister to Her Ladyship, together with His Excellency's Staff.

Upon the vessel coming to an anchor in Sydney Cove, a salute of 19 guns was fired from Dawes' Battery; and immediately afterwards His Honor Lieutenant  Governor Erskine proceeded on board, to pay his respects to HIS EXCELLENCEY, and to greet Him on his safe arrival in New South Wales. - HIS EXCELLENCY was pleased to signify his intention of landing on the following morning.

On Thursday morning, at ten o'clock  His Excellency left the 'Royal George' under the usual salute due to his distinguished rank, and landed at the private stairs on Bennelong's Point; where he was received by His Honor the Lieutenant Governor and other Officers of the Colony, from whence he walked to Government house accompanied by Lady Brisbane, Family and Staff; where Mrs Macquarie in the absence of His Excellency Governor Macquarie, warmly welcomed him and Her Ladyship. -

The Full Band of HM's 48th Regiment parraded the lawn in front of Government house, playing those soothing and martial airs that tended to give a zest to that curiosity as well as sensibility naturally excited in the minds of ALL, upon so important and interesting an occasion. At the desire (we believe) of HIS EXCELLENCY, the gates were thrown open, for the admission of the Australian Public, whose numbers quickly o'erspread the walks around the domain, in order to catch a glimpse of our future Governor - the Representative of Our Gracious and Beloved Sovereign! - Carriages having been in readiness, His EXCELLENCY and FAMILY left the capital for Parramatta, in which town, we are given to understand, it is the design of His Excellency Sir THOMAS BRISBANE to reside, during the absence to the Northern Settlements of His Excellency Governor MACQUARIE, whose return to the Seat of Government we anticipate again to have the pleasure of speedily hailing.   SYDNEY GAZETTE. (1821, November 10).The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2180591 

More shenanigans: 


To, the Editor of the Sydney Gazette. SIR,  

You complain', and that very justly, in your paper of Saturday last; of the gross immoralities .that are daily occurring in the Government Domain, and you complain also of the want of constables in that place. Many of the indecent and disgraceful scenes to which you advert, would be prevented if the person or persons in whose charge the Domain is, were to station proper persons at its gates; instead of placing active, well-conducted young men at these gates, old worn-out profligates are to be seen in care of them. I have myself, more than once witnessed some of these gate-keepers opening wide their gates, in order to admit persons into the Domain for the worst of purposes; What is the consequence of this niggardliness or carelessness on the part of the authorities. Crimes of the blackest dye are perpetrated, and the feelings of a large part of the community are outraged, which, in all probability, would not be so if proper persons were appointed to take charge of the Domain gates; the government too, in the end, would not be a loser by adopting the former course, as much expense that is now incurred in giving rewards and bringing parties to justice would be spared. While on this subject, I cannot avoid stating that I do not know any class of persons more in the habit of resorting to the Domain for vile purposes, than that part of the military clothed with yellow coats or jackets-I mean the bandmen or drummers. Surely, sir, the King, whose money these men receive, and the commander-in-chief, who has laid down duty for them, cannot be aware that in New South Wales they are a pest to society by their indecent exhibitions, not only in the Domain, but also in every part of the neighbourhood of this town. In the hope that what I have here stated may meet the eye of the proper authorities, and be remedied. I am, Sir,  AN OBSERVER. GOVERNMENT DOMAIN. (1834, December 9). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2217702 

The Emigrants, residents in the Government Domain. 

The number of emigrants at present in the government quarters in the Domain, is a hundred and sixteen, of all ages, from infancy to manhood, and both sexes.   

The quarters can conveniently hold about four hundred and fifty souls. The rumour which has prevailed of the extravagant demands of the emigrants, has not been exaggerated with regard to a few, but the demands of the majority have only been high, not extravagant. All have lessened their demands since   they have become acquainted with the real state of the colony. This alteration has in a measure been brought about by the explanations of Mr. Bell, present superintendent of the emigrants in government quarters, and late keeper of the female factory. The emigrants not hired, consist chiefly of farm servants, and a few mechanics and house servants. The wages obtained by mechanics who have met with engagements, and demanded by those still disengaged, average about £50 a year with full rations; by farm servants £20; house male-servants £25. There are some instances where mechanics have obtained better terms, but such cases are few.  One instance is the case of a carpenter and his wife, and sister, who were engaged to proceed to Port Phillip. The former obtained £70, the wife £18, and the sister £5, with full rations. Those who remain in government quarters are married people, and have children. There are no single persons left. 

Hyde Park, St James Parsonage Dispensary, afterwards the Mint, and Emigration Barracks, 1842 by John Rae: Although signature and date appear to be genuine, dating is in doubt as the Australian Museum is shown in this panorama with the roof frame being completed, an event which occurred in 1849. Another painting in the series, DG SV*/Sp Coll/Rae/10, shows a building not completed until 1845. The pictures may have been signed between 1891, when a photographic edition of the unsigned views was first published, and 1900 when Rae died. Image No.: a928373, courtesy Dixson Galleries, State Library of New South Wales

A hundred and twenty seven souls have proceeded to Mr. Andrew Lang's estate at Dunmore, Hunter's River, under the following circumstances. A proposal was made by Mr. Eales of Hunter's River to the Highland emigrants who arrived by the Midlothian, to settle on his lands for a certain term of years rent free, and afterwards at an annual rent. A deputation of two of their body was appointed to proceed thither, and report to their comrades. The deputation, which was provided with letters of introduction from Dr. Lang to his brother Mr. Andrew Lang, proceeded to their destination, but after an inspection of Mr. Eales' land, they did not approve of that gentleman's offer, and accordingly declined it. An offer somewhat similar was then made them by Mr. A. Lang for their settlement on his estate at Dunmore. The general terms offered we understand were, from fifteen to twenty acres of land to each family for the period of four years rent free, rations for the first year to be supplied by the government, (and which government it is said has consented to.) After the expiration of the four years, by which time the land will have been cleared by the new comers, the latter are to hold it at the annual rent of twenty five shillings per acre. Such of the party as choose to enter on cleared land in the first instance, can do so at the same rate of rent. These terms were accepted by certain heads of families, comprising in all a hundred and twenty-seven souls, and who departed from Sydney for that, purpose on the 22nd ultimo. 

A proposal was subsequently made by Mr. James Barker on behalf of his brother Mr. Thos. Barker, now on his way to England, for the occupation of some land of the latter gentleman near Patrick's Plains. Mr. Barker's terms were as follows: As much land as the emigrants could manage for four years, to be held free of rent, but the   land to be cleared at the expiration of the third year - rations for the first year to be supplied by Mr. Barker, also a cow to each family, with what is called a run of 1000 acres for pasturage for the whole of them. From the end of the fourth until the seventh year, the land is to be held at an annual rent of ten shillings an acre, and from the seventh until the tenth year at fifteen shillings per acre. At that time, the land is to be given up to the proprietor, improved by a four-railed fence around it; No buildings erected to be carried away. Eighteen families, consisting of eighty-three persons, embraced these terms, and were forwarded to their destination last Monday. Both Mr. Lang and Mr. Barker agreed to furnish their tenants with tools on credit. Most of those who lately arrived in the Layton and Brilliant have met with engagements. Those who remain are chiefly arrivals by the Strathfieldsay, a still later arrival. The emigrants by the last named vessel, are nearly all Irish and of the Catholic religion. The local government now rules, that if any emigrant, male or female, refuse an eligible offer, such person is to be excluded from farther bounty as a new-comer. The Emigrants, residents in the Government Domain. (1838, February 26).The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 - 1838), , p. 2 (EVENING). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32159173 

For more on this - See Issue 173: From Beneath the Floorboards

Panoramic view of the Royal Mint and Hyde Park Barracks taken from the steeple of St. James's Church, ca. 1871. Creator American & Australasian Photographic Company. Image No. a089322, courtesy State Library of NSW - See George Repin's - Hyde Park Barracks - Issue 98. 

A great insight shared in the lead into the 100th year celebrations;


One of Sydney's " Lungs."


(See illustrations on page 26.)

One of the grandest heritages which have been handed down to us from olden times is the piece of ground known as the Domain. It contains about 138 acres, and stretches from the gates opposite St. Mary's Cathedral to tho extreme end of the point jutting into the harbor between Sydney Cove and Woolloomooloo Bay. A portion of this ground was in early times known as the Government Farm; and the little indentation between the two points was named Farm Cove.

MRS. MACQUARIE, wife of Governor Lachlan Macquarie, appears to have been struck with the beauty of the situation soon after her arrival in January, 1810, as she set about having a road cut and formed round the point. This road was 3 miles 377yds long, and was declared finished on June 13,1813. 

The Domain was divided into two portions-the Outer and Inner Domain. The Outer Domain was formally declared open to the public by Governor Darling on September 13, 1831. On April 30,1838, Governor Gipps opened a portion of the Inner Domain as a botanic garden; and on May 24, 1843, he opened the newly-erected Government House with a ball, in honor of her Majesty's birthday. A fine view of the Governor's residence is obtained from the Domain across Farm Cove. Across the harbor, nearly opposite the hewn rock known as Mrs. (commonly called Lady) Macquarie's Chair, lies PORT DENISON, completely covering an island, the native name of which was " Mattewae." In early times some prisoners were imprisoned on the island as a punishment, and wore kept on short rations, and, consequently, thought the name of "Pinchgut " more appropriate and more expressive than the one the blacks had bestowed upon it; and it went by that name until recently. The defence works were begun in 1853 during the governorship of Sir William Thomas Denison; the principal works being Fort Denison and Fort Macquarie. A fort, since removed, was built near Mrs. Macquarie's Chair. But more recently large forts have been constructed at South and Middle Heads. However, Pinchgut was completely absorbed in Fort Denison, and is very seldom heard of at the present time. It lies in the fairway from Sydney Cove, or Circular Quay, to the Heads; and vessels pass on either side of it. Broad asphalted paths wind in and about the clumps of trees and bushes in the Domain; and seats are placed in cosy nooks near natural rockeries of great i beauty. One walk runs by a deep cutting, which forms a wall on one side ; while a fine view of the harbor is obtained on the other side. Lying across the entrance to Woolloomooloo Bay is


At one time this was an ornament in the view. But recently it was handed over to the Imperial Government in exchange for land at Dawe's Point and Paddington. The island was cut down, the trees and shrubs destroyed, and a great staring, whitewashed brick structure erected, which not only shuts out a picturesque view, but is so utterly wanting in taste as to be a positive eyesore ; and Garden Island, instead of being a thing of beauty in keeping with its surroundings, is now a blot on the perspective. Woolloomooloo Bay is disfigured by some tumble-down bathing-places; and numerous other attempts have been made to spoil the natural beauty of the place. But the Government, by building these stores, has done more than all others to achieve what numbers have attempted ; and yet the citizens make no sign beyond grumbling among themselves when the disfigurements are brought too prominently before them. In the centre of the Domain is another structure known as the Art Gallery, which looks like a huge brick kiln as it stands. When it is finished it may look well; but when will that be ? Across Woolloomooloo Bay is that home of the aristocracy, Potts's Point, with handsome villas half hidden behind luxuriant trees and shrubs. Bound the point, and near the lower entrance to the Botanic Gardens, is 


for yachtsmen; and here beneath the overhanging cliffs clusters of sailing boats and handsome yachts may be seen on holidays taking in or discharging their cargos of laughing girls and sturdy youths. Across Farm Cove from this point a fine view of FORT MACQUARIE is obtained ; and the bay is very seldom without a few ships of war anchored in it. The garden fence takes a large corner out of the Domain, but the Botanic Gardens are open to the public, and are beautifully kept, and are therefore ' a portion of the people's pleasure ground. Nearer the town the Domain spreads out into a lightly timbered undulating plain, where stump orators, temperance advocates, religious enthusiasts, and others let off their pent-up thoughts on Sunday afternoons, to the joy of the multitudes who gather to applaud, to jeer, and otherwise amuse themselves. Sydney, with its narrow streets and dirty slums, is bad enough as compared with the majority of modern cities ; but it is redeemed to some extent by its magnificent Domain and Hyde Park. It is no doubt largely due to THESE "'LUNGS" that Sydney compares favorably, in regard to the public health, with other less crowded cities, and even with its own suburbs and the country towns of New South, Wales. What Sydney would be without its parks can only be conjectured. But, although the public has hitherto shown itself culpably careless in matters connected with hygiene, it is to be hoped that a firm stand will be taken if any attempt is made to alienate any portion of the "lungs" of the city either for railway or other purposes. One of Sydney's " Lungs." (1889, March 23). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), , p. 28. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71116700 

The 'Page 26 Illustrations':

1. Fort Denison ("Pinchgut") from The Domain.

2. A Glimpse of Government House Across Farm Cove

3. Middle walk near, "Mrs. Macquarie's Chair.

4. A View across Woolloomooloo Bay.

5. Looking across Potts Point.

6. Boat Landing Place, with Fort Macquarie in the distance.

7. Garden Island and the "eyesore'.

One of Sydney's " Lungs." (1889, March 23). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), , p. 26. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71116700

The Illustrator of the above article was E. M. Grosse, also known as Edward M. Grosse, who was an Artist (Draughtsman), and Cartoonist / Illustrator who drew for Town and Country Journal , e.g. 'The Jubilee Fireworks display in Sydney Harbour – A brilliant commemoration’ 2 July 1887, 26 (re Queen Victoria’s Jubilee); 'The recent Intercolonial lawn tennis tournament held on Association Ground, Moore Park, Sydney’ 14 May 1887, 1014 (and others, all 'Australian’ topics). He was chief artist on Town and Country in 1889, a paper that also controlled the Illustrated Sydney News (whose artists were A.S. Broad and J.C. Gasking , acc. Moore ii, 112).

In 1903 George Taylor wrote:

“Grosse on rare occasions wanders into the realms of caricature with notable success. Few of our artists possess such exquisite feeling for gradations and contrasts in black and white. His absolute command of the pen or brush can be imagined when it is mentioned that not only is he a black and white artist of exceptional excellence, but he has no superior in the world as a scientific draftsman – one, for instance, who can depict with microscopic exactness the gradations in tone on the antennae of the Rolyateog Australiensis .” -  E. M. Grosse. Kerr, Joan. 1996. Design and Art Australia Online, retrieved from: https://www.daao.org.au/bio/e-m-grosse/biography/

Just one of the many statues (artworks) you will find in these grounds - which are like poems themselves:

Henry Lawson Memorial: Unveiled in Outer Domain


In the presence of about 3000 people, at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 28th ult., his Excellency the Governor, Sir Philip Game, unveiled in the Outer Domain the statue (or, to be accurate, the group) which his admirers (chiefly the school children) caused to be erected to the memory of Henry Lawson. 

The Lord Mayor of Sydney, Alderman Jackson, M.L.A., presided, and with him on the platform was a gathering of representative citizens, including the Minister for Agriculture (Mr. Dunn), Mr. T. E. Bavin (leader of the Opposition), Sir Daniel Levy, M.L.A., Dean Talbot, Mr. Ifould (Government Librarian), and other members of the Lawson Memorial Committee; Mrs. Lawson (widow), Miss Bertha Lawson and Mr. Jim Lawson (daughter and son), and Mrs. J. T. Lang (wife of the Premier, and Lawson's sister-in-law). His Parliamentary duties prevented the Premier himself from being present. Seated round the platform were many members of the Fellowship of Australian Writers, among them being Mrs. Gilmore, Bod. Quinn, Steele Kudd (A. B. Davis), Jim Grahame, and other old-time friends and companions of the poet, not a few of them from the bush, including Mr. James Dooley, who was Premier of N.S.W. when Lawson died. Official Addresses. When introducing his Excellency the Governor, the Lord Mayor, commenting on the gifts of vivid depiction of everyday life which Lawson possessed, said it was a vexed question whether Lawson would be remembered by his prose (short stories) or his poetry. Time alone would tell. Adverting to the newspaper controversy over the choice of the site for tho monument, the temptation to compare Lawson with Burns could not be resisted. The palpable invidiousness of such comparisons did not seem apparent to the Lord Mayor. 

Except insofar as 'The colonel's lady and Judy O'Grady are sisters under the skin, as a pioneer Australian writer, Lawson worked in totally different media from that of Bums. And either in quality or quantity of achievement, the bard of Mudgee was not comparable with Scotland's poet. So why compare them at all? Lawson was big enough to stand on his own merits as a writer; and to compare him with Burns or any other Olympian is manifestly unfair to Lawson. If they could not appreciate him for his own intrinsic worth, better to leave him unread. When declaring the statue unveiled, the blustery wind having anticipated him and unrobed the group, a circumstance to which he humorously referred, his Excellency said it was well that Australians, and especially the children, commemorated our gifted men. The life that Lawson knew and so admirably depicted was fast disappearing; and it was gratifying to know that in his verse and in his prose Lawson had left a legacy which future generations would find pleasure and profit in. 

Unveiling Lawson statue, 1931,by Sam Hood. Image No.: a215027, from Hood Collection part II : [City streets and scenes: including streetscapes, labour processions, military parades and memorials, statues and Cenotaph], courtesy State Library of NSW. The Statue was George Lambert and is of the poet, a swagman and his dog and a fencepost. Lawson’s son Jim posed for the figure of Lawson, and the model for the swagman was Conrad von Hagen with alliterating, according to some sources, to St John in Rodin’s St John the Baptist preaching 1878–80, in Lawson's pose by the creator, and Rodin’s best known work, The thinker 1880, in the swagman.

Commenting on the beauty of the site, which is indeed a happy choice, the Governor said that if the shade of Lawson ever descended from Elysium to visit the Domain, it would be so charmed with the location — the thickly-foliaged surrounding trees, the lovely harbour view and all — that it would be reluctant to return.  A youth named Hauptmann recited Lawson 's fine verses, 'Waratah and Wattle,' and after relating the difficulties which, the committee had to overcome, and paying a compliment to the memory of Lambert, the sculptor, Mr. Ifould, who had taken tho chair on the departure of the Lord Mayor on civic business, thanked the Governor for his presence and his interest. The proceedings then closed. 


Now, who may tell as he with skill

The story of bush days,

Bring back to us the memories

Of strange, yet homely, ways,

In book to which the perfume cleaves

From spray of gum between the leaves?

Where'er the billy boils to-day,

A man awaits his mate,

And wonders, watching by the fire,

What keeps that mate so late;

Thinks he must soon a footstep hear

Come down the rough track running near.

The furthest outback settlement

To him lays friendly claim.

He wrote about its daily life,

And so it shares his fame;

Bid Harry Lawson time o' day.

His portrait, for Australia's sake,

Hangs on Art Gall'ry's wall,

And bush folk, coming down to town,

Are free to make a call,

In spirit speak with him again

By Wombat Creek, or One-Tree Plain.

An Appreciation. BY M.P.T. Australia's best-loved poet was born in 18*7, he was 55 years old at the time of his death, and except for a short time spent in England and New Zealand, he lived all his life in the land of his birth. His father was a Norseman, and his mother an Englishwoman, of Gipsy extraction. To her he owed his love of literature and his poetical inspiration. He was born in a tent at Grenfell (N.S.W.) , and spent his boyhood days on the goldfields with his father. Ho was afterwards stockrider, rouseabout, boundary-rider, shearer, swaggie, and coachbuilder.  

Sang With the Soul of an Australian. 

He was the first poet to sing of his land with tho soul of an Australian. Kendall, whom he loved, was an Australian by birth, but borrowed much from England and other lands. Gordon was not an Australian. Both missed by an aggravating margin the atmosphere of Australian life, but Lawson, with the inspiration of genius, caught it, and held it fast. Not one word by Lawaon is un-Australian, and every picture he painted and every character he drew can be seen to-day in the backblocks. He communed with the soul of our nation, and her whisperings he delivered to the world. He will never die, though we are too close to his time to view his worth in true perspective.  That much of his verse is crude is true, but, like the Australian character, it is frank, direct, and soul-stirring. His gems he often failed to polish, but they are true gems for all that. The cruder his words, the truer they are, for he wrote of crude things, and fitted his pen for its task. He commenced writing about the age of 21, and had his poems published in many Australian papers. At the suggestion of Angus and Robertson, he collected his works into book form, both prose and poetry — 'On the Track and Over the Sliprails,' 'Verses Popular and Humorous,' 'When the World Was Wide,' 'Joe Wilson and His Mates,' 'When I Was King,' 'Children of the Bush,' &c. What He Looked lake. In later times Henry might be met in the streets of Sydney, a tall, lank figure, smoking a long, lank pipe, with stray lank wisps of hair under an old brown hat. Ho was a child of nature, as gentle as ho ought to be. His soft, brown eyes invited you to talk to him, and his low-pitched, mellow voice won you. He had the quiet, subdued speech of the very deaf, but his eyes twinkled like stars. The writer recalls many a conversation with Henry at his Latin quarters in Bathurst-street and Sussex-street, and left him always with a great love. On one occasion, Henry was unsteadily lighting his pipe, and a Chinese fruiterer, standing by, held a match in his cupped hands for him. 'Ah,' said Henry, looking up at him with soft, beaming eyes, 'the light of Asia.' 

His Humour and Pathos. 

On a more recent occasion, two Sydney priests, friends of his, met him on a street corner, and engaged in familiar chat with him. In the interval of lighting his pipe, they talked to each other of the possibility of securing a pension for him. It must have been the roar and rattle of the trams that made his deafness cease for an instant. Looking up over the lighted match, he murmured:  Three men met at the corner of a street, As three men often do; One was a priest, the other a priest, And tho third had no money, too. The humour of his writings is irresistible, and the pathos clutches the heart. His first effort was 'Faces in tho Street,' sent to the 'Bulletin,' when, ho was 21 years old. Its immediate success astonished him. He was surprised to think that he could write verse that interested readers. The following is an extract from that first poem: They lie, the men who tell us, for reasons of their own, That want is hero a stranger, and that misery's unknown, For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet My window sill is level with the faces in the street, Drifting past, drifting past, To the beat of weary feet — While I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street. 'I Have Starved in the Trenches These Forty Long Years.' Many predicted that his inspiration was morbid and meteoric. It could not last, they said. As recent as 1915 a pathetic figure presented itself at a military depot to enlist for the war. It was Henry Lawson. He was rejected, of course, but wrote pathetically: 

They say in all kindness, I'm out of the hunt, Too old and too deaf to be sent to the front. A scribbler of stories, a maker of songs, To the fireside and armchair my valour belongs, Yet in hopeless campaigns and in bitterest strife I have been at the front all the days of my life. Oh, your girl feels a princess, your people are proud, As you march down the street to the cheers of the crowd ; And the nation's behind you and cloudless your sky, And you come back to honour or gloriously die; But for each thing that brightens, and each thing that cheers, I have starved in the trenches these forty long years. 

The Poet of the Shearing Shed. 

He is the poet of the shearing shed. Nobody can paint a scene as Lawson painted it. Not a word too many, not a word too few. But you must have seen the shearing shed to realise all this if with eyes of the body you have never seen the fleece clipped off the sheep huddled in the pens, the shorn sheep shoved down the shoots, then with the eyes of the imagination the scene is yours. It would not be truer to life than the words of Lawson make it: Roof of corrugated iron, six foot above the shoots; Whiz and rattle and vibration, like an endless chain of trams, Blasphemy of five and forty — prickly heat and stink of rams I Barcoo leaves his pen-door open, and the sheep come bucking out; When the rouser goes to pen them Barcoo blasts the rouseabout; Injury with insult added, trial of our cursing powers— Cursed and cursing back enough to damn a dozen ?worlds like ours; 'Take my combs down to tho grinder,' 'Seen my (something) cattle pup I' 'There's a crawler down in my shoot — just slip through and pick it up.' 'Give the office when the boss comes,' 'catch that gory ram, old man;' 'Count the sheep in my pen, will you!' 'Fetch my combs back when you can,' 'When you get a chance, old fellow, will you pop down to tho hut? Fetch my pipe — the cook'll show you — and I'll lot you have a cut.' Have you ever been in a shearing shod before the ladies come down from tho house, and while the ladies are there? You can appreciate Lawson 's humour when he tells you about it: 'The ladies are coming,' the super said To the shearers sweltering there, And 'the ladies' mean in the shearing shed: 'Don't cut 'em too bad. Don't swear.' The ghost of a pause in the shed's rough heart, And lower is bowed each head; And nothing is heard save a whispered word And the roar of the shearing shed. They are girls from tho city (our hearts rebel As we squint at their dainty feet) ; And they gush and say in a girly way That 'the dear little lambs are sweet.' And Bill the ringer who'd scorn the use Of a childish word like damn, Would give a pound that his tongue were loose As he tackles a lively lamb.


Verses to His Children. To his two children, Jim and Bertha, he wrote most touching verses: 

But in those dreamy eyes of him 

There is no hint of doubt — 

I wish that you could tell me, Jim, 

The things you dream about. 

You are a child of field and flood, 

For with the Gypsy strain 

A strong Norwegian sailor's blood 

Runs red through every vein. 

These lines I write with bitter tears 

And failing heart and hand, 

But you will read in after years, 

And you will understand; 

You'll hear the slander of the crowd, 

They'll whisper tales of shame; 

But days will come when you'll be proud 

To bear your father's name. 

To Bertha. 

When I was good I dreamed that when 

The snow showed in my hair, 

A household angel in her teens 

Would flit about my chair 

To comfort me as I grew old; 

But that shall never be — 

Ah! baby girl, you don't know how 

You break the heart in me

But one shall love me while I live, 

And smooths my troubled head. 

And never brook an unkind word 

Of me when I am dead. 

Her eyes shall light to hear my name, 

Howe'er disgraced it be— Ah!baby girl, you don't know how 

You help the heart in me 

...............  Henry Lawson Memorial: Unveiled in Outer Domain (1931, August 6). The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1942), , p. 16. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103850564 

 The Royal Botanical Garden Sydney Celebrates 200 Years: Great School Holidays or All Year Round Activities - threads collected and collated by A J Guesdon, 2016