Friday 28 February 2014

Wine, Tabacco, and Maize, 1791, Schaeffer's Farm, Parramatta

A later view of the original site of Schaeffer's farm showing 'Subiaco'

December 7, 1791, ... Went to Schaeffer’s farm. [see history of this site] I found him at home, conversed with him, and walked with him over all his cultivated ground. He had one hundred and forty acres granted to him, fourteen of which are in cultivation, twelve in maize, one in wheat, and one in vines and tobacco. He has besides twenty-three acres, on which the trees are cut down, but not burnt off the land. He resigned his appointment, and began his farm last May; and had at first five convicts to assist him: he has now four. All his maize, except 3 acres, is mean.

Monday 24 February 2014

Old Church Street, Parramatta (Part 3), by James Jervis, Parramatta Historical Society.

Old Church Street Parramatta, from early etching
… a continuation from Part 2

The section at the south-eastern corner of Church and Phillip Streets was granted to Captain Phillip P. King on June 30, 1823. A substantial cottage stood on this site hence the issue of a grant. On July 31, 1823 this building was advertised as to let. It was then said to be occupied by the Rev Thomas Hassall, son of Rowland Hassall. The property was advertised as for sale in the "Herald" of March 15, 1838, and it was then occupied by Dr. Bute Stewart, a well-known medical man of early Parramatta.

Monday 17 February 2014

Old Church Street, Parramatta (Part 2), by James Jervis, Parramatta Historical Society

Sketch of courthouse and St Andrew's Church, west side Church Street, Parramatta Heritage Centre, LS00164
… a continuation from Part 1

Between George and Macquarie Streets stood the old Court House, the old building used as a school by John Tull, and at the Macquarie Street corner the house in which the Rev. S. Marsden lived, and later the school of John Eyre. Across the road was the land now occupied as a park, then came the church.

At the north-western corner of Church and Argyle Streets Hughes had a lease in 1823. The railway line is built over a portion of this land. In 1830, one, Hugh Hughes, had an inn known as "The Golden Lion”, which doubtless stood on this site, as the land was granted to the, individual mentioned. 

Thursday 13 February 2014

Old Church Street Parramatta, (Part 1), by James Jervis, Parramatta Historical Society

Old Church Street Parramatta, from early etching

Let us walk, in imagination, along Church Street in it’s early convict period. Reference has already been made to the huts erected for the women and for married convicts. They probably lay between George Street and the river. Between George and Macquarie Streets, on the eastern side, stood a number of buildings owned by the Crown. Near the George Street corner there was a barrack, erected either by Governor Phillip or Governor Hunter, which was demolished in 1818. On the southern side of this building the barrack of the Superintendent of Stock stood, but it also was demolished prior to 1823.

Friday 7 February 2014

Ghostly Tales of Parramatta

Murray Brothers store windows, George Street, about 1930
Parramatta Heritage Centre Collections, LSOP 572

Come on, ye lads and lasses;
Come on ye civic host,
Let's form ourselves in masses
And lay low Murray's Ghost,
Let's catch this weird specter,
With hideous grin and yawn,
That no longer he may hector
In the midnight and the dawn.

Monday 3 February 2014

John Irving - Australia's first emancipated convict

Parramatta River looking towards the land once owned by John Irving, photo Neil McGrath, c.2005

John Irving was Australia’s first emancipated convict who made his home in Parramatta.  He was born in 1760 and arrived in Australia on the 26th January 1788, on the convict ship Lady Penrhyn.  He was convicted of larceny at Lincoln, England in 1784 and sentenced to transportation for seven years.  Apparently, Irving had medical training and the literature indicates that he had been recommended to assist the surgeons on his voyage to Australia.  This seems to be supported by the fact that he was employed immediately upon his arrival to assist the hospital surgeon at Port Jackson.  On 28th February 1790, Governor Arthur Phillip appointed him Assistant Surgeon on Norfolk Island.  The remainder of his sentence was remitted resulting in John Irving being the first convict to be emancipated.

In 1791, Irving was posted to Parramatta where he assisted the surgeon Thomas Arndell.  On 22nd February 1792, he was granted thirty acres of land on the north side of the Parramatta River.  During this time, while assisting Surgeon Arndell, he was involved in the building of the new brick hospital.