Sunday, 6 December 2015

Macquarie's Towns

Over 200 years ago, Lachlan Macquarie, the Governor of NSW was touring the Hawkesbury district and named the 'Macquarie Towns.' After breakfast on Thursday 6 December 1810, Macquarie set out with a party which included surveyors as well as local residents, William Cox and Richard Fitzgerald. They travelled across the river to look for a suitable locality on the other side of the Hawkesbury River. His journal entry records this historic event at Windsor, formerly the Green Hills.  
Having crossed the Ferry at the Green Hills to the North side of the River, we proceeded … about 7 miles from the Green Hills; … where we looked for an eligible Spot for the intended Town and Township for the accommodation of the Settlers of the Phillip District [Wilberforce]and others inhabiting the Northern Bank of the River Hawkesbury, and after carefully surveying the different Parts of the Common we fixed on a very safe and convenient situation for the Town and Township in this part of the Country; which done we returned home and arrived at Government Cottage at 1/2 past 2 o'clock. Took some refreshment and walked out to survey the Grounds belonging to the Crown in and near the present village on the Green Hills [Windsor] and also the adjoining Public Common marked out for this part of the Country in the time of Governor King; a convenient part of which it is now my intention to appropriate for a large Town and Township for the accommodation of the Settlers inhabiting the South side of the River Hawkesbury, whose Farms are liable to be flooded on any inundation of the River, and to connect the present Village on the Green Hills with the intended new Town and Township. After viewing the ground and maturely considering the importance of the measure, the scite [sic] and situation of the new Town was at length fixed finally upon ---the exact scite of the new Church and Great Square being particularly marked out, as well as the extent and situation of the new Burying Ground; the Acting Surveyor, Mr. Meehan, receiving orders to measure and make out a Plan of the whole. 

Lachlan Macquarie, 1822 / Richard Read (ca. 1765-1827?)
From the collections of the State Library of NSW

A large Party of Friends dined with us today, consisting in all of 21 Persons … After Dinner I christened the new Townships, drinking a Bumper to the success of each. I gave the name of Windsor to the Town intended to be erected in the District of the Green Hills, in continuation of the present Village, from the similarity of this situation to that of the same name in England; the Township in the Richmond District I have named Richmond, from its beautiful situation, and as corresponding with that of its District; the Township for the Evan or Nepean District I have named Castlereagh in honor of Lord Viscount Castlereagh; the Township of the Nelson District I have named Pitt-Town in honor of the immortal memory of the late great William Pitt, the Minister who originally planned this Colony; and the Township for the Phillip District; on the North or left Bank of the Hawkesbury, I have named Wilberforce -- in honor of and out of respect to the good and virtuous Wm. Wilberforce Esqr. M.P. -- a true Patriot and the real Friend of Mankind.  

Map of Windsor
Source: Surveyor General Sketch books, State Records NSW 

Having sufficiently celebrated this auspicious Day of christening the five Towns and Townships, intended to be erected and established for the security and accommodation of the Settlers and others inhabiting the Cultivated Country, on the Banks of the Rivers Hawkesbury and Nepean; I recommended to the Gentlemen present to exert their influence with the Settlers in stimulating them to lose no time in removing their Habitations, Flocks & Herds to these places of safety and security, and thereby fulfil my intentions and plans in establishing them. 
 As soon as we had broke up from Table, Captain Antill, accompanied by Messrs. Lord and Moore, who had dined with us, set out by water for Scotland Island, a part of the Estate of the late Mr. Thompson, in order to take an account of his Property there, the rest of our Party returning to their respective Homes, highly gratified with their entertainment. 

Note: Journals of his Tour in NSW & Van Diemens Land by Lachlan Macquarie also available on Macquarie University’s Journeys in Time site


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