Neil’s personal decades: 5 — 1845


Ann Bushby’s Dove and Olive Branch public house in Sydney, 1845.

Sydney town.

Sydney occupies a space of more than two thousand acres; but from this must be deducted fifty-six acres, reserved for recreation and exercise, and known as Hyde Park or the Race Course. By the Census taken in 1846, the number of houses in the city was seven thousand one hundred; there are now, at least, two hundred more. But, independently of the city itself, the suburbs have, during the last few years, steadily increased {page 6} in size and importance. To the eastward is Wooloomooloo; to the southeast, Paddington and Surry Hills; to the south, Redfern and Chippendale; to the south-west, Camperdown, Newtown, and the Glebe; to the west (across Darling Harbour), Balmain; and, to the north, the township of St. Leonard’s. All these, except the two last, are more or less connected by streets with the parent city; and, in 1846, contained one thousand seven hundred and fifteen houses: they now probably number two thousand.

Sydney is divided into four Parishes–St. Philip’s, St. James’, St. Andrew’s, and St. Lawrence’s; and was, in 1842, incorporated by Act of, Council, and municipally divided into six Wards: viz. Gipps Ward, Bourke Ward, Brisbane Ward, Macquarie Ward, Cook Ward, and Phillip Ward. Each of these divisions is represented by four Councilmen and an Alderman, of whom one retires annually by rotation. The Mayor is chosen from their own number, by the Aldermen and Council.

The Population of the city, in 1846, was 38,358; and, adding the average annual increase, taken from the five years previous to that year, must now be 41,712. The suburbs also, in 1846, returned as 6832, from their very rapid extension may be safely stated at 7500–making a total of 49,212.

— Joseph Fowles (1848), Sydney in 1848


Francis Webb Sheilds Map of Sydney, 1844-5


I have alluded before to this article from 16 October 1839 concerning my ancestor the convict Jacob Whitfield. See Family stories 3 — About the Whitfields: from convict days and Respectability achieved–and rapscallions left behind? Jacob was here:


Jacob was accused of receiving stolen goods, namely hats, but the outcome of the trial was in his favour:


So that gunsmith, who was murdered in 1864, may have been just a bit unfair about my ancestor. Then in 1846 there was the curious case of the goat…


Jacob had gained his Conditional Pardon, making him an emancipist, published in October 1842. “A Conditional Pardon, when approved by His Majesty through the Secretary of State, but not before, restores the Rights of Freedom, from the date of instrument, within the colony. But it bestows no power of leaving the colony, and no rights whatever beyond its limits”.  The last we hear of Jacob is in 1851 when he was still living in Market Lane and witnessed a domestic.