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AN EARLY CATHOLIC HOUSEHOLD AT PYRMONT: THE FAMILY OF SYDNEY'S FIRST TOWN CLERK.

The story of the family of Charles Henry Chambers, resident in Pyrmont from 1843 to 1854, provides interesting insights into the development of Sydney's Catholic community. Charles, a graduate of the King's Inns in Dublin and a member of the Protestant Church of Ireland, arrived in Sydney from England with other free settlers aboard the barque Britomart on 8 March 1822. Within a few days of disembarking, he was admitted and sworn as an attorney and solicitor of the 'several Courts of Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction in the Colony'. (1) Initially he took up a position in the Provost Marshal's department, but soon indicated his preference for private practice, placing an advertisement in the Gazette on January 1823: 'Mr Charles Henry Chambers, of Hunter Street, Attorney at Law, Solicitor, and Proctor, requests us to state, that he intends, henceforward, to pursue his professional practice, upon all occasions, wherein the Public may be pleased to favour him with employment.' (2) His career in Sydney was now underway. Charles quickly established what would become a lifelong pattern of generous giving of time and money to worthy causes. His first recorded benefaction was interestingly towards the building of St Mary's Church at the eastern edge of Sydney town. The Gazette in June 1823 published a 'Supplementary Subscription List of the Roman Catholic Chapel, Hyde Park, under the Patronage of His Majesty's Colonial Government'. Fifth on the list of 39 subscribers was C H Chambers Esq. He donated two guineas towards the slow progress of the building whose foundation stone had been laid in 1821. At that inaugural event the list of benefactors had been significant, beginning with Governor Macquarie's subscription of [pounds sterling]21. Exceeding His Excellency in generosity were three emancipated Irish convicts transported because of involvement in the 1798 rebellion: William Davis and his wife, [pounds sterling]100; James Dempsey, a stonemason who became the church's builder, [pounds sterling]30, and James Meehan, the government surveyor who chose the site of the church, [pounds sterling]30. Following the Governor's example there were many members of the government and military administration and Protestant establishment who subscribed. The support of the building of St Mary's was an early example of an ecumenism that would become rarer as sectarianism came to dominate relations between the churches.

In May 1824 Chambers was among the first solicitors admitted to practice in the newly established Supreme Court of New South Wales by Chief Justice Francis Forbes. (3) With the establishment of the Supreme Court, military control of law and justice in the colony had finally been eliminated. Six days after the admission, Charles welcomed his wife Lucinda to the Colony. The first of the Chambers children, Margaret Elizabeth, was born on 19 April 1825 and baptised on 16 May at St James Church of England by the Reverend Richard Hill. The choice of church for baptism could have been made at the insistence of the Protestant father and compliance of his Catholic wife, or because of a preference for an elegant church and gentlemanly clergyman. The newly completed and fashionable church of St James with its refined English minister was in contrast to the nearby roofless St Mary's and its irascible Irish priest John Joseph Therry.

That Lucinda was not at ease with the Anglican baptism was evidenced by Margaret Elizabeth's appearance in the baptismal register at St Mary's eighteen months later, 29 November 1826, together with her brother Lawrence David. The officiating priest was Father Therry. Lawrence's godparents were James Dempsey and Mary Dwyer, widow of Michael, the 'Wicklow Chief. Both James and Mary would have been conveniently close at hand; Mary was housekeeper to Father Therry and James was supervisor of works at the still incomplete St Mary's.

Adding further to evidence of religious confusion in the Chambers household were the baptismal records of the last two children: Charles Henry junior, born in 1829, was baptised by Rev Richard Hill at St James; Henry John Joseph born on 7 June 1831 was baptised by John Joseph Therry at St Mary's on 29 June. However, the records of St James show that Henry John, without the additional name of Joseph, was baptised there on 16 January 1832. Religious uniformity would finally descend upon the Chambers household with Charles' conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1839.

Over the years, Charles would develop strong bonds with several Irish emancipists and their families. In July 1827 he made representations to the Supreme Court in relation to the properties of John Connor who had died suddenly and intestate in June, leaving five children under the age of fifteen. Connor had appeared as a subscriber to St Mary's in July 1823 with an extraordinarily generous gift of [pounds sterling]10, the same year in which Charles had subscribed his two guineas.

Connor's wife Catherine had been convicted of perjury in November 1826 and sentenced to transportation to Moreton Bay for two years. She had brought a case of rape against one of her husband's assigned convicts, deposing on oath 'that, she never allowed one Wm Connolly to take unbecoming liberties with her, and that on a certain day he violated her person'. (4) On the evidence of Connolly's detailed account of his relationship with his master's wife, her deposition was judged to have been perjurious. Her husband's judgment against her had already been made public in October when he published notices in the Gazette and Australian: 'NOTICE. Whereas my Wife, CATHARINE CONNOR, having rendered herself unworthy of my Confidence, in a manner not necessary to publish, I hereby Caution all Persons against giving her Trust or Credit, as I will not be responsible for any Debts by her Constructed after this Notice. JOHN CONNOR. Race-ground, near Windsor, October 16, 1826.' (5)

Following his successful intervention with the Supreme Court regarding the Connor estate, Chambers turned his attention to the immediate welfare of the children. In a succession of letters to the Committee of the Parramatta Orphan School, and finally to the Governor himself, Charles sought to secure a future for the children. Eventually his perseverance was rewarded:
the eldest son became apprenticed to a carpenter; the eldest girl was
placed in service; the youngest girl Scholastica was admitted to the
Female Orphan School. By 1831 the mother, released from gaol, was 'at
Mr Chambers residence, Sydney'. (6)


Charles had also established strong bonds with James Dempsey. Dempsey was transported on the same ship as John Connor, the Atlas II, which arrived at Port Jackson in October 1802. They were among a total consignment of 190 Irish convicts, 76 classed as United Irishmen and 114 as political offenders. Dempsey was a stonemason and became a church builder, overseeing the construction of St. Mary's. He may be taken as a forerunner, perhaps even 'patron saint', of the many Irish immigrants who would take up quarrying in Pyrmont two generations later, and would undertake the building of their much more modest parish church, St Bede's, in 1867. The Dempsey family lived in Kent Street, which, until the creation of Sussex Street in 1810, was the 'westernmost street of the Military District', facing the Macarthurs' undeveloped Pyrmont Estate across Cockle Bay. (7) Their home was the centre of Catholic life during the priestless years between Father O'Flynn's exile in 1818 and the arrival of Fathers Therry and Conolly in 1820. Following the destructive fire at St. Mary's in 1865, an old colonial, Columbus Fitzpatrick, who had been a boy-acolyte at the laying of the Cathedral foundation-stone in 1821, offered some consolation to Sydney Catholics in commenting that to their forebears 'Mr Dempsey's house was more than St Mary's to us three months ago'. (8)

James Dempsey referred fondly to the Chambers family in letters he wrote to Father Therry from England and Ireland during his stay there from 1828 to 1833. Charles had been appointed Dempsey's proctor during his absence. In his unsophisticated written English Dempsey instructed Therry regarding monies owed him: 'That debt that remains due to me by you, as you did not think well of paying it to me for I know not what reason, I hope you will pay or cause it to be paid to Chas H Chambers Esq for the use and benefit of my Grandson James Nicholas Dempsey as I consider him the same as an orphan from having a bad Father and a Dilatory Mother that I intend Mr Chambers to apply in giving him education and a good trade.' (9)

In a letter of 18 July 1830, Dempsey commented on the slow progress of St Mary's: I am happy to hear you are still going on with St Mary's Church tho slowly. But yet I hope your persevarence will be crownd with sucksess this time.' (10) He then proceeded to berate Therry for his failure to bring to completion not only St Mary's, but also the churches at Parramatta and Campbell Town. His Irish brogue can be detected in the spelling:'If a little more aconamy had being blended with your grate ability or if you would have taken advice of som Lay Persons of exsparence, not mainig Me, there might have being three Churches instid of one and all finished. But you have rely trid the people and I feair St. Mary's will remain long unfinished.' He concluded with greetings for his Sydney friends:
I hope my old aquaintens Mrs Dwyer injoys good helth and that she is
hapy in her family and that all her Sones and Daughters are well and
doing well--this would be my wishes... I should never forget my
dutyfull and kind respectx to the worthy Mr & Mrs Chambers. 1 hope
them and their children are well. (11)


A new Governor, Sir Richard Bourke, was welcomed to the Colony in December 1831. Just before Christmas a public meeting was called by the Sheriff to discuss a formal Address of Welcome to the new Governor. The proposer of the Address spoke in glowing terms of Sir Richard and his reputation as 'a man of liberal principles', in sharp contrast to his predecessor, Ralph Darling. He detailed General Bourke's administrative skills in the 'amelioration of the sufferings of his own country Ireland', and in bringing harmony to the troubled colony of the Cape of Good Hope. Controversially the Address contained forthright condemnation of the administration of the former Governor. The second paragraph began: After nearly six years of public endurance, arising partly from the visitations of providence, but more from an inveterate system of misgovernance..." (2) Several at the meeting dissented from these criticisms of Darling. Among them was Charles Chambers. He thought it inappropriate that a meeting called to welcome the new Governor should descend into condemnation of his predecessor. He asked that the negative elements be removed. However, 'he agreed with all the other parts of the Address, and he did sincerely hope, that General Bourke, as a politician and philanthropist, would take care, as the Address suggested, to hear with his own ears, and from themselves, the complaints of the people; and thereby render his name immortal in the annals of New South Wales, as the father of the Colonists, whose interests he had promoted, and whose property he had permanently promoted'. (13) The overwhelming feeling of the meeting was that the Address should be approved as drafted, without any deletions. Chambers' sincere hope for Bourke's time in Australia was fulfilled, especially in the eyes of the Catholic community, for whom Richard Bourke became a hero.

On Anniversary Day, 26 January 1833, Charles attended a public meeting at the Court House to petition the King and House of Commons for a Legislative Assembly for the colony. Charles was the only one present to propose an alteration to the petition, and was hissed for his intervention, and lightly mocked by the chairman:

Mr Chambers wished to make an amendment in that part of the Address which related to the number of members being limited to fifty, and elected by the people;
he thought that 'duly elected by the people' should be omitted
(hisses). Mr Hutchinson was astonished at anyone coming to so numerous
a meeting, and to be the only person to make objections; especially so
great a man as Mr Chambers (laughter). Mr Chambers was surprised, that
his making an objection, should be treated with derision. (14)


The Petition was then put and carried unanimously. His Most Gracious Majesty did not accede to the request. It was not until 1856 that the elective Legislative Assembly was created.

In 1838 Charles acted as solicitor for Father John Brady in libel cases brought against the editors of two Sydney newspapers. (15) Following the Brady saga, Bishop Polding happily absented himself from the sectarian tensions of Sydney, heading to his favourite country districts. In October 1840 he visited the Maitland mission stations, one of which was at Glenarm, 'the seat of Mr C H Chambers', on the Williams River. Charles had received a crown grant of this land in 1836. He named his grant after one of the Glens of County Antrim, in his home province of Ulster. The Chronicle reported on Polding's visit:
His lordship proceeded to Glenarm, the seat of Mr C H Chambers, where
the party arrived about ten o'clock at night, after travelling over
ranges of mountains; and on the following morning, the 5th, his
lordship performed divine service to about sixty persons, and
afterwards laid out the site for the new church there; the land has
been generously given by the lady of C H Chambers, Esq who has also
subscribed liberally towards its erection. We understand that a few
masters in this neighbourhood refused to allow their assigned servants
to attend. We trust his Excellency will be requested to withdraw these
men from masters who are so unfit to be entrusted with the reformation
of such men. His lordship then proceeded to Dungog. (16)


In November 1842 Charles was elected the first Town Clerk by a majority of the aldermen and councillors of the newly established Sydney Municipal Council. (17) He was awarded an annual salary of [pounds sterling]400 with the right to continue in private practice as a solicitor. The appointment was not without challenge. The Australian expressed doubt about his suitability for the position, ridiculing his letter of application: 'Whatever may be the qualifications of Mr C, it is clear that he is quite alive to his own merits.' (18) Not long after the appointment the Australian returned to its criticisms:
'[I]t has become absolutely necessary to comment strongly upon the
gross incapacity manifested by the Town Clerk for the discharge of the
very arduous duties imposed upon him by his office... [H]e is an
incapable person, whose legal memory and judgment are equally and
painfully deficient.' The editor concluded: 'We accordingly prophesy,
that his term of office will not be very protracted.' (19)


The prophecy was not long in being fulfilled, and not without a contributing element from one of the protagonists of the Brady I ibel case, the former editor of the Colonist, James McEachern. McEachern, a victim of the economic depression, found employment in the Sydney Council, in the office of the Town Clerk; he was soon dismissed by Charles. The case came before a meeting of the aldermen in July 1843, where Chambers was questioned about his action. And, of course, the Australian took up the matter with ill-concealed glee:
'Pending the preliminary arrangements of the City Council, we advanced
certain arguments in reference to Mr Chambers' palpable incapacity for
the onerous office of Town Clerk; and however truly our remarks have
been borne out by that officer's procedure since his appointment, we
could hardly have deemed it possible that he would be guilty of the
absurdities we find recorded in the report of Wednesday's Meeting.'
(20)


Two weeks later, on 19 July, following a unanimous vote of no confidence in the Town Clerk's department, Chambers presented a testy letter of resignation, citing as the sole cause of the dismissal Council's rejection of his recommendations concerning the vital question of the basis of property valuation for the purposes of rate assessment:
Gentlemen, about six months ago I advised you in council how to value
the buildings of the city, with a view to an assessment, but you
ridiculed my suggestion. In the month of May last, I repeated my
advice by letter, which you also ridiculed, but placed it on record in
your minute book, and pursued your own course in the assessment. You
now find you have committed an error, which you will scarcely remedy,
and that my advice was right; and perceiving the difficulty you have
got into, you would fain cast the odium upon me, and blame the Town
Clerk's incompetence, which I hear some members are doing, in
violation of justice towards me... I therefore resign the
appointment. (21)


After the tabling of the letter, Alderman MacDermott commented that he was of the opinion that 'the only error which they had made was in the appointment of the Town Clerk; and he thought the courtesy which had always been paid to that gentleman demanded that he should have addressed them in different language'. (22) In April 1844 Chambers made a claim of [pounds sterling]59 against the Council for legal work performed while Town Clerk. He was called to justify the claim. A good deal of quibbling ensued, but his former partner, William Thurlow, now an Alderman, seconded one of the more generous resolutions, which granted somewhat less than the claim. (23)

In August the Chief Commissioner of Insolvent Estates received claims against the estate of Charles Henry Chambers. The depressed state of colonial finances had now caught up with Charles. Soon the Chambers' landlord was seeking a solvent tenant for his Union Street house. (24) The Chambers household relocated to Pyrmont Street, opposite the site of the future Catholic church and school. (25)

In the first half of 1844 there was regular reporting of the Dublin trial of Daniel O'Connell and his fellow 'traversers'. O'Connell had been arrested on 7 October 1843, the eve of a huge protest meeting at Clontarf just to the north of Dublin. He and his eight colleagues were accused of 'unlawfully, maliciously, and seditiously contriving, intending, and devising to raise and create discontent and disaffection amongst the liege subjects of our said lady the Queen, and to excite the said liege subjects to hatred and contempt of the government and constitution of this realm'. (26) The news in Sydney was always at least four months behind the events. The guilty verdict was delivered on 12 February 1844 and announced in Sydney in the Australian on Monday 24 June. A meeting of the Catholics of Sydney was called for 28 June at the City Theatre in Market Street to protest the process of the trial, specifically the exclusion of qualified Catholics from the Special Jury. Charles Chambers was present and made a long intervention as seconder of one of the resolutions moved at the meeting. In doing so he proudly displayed his Irish origins and his attachment to his adopted Catholic faith, in support of a fellow graduate of the King's Inns of Dublin. He began by establishing his loyalty to the British crown and constitution. Indeed the first resolution had been 'that the Catholics of Sydney do not yield to any portion of their fellow subjects in loyalty to the throne, and to the obedience to the obligation of an oath'. He spoke as a recent Catholic convert who had not experienced the discrimination enshrined in British law prior to the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829. As reported in the Morning Chronicle Charles movingly referred to his conversion:
[T]welve years after the passing of the emancipation act, a change
came over the spirit of his dream, which some might approve of, and
others condemn; for his own part, he had never regretted that change
... But he begged to say, that in any observations he would make on
this subject, he did not mean to cast any imputations upon his
brethren of different persuasions from him. All his relatives were
Protestants, but they did not love him the less.


He declared, to the cheers of the meeting, that O'Connell was the 'greatest man that ever existed', and that he was fighting the battles 'not of his own sect alone, but of all Dissenters'. Even louder cheers followed when he highlighted the non-violent commitment of the Liberator: 'No such spectacle was ever beheld before, as a man with seven million of people at his command, fighting the peaceful battles of his country.' He concluded, putting aside any resentment about his time as Town Clerk, in thanking his Protestant friends 'who had once elected him to an important corporate office in this city, a compliment he gratefully remembered'. (27) One of those 'Protestant friends', James Wilshire, Mayor of Sydney, was chairing the meeting arrayed in robes of office.
The motion seconded by Charles' long speech was carried unanimously:
'That the omission of the names of sixty-three persons (including a
large portion of Roman Catholics as well as liberal Protestants) from
the special jury list, affords grounds for more than suspicion that
fair dealing has not been practised, and calls for a full
parliamentary investigation.' (28) Not all Sydney newspapers were
sympathetic to the perceived injustice of the trial. The Sydney
Morning Herald caricatured the Theatre Royal protest as a 'meeting of
Botany Bay repealers'. (29)


During all the financial ups and downs of those years Charles found time to attend and make interventions at key Catholic meetings. Evidence that his insolvency problems did not weigh heavily on his reputation in church circles was found in his appointment as councillor and bursar of the Australasian Holy Catholic Guild of St Mary and St Joseph. The Archbishop established the Guild in June 1845 as a Catholic version of the growing Oddfellow and Masonic lodges. The objects of the Guild were 'to furnish provision and medical attendance for the sustenance of members in sickness, and the means for the interment of members after their decease, and provision for the relief of their families'. (30)

In October 1846 Charles' name appeared as one of the five trustees for the grant of 'one rood and ten perches, parish of Alexandria, city of

Sydney, at Abercrombie Place... as the sites for a Roman Catholic Church and clergyman's residence'. (31) Being named one of the lay trustees was no light matter. Governor Bourke's Church Act of 1836 which committed government funds to the building of Anglican, Catholic and Presbyterian Churches, required that there be lay trustees in addition to clergy. Bishop Polding, with the usual instinctive episcopal suspicion of lay involvement in church administration, required that an oath be taken by the lay appointees in order to avoid 'presbyterianism'. The church being built was St Benedict's; the foundation stone had been laid and blessed in July 1845. The mission area was vast, extending south to Botany Bay, west to Concord, and north to Johnstone's Bay, thus including the Pyrmont peninsula, until the establishment twenty-one years later of the separate St Bede mission. The Chambers family, as residents of Pyrmont, were parishioners of St Benedict's. Subscriptions for the building of the new church were called for and a collector was assigned to Pyrmont. A list of Pyrmont subscribers printed in the Morning Chronicle in July 1846, with subscriptions ranging from 13s to 2/4d, was made up mostly of Irish names.

In October 1851 Charles was among hundreds of worthy gentlemen of the Colony of New South Wales addressed by Queen Victoria: 'To Charles Henry Chambers, of Pyrmont... Greeting: Know ye, that we have assigned you and each and every of you, jointly and severally, to be our Justices to keep our peace in our colony of New South Wales (including the City of Sydney) and its dependencies...' (32) Charles was now a magistrate and would regularly sit on the bench of the Water Police Court during 1852. His performance was not without controversy. In November the Herald published an editorial headed 'Magisterial Squabbles' in which it deplored 'unseemly squabbles' on the bench of the Water Police Court, instancing 'an indecent exposure of petulance and passion' during an altercation in open court between Messrs Chambers and Brenan at a hearing concerning two runaway seamen. Charles did not hesitate in taking up his pen to write a characteristically lengthy letter in refutation the Herald's, article. Editors must have breathed a sigh of relief on reading that this would 'most probably' be the last time he would bother writing to correct the press. He concluded:
I ask no favour from the press, nor expect any. I merely desire to have
justice done... From the respectability of the gentlemen whom I see
composing the press, I cannot believe that they have any other object
in view in their reports than that of publishing the truth. With
respect to the Water Police Magistrate and myself, I trust that, if any
disputes or differences should arise between us, we shall always be
able to settle them privately, or, at all events, in such a manner as
becomes the dignity of our offices and the courtesy due to each other.
(33)


Charles' pen was not still for long, for just three weeks later he wrote to the Freeman's Journal concerning the major political issue of the day, the proposal for a new Constitution for the Colony. When the letter was published in January 1853 it needed five and a half columns of small print to accommodate it. (34) The letter was divided into 56 numbered paragraphs and concluded with the alarming words, 'to be continued'. The Freeman's Journal dedicated another five of its columns in February to a further 56 numbered paragraphs to conclude what had become Charles' pamphlet length article. Indeed by the end of February the work was being advertised in the Herald, Empire and Freeman's Journal as being available for purchase with the alarmist title: 'ANOTHER GREAT CRISIS--THE NEW CONSTITUTION.' (35)

The basic argument of the pamphlet was that the Colony was not mature enough for any form of independence. Applying a 'homely simile', Charles stated: 'I consider this promising and quick growing country of Australia now to be... advancing only to puberty, as yet in her teens, and at a considerable distance from the accomplishment of her majority.' (36) Charles had not changed his opinion since his interjection at the Anniversary Day meeting in 1833. He did not live to bemoan the Imperial Parliament's vote of approval and the royal assent to the Constitution Act New South Wales, minus the life members, given in 1855.

During 1853 Charles continued to serve as Magistrate at the Police Court, in which he was promoted in September to the position of the second Police Magistrate. In some weeks he sat on the bench from Monday to Thursday with as many as four other magistrates dealing with cases reflecting the troubled life of Sydney. Mondays always began with the Drunkards' List, with between thirty and forty offenders each week being fined or imprisoned. Other matters dealt with were theft, assault, obscene language, attempted suicide, pick-pocketing, indecent exposure, breach of contract, abusive language, desertion, breach of Hired Servants Act, breach of Master and Servant Act, inciting of a breach of the peace, horse stealing, threatening language, juvenile delinquency, vagrancy, neglect of children, bigamy, and libel, a matter in which Charles had much experience in the Brady case of 1839.

In September 1853 Lucinda sailed from Sydney to George Town in Tasmania, to her eldest daughter's home. The following January a weary and lonely Charles followed. In February 1854 the Chambers' residence in Pyrmont Street was presented for auction. In March Lucinda died; within a month Charles too had died.37 In that same year their youngest child, Lucy, was moving towards a sparkling career in opera. Her Sydney music teacher, Mary Logan, had been impressed with Lucy's contralto voice and had recommended that she sail to Europe for further training. This she eventually was able to do in 1862. The highlight of her career was her appearance in 1865 at 'the great La Scala, in Milan, where she was engaged as prima donna contralto assoluta for two seasons, singing in II Trovatore, Un Ballo in Maschera, and Faust.'38 In 1870 she returned to Australia where she continued her singing career and then as a music teacher. In Melbourne, Helen Porter Mitchell, later renowned as Dame Nellie Melba, was one of her pupils. (39)

In October 1893 the Sydney Mail contained a headline: 'Last Melbourne Town Hall appearance of Madame Lucy Chambers', and reminisced that 'a few fathers and mothers remembered her as a girl of 16 in Sydney, her native city; even at that age, her fine contralto voice and power of dramatic expression used to bring crowds to the windows of her friends' houses when she sang.' (40) Those Sydney friends were the neighbours of the Chambers household in Pyrmont.

In Sydney the advantages of life on the Pyrmont peninsula continued to be promoted. Within days of Charles' death, throughout April there appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald full column advertisements for the sale of houses targeted at 'Mechanics, Artizans and Labourers'. The size of the advertisements was reminiscent of those of the first subdivision of the estate in 1841. Highlighted were the anticipated improvements 'in contemplation' for Pyrmont: sealing for the 'streets, lanes and byeways'; gas lighting and water pipes throughout the suburb; building of the Pyrmont swing bridge; a 'Grand Junction Railway Terminal' in the immediate vicinity; 'total extinction of all nuisances'. (41)

The much vaunted swing bridge was not opened until four years later, on St. Patrick's Day 1859. All the other improvements--road surfacing, gas-lighting, water pipes--would not emerge until the 1860s. A passenger railway connection was never provided for Pyrmont; an electric tramway commenced operation at the beginning of the twentieth century. As for the 'total extinction of all nuisances', that is still awaited!

Colin Fowler (*)

(*) Colin Fowler is a member of the Australian Province of the Dominicans. He has a doctorate in the history of 17th century philosophy from Deakin University. He recently published a history of the Sydney parish of Pyrmont (1867-2017), where he was parish priest from 2004 to 2013. His book 150 Years on Pyrmont Peninsula: The Catholic Community of Saint Bede 1867-2017, was reviewed in JACHS 37 (2).

(1) Sydney Gazette, 22 March 1822.

(2) Sydney Gazette, 23 March 1823.

(3) Five years later solicitors and attorneys, who had not previously practised as barristers in England or Ireland, including Charles, were controversially excluded from practice at the bar (Sydney Gazette, 14 March 1829).

(4) Sydney Gazette, 25 November 1826.

(5) Sydney Gazette, 18 October 1826.

(6) Female Orphan School Admission Books 1819-1833, SLV Reel GM 24.1 am grateful to Frances White who has allowed me to use the results of her research into the O'Connor/Connor family, her forebears.

(7) 'PLAN OF THE NEW AND OLD NAMES OF STREETS. &c. IN THE TOWN OF SYDNEY; WITH Explanations AND References', Sydney Gazette, 6 October 1810.

(8) Freeman's Journal, 2 September 1865.

(9) James Dempsey (Swan Inn, Whitechapel) to Fr Therry (Sydney), 24 October 1828 (P Chandler, James Dempsey and John Butler: Pioneers of Australian Catholicism 1802-1838. Melbourne 2002. p 331

(10) James Dempsey (Athy) to Fr Therry (Sydney), 18 July 1830 (Chandler, James Dempsey, p 34).

(11) Chandler, James Dempsey, p 34.

(12) Sydney Monitor, 24 December 1831

(13) Ibid.

(14) Sydney Monitor, 28 January 1833.

(15) See Colin Fowler, 'Anti-Catholic polemic at the origins of Australia's first Catholic newspaper', vol 37 (2) 2016, 147-160.

(16) Australasian Chronicle, 15 October 1840.

(17) To the surprise of many, the sparsely occupied Pyrmont peninsula was included within the borders of Sydney Municipality.

(18) A ustralian, 9 N ovember 1842.

(19) Australian, 21 December 1842.

(20) Australian, 7 July 1843.

(21) Sydney Morning Herald, 20 July 1843.

(22) Ibid.

(23) Sydney Morning Herald, 23 April 1844.

(24) Sydney Morning Herald, 30 March 1844.

(25) Assessment Book 1848.

(26) Sydney Morning Herald, 15 March 1844.

(27) Morning Chronicle, 3 July 1844.

(28) Morning Chronicle, 3 July 1844.

(29) Sydney Morning Herald, 26 June 1844.

(30) Catholic Directory 1845.

(31) Sydney Morning Herald, 24 October 1846.

(32) M Hogan, 'Before responsible government', in M Hogan, L Muirand H Golder, The People's Choice: electoral politics in colonial New South Wales, Sydney, 2007, pp 47-49.

(33) Sydney Morning Herald, 9 November 1852.

(34) Freeman's Journal, 27 January 1853.

(35) Sydney Morning Herald, 25 February 1852.

(36) Freeman's Journal, 27 January 1853.

(37) Launceston Examiner, 9 March 1854 & 4 April 1854.

(38) Argus, 25 November 1884.

(39) Sydney Morning Herald, 24 February 1931.

(40) Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser, 21 October 1893.

(41) Sydney Morning Herald, 17, 22, 29 April 1854.
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Date:Jan 1, 2017
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