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Sydney-s history




Sydney's history

The First Fleet, commanded by Thomas Townshend, Baron Sydney, set sail for Botany Bay on May 13, 1787, led by Captain Arthur Phillip. The fleet comprised of the frigate HMS Sirius, four storeships, the armed tender Supply, the Golden Grove, Borrowdale, Fishburn and six transports, the Scarborough, Lady Penrhyn, Friendship, Charlotte, the Prince of Wales and the Alexander.

The fleet assembled at Mother Bank, the Isle of Wright, later arriving at Cape Town to take aboard plants, fruit trees and animals. The HMS Supply, along with the ships Scarborough, Friendship and Alexander sailed ahead of the fleet, first sighting the NSW coast on the 3rd of January, 1788. They arrived at Botany Bay on the 18th of January, where upon anchoring, it was discovered there was no fresh water locally available. When the rest of the fleet arrived on the 19th, much to Phillip's surprise, it was decided to go further north, to Port Jackson (now also known as Sydney Harbour).



There they were to find a lush, pristine forest in a cove fed by a stream (now called the Tank Stream), where it was decided they would settle. A formal flag raising ceremony was held by Arthur Phillip on the shore to proclaim the Colony of New South Wales, in the name of the King of England on the 26th of January, 1788.

Captain Arthur Phillip was later to name the cove they landed at Sydney Cove, in honor of Thomas Townshend, Baron Sydney (1733-1800), the minister responsible for the Colony. Later usage of the name dropped 'Cove' and the area became known as Sydney.

Sydney began its life as a penal colony, with a total of 568 male and 191 female convicts with 13 children, 206 marines with 26 wives and 13 children, and 20 officials having made the voyage.

Their earliest huts were composed of cabbage-tree palm, while the convicts were housed in huts made of boards wattled with slender twigs and plastered with clay. By 1790, however, there were 40 convicts employed making bricks and tiles, 50 brickie labourers, and 4 stonemasons. The total convict population that year was 730 persons, with 413 under medical treatment. In fact free settlers did not begin arriving until 1793.




The colony, with the population of Sydney being about 10,000, metamorphosed. Much of what you see in Sydney today is a result of Governor Lachlan Macquarie's

 leadership and vision. With the crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813 and the subsequent discovery of the prosperous hinterland, the way was finally clear for the growth and development of modern Sydney. In 1901 the six British colonies in Australia formed a federation to become the Commonwealth of Australia. This marks the period of the modern country. Sydney continued to grow and by 1925 became a metropolis of 1 million people. This grew to 2 million by 1963. Today Sydney has diverse demographics with people from over one hundred countries contributing to its population of nearly 4 million.










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