On this day …….. 25th April 1809
Australia’s first postmaster was Isaac Nichols. Nichols had arrived with the Second Fleet on the Admiral Barrington in October 1791 after being found guilty of stealing and sentenced to seven years transportation. However, he was found to be a diligent worker, greatly trusted by Governor Hunter. Although accused of receiving stolen goods in New South Wales in 1799, his innocence was upheld by Hunter, who believed evidence had been planted against him. He ordered the suspension of Nichols’s fourteen-year sentence, but it was not until Philip Gidley King’s government that Nichols was awarded a free pardon, in January 1802. An enterprising man, he bought several properties and even established a shipyard, becoming quite prosperous. In 1809, Nichols was first appointed superintendent of public works and assistant to the Naval Officer. One month later, the same month that Governor Macquarie arrived in New South Wales, Nichols was appointed the colony’s first postmaster on 25 April 1809. Nichol retained this position until he died in 1819.