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ON THIS DAY…… 21st November 1789

Convict James Ruse establish first working farm in Australia

James Ruse was born on a farm in Cornwall around 1759. At age 22, he was convicted of burglary and, due to severe over-crowding in British gaols, spent over four years on the prison hulks in Plymouth Harbour. He was one of the convicts who was transported in the First Fleet to New South Wales, sailing on the ‘Scarborough’.
Governor Phillip was aware of the need to build a working, farming colony as soon as possible. Thus, on 21 November 1789, Phillip selected Ruse to go to Rose Hill (now Parramatta), west of Sydney Town, and establish “Experiment Farm”, the colony’s first working farm. Ruse was allocated one and a half acres of already cleared ground and assisted in clearing a further five acres. He was given two sows and six hens and a deal was made for him to be fed and clothed from the public store for 15 months. Within a year, Ruse had successfully farmed the site, proving that it was possible for new settlers to become self-sufficient, and to feed a family with relatively little assistance to begin with. As a result of the success of Ruse’s venture, he was granted another 30 acres in March 1791, in the colony’s first official, permanent land grant. This was in addition to the area he was already occupying.

On this day …….. 8th September 1792

The Old Sydney Burial Ground is also known as the George Street Burial Ground, the Cathedral Close Cemetery or the Town Hall Cemetery. Bordered by George, Druitt, Bathurst and Kent Streets, it was laid out in 1793 by Governor Phillip and Reverend Johnson. Before it was officially set out, Phillip and Rev Johnson chose the site in September 1792, as it was far enough away from the main settlement to not pose a health hazard. The first interment was a convict named Michael Dunn, who was believed to have been buried at the site on 8 September 1792. Around 2300 people, both convicts and free settlers, were interred at the Old Sydney Burial Ground before 1820, when a new burial ground was opened on Brickfield Hill, later the site of Central Railway Station. In 1869, the site needed to be cleared for the construction of the Sydney Town Hall, so the Old Burial Ground was moved to Haslem’s Creek, to become the Rookwood Cemetery.

 

On this day ………… 6th March 1788

When the First Fleet arrived at Port Jackson in January 1788, Phillip ordered Lieutenant Philip Gidley King to lead a party of fifteen convicts and seven free men to take control of the Norfolk island and prepare for its commercial development. They arrived on 6 March 1788. Neither the flax nor the timber industry proved to be viable, and the island developed as a farm, supplying Sydney with grain and vegetables during the early years of the colony’s near-starvation. More convicts were sent, and many chose to remain after they had served their sentences. By 1792, four years after its initial settlement, the population was over 1000.

 

 

On this day ………… 28th February 1790

John Irving, was born around 1760. He came to the penal colony of New South Wales with the First Fleet in 1788, after being sentenced in 1784 to seven years for stealing a silver cup. Irving proved an able surgeon’s assistant, both on the voyage to New South Wales, and once the settlement was established. His hard work and “unremitting good conduct and meritorious behaviour” earned him an early reprieve from his sentence. Governor Phillip signed his Warrant of Emancipation on 28 February 1790, making Irving the first convict to be freed. He accompanied surgeon Dennis Considen to Norfolk Island, where he remained as surgeon’s assistant for over a year before returning to Port Jackson in May 1791. He was then awarded 30 acres of land at Parramatta.

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ON THIS DAY…… 21st November 1789

Convict James Ruse establish first working farm in Australia

James Ruse was born on a farm in Cornwall around 1759. At age 22, he was convicted of burglary and, due to severe over-crowding in British gaols, spent over four years on the prison hulks in Plymouth Harbour. He was one of the convicts who was transported in the First Fleet to New South Wales, sailing on the ‘Scarborough’.
Governor Phillip was aware of the need to build a working, farming colony as soon as possible. Thus, on 21 November 1789, Phillip selected Ruse to go to Rose Hill (now Parramatta), west of Sydney Town, and establish “Experiment Farm”, the colony’s first working farm. Ruse was allocated one and a half acres of already cleared ground and assisted in clearing a further five acres. He was given two sows and six hens and a deal was made for him to be fed and clothed from the public store for 15 months. Within a year, Ruse had successfully farmed the site, proving that it was possible for new settlers to become self-sufficient, and to feed a family with relatively little assistance to begin with. As a result of the success of Ruse’s venture, he was granted another 30 acres in March 1791, in the colony’s first official, permanent land grant. This was in addition to the area he was already occupying.

On this day …….. 8th September 1792

The Old Sydney Burial Ground is also known as the George Street Burial Ground, the Cathedral Close Cemetery or the Town Hall Cemetery. Bordered by George, Druitt, Bathurst and Kent Streets, it was laid out in 1793 by Governor Phillip and Reverend Johnson. Before it was officially set out, Phillip and Rev Johnson chose the site in September 1792, as it was far enough away from the main settlement to not pose a health hazard. The first interment was a convict named Michael Dunn, who was believed to have been buried at the site on 8 September 1792. Around 2300 people, both convicts and free settlers, were interred at the Old Sydney Burial Ground before 1820, when a new burial ground was opened on Brickfield Hill, later the site of Central Railway Station. In 1869, the site needed to be cleared for the construction of the Sydney Town Hall, so the Old Burial Ground was moved to Haslem’s Creek, to become the Rookwood Cemetery.

 

On this day ………… 6th March 1788

When the First Fleet arrived at Port Jackson in January 1788, Phillip ordered Lieutenant Philip Gidley King to lead a party of fifteen convicts and seven free men to take control of the Norfolk island and prepare for its commercial development. They arrived on 6 March 1788. Neither the flax nor the timber industry proved to be viable, and the island developed as a farm, supplying Sydney with grain and vegetables during the early years of the colony’s near-starvation. More convicts were sent, and many chose to remain after they had served their sentences. By 1792, four years after its initial settlement, the population was over 1000.