The Macquarie Towns

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Governor Lachlan Macquarie held a vision for the colony despite the apparent disorganised and dispirited appearance on his arrival in Port Jackson in December 1809. His military training guided him in a methodical way to turn the penal settlement into a proud and prosperous colony. By the end of the first year Macquarie was able to write in his diary that he had established five settlement sites along the Hawkesbury River.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie
Governor Lachlan Macquarie

“Thursday 6 December 1810

A large party of friends dined with us today, consisting in all of 21 persons, including our own family. After dinner I christened the new townships, drinking a bumper to the success of each. I gave the name of Windsor to the town intended to be erected in the district of the Green Hills..; I have named Richmond from its beautiful situation…;the township for the Evan or Nepean District I have named Castlereagh in honor of Lord Viscount Castlereagh; the township of the Nelson District I have named Pitt Town in honor of the immortal memory of the late great William Pitt, the Minister who originally planned this colony; and the township for the Phillip District, on the north or left bank of the Hawkesbury, I have named Wilberforce in honor of and out of respect to the good and virtuous William Wilberforce Esqr. M.P. A true patriot and the real friend of mankind.”

History of NSW, G. Barrington, p.135

Trevor Patrick is a local historian of the north-west of Sydney, Australia. His latest book, In Search of the Pennant Hills, recounts some of these stories (and others) in more detail.