Today in History - June
On this day in 1961 the Archives Authority of New South Wales was established. The Archives Act 1960 provided that the new Archives Authority "shall undertake the preservation, storage, arrangement, repair, cataloguing and calendaring, and custody and control of the State archives". Previous to the Act, an Archives Department had been created within the Public Library NSW in 1953. The State Records Act 1998 established State Records NSW as a statutory body to manage the NSW State archives collection and set the rules and provide guidance on the management of official records.
On this day in 1790 the Lady Juliana, convict transport ship, arrived into Port Jackson. The Lady Juliana was the first convict ship to arrive in Port Jackson after the First Fleet. It was one of the slowest journeys made by a convict ship, taking 309 days, with 226 female convicts on board. The three other convict transport ships of the Second Fleet were the Neptune, the Scarborough and the Surprise.
On this day in 1819 Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney was officially opened by Governor Macquarie. The Barracks was designed by Francis Greenway as a self-contained walled compound with a three storey dormitory for male government-assigned convicts. Construction started in 1817 on the Macquarie Street site. The Barracks was granted one of the first permanent conservation orders in New South Wales.
- See entry in Colonial Secretary's Papers under SYDNEY Hyde Park Barracks
- See our catalogue for records relating to Hyde Park Barracks
On this day in 1788 all the cattle from the Government herds that had been brought out with the First Fleet strayed from Sydney. The cattle were eventually found by John Wilson in 1795 at Cowpastures in south west Sydney.
On this day in 1859 Queensland separated from New South Wales. Queen Victoria signed the letters patent which enabled Queensland to become a self-governing colony with its own Governor, a nominated Legislative Council and elected Legislative Assembly. On 10 July the ship Clarence sailed into Brisbane with the word 'Separation' painted on its hull. The news was greeted by a 14-gun salute, fireworks and a 'blue-light' display.
- See our catalogue for NRS 4524: Despatches and enclosures from the Governor of Queensland
- Search our shipping lists to Moreton Bay (Brisbane), 1848-1859
On this day in 1841 Darlinghurst Gaol in Sydney began accepting prisoners and prisoner transfers. Construction of the gaol began back in 1822 and was finally finished in 1885. The first prisoners at Darlinghurst were transferred from the old Sydney Gaol in George St. Darlinghurst closed in 1914 and the site is now the National Art School.
- Entrance gates to Darlinghurst Gaol, n.d
- See our catalogue for information on Darlinghurst Gaol (Agency #407)
- Search mugshots of prisoners in the Index to Gaol Photographs
- See our Gaol records page
This day is International Archives Day. In 1948 the International Council of Archives (ICA) was founded in Paris at UNESCO. The day is a chance to promote the cause of records and archives in different countries around the world.
- See more details on the UNESCO website
- See our Top 5 - Why Archives Are Awesome (Archives Outside blog) and our Top 5 - Why Recordkeeping is Awesome (Future Proof blog)
On this day in 1838, 28 Aboriginal people were massacred at Myall Creek in northern NSW. The perpetrators of the massacre included 11 convicts and one freeman, John Fleming (who was never captured). Eleven of the group were arrested and tried before Chief Justice James Dowling but were found not guilty. In the second trial only seven were charged. On 30 November 1838 they were found guilty and hanged on 18 December 1838. This was the first time white men were hanged for crimes against Aboriginal people.
- See more about the report in our Digital Gallery: 50 Years at State Records NSW
- Guide to State Archives relating to Aboriginal people
- Indigenous Communities webpage
- See also resources relating to Aboriginal women and children
On this day in 2007 the 8th Meeting of the International Advisory Committee of UNESCO began in Pretoria, South Africa. At this meeting the Convict Records of New South Wales were officially inscribed into the Memory of the World Register.
On this day in 1789 Governor Arthur Phillip discovered the Hawkesbury River while on an expediton to Broken Bay. Governor Phillip needed to find more land for grazing and agricultural development to stave off starvation in the fledgling colony. He set out to explore the coast to the north of Port Jackson in a cutter and traveled up the Hawkesbury River as far as Dangar Island.
- See entry in the Colonial Secretary's Papers under Arthur Phillip
- View showing jetty and cottage used as a customs house at Broken Bay, n.d
On this day in 1816 the road to Mrs Macquaries Chair was completed. This day is also traditionally viewed as the foundation day for the Sydney Botanic Gardens, with Mrs Macquaries Chair on the eastern boundary. Charles Fraser was the Colonial Botanist from 1817 and Superintendent of the Botanic Gardens from March 1817.
- See entry in Colonial Secretary's Papers under Charles Fraser
- See entry in Colonial Secretary's Papers under SYDNEY Botanic Gardens
- Palace Gardens (now the Royal Botanic Gardens) c1908
On this day in 1825 Van Diemen's Land officially separated from New South Wales. Van Diemen's Land, named by Abel Tasman after the Governor General of the Dutch East Indies, was settled as a penal colony by the British in 1803. The order-in-council in June allowed for Van Diemen's Land to become a colony in its own right with an appointed Executive Council and Legislative Council. Responsible self-government was granted in 1856 and the colony changed its name to Tasmania in honour of Abel Tasman.
- See entry in Colonial Secretary's Papers under Van Diemen's Land
- See Short Guide 12 Muster and census records for section on Van Diemen's Land
On this day in 1862 Australia's largest ever gold robbery was carried out. Bushranger Frank Gardiner, along with Ben Hall (see May 5 entry) robbed the Gold Escort from the Lachlan at Eugowra Rock, near Forbes. Approximately 2,700 ounces of gold was taken, of which almost half was recovered by the Mounted Police. Gardiner disappeared from NSW and was eventually arrested in Rockhampton, Queensland. He served ten years of a thirty year sentence before leaving Australia for California.
- Search our catalogue using GOLD as a keyword
- Search our catalogue using MOUNTED POLICE as a keyword
- See our fact sheet, Archives in Brief 120: Gold mining
On this day in 1893 the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1893 (55 Vic. Act No.38) introduced universal male suffrage in NSW. Men could vote provided they voted in the district of residence. Voters were also required to produce an 'Elector's Right' which established that they were duly enrolled and "qualified in respect of Manhood and Residence in such Division".
- See our catalogue for more information on the Electoral Office (Agency #1156)
- See our fact sheet, Archives in Brief 5: Electoral rolls
On this day in 1931 there was a riot in Bankstown, Sydney against rent evictions that were occuring during the Great Depression. Seventeen men were arrested for serious affray and sixteen of these men were sentenced to hard labour in gaol.
On this day in 1829 the new colony of Western Australia was proclaimed. The territory of Swan River was claimed for the British on May 2 1829 when Captain Fremantle raised the Union Jack on South Head. The Colony was proclaimed and Perth was founded two months later. Captain James Stirling was the first Lieutenant Governor. Western Australia did not obtain self-government until 1890.
- Search our catalogue for records relating to Swan River and Western Australia --> NRS 972; NRS 977; NRS 1336; NRS 4207
On this day in 1822 Commissioner John Bigge's report, "The State of the Colony of New South Wales" was printed by the House of Commons in England. Bigge was appointed as a royal commissioner on 5 January 1819 with instructions to investigate all areas of the Colony, including the civil administration, courts, church and the convict establishment. Bigge's report opposed Macquarie's emancipist policies and favoured a return to convict transportation as punitive.
On this day in 1914 Samuel "Jewey" Freeman was arrested at Strathfield Railway Station while attempting to board a train for Melbourne. A few weeks earlier, Jewey along with Shiner Ryan, successfully pulled off the "Eveleigh Heist", when they robbed the Eveleigh Railway Workshops of their payroll and escaped using a get-away car for the first time in Australia.
On this day in 1852 89 people died in flooding around Gundagai, New South Wales in what was Australia's worst flood disaster. The town of Gundagai was located on the right hand bank of the Murrumbidgee River in south-west NSW. It had rained heavily throughout the month but early in the morning on June 25 a giant swell hit the town. Only three houses remained standing and 89 people out of the town's population of 250 drowned. Following high floods in 1853 the town was moved to higher ground on Mount Parnassus.
- Search our catalogue using GUNDAGAI or MURRUMBIDGEE IRRIGATION TRUST as keywords
- Murrumbigee River, Gundagai
On this day in 1790 the Surprise arrived in Port Jackson with the first members of the NSW Corps on board.The NSW Corps (102nd Regiment of Foot, also known as the Rum Corps), was formed in England as four regiments to relieve the marines who had sailed with the First Fleet and was led by Major Francis Grose. The Regiment was stationed in NSW until 1810.
On this day in 1790 the last of the Second Fleet convict transport ships, the Scarborough, sailed into Port Jackson, Sydney, with 180 male convicts on board. The Surprize arrived two days earlier with 218 male convicts and the Neptune arrived the previous day with over 400 male convicts.
On this day in 1865 the first St Mary's Cathedral in College St, Sydney, was destroyed by fire. All that remained of the original buildings was the Pugin facade and belltower along with part of the north-east transept. Plans for a new Cathedral were drawn up and the foundation stone was laid in December 1868. The Cathedral was finally finished in 1928.
On this day in 1861 the most infamous riot at Lambing Flats occurred. There had been ten months of unrest at the goldfields in the Burrangong region of NSW. On June 30 a mob attempted to drive off the Chinese miners at Lambing Flat (Young) and went on to destroy tents and possessions. The mob's leaders were arrested by Police and then, on July 14 the mob attacked again, this time the Police camp. The Chinese Immigration Regulation and Restriction Act was passed in November 1861 which limited Chinese migration to NSW.