15 Feb 1876 - current state flag was adopted

#OnThisDay 15 February 1876 the current state flag for NSW was adopted when it was proclaimed in the NSW Government Gazette. The new badge was designed by Colonial Architect James Barnet and Captain Francis Hixson, a retired Royal Navy officer and is described as on a silver background, a red cross bearing a golden lion in the centre and eight pointed golden star on each arm.

14 Feb 1916 - Liverpool Riot

#OnThisDay 14 February 1916 thousands of soldiers from the Liverpool military camp took strike action after a new training syllabus was introduced throughout the Australian Imperial Forces. The main change was an increase in the time recruits spent drilling from 35 hours to 40½ hours a week. 

14 Feb 1788 - Norfolk Island settlement to be established

#OnThisDay 14 February 1788 Lieutenant Philip Gidley King left Sydney to establish a settlement on Norfolk Island. With him were 15 convicts and seven free men. They arrived on 6 March 1788 and began to prepare the Island for more settlement and commercial development.

13 Feb 1844 - murderer John Knatchbull hanged

#OnThisDay 13 February 1844 convicted murderer John Knatchbull was hanged before a big crowd at Darlinghurst Gaol. Knatchbull, a former captain in the British Navy, arrived in NSW as a convict and continued to run foul of the law. In January 1844 he murdered shopkeeper Ellen Jamieson with a tomahawk.

12 Feb 1793 - John Macarthur granted land at Parramatta

#OnThisDay 12 February 1793 John Macarthur was granted 100 acres of land at Parramatta by Acting Governor Francis Grose. Macarthur was the first man to clear and cultivate 50 acres and received a further grant of 100 acres. These two grants formed the land for what became known as Elizabeth Farm, named in honour of Macarthur's wife.

11 Feb 1788 - first sitting of the Criminal Court

#OnThisDay 11 February 1788 the Court of Criminal Jurisdiction sat for the first time. The Court was established by the First Charter of Justice of 1787. Deputy Judge Advocate David Collins could hear criminal matters along with a panel of six naval and military officers. Civil matters, like debt cases, were heard in the Court of Civil Jurisdiction where Collins was again Judge along with two "fit an proper" residents of the Colony.

11 Feb 1932 - SHB lighting switched on

#OnThisDay 11 February 1932 Sydney Harbour Bridge lighting was switched on for the first time.


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From the Collection

10 Feb 1886 - A gift for Lady Carrington

#OnThisDay, 10 February 1886, Sir John Robertson presented a collection of photographs of New South Wales to Lady Carrington. The album was printed by Thomas Richards, Government Printer, Sydney, NSW 1885, and includes photographs of landscapes, monuments and memorials. You can read more about series NRS 20451 on our website.

10 Feb 1879 - Ned Kelly bank raid at Jerilderie

#OnThisDay 10 February 1879 Ned Kelly and his gang carried out a daring raid in Jerilderie on the local bank. Ned and Dan Kelly, dressed in the police uniforms, rode into town where they robbed the bank and burned all the townspeople's mortgage deeds. Ned left a letter with the bank manager to explain his actions, which would go on to become famous as the Jerilderie Letter.  The NSW Government issued rewards totalling £4,000.

9 Feb 1875 - Third time lucky for John Robertson

#OnThisDay, 9 February 1875, Sir John Robertson (1816-1891), the fifth premier of NSW, began his third ministry which lasted until 21 March 1877 when he was defeated in a by-election by Sir Henry Parkes. Robertson is known for his support of responsible government and for his 1861 ‘Robertson Lands Act’ established in his first premiership (ADB, 1976).