12 Aug 1920 - Louisa Lawson died

#OnThisDay 12 August 1920 Louisa Lawson (mother of Henry Lawson) died. Louisa is remembered as a writer, poet, newspaper proprietor and suffragist in her own right.

By 1888, Louisa had started The Dawn, a fortnightly journal for women, that combined household hints, stories and fashion with political comment. The Dawn was an immediate success and continued to be printed until 1905.

11 Aug 1824 - NSW constituted a Crown Colony

#OnThisDay 11 August 1824 New South Wales was constituted a Crown Colony. The Colony was established in 1788 as a penal colony and Crown Colony status was the first step towards responsible government; NSW had more freedom but the administration and legislature was still controlled by the British Crown.

The NSW Act 1823 (UK) authorised the establishment of a Legislative Council and Supreme Court. The twelve members of the Legislative Council were appointed by Britain's Secretary of State.

10 Aug 1894 - new Sydney Hospital opened

#OnThisDay 10 August 1894 the new Sydney Hospital opened. When Governor Macquarie arrived in the Colony in 1810 the hospital was housed in tents in George St, The Rocks. Macquarie had the 'Rum Hospital' built on Macquarie Street but from the outset there were problems with the shoddy construction. The central building of the 'Rum Hospital' was demolished in 1879 to make way for a new Victorian Classical Revival building designed by Thomas Rowe.

Twenty archives you cannot live without

Join Gail Davis at the Society of Australian Genealogists as she examines some of the most popular and essential sources for family history held at the NSW State Archives. Gail will look at records concerning convicts, shipping, education, land, maps, photographs and many more. So come along and make sure that you are not missing out on vital information for your family history.

9 Aug 1890 - first Grand Organ recital at Town Hall

#OnThisDay 9 August 1890 the first recital on the Grand Organ in the Sydney Town Hall was held. At the time, the organ was the largest pipe organ in the world. It was built by English firm William Hill & Son before being dismantled and shipped to Sydney. The recital was performed by W T Best, the City Organist from Liverpool, England.

An extensive repair program was carried out on the organ between 1972-82.

8 Aug 1789 - first NSW police force formed

#OnThisDay 8 August 1789 the first police force in NSW was formed. From the beginning of the Colony, the Royal Marines were meant to undertake the role of police but they proved unwilling to police errant convicts. Governor Phillip, therefore, established a civilian police force made up of several well-behaved convicts.

In 1810 Governor Macquarie re-organised the growing force, establishing police districts and ranks. 

In 1862 the Mounted, Water, Border, Native and Sydney Police units were amalgamated into one Police force.

4 Aug 1906 - (3rd) Sydney Central Railway Station opened

#OnThisDay 4 August 1906 the Central Railway Station in Sydney was officially opened. It is the largest railway station in Australia, servicing almost all of the lines on the railway network in Sydney. This was the third station on the southern Sydney site and was built on land previously used by the Devonshire St Cemetery, a convent, a female refuge, police barracks and the Benevolent Society.

The first train at the new station was the Western Mail train which arrived at 5:50am on 5 August 1906.

3 Aug 1838 - report criticizing transportation to NSW

#OnThisDay 3 August 1838 the Select Committee of the House of Commons in Great Britain delivered its report criticizing transportation. 

The report recommended the abolition of transportation to NSW but was prepared to allow its continuance to Van Dieman's Land. An Order-in-Council ending transportation of convicts (UK), passed on 22 May 1840 and effectively meant that NSW became a free colony.