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A direct south view of the town of Sydney taken from the brow of the hill leading to the flagstaff

Date: 25 May 1798
Dimensions:
Overall: 180 x 248 mm
Medium: Copper engraving on paper.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Art
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00000874
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    Description
    This south view of the town of Sydney was taken from the brow of the hill leading to the flagstaff. The copper engraving was first published on 25 May 1798 in England in David Collins' book 'An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales' (as a plate facing page 251).
    SignificanceThis engraving provides an early view of the settlement of Sydney just 10 years after it was first colonised by the British. Watling's depictions of Sydney are credited to be some of the most accurate representations of the settlement, providing an insight into the early landscape and buildings.
    HistorySydney Cove was established by Governor Arthur Phillip in 1788. It was named in honour of the British Home Secretary, Thomas Townsend, Lord Sydney and chosen as the site of settlement over Botany Bay because it offered both fresh water and a secure place for ships to anchor. Phillip described Sydney Cove as having 'the best spring of water, and in which the ships can anchor so close to the shore that at a very small expense quays may be made at which the largest ships may unload'. He aimed to establish a flourishing colony and not just a penal site and supported plans to build a structured and ordered town.

    Early building development in the cove consisted of basic housing and some public buildings. Convicts lived in timber huts and tents until the construction of the Hyde Park Barracks in 1819. A stone quarry was also built and a number of farming plots were cultivated where the convicts could work.

    This image was engraved by James Heath (1757-1834) after a watercolour by Edward Dayes (1763-1804) which in turn was based on a painting by Thomas Watling (1762-1814).
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: A direct south view of the town of Sydney taken from the brow of the hill leading to the flag- staff

    Web title: A direct south view of the town of Sydney taken from the brow of the hill leading to the flagstaff

    Related People
    Engraver: James Heath

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