Tag Archives: Ralph Mansfield

The Colonnade, Bridge-street

Just inside Bridge Street from George Street, Sydney, on the north side of the street, between George and Pitt, was a building containing a series of dwellings of uniform appearance and having at the front a roofed colonnade ‘which answers the double purpose of verandah and balcony.’ The dwellings were mostly used as workplaces and shops. The name was apparently not worked into the building, for otherwise the spelling might have been as uniform as the architecture. One finds either Colonnade or Colonade. The address is usually given as Colonnade (or Colonade) rather than ‘the’ Colonnade or Colonade.  The history of the location offers examples in miniature of many of the interests and pretensions of early colonial Sydney society.

In 1834 we find among the tenants, at No. 1, Colonnade, Bridge-street, the new Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, which was finalising its Deed of Settlement and initial distribution of shares. Joseph Pritchard at No. 2 sold an assortment of goods. At No. 3 was H.J. Sloman’s Boot and Shoe Depot. In England Mr. Sloman had been ‘Bootmaker to His Majesty.’ Also at No. 3 we find the Spyer Brothers, who sold goods including salt, sugar, tea, tobacco, and ‘velvet corks’. In the latter part of the year Mr. Grace, a solicitor, formerly of King-street East, moved into No. 3. Perhaps at No. 4 was Mrs. Metcalfe, who advertised for sale ‘an elegant Assortment of Leghorn, Tuscan, and Straw Bonnets of the newest Fashion and Shapes, which she has brought with her from England.’ She also announced, ‘Two Apprentices to the Straw Business wanted.’ At No. 6 was Mrs. Boatright’s School for Young Ladies. She gives the address as ‘6, Colonnade, Bridge-street (Leading to Government House)’, as if intimating that her pupils could be expected to rise in society and go in the same direction. Mr. G.W. Evans, bookseller, was at No. 7. In March Mr [Ralph] Mansfield, of Hart’s Buildings, announced that he was retiring from bookselling and had transferred to Mr. Evans his stock of publications from the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, including a large supply of the Penny Magazine, ‘commencing with the First Number.’ At the same time Mr Evans placed an advertisement listing the range of titles which he had available. These included various books, the Penny Cyclopedia and the Ladies’ Magazine.

Publications available from Mr. Evans range from Insect Transformation to The Architecture of Birds, and from Paris, and its Historical Scenes to The New Zealanders. One could also purchase The Pursuit of Knowledge under Difficulties, illustrated by Anecdotes, or (under the heading of The Working Man’s Companion) On the Results of Machinery. Under the same heading one finds Cottage Evenings, which seems reminiscent of Vergil’s Georgics, but also The Cholera, striking a rather sinister note, from which one might hardly be relieved by perusing Criminal Trials. There is, however, hope of escapism not only in Vegetable Substances Used for the Food of Man but in Pompeii and Its Antiquities or The Domestic Habits of Birds. Perhaps on the whole the Penny Magazine and the Ladies’ Magazine were safe choices.

Quotation describing the Colonnade: Australian 8/1/1836, p. 1. No. 1: Sydney Herald 20/11/1834, p. 1. No. 2: Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 29/11/1834, p. 1. No. 3: Sydney Monitor 17/12/1834, p. 4. No. 4, Mr. Grace: Sydney Monitor 13/12/1834, p. 4. Mrs. Metcalfe: Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 26/8/1834, p. 1 (Colonnade number not given; no. 4 let to Mr. Metcalfe according to Australian 8/1/1836, p. 1, but this is not decisive). No. 6: e.g. Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 16/12/1834, p. 1 (frequent advertisements). No. 7: Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 4/3/1834, p. 1.

Sydney in 1841: a directory [instalment 8]

The ‘Directory of the Public Institutions and Government Offices in Sydney’ published in the Sydney Herald on 5 July 1841 includes (13) Newspapers. (See the entries of 17/11/2010, 18/11/2010, 19/11/2010, 22/11/201023/11/2010, 24/11/2010 and 25/11/2010 for further details.)

(13) Under the heading of newspapers the Directory lists the offices of eight publications: the Government Gazette, the Sydney Gazette, the Australian, the Sydney Monitor, the Sydney Herald, the Australasian Chronicle, the Temperance Advocate, and the Free Press.

The Government Gazette Printing Office is stated to be at the northern end of Phillip Street, next to the Immigration Office. This is not to be confused with the Sydney Gazette, which has an office at the northern end of George Street, at the northern corner of George Street and Charlotte Place. The Sydney Herald is just along the street, the fourth door from Charlotte Place. The office of the Australian is in Bridge Street, on the northern side, the ‘lowest house in the Colonade’. Also in Bridge Street is the Free Press office, on the south side of the street. The Temperance Advocate is in King Street, on the north side near Castlereagh Street. The Sydney Monitor and the Australasian Chronicle are on the east side of George Street; the former is ‘opposite the south-east corner of the Old Gaol’, while the latter is near King Street.

Some brief and incomplete notes on the publications mentioned:

Copies of the New South Wales Government Gazette for 1836-1851 can be read online via a website entitled Victoria Government Gazette: Online Archive 1836-1997. This website also has copies of the Port Phillip Government Gazette (1843-1851) and the Victoria Government Gazette (1851-1997).

The following five newspapers listed by the Directory (and their successors in two cases) are accessible online via the newspapers section of the National Library of Australia’s search website Trove. They are listed here with their years of publication (in the case of the Sydney Morning Herald, the years covered by that website), from the oldest to the most recent: Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 1803-1842 [suspended 1807-1808]; Australian, 1824-1848; Sydney Monitor, 1828-1838, then the Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, 1838-1841; Sydney Herald, 1831-1842, then the Sydney Morning Herald, 1842-1954; Australasian Chronicle, 1839-1843.

The Sydney Gazette – the first newspaper in New South Wales and hence the first in Australia – was founded early in the life of the colony. The Australian and the Monitor were founded in the 1820s, and the Herald (begun by three men from the Sydney Gazette) and the Australasian Chronicle in the 1830s. The 1840s were a time of change. Four of the five newspapers listed closed down: the Sydney Gazette, the Australian, the Monitor (which had become the Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser) and the Australasian Chronicle. The latter, successor to Bent’s News and New South Wales Advertiser (1839) became the Morning Chronicle (1843-1846), followed by the Sydney Chronicle (1846-1848) and finally the Daily News and Evening Chronicle (1848). The Sydney Herald, bought by John Fairfax in 1841, became the Sydney Morning Herald the next year and continues to the present day.

The Temperance Advocate and Australasian Commercial and Agricultural Intelligencer was published from October 1840 to December 1841. The Commercial Journal and Advertiser (1835-1840) became the Free Press and Commercial Journal (1841) and finally the Sydney Free Press (1841-1842). These can be consulted via the Australian Cooperative Digitisation Project’s website Australian Periodical Publications 1840-1845.

A leading figure on the newspaper scene from the end of the 1820s to the early 1850s was the clergyman Ralph Mansfield (1799-1880), who was an editor of the Sydney Gazette (1829-1832), a contributor to the Colonist in the 1830s, and an editor of the Sydney Morning Herald (1842-1854). After his death an article on ‘The Late Rev. Ralph Mansfield’ in the Sydney Morning Herald (3/9/1880, p. 3) included the comment: ‘It would surprise those who are unacquainted with the history of those comparatively early days of the colony to know what a field was then open to a man of talent in connection with the Press, and to learn the number of newspapers in existence at that period.’

Sydney in 1841: a directory [instalment 7]

The ‘Directory of the Public Institutions and Government Offices in Sydney’ published in the Sydney Herald on 5 July 1841 includes (12) Masonic Lodges, &c. (See the entries of 17/11/2010, 18/11/2010, 19/11/2010, 22/11/201023/11/2010 and 24/11/2010 for further details.)

(12) The Directory lists five lodges: the Australian Social Masonic Lodge; the Royal Arch Chapter; the Leinster Marine Lodge of Australia; the Lodge of Australia; and the Australian Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows.

Two lodges meet at St. John’s Tavern, on the northern corner of Bridge and George Streets. The Australian Social Masonic Lodge meets there on the first Monday of each month, and the Royal Arch Chapter meets every three months, on the second Tuesday of January, April, July, and October.

Two lodges meet in the Masonic Hall in York Street, on the western side of that street a few doors from the Barrack Gate. The Leinster Marine Lodge of Australia holds meetings at stated times. The Lodge of Australia meets every month on the Tuesday nearest to the full moon.

The Australian Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows meets in the Lodge Room in King Street, on the northern side of that street between Elizabeth and Phillip Streets. It meets on a weekly basis, every Wednesday.

The name ‘Australian Social Masonic Lodge’ is an informal variant, occurring almost nowhere else, for the Australian Social Lodge, sometimes also called the Masonic Australian Social Lodge or the Australian Masonic Social Lodge, the term ‘Masonic’ being worked in somewhere from time to time to indicate the general category. A news item of 30 June 1821 notes that there are two Masonic bodies in the colony, that of His Majesty’s 48th Regiment (no. 218 Irish Constitution) and the Australian Social Lodge (no. 260 I.C.), the latter recently granted from Ireland by the Duke of Leinster and approved by the Governor of New South Wales. They celebrated, according to ancient custom, the anniversary of John the Baptist (24 June) with a procession and a meeting at the Lodge Room (Smith’s, Hyde Park), where Rev. Ralph Mansfield delivered a sermon on brotherly love and a collection was taken up for the Benevolent Society.

There was also a Lodge 227 I.C. attached to the 46th Regiment, which was replaced by the 48th Regiment in 1817. Some civilians admitted to Freemasonry by the military formed the original core of the Australian Social Lodge. In 1878 the Lodge was renamed under the NSW Constitution the Australian Social Mother Lodge No. 0, and then in 1888 with the formation of the United Grand Lodge of NSW it became the Australian Social Mother Lodge No. 1. On its hundredth anniversary in 1920 it became Lodge Antiquity No. 1. In 1988 Lodge Celestial (no. 512) merged with it.

The Royal Arch Chapter, attached to Lodge no. 260 I.C., was formed under a warrant from the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Ireland. There are some early references from 1834. The Chapter met at that time at St. John’s Tavern, and communications could be sent to the Junior Scribe at that address. This remained the meeting place from at least that time until the period in which the Sydney Herald’s Directory was published – surely a measure of the stability and conservatism of the Masonic movement. Evidently the Australian Social Lodge and the Royal Arch Chapter met at the same place because they were connected with one another.

In 1821 the Australian Social Lodge asked the Grand Lodge in Ireland for permission to grant dispensations which would enable further lodges to be formed in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land until these proposed additional lodges in various places could receive a warrant. Permission was granted and under this ruling in 1824 three members of Lodge 260 were allowed to form a new lodge in Sydney which became the Leinster Marine Lodge of Australia (no. 266 I.C.).

Whereas the Australian Social, Royal Arch and Leinster Marine Lodges derived from Ireland, the Lodge of Australia (no. 820, later 548, and then 390 E.C.) was formed under a warrant to meet in Sydney issued in 1828 by the United Grand Lodge of England. In 1829 the warrant of the Grand Lodge of England itself fell into abeyance. The warrant was revived on the initiative of the Duke of Sussex in 1833 and the Lodge of Australia was renewed at that time. The Lodge Room in 1833 was at the Royal Hotel, Sydney. A special meeting was held on 13 December 1833 to ‘cement’ the renewal (including the election of a Master) and to plan for opening the Lodge on St. John’s Day (24 June 1834).

The lodges acted co-operatively. For example, in April 1834, in an advertisement for a concert at the Pulteney Hotel, three notices appear one under the other from the Lodge of Australia, the Leinster Marine Lodge and the Australian Social Lodge (in that order). In June of that year the United Lodges of Australia assembled to celebrate the Festival of St. John. There was a procession with banners and the bands of the 17th and 4th Regiments. ‘The day being remarkably fine, a great number of the inhabitants assembled to witness the sight, it being superior to any thing of the kind before seen in N. S. Wales.’ The procession went to St. James’s Church, where Rev. R. Hill preached an appropriate sermon. Collections were taken up for the Sydney Dispensary and indigent Freemasons. There was a dinner afterwards at the Lodge with numerous toasts and speeches and the band of the 4th Regiment played appropriate airs.

The Australian Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows, or more fully the Australian Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was introduced to Australia by Mr. William Moffitt, who returned to England in 1842, farewelled with great emotion by members of the Order. A brief history of the order appeared in the Sydney Monitor in November 1841. The Order grew from small beginnings in 1836, was formalised in 1837, and had the same standing as the Grand Lodge of the Manchester Unity. By November 1841 it had 274 members, a branch lodge at Port Phillip with 45 members, and ample funds. A Lodge Room was purpose-built at the Saracen’s Head Inn, King Street (at the corner of King and Sussex Streets), and dedicated in October 1842. The seventh anniversary was celebrated in February 1843 at ‘the Lodge Room, (Brother Smith’s, “Saracen’s Head Inn,” King-street)’. The Australian Supreme Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows celebrated its eleventh anniversary in 1847.

John the Baptist: Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 30/6/1821, p. 3. Australian Social Lodge: cf. the website of Lodge Antiquity No. 1. Royal Arch Chapter: Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 17/5/1834, p. 1. Leinster Marine Lodge: cf. ‘Some events in the early history of Freemasonry in Australia and the SW Pacific to 1848’, on the website of the Grand Lodge of South Australia and Northern Territory. Renewal of the Lodge of Australia no. 820: Sydney Monitor 31/7/1833, p. 1; Sydney Herald 9/12/1833, p. 1. Concert: Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 26/4/1834, p. 3. Festival of St. John, 1834: Sydney Monitor 28/6/1834, p. 3. See also the website of the United Grand Lodge of Freemasons of NSW and the ACT. There is a Museum of Freemasonry (279 Castlereagh Street, Sydney), with a Grand Archivist to answer historical questions. Australian Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows: Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser 29/11/1841, p. 2; Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 26/3/1842, p. 2 (Mr Moffitt’s departure); The Australian 14/4/1842, p. 2; The Australian 7/10/1842, p. 2 (Lodge Room); The Australian 1/3/1843, p. 2. Australian Supreme Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows: The Australian 27/2/1847, p. 3.

Sydney in 1841: a directory [instalment 5]

The ‘Directory of the Public Institutions and Government Offices in Sydney’ published in the Sydney Herald on 5 July 1841 includes (10) hospitals and medical establishments. (See the entries of 17/11/2010, 18/11/2010, 19/11/2010 and 22/11/2010 for further details.)

(10) Three hospitals are listed: the Military Hospital, the General Hospital and the Prisoners’ Hospital. In addition there are two dispensaries and an asylum, which has one of the dispensaries attached to it. Thomas Mitchell’s map of 1832 helps in locating these institutions.

The Military Hospital is on the peninsula between Sydney Cove and Darling Harbour. It is just west of Fort Street, near the intersection of that street with Prince Street (called Princes Street on the map).

The General Hospital is on the other side of the town, on the east side of Macquarie Street.  It consists of two large buildings. The northern building has four sets of rooms, two for free persons, male and female, and two for convicts, male and female. The building to the south of this is a store-room.

The Sydney Dispensary is in Hart’s Buildings in Pitt Street. These buildings are on the west side of the street, running south from the corner with Market Street.

The Benevolent Asylum is at the southern end of the town, on the eastern side of Parramatta Street, near the Old Toll Gate. Beyond the Benevolent Asylum is the Burial Ground.

The Prisoners’ Hospital is temporarily in part of the Old Gaol. A proper hospital is to be built at the New Gaol.

A note on Hart’s Buildings and the Sydney Dispensary: Hart’s Buildings, centrally located at 42 Pitt Street, accommodated a number of tenants over the years. T.W. Hart receives dishonourable mention in the Registry of Flash Men, a journal kept by Police Superintendent (later Commissioner) William Augustus Miles, recording details of underworld characters in Sydney in the 1840s. According to the journal, ‘Hart T. W  of  Hart’s buildings in Pitt St caught Dr B – n. with his wife got damages & set up in business.’ At one time Hart and two others operated the Royal Mail Coaches that ran to Parramatta and Liverpool, a three-hour trip which began at Hart’s Buildings and picked up the mail at the Post Office on the way. Among the various tenants of Hart’s Buildings over the years were, in 1828, Mr. Wyatt, who sold assorted goods, and Mr. Dawes, a solicitor; in 1832, Mr. R. Mansfield, who ran a Book and Stationery Depot and a number of other activities including a Registry Office for Servants, and was associated with the building of a Baptist Chapel in Bathurst Street (a Baptist Chapel was set up in Hart’s Building while the new chapel was being built); in 1835, the British and Foreign School Society, and the Australian School Society, which ran a Boys’ School there; and the Sydney Dispensary, which had been in King Street, then George Street, and took up the lower three rooms (recently used by the Chapel) in ‘Mrs. Hart’s Building’ in Pitt Street in 1835. By 1833 the Dispensary had fallen on hard times but it revived with the help of Government funds and increased donations. Doctors saw recommended patients, for whom medicine was provided free of charge. According to one advertisement, every subscriber could recommend six patients. In 1839 children were vaccinated for a shilling which was returned when the children came back for inspection eight days later. The Dispensary moved to premises in York Street behind the Police Office in July 1841. Thus the Sydney Herald’s directory information for the Sydney Dispensary became obsolete within a week or two of publication. It was a time of rampant ‘fever’ in the community and a letter-writer to the Sydney Gazette called for the building of a public hospital.

Of later date and separate origins are Hart’s Buildings at 10-14 Essex Street, The Rocks. The property was acquired in 1880 by a Newtown builder, Peter Francis Hart (1840-1917) and transferred to Elizabeth Hart in the same year; three terrace houses were built c. 1892. The cookery writer Margaret Fulton lived there in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Registry of Flash Men: Ref. NRS 3406, State Records NSW, available transcribed in e-book form. Royal Mail Coaches: The Australian 13/11/1829, p. 1. R. Mansfield: cf. Vivienne Parsons, ‘Mansfield, Ralph (1799-1880)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 2, 1967, pp. 204-205, and online. Mrs. Hart’s Building: Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 11/10/1836, p. 2. Baptist Chapel: Sydney Monitor 12/10/1836, p. 2. Hard times: e.g. Sydney Monitor 24/4/1833, p. 1. Six patients: Sydney Monitor 30/8/1837, p. 3. Children: Australasian Chronicle 24/9/1839, p. 2. Need for a public hospital: Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 15/7/1841, p. 2. Hart’s Buildings, The Rocks: cf. ‘Harts Buildings’ in the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Heritage Register.