Journeys in Time
1809 1810 1811
1812 1815 1818
1820 1821 1822


Project Overview

Historical Background

Chronology 1809 - 1822

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Copyright © 1998
Macquarie University.
All rights reserved.

Thursday 13th. Decr. 1810.
---The Farms lying on the shores of Botany Bay, on Cook's River and in the small District of Petersham, between Sydney and Botany Bay, being the only ones in the Colony now remaining unexplored in my present Tour of Inspection, I set out this morning at 7 o'clock from Parramatta with Mrs. Macquarie in the Carriage, and accompanied by the Gentlemen of our Family and the Surveyor, to visit those Farms on my return home to Sydney. ---We struck off at Powell's Half-Way-House through the Woods, and after a very pleasant Drive through a thick Forest, arrived at Capt. Townson's Farm House on Botany Bay, at half past 9 o'clock. We found the Captain at home in his very pretty neat clean little Cottage, where he received us with hospitality and in a Gentlemanlike manner; and whilst our Breakfast (which we had carried along with us) was getting ready, he walked with us to shew us his Garden, and all the other little improvements of his Farm. ---His Garden we found in excellent order, and producing the largest and best Strawberries I have yet seen or eat [sic] in this Colony. ---After Breakfast we embarked on the Water in Capt. Townson's Boat, in order to see his own and his Brother Doctor Townson's Farm, which join each other at this Place. ---The Doctor's Farm we found in miserable bad order, with only one Solitary Hut on it, occupied by two of his indented Servants, a man and his wife -- the latter being very sickly and to all appearance half starved; there were no appearance whatever of any improvements on this Farm, which is as yet in a state of nature.

Having viewed these Farms, we proceeded for five or six miles down Botany Bay until we opened the Heads and Entrance of it, and then returned to Capt. Townson's Cottage after a two hours very pleasant Water Excursion. ---At 1 p.m. we set out again from Capt. Townson's for Mrs. Laycock's Farm near Cook's River, and arrived there at half past 2 o'clock. ---We found Mrs. Laycock and her two Daughters at home, in a very neat comfortable well built Farm House and well furnished; the good old Lady's Farm being also in a forward state of improvement in other respects. ---After resting for half an hour at Mrs. Laycock's, we pursued our Journey on to Canterbury; thus crossing Cook's River twice over a very slender bad Bridge within two miles of Mrs. Laycock's Farm, and is rather dangerous for a Carriage. ---At 4 p.m. we arrived at Canterbury, a Farm belonging to Mr. Robt. Campbell Senr. Mercht. at Sydney. ---It is an extensive Farm, and a good deal of the wood has been cleared,;but the Soil is bad, and neither good for Tillage or Pasturage.

I quitted the Carriage and mounted my Horse at Canterbury in order to inspect the few remaining small Farms between this and Sydney; Mrs. Macquarie proceeding in the Carriage by the Main Road, to meet and wait for me at Grose Farm. ---I called at Mr. Moore's, Mr. Blaxcell's, Mr. Blaxland's, Capt. Rowley's and several other smaller Farms in the District of Petersham, all of which are poor and of little value; the Farm Houses, however, are tolerably good; and considerable pains have been taken to clear, enclose and improve the Lands.---At half past 5 p.m. I joined Mrs. Macquarie, whom I found in the Carriage near Grose Farm, and there getting in to the Carriage again, we drove in to Sydney, arriving at the Government House at six o'clock in the Evening, having been absent on this very pleasant Tour of Inspection 5 weeks & 2 Days.


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