Wednesday, March 19, 2014

James Gough book review RAHS

The following book review appears in the current edition of History, the Magazine of the Royal Australian Historical Society March 2014

James Gough: a very industrious man

Author: Marion Starr 

Convicted London joiner and carpenter James Gough (1790 -1876), who arrived on the Earl Spencer in 1813, was involved in the joinery at Old Government House, the first Hospital and the Barracks at Parramatta and projects in the Hawkesbury. After gaining his Conditional Pardon in 1821 he won the contracts to re-roof the Old Supreme Courthouse in Sydney. Private commissions included John Wylde's 'Cecil Hills' at Cabramatta; schools in the Hawkesbury and Blacktown; the White Hart Inn between Parramatta and Windsor; William Cox's house in O'Connell Street, Sydney and by 1828, Joseph Underwood's terraces on Church Hill. Awarded the construction of Berrima Gaol in partnership with John Richards in 1834, the contract was terminated in 1836.

The publication includes biographical details of fifteen people including Gough's wife Ann Cain and later partner Mary Allen and their children; an appendix of nineteenth century carpenter's tools; extensive bibliography, notes and index. Starr also reveals a serendipitous finding which led her to further research into Gough's English family, that adds a fascinating epilogue. Illustrated with photographs, drawings, plans, tools, portraits and documents, Starr has produced a work that uncovers the legacy of the man in the well-chosen title and the vicissitudes of life in the colony.

Margaret Dalkin RAHS

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