Friday, November 6, 2015

Fiddling & Dancing, November 1825

James Martin, a colonial born carpenter who worked with James Gough in Sydney, was the son of the notorious Irish ex-convict Arthur Martin, and his equally infamous wife, Caroline Cochrane. In June 1808 Arthur Martin had been found guilty for receiving some bags of gunpowder that John McNeale had stolen from Robert Campbell. McNeale was sentenced to death and Martin received 500 lashes, and was sentenced to work in a gaol gang. Despite this he was later made a constable at the Rocks, but was later dismissed. 

In November 1825, Caroline Cochrane was sentenced to twelve months at the Female factory and fined 20 pounds for keeping a disorderly house ''open for the reception of loose characters at unseasonable hours, and with encouraging fiddling and dancing therein.'
(Sydney Gazette 14 Nov 1825)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Family Wills


More than any other family documents found when researching the James Gough story, two old English wills written 58 years apart, by a grandfather and his granddaughter, have provided the family details that were required to make the correct connections, and tell the story. Without this information it was impossible to make the links, but now the contents of these wills explain the family descent over several generations, and provide many answers. 


The details of the wills are fully documented in the James Gough book.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The James Gough story

A reminder to the many researchers who visit this site each day that the information included here is only a fraction of the full story about this interesting man - his family history in England; his early story and his long life and achievements in NSW. The James Gough story was researched and recorded over many years and has been fully recorded in my book that includes documents, extensive photos and biographies. It also includes the personal stories of his family. Please contact me for all details about how to order your signed copy. Cost of the book is $35 that includes FREE POSTAGE (valued at $8) within Australia. If you have an interest in his life or a family link, this book tells his full story.


Monday, May 11, 2015

John Richards (c.1790 -1838) & Ann Hollis

Have just revisited the lovely old inn Riversdale at Goulburn, (National Trust of Australia (NSW), that was built by the ex-convict John Richards (1816 Mariner) after he bought land there in 1837 from Matthew Healy. Richards was James Gough's partner in the 1834 contract to build the Berrima Gaol that failed in 1836, and was an ambitious entrepreneur who was involved in several inns and a number of coaching businesses. When he died in 1838, his capable wife Ann, continued to run his several enterprises, including Riversdale, the brewery at the inn, and the coaching business. 

As Ann Hollis, she was no stranger to being a publican, and in 1828 had taken over the management of The White Hart inn on Windsor Road, (owned by William Cox) that had been built by James Gough about 1826 and managed by him until the end of 1827. Widowed, with three small sons, her partner was John Richards, who was still bonded and assigned to Cox. By 1833, Richards was offering a full coach service from Sydney to Windsor in his new coach, The Currency Lad, that ran three days a week.

Sydney Gazette 15 December 1838    

John Richards full biography is included in the James Gough book

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Escape 1815

Exactly 200 years ago in the first week of April 1815,  James Gough escaped from the Parramatta Lumberyards where he had been working on the new extensions to Government House. He managed to hide from the authorities for about a month until he finally surrendered to the Superintendent of Convicts at Sydney. How did he manage this escape? Where was he hiding during this time? Did Ann Cain help him? He certainly managed to meet with Ann and spend some time with her as their eldest son James was born later that year.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Parramatta Lumberyard

Richard Rouse (1774-1852)

Richard Rouse (of Rouse Hill) was the supervisor of the lumberyard, and was in charge of all government works in the Parramatta district. When James Gough arrived at the Parramatta Lumberyard 200 years ago, in early 1815, there were 100 men listed working there. He was one of six men in the team of carpenters, and was one of the two joiners. Extensive renovations were underway at Government House and two new wings were being added to the original building, to provide a more comfortable residence for Governor Lachlan Macquarie and his family. 

(Photos of the interior of Government House and full details of the work undertaken by Gough and his team, are all included in the James Gough book)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Australia Day 26 January 1821

In 1818, Governor Lachlan Macquarie declared that the 26 January would be called Australia Day to commemorate the founding of the British colony. The Sydney Gazette recorded the celebration of the event on the 31 January:

"On Monday last His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR review[ed] the 48th Regt, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel ERSKINE, and we learn expressed himself much pleased with the military appearance of this distinguished corps.
The same day a dinner was given at Government House to the Civil and Military Officers at Head Quarters, in commemoration of the Establishment of this Colony, which on that day had attained its thirtieth anniversary. We understand that His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR, in celebrating an event in which all present necessarily felt much interest, was pleased to pay a handsome tribute to the memory of the late Admiral PHILLIP.
In the evening a Ball was given by Mrs. MACQUARIE to a numerous party, which was continued with spirit to a late hour. We were particularly gratified with a likeness of GOVERNOR PHILLIP (executed by Mr. Greenway, who felt much pleasure in this opportunity of celebrating the memory of the Vice Admiral, who had ever been his steady friend and patron), suspended at one extremity of the room, in a wreath, supported by two banners; one being that of Vice Admiral, and the other containing the following inscription. "In Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Colony of New South Wales, established by ARTHUR PHILLIP, whose virtues and talents entitle him to the grateful remembrance of his Country, and to whose arduous exertions the present prosperous state of the Colony may chiefly be ascribed."

Australia Day 26 January 1821 was a very special day for James Gough, as on that day Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted him a Conditional Pardon. Having served nine years of his sentence, this meant that, although he could not return to England, he was now FREE within the colony. This was the start of a new chapter in his life...