1810-1849 Western Sydney - an outline history

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Along the Hawkesbury in 1810, Governor Macquarie established five towns at Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce, Pitt Town and Castlereagh. His plans for the towns also included instructions about building the houses, the first building regulations for the colony.

In 1813 Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth set out from their Nepean farms to find a route over the Blue Mountains. Their success led to construction of a road and by 1815 the governor could travel west to Bathurst. A decade later Hume and Hovell set out from Minto and Appin to explore the southern country reaching Port Phillip Bay in 1824.

Until 1819 there was no accommodation for convicts, who had to find private board and lodgings. This changed when the male convict barracks opened at Hyde Park, to be followed two year later by female convict barracks, known as the Female Factory, at Parramatta.

1824 marked a new era in personal freedoms and rights with the establishment of a Supreme Court, the end of government censorship of the press and the separation of Van Diemen's Land from New South Wales. Free immigration increased and from 1832 government funds were used to assist immigrants who wanted to come to the Australian colonies.

Free land grants were abolished in 1831 and replaced by auction sales of Crown land. Rather than purchase land, many turned inland and squatted on government land far from settlement. The spread of European grazing had tragic consequences for Aboriginal people, most notably in 1838 when 28 Aborigines were murdered by European stockmen and convict servants at the Myall Creek massacre.

The transportation of convicts to New South Wales ended in 1840. This coincided with a severe depression, bank failures and many bankruptcies. The British government conceded political reforms with the establishment of the first partly elected Legislative Council and the first municipal government in 1842.