C1881

Map of the Country Around Sydney from a Reconnaissance by Lieut. Parrott Volr. Engineers under the Instructions of Col. P. Scratchley R.E. C.M.G. and by the Authority of P.F. Adams Esq. Surveyor General N.S.W.

First edition of this rare large scale map, dated 1881 printed on two sheets, covering the area from the Hawkesbury River, to Botany Bay and inland to Blacktown based on the extensive surveys undertaken by Lieutenant Thomas Parrott under the … Read Full Description

$A 9,500

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S/N: NSW-1881-PARR–228782
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Full Title:

Map of the Country Around Sydney from a Reconnaissance by Lieut. Parrott Volr. Engineers under the Instructions of Col. P. Scratchley R.E. C.M.G. and by the Authority of P.F. Adams Esq. Surveyor General N.S.W.

Date:

C1881

Condition:

In good condition laid onto archival linen

Technique:

Hand coloured lithograph.

Image Size: 

1105mm 
x 1515mm
AUTHENTICITY
Map of the Country Around Sydney from a Reconnaissance by Lieut. Parrott Volr. Engineers under the Instructions of Col. P. Scratchley R.E. C.M.G. and by the Authority of P.F. Adams Esq. Surveyor General N.S.W. - Antique Map from 1881

Genuine antique
dated:

1881

Description:

First edition of this rare large scale map, dated 1881 printed on two sheets, covering the area from the Hawkesbury River, to Botany Bay and inland to Blacktown based on the extensive surveys undertaken by Lieutenant Thomas Parrott under the directions of Colonel Scratchley, the Commissioner for defences.

Roads, settlements and isolated buildings are noted. Numerous observations and elevations are noted of the terrain, such as; ‘Low Dense scrub’, ‘timbered and scrubby’ and ‘open heath’.

With unrest and hostilities in Europe in 1876 the New South Wales government  had appointed Sir William Jervois, who had been largely responsible for the reorganisation of Britain’s defences, to review defences in the colony. He and Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Scratchley made far-reaching recommendations, including upgrading batteries, building new ones, modernising ordnance, and reorganising military personnel. Sydney’s defence was now to be based on heavy coastal guns in strong fortifications facing seaward, and the weapons guarding the entrance to the harbour were supported by minefields, gunboats and torpedo boats. Defence planners had already decided that the main defences should be positioned so as to prevent enemy ships from entering Port Jackson; the previous approach had been to allow an enemy ship into the harbour and then endeavour to destroy it. With the ‘keep them out’ plan, the outer defence of Port Jackson was to be centred on Middle, South and Georges Heads, with additional batteries at Bradleys Head and Steel Point. On Jervois and Scratchley’s advice, these batteries were improved, and larger, longer-range weapons were installed. Smooth-bore guns were replaced with rifled, muzzle-loading guns. These were able to fire elongated projectiles which could reach greater distances, with improved accuracy and penetration. Guns on the headlands could bring ‘plunging fire’ down on enemy ships attempting to pass into the harbour. The enemy ships would have difficulty raising their guns’ elevation to fire on the headland batteries.

Collections:
National Library Australia: Bib ID 1385292 (1882 issue)
National Archives Kew: CO 700/NewSouthWales44
Powerhouse-Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences: Object/158659

Thomas Samuel Parrott (1842 - 1917)

Thomas Samuel Parrott (1842-1917) was a civil engineer and soldier, born on 12 February 1842 at Bedford, England. Educated at Bedford School, he trained as a civil engineer and came to Australia in 1860, having been commissioned by the Duke of Portland to carry out pioneering and exploration work in western Queensland. He remained in Australia as a contract surveyor in Queensland. He became a government surveyor for the Melbourne district in 1870 and also had a private business, Parrott & Bryson, civil engineers and surveyors, there. In 1872 Parrott joined the survey branch of the New South Wales Department of Lands and the New South Wales Corps of Engineers (Volunteers) and on 20 August 1874 was commissioned as a lieutenant. In 1879 he submitted a plan for a bridge across Sydney Harbour. Parrott was promoted captain in 1884 and served as engineer officer on the staff of the New South Wales contingent to the Sudan in 1885, receiving the Egypt Medal with clasp and the Khedive's Star. In 1886, at the invitation of the New South Wales colonial secretary, Parrott visited Europe and North America to report on coast and harbour defences. He presented his report in July 1887. He was then a partner in Parrott & Cameron, mining and civil engineers, Sydney. In 1894 he commanded No.1 (Field) Company, Engineers, and was employed on military survey duties in the Illawarra district. In September he was confirmed as major and in November was awarded the Volunteer Officers' Decoration. Parrott became a brevet lieutenant-colonel on 29 March 1899 and embarked as a special service officer on 17 January 1900 for the South African War. He arrived at Cape Town on 18 February and was attached to the Royal Engineers who employed him on engineering works in the Orange River Colony. At Bloemfontein in May 1900 he formed the so-called 'Australian Pioneers' ('Flying Sappers') by mounting his engineers so that they could keep up with the mounted infantry. He left Cape Town for Sydney in the transport Orient in December 1900 and for his service received the Queen's Medal with two clasps. On 11 October 1900 Parrott had been promoted substantive lieutenant-colonel and appointed to command the two field companies of New South Wales Engineers. He was placed on the retired list on 1 September 1902 and migrated to South Africa where he served as a transport officer during World War I.

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