Sydney N.S. Wales 1788

Engraving of Sydney Cove in 1788 based on John Hunter’s view of the first settlement, now Circular Quay and where the convicts were landed. The first Government House is under construction on the far left, and the Tank Stream, the water supply … Read Full Description


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Full Title:

Sydney N.S. Wales 1788




John Carmichael 
(1811 – 


In good condition.


Hand coloured etching.

Image Size: 

x 78mm

Frame Size: 

x 345mm

Paper Size: 

x 136mm
Sydney N.S. Wales 1788 - Antique View from 1848

Genuine antique



Engraving of Sydney Cove in 1788 based on John Hunter’s view of the first settlement, now Circular Quay and where the convicts were landed.

The first Government House is under construction on the far left, and the Tank Stream, the water supply for the new colony is in the centre, the heart of present day Circular Quay. Two ships from the First Fleet, one at anchor and the other lying its side, complete an idyllic scene belying the hardships that were soon to befall the fledgling settlement. Although Botany Bay was chosen as the original site for the establishment of the settlement, it soon became clear to Phillip after their arrival on 18th January 1788 that the bay did not provide sufficient shelter or fresh water. Phillip decided to investigate the bay to the north that Captain Cook had named Port Jackson. Phillip’s first impressions were recorded in a letter to England the finest harbour in the world, in which a thousand sail of the line may ride in the most perfect security.

Ferguson, J. A. Bibliography of Australia Volumes 1-8, Canberra 1976 :: 4949.

National Library Australia: Bib ID 623345
New York Public Library: KD (Wells, W. H. Geographical dictionary)
State Library New South Wales: Call Number: MAV/FM6/406
State Library Victoria: RARELT 919.4 W46G

John Black Carmichael (1811 - 1857)

Carmichael was a painter, etcher, art teacher and engraver. Despite being 'deaf and dumb', a distinguishing handicap often mentioned in relation to his work, Carmichael was nevertheless regarded as one of the most competent engravers in Sydney. He is also notable for having been one of the earliest free emigrant artists to pursue a lifelong professional career in New South Wales.

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John Hunter (1737 - 1821)

Hunter was an admiral and the second governor of New South Wales. In May 1754 he became captain's servant to Thomas Knackston in H.M.S. Grampus. In 1755 he was enrolled as an able seaman in the Centaur, after fifteen months became a midshipman, transferred to the Union and then to the Neptune, successive flagships of Vice-Admiral Charles Knowles, and in 1757 took part in the unsuccessful assault on Rochefort. In 1759, still in the Neptune, in which John Jervis, later Earl St Vincent, was serving as a lieutenant, he was present at the reduction of Quebec. In February 1760 Hunter passed examinations in navigation and astronomy and qualified for promotion as a lieutenant, but he remained without a commission until 1780. Hunter obtained his first commission in 1780 as lieutenant in the Berwick through Admiral Rodney. When the arrangements which resulted in the sending of the First Fleet to Australia were being made in 1786, H.M.S. Sirius was detailed to convoy it. Hunter was appointed second captain of the vessel under Governor Arthur Phillip with the naval rank of captain. He was also granted a dormant commission as successor to Phillip in the case of his death or absence. In Phillip's instructions, 25 April 1787, it was hoped that when the settlement was in order it might be possible to send the Sirius back to England under Hunter's command. On the outward journey, soon after leaving the Cape of Good Hope, Phillip transferred to the tender Supply, hoping to make an advance survey of their destination at Botany Bay; he placed Hunter in the Sirius in command of the main convoy, though in the result the entire fleet of eleven ships made Botany Bay within the three days 18 to 20 January 1788. When Phillip felt doubtful about Botany Bay as the site of the first settlement, he took Hunter with him on the survey which decided that the landing should be on the shores of Port Jackson. Hunter was chiefly employed on surveying and other seaman's business, as well as sitting both in the Court of Criminal Judicature, which met for the first time on 11 February, and as a justice of the peace, the oaths of which office he took on 12 February.

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