SYDNEY HARBOUR & PORT JACKSON
each 22 x 14 cm approx. 8½ x 5½ ins.
These three wash drawings were drawn at the same period, with one dated1842.Two display coastal views of ships at sea in Sydney harbour, titled on the versos "South Headland. Sydney. Shew a Light. March 12/42" and "The North Head. ' Wot a nell of a ned' exclaimed an admiring Cockney. M.A.M." Of particular interest in displaying an early Sydney streetscape, the third watercolour depicts buildings along what appears now to be part of Lower Fort Street, with a view across the harbour to Blue's Point. Ink inscriptions on the verso of the sheet, in addition to identifying the principal scene as "Part of Fort Street. Port Jackson. Sydney" also identify several well-known sites shown in the distance on the North Shore: "Berry's House ... Capt. Browne's House ... Landing place at Billy Blue's." Blues Point was named after Billy Blue, a convict who arrived in Sydney on the Minorca on 14 December 1801, transported for stealing a bag of sugar. Physically imposing, he was described as a "strapping Jamaican Negro 'a very Hercules in proportion' with a bright eye and a jocular wit".
He claimed to have served with the British Army in the American War of Independence. When he arrived in 1801 he only had two years of his sentence left and he was soon working on the harbour with boats and selling oysters. His friendly manner and humorous conversation made him popular and he became a notable local character. He married English-born convict Elizabeth Williams in 1805, and in 1807, was the only person licensed to ply a ferry across the harbour. Governor Macquarie named him "The Old Commodore" and he ran his ferry dressed in a blue naval officers coat and top hat. His ferry service grew to a fleet of 11 vessels, and in 1817, Governor Macquarie granted Billy Blue 80 acres (320,000 m2) at what is now Blues Point.
He died in 1834 at his North Sydney home. The first recorded European discovery of Sydney Harbour was by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770. Cook named the inlet after Sir George Jackson, one of the Lord Commissioners of the British Admiralty, and Judge Advocate of the Fleet. As the Endeavour sailed past the entrance at Sydney Heads, Cook wrote in his journal "at noon we were...about 2 or 3 miles from the land and abrest of a bay or harbour within there appeared to be a safe anchorage which I called Port Jackson." Port Jackson saw the arrival of the First Fleet. On 21 January 1788, after arriving at Botany Bay, Governor Arthur Phillip took a longboat and two cutters up the coast to sound the entrance and examine Cook's Port Jackson.
Stock ref: 14644