Early, and probably very nearly contemporary, tracing from Plan of the Town of Sydney, N.S. Wales, official survey by James Meehan Assistant Surveyor undertaken by order of His Excellency Governor Bligh, 31st October, 1807.

Ink and coloured washes on tracing paper with manuscript annotations and key, contemporary inscription on verso “Property at Sydney”, restored and conserved. Possibly London, circa 1812.

SKU SF001461 Category


The present map is a detailed tracing from the Cockle Bay area of the plan. One of the larger properties included is numbered 77 and was held by Macarthur on a lease granted by Governonr King. Bligh’s attempt to dispossess Macarthur of his leasehold and Macarthur’s refusal to forego the right ot the property was one of the crucial points in the dispute that culminated in the mutiny against Bligh early in 1808 and his arrest by Lt.-Col. Geaorge Johnston. During the 1811 trial of Johnston, the survey was produced in court during the cross examination of John Macarthur. This was either the original or a tracing of this very portion of the survey and as the original is not known to be extant, it is possible that the present tracing came from among the papers used in that trial. It is suggestive that an old pencil note (bottom centre), notes “Garden according to Whittle”, is almost certainly referring to the evidence of the illiterate Sergeant-Major Whittle, who was a witness in the Johnston trial ans was, in fact, the man who ‘arrested’ Governor Bligh from under the bed.

In addition to the highly important Macarthur leasehold (no.77), included also are properties leased to Captain Waterhouse, Colonel Paterson, Lieutenant Moore, Captain Kemp and a veritable roll-call of the Sydney elite.

Additional information



Coloured washes, Tracing paper, Ink