You may have noticed I have been spending some time over the last week constructing a new series of posts on Ninglun’s Specials: Looking for Jacob. In that series I walk around the area where my convict ancestor apparently lived in the mid 1830s and early 1840s. He had arrived in 1822.
Just for comparison, consider what Hyde Park was like in 1836, just a short walk from the locations I have been visiting.
Image from Barani, Sydney City Council.
1836 is the year my great-grandfather was born. I don’t think the family would have approved of the “Catholic Chapel” on their horizon… I am not sure what they would have made of the Eora people either…
Conrad Martens: a Darlinghurst scene 1840 (National Gallery of Australia)
But let’s say my ancestors went fishing. Perhaps they walked over to Darlinghurst… Not exactly like that now. Yes, it is more than a bit Italianate in feel, that painting – but it is also rather good, I think, and gives a fair idea what the area may have been like.