26 September 2002
NEW SOUTH WALES - [John Oxley (1783-1828)]
'An Accurate Plan Of the Allotments of Ground from the Crown in New South Wales ...' [by John Oxley], manuscript plan on paper (watermark 'J.WHATM[AN], 1811), ink, pencil and watercolours, 24 x 34in. (61 x 86.5cm.), Sydney, circa 1812, the pencil inscription (right-hand side) faded, otherwise in good condition:
AN EXCEPTIONAL UNRECORDED AND UNPUBLISHED MAP OF SYDNEY REGION BY ITS SURVEYOR GENERAL. The map shows the various grants of land depicted with great accuracy with different colours used to denote the grants of different administrations: Johnston (yellow), Foveaux (red) and Paterson (shaded with India ink), giving a date-range of 1808- January 1810. The original references in pen are in a neat English hand but there are manuscript annotations in pencil in a French hand (probably that of Freycinet), adding the names of the districts. These later additions include references to such places as Castlereagh, Liverpool and Wilberforce which were named by Macquarie after his first tour of the outlying districts of New South Wales which began in November 1810. There is a further annotation in the same hand ('grosse Ferme?').
The map is clearly the work of an accomplished topographical draughtsman and is attributable to John Oxley who was appointed surveyor-general of New South Wales in 1812. The official nature of the map would indicate that it dates from the early period of the administration of Macquarie (who was sworn in as governor on 1 January 1810). There had been no detailed plan of land grants since the Grimes and Flinders map of 1799 and the issue of land-grants was at its most sensitive when Macquarie took office. (Paterson, to Macquarie's surprise, had succeeded in disposing of some 67,000 acres).
A similar but not identical map entitled Plan of the Allotments of Ground granted from the Crown in New South Wales was printed in 1814 (the paper is watermarked 1813) and is extremely rare (the single copy in the Mitchell Library was acquired in 1929). But this printed map does not, for instance, differentiate between grants made during the different administrations. These differations are a distinctive feature of this manuscript map.
The house of one resident 'Mr. Jamieson' is identified near Emu Plains (a reference to Thomas Jamison who arrived in the colony as surgeon's mate in Sirius. In 1814 his son Sir John Jamison (physician and explorer) arrived to take over the property, (for Pellion's drawing of the house see Lot 88).
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