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Fanmail for Mr Bertie

Fanmail for Mr Bertie

The Dictionary of Sydney is all about making Sydney's history accessible, interesting and popular. If Charles H Bertie was alive today, he'd be right into the Dictionary of Sydney. [button link="https://2ser.com/dictionary-of-sydneys-library-legend-charles-bertie/"...

Dyarubbin

Dyarubbin

Most people feel familiar with the Hawkesbury, one of Sydney’s most recognisable rivers, but how much do they really know? The...

A huge crowd for a hanging: the end of John Knatchbull

A huge crowd for a hanging: the end of John Knatchbull

One of my very favourite letters in the collections of the State Library of NSW was written by a wool merchant by the name of Joseph Whitehead. In an 1838 letter to his uncle in England, Whitehead describes Sydney as ‘without exception one of the most wicked places...

The Archibald Prize

The Archibald Prize

The Archibald Prize is quintessentially Sydney - bold, controversial, and tinged with celebrity. The annual portraiture prize was established by a benefactor, JF Archibald, and the first prize was held in 1921. [button...

Kia ora!

Kia ora!

New Zealand and New South Wales were once one colony, but on 3 May 1841 New Zealand was officially declared a British colony separate from New South Wales. This month it is the 180th anniversary of this decision that brought about two intertwined but distinct national...

When a Spade’s a Spade: the hanging of John Hammell

When a Spade’s a Spade: the hanging of John Hammell

On 7 May 1832, John Hammell (also reported as John Hammill, John Haymell and Charles Hammell) was hanged for the murder of his boss George Williamson. Not everyone was sorry Williamson had been bashed in the head with a spade, but committing murder has consequences....

The Hermits of Killarney Heights

The Hermits of Killarney Heights

The picturesque suburb of Killarney Heights at Middlehead was a popular picnic destination named after Killarney in Ireland. However, 41 years ago it became indelibly associated with the suffering of refugees fleeing war torn Europe. [button...

Joseph Fowles

Joseph Fowles

Joseph Fowles was by way of being an early Colonial artistic influencer. He arrived in Sydney in 1838 with his...

Brutality at Birch Grove

Brutality at Birch Grove

Research on the epitaph on a tombstone in Sydney's old Devonshire Street Cemetery led to the shocking story of the deaths of Samuel Bradley, 59, and his wife Esther, 65, who were brutally murdered at their home in Birch Grove on 15 August 1822. [button...

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