1. Archer, John Lee (1791-1852)

Architect and engineer, was born on 26 April 1791, the only son of John Archer, an engineer of County Tipperary and Dublin, Ireland, and his wife Charlotte, née Lee, formerly of Kent, England. From 1809 to 1812 he was trained in the office of Charles Beazley, a London architect, and then worked for five years under John Rennie, who designed the London, Waterloo and Southwark bridges across the River Thames. Returning to Ireland, Archer spent the next eight years on architectural and engineering works, including the Royal Canal, Dublin. On 2 December 1826 he was appointed by the secretary of state for the colonies ‘to fill the situation of Civil Engineer in Van Diemen’s Land’. Arriving at Hobart Town in the Lang in August 1827, he was instructed by Lieutenant-Governor (Sir) George Arthur to take up the duties of civil engineer and colonial architect. He served in those capacities for eleven years, in the first nine being responsible for all government buildings including those for penal and military purposes.

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2. Barnet, James Johnstone (1827-1904)

Architect, was born at Almericlose, Arbroath, Scotland, son of Thomas Barnet, builder, and his wife Mary, née McKay. After education at the local high school he went to London in 1843 and was apprenticed to a builder. He then studied drawing and design under W. Dyce, R.A. and architecture with C. J. Richardson, F.R.I.B.A., and became clerk of works to the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers. On 22 July 1854 he married Amy, daughter of John and Elizabeth Gosling; they sailed for Sydney and arrived in December. He engaged in building operations before he became clerk of works at the University of Sydney. In 1860 he joined the Colonial Architect’s Office; two years later he became its acting head and in 1865 colonial architect; he held the position until 1890 when the office was reorganized.

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

3. Barney, George (1792-1862)

George Barney was the civil engineer for New South Wales 1836-44. Major projects for which he was responsible include a circular quay at Sydney Cove, military barracks in Paddington and Fort Denison (completed 1857).

Born Woverhampton, England, 19 May 1792. Died Sydney, 16 April 1862. Second lieutenant, Royal Engineers 1808-13, captain 1813-25, several years experience of civil engineering, Jamaica, captain 1825; arrived Sydney 1835 with the Royal Engineers and given the duties of civil engineer, responsible for a circular quay at Sydney Cove, a breakwater at Newcastle, pier harbours at Wollongong and the defences of Sydney; major 1839; supervised the building of the Victoria Barracks from 1841; lieutenent colonel ca 1842; returned to England 1844-46; superintendent of a new convict colony in North Australia at Port Curtis 1846-47; chief commissioner of crown lands 1849-55; surveyor-general 1855-62. Chairman of Directors, Gaslight Co. and a trustee of the Savings Bank of New South Wales from 1841.

View the full record at Encyclopedia of Australian Science

4. Bibb, John (1810-1862)

Architect, was born in Liverpool, England, the son of Samuel Bibb and his wife Phoebe, née Rogers. He arrived in Sydney in 1832 in the Marianne. Bibb became assistant to John Verge who was Sydney’s leading architect, and when Verge gave up his practice in October 1837 he appointed Bibb to collect all outstanding debts

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5. Blackburn, James (1803-1854)

Civil engineer, surveyor and architect, was born in Upton, West Ham, Essex, England, the son of John Blackburn, a liveryman of the Haberdashers’ Company and partner in a firm of scalemakers at Shoreditch, and Anne, née Hems. One brother, Isaac, succeeded his father in the profession, while another, John, ordained in the Independent Church, became its pioneer statistician.

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6. Blacket, Edmund Thomas (1817-1883)

Was an architect in the late nineteenth century. He was responsible for the original design of Gulgong’s St Luke’s Church but when the money ran out the design was modified. Architect. St Luke’s, Gulgong: Blacket’s original plans are owned by church; the design was later modified when the money ran out. This entry is a stub. You can help the DAAO by submitting a biography.

View the full record at Design and Art Australia Online

7. Bloodsworth, James (?-1804)

James Bloodsworth arrived in Australia with the First Fleet and was immediately appointed master bricklayer in the settlement at Sydney Cove. Since there were no architects in the fleet he was largely responsible for the design and erection of Australia’s first buildings, designing the first Government House, the storehouse at King’s Wharf on the shore of Sydney Cove and many private houses.

Born Kingston-on-Thames, England, 7 March 1759. Died Sydney, 21 March 1804. Arrived Australia on the Charlotte with the First Fleet. Appointed master bricklayer on his arrival; superintendent of brickmakers and bricklayers September 1791; emancipated December 1791 (the second person emancipated in the colony); Sergeant of the Sydney Loyal Association March 1802. He was so well regarded that he was given a State funeral.

View the full record at Encyclopedia of Australian Science or Obituaries Australia

8. Clark, John James (1838-1915)

Architect, was born on 23 January 1838 at Liverpool, England, the second son of George Clark, farmer and tailor, and his wife Mary, née Unwin. He was educated at the Collegiate Institute, Liverpool. The parents and six children arrived at Melbourne as unassisted migrants in the Martin Luther on 10 March 1852. While some of the family were briefly digging at one of the goldfields, James (the name by which he was known) was immediately accepted at 14 as acting draftsman on the staff of the colonial architect. Less than six years later he was signing drawings for the New Treasury in Spring Street, was acknowledged as its designer and supervised its construction. He was earning £450 a year by 1855 and his income was the primary support for the family in those early years. From February 1858 he was away for nine months visiting England. In 1861 Clark became by examination lieutenant of engineers and was later promoted captain. He continued an active association with army affairs for most of his life.

Further reading – JJ Clark: Architect of the Australian Renaissance

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

9. Greenway, Francis Howard (1777-1837)

Greenway was deported to the colony after the family’s building firm declared themselves bankrupt and he was found guilty of forging a document. He became Australia’s first colonial architect. He worked for Governor Macquarie, building many iconic public buildings including Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney.

He was born on 20 November 1777 in Mangotsfield, Gloucestershire, son of Francis Greenway (or Greenaway), a stonemason and builder, and Ann, née Webb. The family firm of architects, builders and monumental masons, including John, Thomas and Oliver Greenway (or Greenaway), was based in Bristol, Somerset, where Francis would have served his apprenticeship. He worked primarily in Bristol, Bath and in Gloucestershire, then appears to have been employed by John Nash.

View the full record at Design and Art Australia Online or Australian Dictionary of Biography

10. Harris, John (1754-1838)

Surgeon, public servant and landholder, was born at Moneymore, County Londonderry, Ireland, a son of John and Ann Harris. He trained for the medical profession at the University of Edinburgh and for ten years was a surgeon in the navy in Indian waters. In 1789 he was appointed surgeon’s mate in the New South Wales Corps, reached Port Jackson in the Surprize in June 1790 and was stationed at Parramatta. In December 1791, after the resignation of his superior, Dr Macaulay, who never went to the colony, Harris was promoted to his place. At first the colony was not to his liking and his early letters home gave a gloomy picture of its condition and prospects. However, in April 1793 he accepted a 100-acre (40 ha) grant at Parramatta and bought the farm of James Ruse on which in 1798 he built the still extant Experiment Farm Cottage. Until 1800 he led a busy existence as surgeon and farmer. By the turn of the century he owned 315 acres (127 ha) of land of which 205 (83 ha) were purchased, and had acquired 431 head of stock, possessions which placed him among the foremost officer-farmers.

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

11. Hayes, Sir Henry Browne (1762-1832)

Convict adventurer, was the son of Attiwell Hayes, a reputable and opulent citizen of Cork, Ireland. Despite an inclination to irregular behaviour, Hayes won an influential place in the community, becoming a captain in the South Cork militia, a freeman of the city in 1782, and subsequently a sheriff. It was probably for services in the latter office to the visiting lord lieutenant that he was knighted in 1790.

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

12. Hunt, John Horbury (1838-1904)

Architect, was born in October 1838 at St John, New Brunswick, the eldest son of William Hunt and his wife Frances, née Horbury. His father, a sixth-generation North American, was a carpenter and builder in Waltham, near Boston, before moving to Canada in 1853. In 1856 Hunt began training as an architect under Charles F. Sleeper of Roxbury, near Boston. He soon transferred to Edward Clarke Cabot who closed his office when the American civil war broke out. Hunt decided to migrate to India. He sailed in the Tropic and arrived on 5 January 1863 at Sydney. He met the acting colonial architect, James Barnet, who persuaded him to settle. Hunt joined the staff of Edmund Blacket, the colony’s leading architect. His sound training and knowledge of construction were important acquisitions to the office and by 1865 he was Blacket’s chief assistant, supervising and designing many country commissions. His unusual ideas and forceful personality so influenced the character of work emerging from Blacket’s office that his seven years there became known as Blacket’s ‘queer period’.

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

13. Lambe, David (1803-1843)

Architect and farmer, was born in London, the second son of William Lambe (1765-1847) and his first wife Harriett Mary, daughter of Captain John Welsh of Plymstock, Devon. He came of an old Warwickshire family; his father, a well-known and much respected doctor, had moved to practise in Bloomsbury about 1803. David Lambe was educated at Charterhouse. In May 1823 he sought employment in Van Diemen’s Land and in August a grant of land; this the Colonial Office promised since Lambe possessed the needed capital of £500. His motive for migration is unknown, though either his father’s notorious eccentricities and vegetarianism or his sister’s marriage to Saxe Bannister, appointed attorney-general of New South Wales in October 1823, may have influenced his decision. He sailed in the Adrian, which also carried the newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor (Sir) George Arthur, and reached Hobart Town on 12 May 1824. A week after arrival Lambe wrote to Arthur seeking his ‘protection’ should a vacancy occur in either the architectural or surveying department, and on 3 June Arthur appointed him colonial architect at a salary of £150.

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

14. Lewis, Mortimer William (1796-1879)

Surveyor and architect, was born in London, the son of Thomas Arundel Lewis and his wife Caroline, née Derby. At 19 he was appointed surveyor and draftsman in the London office of the inspector-general of fortifications, and later as a private practitioner he spent eight years in surveying and building. He then received an appointment as assistant surveyor in the office of the surveyor-general of New South Wales.

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

15. Macarthur, John (1767-1834)

Soldier, entrepreneur and pastoralist, was baptized on 3 September 1767 at Stoke Damerel, near Plymouth, England, one of three known children of two expatriate Scots, Alexander Macarthur (formerly of Argyllshire) and his wife Catherine (d.1777), who lived in the parish of St Andrew in Devonport. Alexander Macarthur was a mercer and draper in Plymouth, whose business was inherited by his eldest son, James. It was this background that later gave John Macarthur’s enemies in New South Wales the excuse to lampoon him as ‘Jack Boddice’, a staymaker’s apprentice. However, by 1782 enough influence had been secured to obtain an ensign’s commission in Fish’s Corps for the 15-year-old John. This corps, specially intended for the American war, was still being assembled in England when the war ended. When it was disbanded in 1783 Macarthur, on half-pay, retired to a farm at Holsworthy in Devon. There he remained in rural seclusion for almost five years, endeavouring fruitlessly to obtain military placement and in his discouragement toying with the idea of turning to law, for which he displayed an amateur but vigorous talent all his life. He returned to full pay in April 1788 as an ensign in the 68th Regiment (later Durham Light Infantry) stationed at Gibraltar since 1785. By 5 June 1789 he had dramatically enhanced his rank and opportunity by transferring as a lieutenant to the New South Wales Corps, then being enlisted for duty at Botany Bay.

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

16. Macquarie, Lachlan (1762-1824)

N.S.W Governor, was born, according to a note in his own hand in a family Bible, on 31 January 1762 on the island of Ulva in the parish of Kilninian in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. His father, Lachlan Macquarie, was a cousin of the sixteenth and last chieftain of the clan Macquarie. According to local tradition Macquarie senior was a carpenter or miller; certainly he was a tenant of the Duke of Argyll, leasing the small farm of Oskamull in Mull which he was too poor to stock himself and therefore shared with two other tenants. His own part of the farm he shared with his son-in-law, Farquhar Maclaine, a tradesman. It is not known when he died, but in August 1785 Macquarie paid a mariner a pound to buy a headstone for his grave.

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

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