From Urban Jail to Bourgeois Suburb

Costs $15 but is very interesting – for the period during which Melinda and her family were living in Sydney following whatever sequence of events brought them in from the Hawkesbury. 

From Urban Jail to Bourgeois Suburb

The Transformation of Neighborhood in Early Colonial Sydney

Graeme Davison

Monash University

Early colonial Sydney was founded on convict transportation but by the 1820s was being transformed by free settlement in a developing market economy. Neighborhood relations in the town were shaped by these intersecting influences, the first dividing convict from free settler, the second dividing rich from poor. Descriptions of the town portray it as divided between a plebeian west and a respectable east, but analysis of the 1828 census reveals a more complex social geography where convicts, exconvicts, and free settlers met in individual households and neighborhoods. Court records reveal the tensions this created. The solution, for many of the urban elite, was urban planning that would create a uniform, clean, segregated, and disciplined community.


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