THE ROCKS AND SYDNEY: SOCIETY, CULTURE AND MATERIAL LIFE 1788-C1830

http://hdl.handle.net/2123/405

Melinda was daughter of convict and servant girl to Rev Richard Hill. A young woman recorded as Protestant on the census but  registered as Roman Catholic on baptismal papers of 1824 with her father Patrick McNally as witness. The McNallys were living down in Kent Street en famille and Melinda was up in Castlereagh St. She then marries the son of a missionary and marries him in a Presbyterian Church. What was happening in her world in the 1820s – 1830s ?

THE ROCKS AND SYDNEY: SOCIETY, CULTURE AND MATERIAL LIFE 1788-C1830

KARSKENS, Grace

University of Sydney, History

Abstract:
This study explores the early history of Sydney’s Rocks area at two levels. First, it provides a much-needed history of the city’s earliest, oldest-surviving and best-known precinct, one which allows an investigation of popular beliefs about the Rocks’ convict origins, and which challenges and qualifies its reputation for lowlife, vice and squalor. Second, by examining fundamental aspects of everyday life – townscape, community and commonality, family life and work, human interaction and rites of passage – this study throws new light on the origins of Sydney from the perspective of the convict and ex-convict majority. Despite longstanding historical interest in Sydney’s beginnings, the cultural identity, values, habits, beliefs of the convicts and ex-convicts remained largely hidden. The examination of such aspects reveals another Sydney altogether from that presented by governors, artists and mapmakers. Instead of an orderly oupost of empire, a gaol-town, or a ‘gulag’, the Sydney the Rocks represents was built and occupied largely according to the tastes, priorities and inclination of the people, with relatively little official regulation or interference. While the Rocks appeared ‘disorderly’ in the eyes of the elite, it nevertheless functioned according to cultural rules, those of the lower orders – the artisans, shopkeepers, publicans, labouring people, the majority of whom were convicts and ex-convicts.

URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/2123/405

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s