Especially for Stage 2 students
Francis Greenway was born in England in 1777. His extended family included architects and builders and he was working in an architectural and building practice in Bristol, England when in 1809 he falsified a document, was convicted of forgery and sentenced to death. This sentence was changed to 14 years transportation.
When Greenway arrived in Sydney in February 1814, he carried with him a letter from Governor (now Admiral) Arthur Phillip introducing him to Governor Lachlan Macquarie. Within 1 month he’d been given a ticket-of-leave allowing him to have a job. By 1816, he had been appointed as Civil Architect and Assistant Engineer. His job was to plan and design all Government works. Governor Macquarie had a plan to develop Sydney. One way of doing this was through a massive building project where many important buildings would be built. Macquarie was the first Governor of NSW to employ a professional architect.
In a letter to Earl Bathurst, Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated 4 April 1817 Macquarie writes:
“A man named Francis Howard Greenway, who came out here in 1814, and who is an architect of some eminence in England, having been recommended to me by Governor Phillip, I have employed him as civil architect. I propose to build a church at Liverpool. I shall give a contract for the building immediately, paying the expenses from the Colonial Fund. I have already had a very neat house erected in Liverpool.”
Greenway faced the challenges of building in a harsh climate, using unskilled workmen and unknown materials. His style of architecture improved the colony of Sydney and many of his buildings survive today. These include:
Hyde Park Barracks (1817)
St James’ Church (1819)
Government Stables now the Conservatorium of Music (1817)
The Court House, Windsor (1822) ,
Supreme Court House, Sydney (1820)
St Luke’s Church, Liverpool (1818)
Architect: a person who designs buildings.
Falsify: to make something false by altering or adding to it.
Forgery: to copy or change something and present it as the original.
Ticket-of-leave: a document given to convicts allowing them to live and work in a chosen area before their sentence had expired. They were not free, they couldn’t return to their homeland.