Wednesday, March 19, 2014

James Gough book review RAHS

The following book review appears in the current edition of History, the Magazine of the Royal Australian Historical Society March 2014

James Gough: a very industrious man

Author: Marion Starr 

Convicted London joiner and carpenter James Gough (1790 -1876), who arrived on the Earl Spencer in 1813, was involved in the joinery at Old Government House, the first Hospital and the Barracks at Parramatta and projects in the Hawkesbury. After gaining his Conditional Pardon in 1821 he won the contracts to re-roof the Old Supreme Courthouse in Sydney. Private commissions included John Wylde's 'Cecil Hills' at Cabramatta; schools in the Hawkesbury and Blacktown; the White Hart Inn between Parramatta and Windsor; William Cox's house in O'Connell Street, Sydney and by 1828, Joseph Underwood's terraces on Church Hill. Awarded the construction of Berrima Gaol in partnership with John Richards in 1834, the contract was terminated in 1836.

The publication includes biographical details of fifteen people including Gough's wife Ann Cain and later partner Mary Allen and their children; an appendix of nineteenth century carpenter's tools; extensive bibliography, notes and index. Starr also reveals a serendipitous finding which led her to further research into Gough's English family, that adds a fascinating epilogue. Illustrated with photographs, drawings, plans, tools, portraits and documents, Starr has produced a work that uncovers the legacy of the man in the well-chosen title and the vicissitudes of life in the colony.

Margaret Dalkin RAHS

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The White Hart Inn rediscovered

The remains of the White Hart Inn have been unearthed by workers preparing to build the North West Rail link in Kellyville, NSW, and a full archaeological dig has been underway for several months. The footings and a cellar for the two storey building was found with many artifacts including coins from 1816 and 1853.

Images: The Australian 10 March 2014

This inn was owned by William Cox and was probably built by James Gough about 1825 when he was working for Cox in the Hawkesbury district at Castlereagh, Richmond and Windsor, including repairs and renovations to St Matthew's Church in 1824. By then Gough, (who was free and a contract builder with at least five assigned convict tradesmen and an apprentice), had been associated with Cox in Sydney at his various properties in O'Connell Street, and was described when giving evidence in a court case in 1824 as, '' supervising the private concerns of William Cox, Esquire". Gough was the innkeeper at the White Hart in 1826 although the first licence was not issued until 1830.  

There is a full chapter about the history of the White Hart in the James Gough book.

 Update: More info & video here

Image: Marion Starr

Update: Spent a very interesting morning on Sat 5 April at the Open Day on the site. Fascinating to see the actual layout of the inn and imagine the lives of those who stayed overnight or who lived there over many years.  My favourite artifact was the 1816 coin found on the site. Thanks to all who organised this very successful open day inspection.