7th February 1814
On this day, 7th February 1814, while Allan Cunningham and his brother Richard studied and catalogued plants arriving from the “new” world at London’s Kew Gardens, two men arrived in Port Jackson. They arrived on the convict ship, General Hewitt. Their names were Joseph Lycett and Francis Greenway. One was an artist and the other an architect. Both men were transported to the colony for forgery and condemned to spend the next fourteen years as prisoners of mother England (P-O-M-E) at the mercy of their jailers. Fortunately for them, they were lucky, they had skills that where desperately needed in the infant colony. A very short time after arriving, Governor Macquarie put them to work utilising their talents and they were able to move about the colony with a reasonable degree of freedom, quite unexpected. 1
Whether or not Allan Cunningham met both men is unclear, however he would have walked passed buildings designed by Greenway and enjoyed the landscapes that Lycett represented in his paintings and drawings.
Lycett left behind images of Sydney Town and Greenway left behind buildings that we can see and touch today. Their creations assist us in visualising the things Allan Cunningham saw as he strolled the streets of Sydney Town.
- Source: J Turner’s biography of Joseph Lycett