1820 J W Lewin Antique Print Early View of Sydney Cove

Cartographer :John William Lewin

This wonderful hand coloured original antique print an early view Sydney Cove, - attributed to a drawing, now lost, by the artist John William Lewin in ca 1820 - was published in the 1826 of Nouvelles Annales Des Voyages, De La Geographie et de L Histoire, ou Recueil, volume II.

This is an early panorama of Sydney Cove only 32 years after the first European settlement of Sydney Cove. In the foreground is an octagonal two-storey, yellow, sandstone house, built by Governor Macquarie in 1812 for his favourite boatman and former water bailiff, Billy Blue. The drawing of this little house – now the site of the Sydney Opera House — is out of all proportion to its actual modest size. Billy or William Blue (1767–1834) was an African-Jamaican who had been given a seven-year sentence in London for stealing raw sugar. To the left of the house is a sandy beach where the Circular Quay ferry wharves now stand. Facing the beach is First Government House where the Museum of Sydney is now situated.

On the western shore is the Rocks district, with two windmills on the ridge. Known as Tallawoladah by the Cadigal people, the Rocks became the convicts' side of the town. They built traditional vernacular houses, first of wattle and daub, with thatched roofs, later of weatherboards or rubble stone, roofed with timber shingles. They took in lodgers – the newly arrived convicts – who slept in kitchens and skillions. Some emancipists also had convict servants. After November 1790, large numbers of Aboriginal people also came into the town to visit and to live. By 1823, about 1,200 people lived in The Rocks, most of them emancipists and convicts and their children.

To the left of The Rocks area is a long, low, military barracks, built between 1792 and 1818 around Barracks Square/the Parade Ground – which is now Wynyard Park. It was from here that, in 1808, the New South Wales Corps marched to arrest Governor Macquarie's predecessor Governor William Bligh (1754–1817), an event later known as the Rum Rebellion. Heading east is St. Philip's Church  – the earliest Christian church (Church of England) in Australia – erected in stone in 1810 on Church Hill – now Lang Park.[34] In 1798, the original wattle and daub church – on what is now the corner of Bligh and Hunter Streets – was burnt down, allegedly by disgruntled convicts in response to a decree by the second NSW Governor (1795–1800), John Hunter, that all colony residents, including officers and convicts, attend Sunday services. The jail had earlier suffered a similar fate.

Further along the ridge to the east is Fort Phillip, flying the Union Jack, on Windmill (later Observatory) Hill where the Sydney Observatory is now located. Fort Phillip was commissioned in 1804 by the third NSW Governor (1800–1806), Philip Gidley King, partly as a response to external threats and partly due to the internal unrest reflected in Australia's only major convict rebellion at Castle Hill in March 1804. This was dubbed the Battle of Vinegar Hill as most of the convict rebels were Irish. Windmill Hill was chosen as a fort location as it was the highest point above the colony, affording commanding views of the Harbour approaches from east and west, theriver and road to Parramatta, surrounding country and of the entire town below.

On the waterfront below Fort Phillip is the yellow, four-storey, Commissariat Stores, constructed by convicts for Governor Macquarie in 1810 and 1812. One of the largest buildings constructed in the colony at the time, it is now the site of the Museum of Contemporary Art. The foreshore buildings on the extreme right are the warehouse and 'Wharf House' residence of merchant, Robert Campbell (1769–1846) who was to become one of the colony's biggest landholders. This is now the site of the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons and is just to the left of Dawes Point. Three British Sailing ships, flying either the red ensign of the Merchant Navy or (more likely) the white ensign of the Royal Navy, are anchored in the Cove along with four sailboats and five canoes.
The Sydney Cove panorama on the Museum punchbowl can be dated between 1812 and 1818. The vantage point is from beneath Dawes Point, shown with its flagstaff and before the Dawes Point fortifications built 1818 to 1821. Looking directly into Campbell's Cove, the immediate focal points are Robert Campbell's warehouse and the 'Wharf House' roof of his residence. To the right of Campbell's Wharf are extensive stone walls marking boundaries between properties in this part of the Rocks district. 

First Government House can be seen at the head of Sydney Cove in the distance and around the eastern shore a small rendition of Billy Blue's 1812 house. The Governor and civil personnel lived on the more orderly eastern slopes of the Tank Stream, compared to the disorderly western side where convicts lived. The Tank Stream was the fresh water course emptying into Sydney Cove and supplied the fledgling colony until 1826. Further along is Bennelong Point – with no sign of Fort Macquarie [built from December 1817 – and Garden Island – the colony's first food source. The distant vista of the eastern side of the Harbour goes almost as far as the Macquarie Lighthouse – Australia's first lighthouse – built between 1816–18 on South Head. There are seven Sailing ships flying the white ensign of the British Royal Navy in the Harbour, along with three sailboats and two canoes.

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy & stable
Paper color: - Off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Green, orange, yellow 
General color appearance: -  Authentic
Paper size: - 7 3/4in x 4 1/2in (195mm x 115mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - Light age toning
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None