Sydney Cove, 1794
Sydney Cove, 1794

"A direct north general view of Sydney Cove, the chief British settlement in New South Wales as it appeared in 1794, being the 7th year from its establishment. Painted immediately from nature by T. Watling." First Government House on the hill to the left, Booth House site just in front. State Library of NSW

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First Govt House and gardens
First Govt House and gardens

The view from Sydney Cove. By William Bradley, drawings from his journal "A Voyage to New South Wales", 1802+ Booth House was built on land which formed part of the gardens, just below and to the right of the main building. A flagpole still stands on the same site as that shown here - now next to Customs House, in Loftus Street. State Library of NSW.

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Sydney Cove, ca 1803
Sydney Cove, ca 1803

Sydney from the western side of the cove, ca1803, attributed to George William Evans, 1780-1852. Watercolour on wove paper, 40.45 x 76.5 cm. Part of the "Australia" exhibition at the Royal Academy, London, 2013. State Library of NSW.

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First Government House, ca 1807
First Government House, ca 1807

Watercolour by John Eyre. The land on which Booth House now stands is part of the garden, an area to the right of the track leading down to the water. By 1807 Bridge Street had become Sydney’s most prestigious residential area with the city’s elite residing in properties adjoining the grounds of Government House. Dated from the design of the garden, which was said to have been remodelled by Governor William Bligh and his daughter, Mary Putland, in ca 1807. State Library of NSW

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Punchbowl, Sydney Cove, pre 1820
Punchbowl, Sydney Cove, pre 1820

One of the greatest rarities in the Mitchell Library, this is one of only two extant examples depicting views of Sydney. It is therefore one of the most spectacular mementoes of a time only 30 years after its foundation, when Sydney had already become a multi-national port and destination on Asian and Pacific sea-trade routes. And there is the Booth House land!

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Government House, ca 1809
Government House, ca 1809

Where Governor Bligh was detained by the NSW Rum Corps for 13 months from January 1808 to February 1809 until he escaped to Van Diemen's Land. Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW

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1842 view of First Govt House
1842 view of First Govt House

First Government House, Sydney, by Jacob Janssen, ca 1842. Note the distinctive clump of fir trees to the right of the house. Some were removed to make way for Bridge Street, which was constructed past the front of the building, but the remaining firs grew for some years and can be seen in later photographs. State Library of NSW

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Camels at Bridge Street?
Camels at Bridge Street?

"View of old Government House - Sydney - NSW - as it appeared when vacated by Sir George Gipps in 1845." Painted by G.E. Peacock. In the 1840s Government House was relocated to the Domain and in 1845 the old Government House complex of buildings was demolished. State Library of NSW.

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Bridge Street, looking east
Bridge Street, looking east

Thought to date from 1853. View east from George Street. By Frederic Charles Terry, 1826-1869 State Library of NSW

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Booth House site and Bridge Street neighbours since white settlement