City of Sydney Historical Association
2nd March, 2013 - History of Surry Hills & Darlinghurst
9th February, 2013 - Chinese New Year
12th January, 2013 - Tour of St Barnabas Church, Broadway
8th December, 2012 - Colonial Land Use and the Coxes of Mulgoa Valley
7th November, 2012 - Guided Tour of the Town Hall Vaults
3rd November, 2012 - 1954 Royal Tour
13th October, 2012 - Rise of Sydney's Department Stores
14th July, 2012 - Life & Times of Tommy Townshend
9th June, 2012 - "Reynolds" Cottages
19th May, 2012 - St Paul's College Tour
14th April, 2012 - Motorised Mayhem
10th March, 2012 - The Flying Fruit Fly Circus
4th February, 2012 - Quong Tart: High Tea and Scottish Ditties
14th January 2012: Dictionary of Sydney
10th December 2011: Admiral Arthur Philip - The Man
12th November 2011: Glebe Walk
8th October 2011: Bob Carr at the Annual General Meeting
3rd September 2011: History Week
13th August 2011: Tom Wentworth Wills –Visionary Sportsman
9th July 2011: Henry L'Estrange - Funambulist and Aeronaut
11th June 2011: Afro-American Servicemen in WWII
14th May 2011: Government House Tour
9th April 2011: Amazing Stories from Randwick
19th March 2011: The Ones that Got Away
12 Feb 2011: Chinese Market Gardens of Sydney
8 Jan 2011: St Andews College Tour
11 Dec 2010: Garden Palace Scandal
13 Nov 2010: Cumberland Digs
9 Oct 2010: Painting the Rocks
4 Sep 2010: Celebrate History Week
14 Aug 2010: Whaling, Wool and Wealth
10 Jul 2010: The Ones that Got Away
12 Jun 10: Percy Lindsay
8 May 10: Sydney Tramway Museum
10 Apr 10: Making of our nation
13 Mar 10: Reading photographs
13 Feb 2010: Macquarie Place
9 Jan 10: Sydney's Astronomical History
12 Dec 09: The colony
14 Nov 09: Women of The Rocks
10 Oct 09: History of Kent Brewery
5 Sep 09: Scandal, Crime & Corruption
15 Aug 09: Walk-Darling Harbour
11 Jul 09: Redfern Alexandria & Waterloo
06 Jun 09: Pubs & Publicans of Sydney
09 May 09 : C19th Sydney Firemen
18 Apr 09 : History of Darling Harbour
14 Mar 09: Bewitched!
Annual General Meeting 2009
Jan 2009 - Trade Hall
10th December 2011: Admiral Arthur Philip - The Man


On Saturday 10 December author Lyn M Fergusson spoke to us about the life and times of Admiral Arthur Phillip. The man who was the first Governor of the Colony went on to a distinguished career in the Royal Navy. Lyn’s research into the man himself delivers insights into his personality and sheds new light on an enigmatic figure in Australian history.

It also illustrates the level of dedication and determination that is needed for a history researcher such as Lyn to track down all the relevant facts about her subject.


An extract from the talk:

Arthur Phillip – we all know who he was but what do we actually know about him? Phillip lived to the age of 76, spending a mere 4 years 10 months and 15 days here – what did he do with the rest of his life?

Compared to his contemporaries there have been few publications regarding our first governor. What is available concentrates on either his career with the Royal Navy, his governorship or both. My biography aims to introduce the reader to Arthur Phillip – The Man. To do this I travelled to Europe with a heightened imagination (to transport me back to Georgian England) to walk, a little, in his footsteps. I also spent time in Germany believing the parents of a biographical subject are just as important as the subject himself. Jacob Phillip, Arthur's father, is initially recorded as coming from "Frankfort"; over the years historians changed this to "Frankfurt-am- Main". The realisation there are a number of Frankfurts in Germany led me to reconsider Phillip's lineage. With no documents to definitely confirm Jacob was Jewish, or indeed, German, through research it became apparent Phillip could have French Huguenot blood.  Research into Elizabeth Phillip, née Breach, uncovered a hitherto undocumented line of her family who were, in fact, very close to Phillip through his life and featured in his Will.

Arthur Phillip was born in the Bread Street Ward of London . Phillip’s service with the Royal Navy is documented but it was not until translation of The Rebello Transcripts we learnt the detail of his service with the Portuguese Navy – a courageous service that distinguished him as a living legend. Phillip’s term as governor highlighted his humanitarianism. He enjoyed spending time with the indigenous people around their fires, learning something of their culture and tribal laws.

Phillip and his second wife, Isabella, lived in Bath following his retirement; and here is a memorial to Phillip in Bath Abbey and a service is held at St Nicholas Church, Bathampton, the place of his burial, attended by Australian dignitaries once a year. A plaque is also at the entrance of 19 Bennett Street, his and Isabella’s residence in Bath. It was also here I learnt of the mystery surrounding his death in 1814.


Lyn Fergusson
December 2011

Lyn Fergusson
December 2011
Admiral Arthur Phillip, the Man

Lyn Fergusson
SID HARTA Publishers
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