|2PM – SATURDAY, 14TH JULY 2012
Lord Sydney –The Life and Times of Tommy Townshend
Andrew Tink is a former Member of the New South Wales Parliament. This is his second book about the history of our colony and explains how Sydney came about.
Born in London on February 24, 1733, educated at Eton and Clare Hall, Cambridge, and elected unopposed for the family seat of Whitchurch, Tommy Townshend entered the House of Commons when he was just 21.
At 49 he became secretary of state for home affairs with ministerial responsibility for the peace negotiations with the Americans. Although he had expressed some sympathy for the rebellious Americans during their war of independence, as a negotiator he held fast to what he perceived to be British interests, especially in what is now Canada. He made the first suggestion of sending excess prisoners to colonise what is now Australia.
Physically beefy and psychologically combative and determined, in many ways Townshend was a figure resembling the legendary John Bull: full of bumptious self-confidence and an unceasing will to serve his country. Indeed, when it came to promoting his own and England's interests, he was extremely pushy and hardworking.
These days, Lord Sydney, as the rambunctious Townshend became in March 1783, is best known by the two cities named after him: the Sydneys of Nova Scotia and NSW.One of the most inspired actions of his life was to appoint Arthur Phillip as Australia’s first governor.
Venue: Sydney Mechanics School of Arts
280 Pitt Street, Sydney