Governor Macquarie returned for his third visit to the Cowpastures in 1820. Macquarie and his party set out from Parramatta Monday 16 October 1820 and journeyed through the Cowpasture in southern New South Wales. They returned to the Cowpasture on 3 November 1820.
Read for yourself Governor Macquarie’s journal of the trip.
Extracts from the Journal of Governor Lachlan Macquarie 1820
Monday 16. October. 1820.
Having resolved on making a Tour of Inspection to the new Country some time since discovered by Charles Throsby Esqr. to the South West of the Cow Pastures, I set out this morning at Half past Six o’clock from Parramatta on my intended Tour in my Carriage, with my old faithful Valet George Jarvis, having previously taken an early leave of all that is dear to me in life.
I sent off my Heavy Baggage on Friday last the 13th. Instant, together with my Servants under charge of Thomas Evans the Orderly Dragoon,
appointed for this duty with orders to halt at Stone Quarry Creek in the Cow Pastures till my arrival there. The Party to accompany me on this Tour consists of Major Antill, Lt. Macquarie, Mr. Meehan, Dr. Reid R. Navy, the Revd. Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Throsby; the two latter, and
Mr. Meehan having appointed to meet me at Liverpool or on the road beyond it. Halted at Liverpool to Breakfast and bait our Horses. At
9 o’clock set out from Liverpool; the Revd. Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Meehan having joined me there. Travelled in my Carriage by the
Bringelly and Cow Pasture Roads, to the Ford of the River Nepean at the Governor’s Hut where I was met by Mr. David Johnston the Supdt. of Govt.Stock and Mr. Charker the Prinl. Overseer of Govt. Stock, to guide the Carriage across the River and afterwards to the Prinl. Govt. StockYard.
I crossed the Ford on Horseback and found it very firm and good. The Carriage also passed it without any difficulty. After passing the Ford, I
went again into the Carriage to the Govt. Stock Yard, travelling all the way through a beautiful rich Parklike Tract of Country; the Stock Yard being 3 miles from the Ford. From the Govt. Cottage built some time since for the residence of the Overseer of Stock, there is a very fine Picturesque view of the Surrounding Country and of Mount Hunter in the foreground there being most excellent Pasturage for the Government cattle at this station. I inspected the Govt. Herds, consisting of 550 Head of young Cows & Steers, in two separate Herds. After inspecting the Cattle, we were entertained by Mr. Johnston with a very neat cold collation, wine & spirits which we all partook of very cheerfully.
Having finished our repast I mounted my Horse Sultan and rode along with the other Gentlemen over the Hills by a short cut to Stone Quarry Creek; Joseph proceeding the longer way, by Mr. McArthur’s Camden Farm to the same station, having by that route 14 miles to go which we go in 10 on Horseback. We passed through some very rich verdant Vallies between Mounts Taurus and Hunter before we ascended the Ridge which
connects them. We stopped for Half an Hour at the large Govt. new Paddock within Half a Mile of Stone Quarry Creek to examine the Govt. Invalid Herd at that station and found them greatly improved. This is the station where the Wild Cattle are first brought when caught to be
reclaimed. The Stockmen had the good fortune of driving in 19 Head this morning which I found in a separate Paddock and in very tolerable good condition.
From the New StockYard, we pursued our Journey to Stone Quarry Creek where we arrived at 1/2 past 4 o’clock and found all our Servants and
Baggage all snug and safe encamped on the South Side of the Creek. Joseph arrived with the Carriage in half an Hour after us. The Servants stupidly enough, had not Pitched our Tents; neither had they prepared any Dinner for us, which was still worse; but, as we had all made a hearty meal at Mr. Johnston’s, it was of the less consequence. Our Tents were immediately Pitched and the Cook soon roasted a couple of Fowls for us, and we sat down to a very good Dinner at 6 o’clock. Before I left the Govt. Stock Yard, where we first Halted and took our Lunch today, I was so much pleased with the Beauty of the Situation of that spot, that I was induced to name it “Cawdor” in honor of my dearest Elizabeth’s Family; this Place having no particular name or designation before. I ordered also that two addl. Rooms should be added to the Cottage at Cawdor for my own and Succeeding Governors’ accommodation whenever I may happen to visit this part of the Country.We
sat a very short time at Dinner had Tea and went early to Bed.
Tuesday 17th. October 1820.
We all got up by 5 o’clock this morning had the Baggage loaded and Breakfasted at 1/2 past 5 o’clock. The whole of the Baggage did not get
off, however till 7 o’clock. Wishing to see some parts of the Country where the carriage could not travel through I desired Joseph to follow the Baggage with it, whilst I mounted Sultan and rode with the gentlemen of my suite and Mr. David Johnston and Charker who accompanied me yesterday from Cawdor to the StockYard at Stone Quarry Creek. We rode over some very fine rich Pasture Grounds and crossed several gentle Hills admirably well adapted for sheep. I also examined a most eligible situation on the North Bank of this Creek for a Township whenever this desirable part of the Country is Settled.Mr. Johnston & Charker accompanied us for about 7 miles on the way to Bargo and on our getting
on the regular made Road by which the Carriage and Baggage went, they took their leave of us to return to Cawdor.
I entrusted Mr. Johnston with a Letter I had written last night to Mrs. M. with directions to forward it to her to Parramatta.We overtook the Carriage and Baggage soon after we had crossed the Bargo River, and were soon afterwards joined by Mr. Throsby as we Passed through Bargo. This is rather a barren Country, very few Parts of it being fit for Cultivation. After passing through Bargo, we entered a very long Barren Scrubby Brush of 9 miles in extent now named Kennedy’s Brush in honor of the Person of that name who first passed through it with the Natives. We then entered the Tract of Country called Mittagong, and at Half past 2 o’clock arrived at Kannabygle’s Plains, where we encamped and Halted for this day; this Place being 24 miles in a South westerly direction from Stone Quarry Creek which is rather too long a Journey for Heavy Loaded carts, some of which did not arrive on the Ground for Two Hours and a quarter after the two light carts had come to their Ground; some parts of the Road being very rough and stoney. The Ground we have encamped on today is a very pretty spot, on the edge of a rich extensive Meadow, with a chain of fine Fresh Water Ponds in front of our Tents, and excellent Forage for our cattle. We dined at six, Drank Tea at 8, and retired to Bed a little after 9 o’clock.
Governor Macquarie proceeded into southern New South Wales and returned to the Cowpasture weeks later.
Saturday 4. November 1820.
It rained a good deal in the course of the Night but was fair when we got up at 5 this morning. We Breakfasted a little before 6 o’clock, and the
last of the Bagage, [sic] and ourselves set out a qr. before 7. It came on pretty smart rain at that hour. Travelling through Stone Quarry Creek &
southern parts of the Cow Pastures, and Mr. McArthur’s Farms of upper & lower Camden, where we stopt to take some Refreshment and
having also examined the Govt. Flocks of Sheep, we arrived at Cawdor at a qr. after 4. p.m. where we found all our Baggage had arrived a few
minutes only before us; the Road they came being only 24 miles, while our Route hither being circuitous was at least 35 miles.
We viewed all the Govt. Cattle here & found them in very fine order; Dressed & dined at Six drank Tea at 8 and went to Bed at 9 o’clock.
We found Mr. David Johnston Supdt. of Govt. Stock, waiting for us at Cawdor.
Sunday 5. November 1820
This being a Resting & Halting Day, we slept a little longer and did not get up till 6 o’clock this morning and Breakfasted between 7 & 8 o’clock.
At 9, we set out on a long Ride to see the Govt. Herds stationed at Lowe’s Hill to the Northward of this Station distant about 7 miles. After
we had seen and examined the Cattle, we travelled for 2 or 3 miles more along the Left Bank of the River Nepean, opposite to Coppetty then
returned to the Hill hitherto called (unauthorizedly) Lowe’s Hill which commands a most noble extensive prospect and which I have now named (at the particular request of Commissr. Bigge) “BrownlowHill” after his friend Lord Brownlow; and from thence proceeded by the Range of Hills
leading to Mount Hunter for the purpose of seeing some of the Wild Cattle in their natural state. In the course of our Ride we fell in with 3 or 4 small Herds, some of which we hunted, and the Commissioner enjoyed the sport amazingly.
After a very pleasant Excursion, and riding about 25 miles, we returned to Camp at 1/2 past 2 o’clock. On my arrival I had the felicity of receiving a Packet of Letters dated yesterday from my beloved Elizabeth and Lachlan, conveying to me the joyful intelligence of their being both in good Health; but this gratifying news was greatly clouded by the accounts of an event of a most awful nature that might have at once deprived me of all that makes Life to me valuable namely the Govt. House at Parramatta having been struck by Lightning yesterday morning at Ten o’clock; but through the interposition of Divine Providence, no injury was done to any living Creature. How thankful I ought to be to God for this escape and I am devoutly so! The Commissr. having resolved on going to sleep at Mr. Oxley’s tonight, we dined today at 4 o’clock, to enable him to cross the River before dark. He accordingly left us with his own immediate Suite at 6 o’clock. Messrs. Jas. & Wm. McArthur dined with us they being at present residing at their Father’s Farm of Lower Camden. We had no sooner returned Home from our Ride this afternoon than it came on very heavy Rain. We drank Tea at 7 and retired to Rest at 9 then raining very heavy.
Monday 6. November
Got up at 5 this morning. It rained all Night but is now fair. Sent off the Baggage at 6 across the Nepean, and set out from Cawdor in half
an Hour afterwards. Called at Mr. Oxley’s where I Breakfasted with the Commissioner. Left that at 10. a.m. and arrived at Parramatta at 3 p.m.