Thomas Clarkson - ST JAMES PARSONAGE

    In 1819 Francis Greenway, then the Civil Government Architect, valued the house in Macquarie St.(48)
Measuring  and valuing Mr Clarkson's house for Intended purchase of Government
8P Cent on £2000
Estimate of work done by contract under    the superintendence and
direction of F. Greenway, Civi1 Architect
Charged £60-.(49)
Link to Image of Greenway Letter and Grant Document
    Just how D'Arcy Wentworth acquired the house and premises is difficult to say with complete certainty, but an auction in August 1819 (as previously referred to) advertised the premises at Macquarie St,    "finished in the Best and most expensive manner".(50) and by 31 December 1819 D'Arcy Wentworth became the owner of the land and premises by grant from Lachlan Macquarie.(51)
    D'Arcy Wentworth, the principal Surgeon and Superintendent of Police in the colony, advertised his newly acquired house for sale on 1 April 1820. A notice was issued in the Sydney gazette;(52)
to be let or sold with immediate possession    all    that capital newly-erected stone built dwelling house and premises situated at the corner of Macquarie Street on the race course with coachhouses, stabling, large garden, and every convenience and accommodation for a family of the first respectability etc, etc.
Enquire of the proprietor D Wentworth Esquire., Sydney.
    On 17 February 1821, Francis Greenway tendered a valuation of the house to the government and again he found it to be worth at least £2000. By this time it was still owned by Mr Wentworth and was in the occupation of John Oxley, the surveyor. The separate valuations of the stonemason, carpenter and engineer give us a detailed description of the house.(53)
    It had 5 upper rooms, an upper passage, stair case, 4 lower rooms, a front and back door one with a circular headed window, 2 arches over the doors, 6 fireplaces, 2 chimney tops, 10 pairs of shutters, a kitchen, privy, and a well, stables, palisading and gates.
    The Sydney Gazette of 23 June 1821 lists the rent that Wentworth charged the government for the Surveyor general to occupy the premises from 1 July 1821 to 3 March 1821. The amount paid from the Police Fund to Wentworth was £80.(54)
    D'Arcy Wentworth sold his house and land to the government for £1500 on 23 June 1821, and his grant was subsequently cancelled.(55) The building then became known as the Surveyor General's Office, and there is mention that the comptroller of Internal Revenue, William Macpherson, was based there,
    By February 1838 it was given to St James Church (which was built in 1820 on a site very close by) for use as a residence by its clergy. Two rooms were used as a Diocesan Registry. Between 1840 and 1843 the Australian Subscription Library was housed there in these premises.
    Twenty four perches of the original grant were granted to the church Trustees of St James on 14 June 1845, and the house became known as St James Parsonage. On the remaining perches, the Crown Law Offices were built.
    In 1887, Andrew McCauley leased the property and was given permission to demolish the building and erect a new one.(56)
    Today the magnificent Supreme court building stands an the site of Thomas' "capital stone built messuage", in some ways it is a fitting reminder to us of a man who was closely connected to courtroom disputes and who had grand ideas in buildings.

 Page last updated -  7 July 2006