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bathurst court house Bathurst Court House
Photo courtesy of Barbara Hickson, Heritage Advisor for Bathurst.


Gregory Blaxland, William Wentworth and William Lawson became the first Europeans to find a way across the Blue Mountains in May 1813, which resulted in settlement beyond the Cumberland Plains.
Surveyor, George Evans, crossed the main range later that year, camping on the future town site of Bathurst, an area which greatly impressed him.
Evans named the Macquarie River after Governor Lachlan Macquarie and the Bathurst Plains after Lord Bathurst, the British secretary of state for the colonies.
By January 1815 William Cox had completed the considerable feat of building a road over the mountains and in April Governor Macquarie traversed this new route.
When Governor Macquarie reached the road-building party's depot on the west bank of the Macquarie River he proclaimed it 'a site for the erection of a town at some future period' which was to be named Bathurst.
Later that year an official government domain, consisting solely of troopers, government personnel and convict labourers, was established. Surrounded by a large government stock reserve, it was used as the launching pad for explorations of the interior by Evans in 1815, John Oxley in 1816, Allan Cunningham in 1823 and Charles Sturt in 1828. It was also the launching pad for exploration into the Mudgee region.

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Sources for
Early Settlement:

George Cox of Mulgoa and Mudgee: Letters to his sons 1846 – 49.
Apple Tree Flat: A Gateway to Mudgee  by Bob Pauling
for Mudgee Historical Society.
The Mudgee Guardian Thursday January  25, 2001
Centenary of Federation feature  by Diane Simmonds plus unpublished research for the edition.
The Mudgee Guardian January 2000 Century Celebration Special Souvenir Edition.
Internet site:
Edna Hickson, 'Cox, William (1764 - 1837)', Australian Dictionary of Biography.
(click for link)
Bernard Greaves, 'Blackman, James (1792? - 1868)', Australian Dictionary of Biography
(click for link)
E. W. Dunlop, 'Lawson, William (1774 - 1850)', Australian Dictionary of Biography
(Click for link)
Edna Hickson, 'Cox, William (1764 - 1837)', Australian Dictionary of Biography.
(click for link)
Ruth Teale, 'Cox, George Henry (1824 - 1901)', Australian Dictionary of Biography,
(click for link)
Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
Fairfax Walkabout Australian Travel Guide
Mudgee: A Nest in the Hills
By Mudgee Historical Society,