ARCHITECTURE

Francis Greenway
Australia Crest

Francis Howard Greenway was born in England on November 20th, 1777, near Bristol, into a family of builders and stonemasons. Here he became an architect.

Disaster struck in 1809 when he became bankrupt. In 1812 he was found guilty of forgery, when he forged a solicitor's signature on a document and thus altered it to his advantage, and was sentenced to death. This sentence was commuted to Transportation and he arrived in Sydney on the General Hewitt in February 1814 to serve his 14 year sentence. Because of his qualifications he was given his ticket o' leave soon after his arrival and set up an architectural practice in George Street.

Governor Macquarie took a shine to Greenway and by March 1816 he had become Sydney's first civil architect, with his first commission being the building of a lighthouse at South Head.

Francis Greenway


After the success of this project he was emancipated by Macquarie and much government funded work came his way - the new Government House, the Female Factory at Parramatta, Hyde Park Barracks and a convict compound, St. Luke's Church at Liverpool, St. Matthew's at Windsor, St. James's Church in King Street and a hospital at Liverpool. He also designed the 'Rum' Hospital, so called because Macquarie gave the builder 200,000 litres of rum as payment. The hospital's former north wing is now the central part of the New South Wales Parliament House in Macquarie Street.

Other works include the Conservatorium of Music which was built originally as the stables for Government House.

Greenway, who easily made enemies, soon fell into disrepute when Macquarie berated him for charging high fees whilst on a govrnment retainer. Greenway was later dismissed by Governor Brisbane in 1822 when he presented a large bill claiming commission for several years' work.

He then returned to private practice but never had the same success again.

Settling on a 320ha property near Raymond Terrace, in the lower Hunter Valley, Greenway lived in virtual obscurity until his death in September, 1837.

His grave has never been located.


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