Lieutenant John ShortlandPrint Page Print this page

Plaque erected in 1926 by the Australasian Society of Patriots to mark the vicinity of the landing place of Shortland in 1797. The plaque is mounted on the building presented to the Australasian Society of Patriots in 1928 by William Longworth on behalf of the Longworth family. 

On 9 September 1797, while on his way to Port Stephens in pursuit of some runaway convicts who had seized `the largest and best boat, belonging to Government`, Shortland entered the estuary of the Hunter River, where William and Mary Bryant and their party had probably sheltered briefly when they escaped northwards in 1791. During his brief stay Shortland named the river, though for some years it was often referred to as the Coal River, made the first chart of the harbour in the form of an eye-sketch and collected some samples of coal; in a later letter to his father he predicted that his discovery would prove `a great acquisition to the settlement`.

Tomorrow, Newcastle will celebrate its 129th birthday. A marble tablet, commemorating the landing of Lieutenant Shortland in the vicinity of what is now Scott-street, will be unveiled. The Australasian Society, which since 1917 has been honoring the memory of Newcastle's discoverer, is responsible for the gathering. It has been fixed at 4 p.m. in order that children from the city and suburban schools may be present.  The Deputy-Mayor (Alderman Gibson) and the town clerk (Mr. Glassop) have accepted invitations. Representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the Trades Hall, as well as local Parliamentary representatives, have signified their intention of being present.  Mr. Walter Howard, president of the Dalley -branch of the Australasian Society, will unveil the memorial tablet.  "We want young Australians to take a genuine interest in the history of their country," says the secretary (Mr. J. J. Maloney).
Newcastle Sun (NSW),  8 September 1926.


Address:129 Scott Street, Longworth Institute Building, Newcastle, 2300
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.926684
Long: 151.782898
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Landscape
Actual Event STart Date:09-September-1797
Actual Event End Date:09-September-1797


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 9th September, 1926
Source: H,ADB, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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