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Andrew ThompsonPrint Page Print this page

The tombstone over the grave was erected by Governor Macquarie in memory of Andrew Thompson, Justice of the Peace and Chief Magistrate of the Hawksbury District. Thompson saved many lives in the Hawkesbury River floods of 1809.

The grave was renovated in 1925 by a few admirers and restored by the Hawkesbury River Historical Society in 1961 and 1987. 

Andrew Thompson arrived in New South Wales as a convict but after a period of time, during which he was a constable of "Green Hills" he became a rich emancipist land owner and entrepreneur. Macquarie sought his advice on planning for high flood free land in Windsor and made him a Magistrate. He saved the lives of many people in the Hawkesbury floods of 1809. Unfortunately, Andrew developed a chest complaint after being in the flood waters for 3 days and nights. Andrew died in October 1810 aged 37 years. Macquarie named the square out front of the Macquarie Arms, previously known as Bell Post Square, Thompson Square in his honour.

Tuesday, October 22nd., was the one hundred and nineth anniversary of the death of a convict, who became an emancipist of notability— one of whose claims to distinction was that a representative of the King placed over his grave a headstone. The man was Andrew Thompson, whose memorial stone, installed by Governor Macquarie, is a familiar sight in the historic churchyard cemetery of St. Matthew's, Windsor.

As a boy Thompson set fire to a hayrick in Scotland, and the penalty was banishment, under the dreadful transportation system of the day. After working at Parramatta, Thompson came to Windsor. Having entered the good books of Governor King, he was granted an area of land. From being a landholder he branched out into commerce. Superintendent of labor gangs which built a Windsor bridge; from which he collected toll, he became the owner of small trading ships. Then he went into beer — wholesale and retail — (and the story is that he sold grog on the side — that he was a smuggler, to be plain). The Goddess Luck, hitherto having smiled on him, embraced him with both arms, and he couldn't go wrong. When Bligh came to Sydney to take charge, Thompson was made a chief constable. Then, in Macquarie's time, he was made chief magistrate—of the Hawkesbury — a long step from the lag's boots he had worn years before. When Macquarie entertained him at Government House, the Rev. Samuel Marsden was very annoyed. But in the minds of most folk at the time, memories of Thompson's early misdeeds had died, or had been killed by the admiration of his heroism; during the Hawkesbury floods of 1806 and 1809. Thompson died at the age of 37 years. 
Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW),  1 November 1929.

Location

Address:Moses Street, St Matthew`s Church Cemetery, Right Section, Row 24, Plot 12, Windsor, 2756
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.609444
Long: 150.811389
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1813
Front Inscription

SACRED to the MEMORY
                   of
ANDREW THOMPSON ESQUIRE
Justice of the Peace and Chief Magistrate of the District of the Hawkesbury, a native of Scotland, Who at the age of 17 Years was sent to this Country where from the time of his arrival he distinguished himself by the most persevering industry and diligent attention to the commands of his Superiors. By these means he raised himself to a state of respectability and affluence which enabled him to indulge to the generosity of his nature in assisting his Fellow Creatures in distress more
particularly in the Calamitous Floods of the River Hawkesbury in the years 1806 and 1809 and at the immediate risk of his life and permanent injury of his health he exerted himself each time during three successive Days and Nights in saving the lives and Properties of numbers who but for him must have perished. In consequence of Mr. Thompson's good conduct, Governor Macquarie appointed him a Justice of the Peace. This act which restored him to that rank in Society which he had lost made so deep an impression on his grateful Heart as to induce him to bequeath to the Governor one fourth of his Fortune. This most useful and valuable man closed his Earthly career on the 22nd day of October 1810 at His House at Windsor of which he was the principal Founder in the 37th Year of his age with the Hope of Eternal Life.
From respect and esteem for the Memory
          of the deceased
this Monument is erected by
LACHLAN MACQUARIE, GOVERNOR
                of
New South Wales
          AD 1813

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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