Ferdinand Charles MeurantPrint Page Print this page

The plaque commemorates Ferdinand Charles Meurant, who near this site conducted his first goldsmith and jewellery business in the colony of New South Wales. The plaque was erected by his descendants and was unveiled on 8 January 2000 by M. Dominique Girard, Ambassador of France, in commemoration of the bicentenary of his arrival in the colony on 11 January 1800 on the East Indian ship Minerva.  

Ferdinand Charles Meurant (original name was De Meurant) was a French jeweller, silversmith and watchmaker who at the age of 24 escaped to Belgium during the French Revolution of 1789. He then worked in Dublin where he was convicted, along with the Irish seal engraver John Austin, of forging bank notes and was transported to Australia in 1800.

After gaining favour with Governor King was granted full pardon in 1803, as well as a land grant at the Hawkesbury and a valuable leasehold behind Government House in Sydney. Reputed to be one of the first two working jewellers in Australia (alongside W. Moreton in Sydney ).

Note: O`Connell House was demolished in 2008 as part of the development known as the Bligh Street Project. According to the City Council, the plaque was restored and remounted in Bligh Street, near the corner of Bent Street, opposite the rear of the Wentworth Hotel. 


Address:Bligh & Bent Streets, Opposite rear of Wentworth Hotel, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.865238
Long: 151.210505
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 8th January, 2000
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au