Robert CampbellPrint Page Print this page

Robert Campbell Memorial Plaque 2
Robert Campbell Memorial Plaque 2

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams / Russell Byers

The bronze plaque with bronze relief portrait was erected by the descendants of Robert Campbell (1769 - 1846), the Bank of New South Wales and the Sydney Redevelopment Authority beside his storehouse to recognise his achievements as Father of Australian Commerce.

In 1796 Campbell Clarke & Co. had sent their first cargo to New South Wales in the Sydney Cove, which had been wrecked off the Australian coast. In April 1798 Robert Campbell left in their ship, the Hunter, for New South Wales on another attempt to develop a trading connexion there. Apparently satisfied with the prospects, he sailed for India in the Barwell in August 1798, and returned to Sydney with another cargo in the Hunter in February 1800. With the governor's permission he took up residence on land bought in 1798 at Dawes Point, where he had begun to build warehouses and a private wharf. By 1810 another wharf had been added, behind which in its own garden stood Campbell's house 'finished in an elegant manner with colonades & two fronts'.

Though Campbell's request for permission to establish himself at Sydney as a resident merchant apparently was never pronounced upon by the British government, Campbell & Co. was soon heavily involved in the Australian trade, having £50,000 worth of goods in its Sydney warehouses in 1804.


Address:Hickson Road , Campbell`s Stores, The Rocks, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.857442
Long: 151.209453
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Designer:Dennis Adams


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 26th February, 1978
Front Inscription

Born in Argyll, Scotland, youngest son of the Laird of Ashfield Robert Campbell came to Sydney Town aboard the HUnre on the 10th June 1798.  Soon after his arrival, he purchased land on this spot in The Roks for the development of Australia`s first commercial wharf together with warehouses.

In 1801 he married Sophia Palmer and built Wharf House the following year on a site about 50 metres south of here.

He was a man of great integrity and vision who was able to appreciate the potential of the infant colony.  His many intererst ranged from sheep, cattle and horse breeding to sealing and ship building.  The development of Sydney into a trading colony owes a great deal to this early pioneer.

Robert Campbell died at his home Duntroon in 1846.  His body was brought for burial to St John`s Cemetery Parramatta,  Duntroon was later to become the centrepiece of the Royal Military College Canberra.

In 1978 the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authoriity caused Campbell`s storehouse and adjacent cove to be renamed after this remarkable man.  The erection of this memorial, beside his storehouse, serves to recognise his achievements of Australian commerce.

This monument was made possible by generous donations from descendants of Robert Campbell and the Bank of New South Wales in association with the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authoriity.

It was unveiled by the Hon. H. F. Jensen, M. L. A. Minister for Local Government, on 26th February 1978


Source: H, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au