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History ian 1/2/2014

Bathurst is the oldest inland town in Australia and was named as a town even before a building was erected. Following the crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813, Governor Lachlan Macquarie approved the building of a road over the mountains by William Cox in 1814. It was built by five free men, 30 convict labourers and eight soldiers as guards.

Macquarie was mighty pleased with Cox’s efforts, saying it would have taken three years if the government had attempted it – he rewarded Cox with 2000 acres of land near the end of the road – after travelling by carriage to the end of the road, on May 7, 1815, the Governor raised the flag, ordered a ceremonial volley be fired, and named the future town ‘Bathurst’ after the Secretary of War and the Colonies, Henry Bathurst, aka 3rd Earl Bathurst.

Got rather a kind face, don’t you think? Henry was a bit of a mover and shaker in British politics, also having been a lord of the admiralty and lord of the treasury. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1817 and died in 1834, aged 72, leaving his wife, Lady Georgiana Bathurst, four sons and two daughters. For the trivia buffs, Lord Bathurst was portayed by Christopher Lee in a South African television series called Shaka Zulu.