Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Forgers Progress: the life of Francis Greenway

Francis Greenway was transported to the colony of New South Wales in 1814. Originally he had received the death penalty for forgery but this was changed to fourteen years transportation. Francis was fortunate as he arrived in the new colony when Lachlan Macquarie was Governor and was attempting to turn the prison settlement of Sydney Cove into a more civilised town. He also believed in trying to give the settlers, emancipists, convicts and exclusives a fair opportunity so when he saw some of the architectural drawings that Francis had brought with him Francis Greenway was chosen as architect for the colony building many fine buildings, some of which remain today.

Alasdair McGregor provides a chronicle of the life of Francis Greenway including his life in England, his trial and journey to Australia, a description of the colony ruled by Macquarie, the work of Greenway and the demise of his later years. He died in 1837, a forgotten man. A series of plates in the centre of the book show illustrations of some of the Greenway designed buildings.

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