Colony of New South Wales

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New South Wales Colony
British Crown Colony

Flag of New South Wales

Flag (1876-1901)

Government Self-governing colony
 •  1788–1820 George III first
 •  1855–1901 Victoria last
 •  1788–1792 Arthur Phillip first
 •  1899–1901 William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp last
Legislature Parliament of New South Wales
 •  Established 1788
 •  Independence of Van Diemen's Land 3 December 1825
 •  Independence of the South Australia Colony 28 December 1836
 •  Independence of the Colony of New Zealand 1 July 1841
 •  Independence of the Queensland Colony 6 June 1849
 •  Federation of Australia 1901

New South Wales was a colony of the British Empire from 1788 to 1901. In the earlier part of the period, the colony of New South Wales was much larger than the present-day state of New South Wales, as it included what would become the separate British colonies of Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania,South Australia, and New Zealand.



On 18 January 1788, the First Fleet led by Captain Arthur Phillip founded the first British settlement in Australian history: a penal colony. Having set sail on 13 May 1787, Captain Arthur Phillip assumed the role of governor of the settlement upon arrival, until 1792.

Separation of Van Diemen's Land[edit]

Main article: Van Diemen's Land

Major-General Ralph Darling was appointed Governor of New South Wales in 1825, and in the same year he visited Hobart Town, and on December 3 proclaimed the establishment of the independent colony, of which he actually became Governor for three days.

Separation of South Australia[edit]

In 1834, the British Parliament passed the South Australia Act 1834, which enabled the province of South Australia to be established.

Separation of New Zealand[edit]

On 16 November 1840, the British government issued the Charter for Erecting the Colony of New Zealand.The Charter stated that the Colony of New Zealand would be established as a Crown colony separate from New South Wales on 1 July 1841. [1]

Separation of Victoria[edit]

On 1 July 1851, writs were issued for the election of the first Victorian Legislative Council, and the absolute independence of Victoria from New South Wales was established proclaiming a new Colony of Victoria.

Separation of Queensland[edit]

A public meeting was held in 1851 to consider Queensland's proposed separation from New South Wales. On 6 June 1859, Queen Victoria signed Letters Patent to form the separate colony of what is now Queensland. Brisbane was appointed as the capital city. On 10 December 1859, a proclamation was read by British author George Bowen, whereby Queensland was formally separated from the state of New South Wales.[2] As a result, Bowen became the first Governor of Queensland. On 22 May 1860 the first Queensland election was held and Robert Herbert, Bowen's private secretary, was appointed as the first Premier of Queensland. Queensland also became the first Australian colony to establish its own parliament rather than spending time as a Crown Colony. In 1865, the first rail lane in the state opened between Ipswich and Grandchester.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Moon, Paul (2010). New Zealand Birth Certificates – 50 of New Zealand's Founding Documents. AUT Media. ISBN 9780958299718. 
  2. ^ "Q150 Timeline". Queensland Treasury. Retrieved 28 October 2011.