Devonshire Street Cemetery
|Size||11 acres (4.5 hectares)|
|No. of interments||21,000|
|Find a Grave||Devonshire Street Cemetery|
|Footnotes||Last interment 1867|
closed and re-used 1901
The Devonshire Street Cemetery (also known as the Brickfield Cemetery or Sandhills Cemetery) was located between Eddy Avenue and Elizabeth Street, and between Chalmers and Devonshire Streets, at Brickfield Hill, in Sydney, Australia. It was consecrated in 1820. The Jewish section was used from 1832. By 1860, the cemetery was full, and it was closed in 1867.
In 1820, Governor Macquarie ordered the consecration of the Devonshire Street Cemetery. The burial ground was set aside on Brickfield Hill. These cemeteries were the principal burial grounds from 1820-1866 in Sydney and they were often called the Sandhills Cemetery, a colloquial name found on some death certificates which reflects the land at the edge of Surry Hills.
A brick wall was erected before any interments took place to enclose its 4 acres (1.6 hectares). Within a four-year period the cemetery was expanded by the addition of 7 acres (2.8 hectares) to its south. A road was formed along the southern boundary of the cemetery in the first half of the 1830s and was called Devonshire Street. The Devonshire Street Cemetery, where many of the early settlers were buried, was later moved to build the Sydney railway terminus.
In 1901, the cemetery was resumed to allow for the development of Central railway station, Sydney and representatives of deceased persons buried in the Devonshire Street cemetery were given two months to arrange for exhumation and removal of remains from the cemetery. All reasonable costs were borne by the Government of New South Wales. The remains that were unclaimed were relocated to a purpose-built cemetery named Bunnerong Cemetery. Remains that were claimed were transferred to a number of cemeteries as listed below. Bunnerong Cemetery, south of the city, had a tram line constructed to make the removal of recasketed remains as simple as possible. Bunnerong Cemetery was next to the Botany Cemetery and, in the early 1970s, was absorbed by that cemetery to create the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park. Central railway station was opened on 4 August 1906.
Cemetery locations in the metropolitan region that took re-interments from Devonshire Street Cemetery include Gore Hill cemetery, St Thomas Cemetery in Crows Nest, Rookwood Cemetery, Waverley Cemetery, Balmain Cemetery, Camperdown General Cemetery, Randwick General Cemetery, Bunnerong Cemetery, Field of Mars Cemetery, South Head General Cemetery and Woronora Memorial Park. Remains were also relocated outside the metropolitan area, including Sandgate Cemetery in Newcastle, New South Wales and Berkeley Pioneer Cemetery in Unanderra, New South Wales.
An index created from a number of previous collections of information, including some remaining original cemetery registers, called the Devonshire Street Cemetery re-interment register and index ("microform" format) was produced by the Library of Australian History, North Sydney, 1999. A copy is held by the State Library of New South Wales. A hardback book version was also produced.
Notable people buried in Devonshire Street Cemeteries
- Robert Cooper, business man
- William Cowper, Anglican archdeacon
- Allan Cunningham, botanist and explorer
- John Dunn, bushranger
- Michael Dwyer, Irish convict and leader of the Irish Rebellion of 1798
- Cora Gooseberry, Murro-ore-dial woman and cultural knowledge keeper
- George Howe, printer of The Sydney Gazette and the New South Wales Advertiser
- James Hume, architect
- Barnett Levey, merchant and theatre director
- Isaac Nichols, convict, farmer, ship owner, public servant and Australia's first postmaster
- Mary Reibey, merchant, ship owner and trader
- Lancelot Threlkeld, missionary
- Robert Wardell, barrister and co-founder of The Australian newspaper
- Celia Wills, daughter of Mary Reibey 
- Johnson, Keith A; Sainty, Malcolm R (2001). Sydney burial ground 1819-1901 : Elizabeth and Devonshire streets and history of Sydney's early cemeteries from 1788. Library of Australia History. ISBN 0908120982.
- "GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS". The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser. EIGHTEENTH (846). New South Wales, Australia. 5 February 1820. p. 1 – via National Library of Australia.
- The Australian Jewish Genealogical Society has produced a CD covering burials in the Old Jewish Section at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney, which includes details of transfers from Devonshire Street Cemetery.
- "Old Sydney Burial Ground". City of Sydney. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
- "GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS". The Sydney Gazette And New South Wales Advertiser. EIGHTEENTH, (845). New South Wales, Australia. 29 January 1820. p. 1. Retrieved 31 January 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- Murray, Lisa (2016), Sydney cemeteries : a field guide, NewSouth Publishing, ISBN 978-1-74223-448-9
- "THE DEVONSHIRE-STREET CEMETERY". The Sydney Morning Herald (19, 628). New South Wales, Australia. 7 February 1901. p. 3. Retrieved 31 January 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- "RESUMPTION OF THE DEVONSHIRE-STREET CEMETERY". The Sydney Morning Herald (19, 578). New South Wales, Australia. 11 December 1900. p. 8. Retrieved 15 July 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "THE DEVONSHIRE-STREET CEMETERY". Evening News (10, 486). New South Wales, Australia. 17 January 1901. p. 6. Retrieved 15 July 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "THE DEVONSHIRE-STREET CEMETERY". The Sydney Morning Herald (19, 624). New South Wales, Australia. 2 February 1901. p. 10. Retrieved 16 July 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "NOBODY'S FRIENDS". Evening News (10, 631). New South Wales, Australia. 6 July 1901. p. 1 (EVENING NEWS SUPPLEMENT). Retrieved 15 July 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- Library of Australian History (1999), Devonshire Street Cemetery re-interment register and index, Library of Australian History, retrieved 29 July 2014
- "Devonshire Street Cemetery List". Dictionary of Sydney. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
- Pollard, N. S., "Cowper, William (1778–1858)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 29 January 2019
- Lindley, John (1840). "Miscellaneous Notices - Death of Mr. Allan Cunningham". Edwards's botanical register. 26: 1–3. Archived from the original on 10 November 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "John Dunn (1846-1866) - Find a Grave". Find a grave. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
- Gunson, Niel, "Threlkeld, Lancelot Edward (1788–1859)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 29 January 2019
- Walsh, G. P., "Reibey, Mary (1777–1855)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 29 January 2019