D'Arcy Wentworth

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
D'Arcy Wentworth
Born(1762-02-14)February 14, 1762
DiedJuly 7, 1827(1827-07-07) (aged 65)[1][2]

D'Arcy Wentworth (14 February 1762 – 7 July 1827) was an Irish surgeon, the first paying passenger to arrive in the new colony of New South Wales. He served under the first seven governors of the colony. From 1810 to 1821, he was great assistant to Governor Lachlan Macquarie.

Wentworth led[citation needed] campaigns for the rights and recognition of emancipists and for trial by jury.

Early life[edit]

D'Arcy Wentworth was born in Portadown, County Armagh, Ireland.The Australian Dictionary of Biography says that Wentworth was from an English aristocratic family that fell on hard times, and when he was acquitted of three charges of Highway Robbery he only narrowly escaped conviction of a fourth by declaring that he was moving to Botany Bay to serve as assistant surgeon to the colony. He arrived in June 1790 on the Second Fleet convict ship Neptune. He was then appointed as an assistant in the hospital, and sailed to Norfolk Isand for this role on the 'Surprize'. He not only served in this role, but was made Superintendent of Convicts on Norfolk Island, in Parramatta and Sydney.


Wentworth had several children by several local women; he acknowledged William Charles Wentworth as his eldest son. According to Ritchie (page 23), D'Arcy did not board the Neptune until mid-December 1789 when he met for the first time Catherine Crowley, who was already on board. Catherine gave birth to William on 13 August 1790, barely eight months later (Ritchie page 52). Ritchie on page 53 noted that the baby was at least five weeks premature and had to struggle for his life. D'Arcy, who had assisted at the birth, appeared to have no doubt that the baby was his. A second child, Dorset Crowley, was born in 1793.

In 1799, Wentworth was appointed surgeon at Parramatta. He leased land in the vicinity of D’Arcy Street in Parramatta, before 6 acres were granted to him. He was later granted twelve acres in 1810.[3]

Wentworth was granted 3.73 km² of land in what is now known as north Homebush, part of the Strathfield municipality. Historian Michael Jones says that "Wentworth is popularly credited with having called the area after his 'home in the bush', although Homebush is also a place in Kent." In about 1807, he sold to Gregory Blaxland 450 acres (180 ha) at the Brush Farm (near Eastwood) for £1500. In Homebush he was put in charge of the police force and in 1810 became the commissioner of a toll road from Sydney to Parramatta.

Around 1808, Wentworth played a significant role in the Rum Rebellion against Governor William Bligh. The participants in the rebellion claimed that Bligh had suspended Wentworth from his role as assistant surgeon on the staff, without reason or justice.

In 1810 D'Arcy with two other was given by Governor Lachlan Macquarie a licence to import large quantities of rum on condition that they built a hospital to cater for up to two hundred patients. The original Sydney Hospital was in the Rocks, but the one covered by the contract was in Macquarie Street. What was the original Sydney Hospital in Macquarie Street became in 1854 the Sydney branch of the Royal Mint. D'Arcy was one of the original shareholders and directors of the Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac Banking Corporation) formed at the end of 1816.

D'Arcy built his home in the relatively secluded settlement he had been apportioned. By the time of his death Wentworth had accumulated 543.2 km² of land and had built a large family home. He died in 1827 and his property was inherited by his acknowledged son, William Charles Wentworth. His funeral procession, which started at Homebush and ended at Parramatta, was attended by 150 mourners.

Another part of his property, nine portions of land around Sydney, were inherited under entail by his daughter Katherine. The lands came to be known as the Bassett-Darley Estate in acknowledgement of Katherine's two marriages, and became the subject of litigation and an Act of Parliament to remove the legal impediments to their sale.


The Sydney suburbs of Wentworthville and Wentworth Point are named after him. Darcy Street (formerly D'arcy Street), within Parramatta, is also named after him.[3] Woodhouse Lane, also within Parramatta, was named after his two story mansion known as "Wentworth Woodhouse", which was built in this area.

Wal Walker, a descendant of Wentworth, argues that his ancestor was a lover of Jane Austen.[4]



  1. ^ "The later Darcy Wentworth Esq". The Australian. 11 July 1827. p. 4. Retrieved 31 March 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ "Family Notices". The Sydney Gazette And New South Wales Advertiser. XXV, (1370). New South Wales, Australia. 9 July 1827. p. 3. Retrieved 31 March 2019 – via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  3. ^ a b "Parramatta Central Business District (CBD) Street Names". City of Parramatta Council Research Services. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  4. ^ http://janeanddarcy.com/


External links[edit]