Original Manuscript Copy of (1) Grant of 100 Acres of Land at Sydney Town ... dated 8th October 1816; and (2) Will of William Redfern Esq. dated 6th March 1828.
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Handwritten in a fine clear hand on pale blue/grey paper stock measuring 41 x 33cm single-sided 5 pages of script a 6th page blank at end. The LAND GRANT by His Excellency Lachlan Macquarie Esquire Captain General and Governor in Chief of His Majesty's Territory of New South Wales and its Dependencies. Witnessed by H. C. Antill and Joseph Cowgill. The WILL AND TESTAMENT appoints W. C. Wentworth H. C. Antill T. Wills and wife Sarah Redfern as Executors of William Redfern's estate comprising his town estate as well as his extensive holdings at Campbellfield Airds. The whole folded and with vellum seal on upper left corner. Soon after passing the medical examination of the London Company of Surgeons in 1797 William Redfern (1774-1833) joined the Royal Navy in the capacity of surgeon's mate. Redfern was involved in the mutiny at the Nore and was subsequently sentenced to death by a naval court martial. On account of his youth however he was given a reprieve and after a four-year wait in prison found himself on a transport ship bound for New South Wales. In 1802 Redfern arrived on Norfolk Island where his skills were put to use as assistant to the resident surgeon. With the support of Lieutenant-Governor Foveaux by 1803 Redfern had been granted an absolute pardon by Governor King yet he remained on Norfolk honing his skills until 1808. Back in Sydney Foveaux soon appointed Redfern assistant surgeon at Sydney under D'Arcy Wentworth. Redfern also ran a private practice on the side and was family doctor to both the Macarthur and Macquarie families (ADB 1967 vol. 2 p. 369). He enjoyed an excellent reputation and his practice proved popular. He also made notable contributions to public health initiating measures to improve the health of convicts. Governor Macquarie who took up the Governorship of New South Wales in 1810 considered Redfern "as a Professional Man a very great Acquisition to the Colony his talents as a Surgeon being far Superior to those of any other Person of that Description in this Country?" On Wentworth's resignation in 1818 Macquarie urged the Colonial Office to appoint Redfern principal surgeon. Yet Bathurst did not approve of the Governor's emancipist policy. Redfern prepared his last Will and Testament before visiting Britain in 1828; he died in Edinburgh in July 1833. His Sydney estate was advertised in 1834 to be let upon lease by auction in allotments suitable for creation of genteel cottages for residences of gentlemen in public office. No allotments were available for tradesmen. A unique document of unquestionable historical importance from an emancipist surgeon who played a significant role in Australia's medical past and whose 100 acre land grant in Sydney became the suburb of Redfern.
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