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Foundation document for the establishment of the Australian Museum.


(Despatch No. 16, per ship Manlius; acknowledged by Governor Darling, 1st December 1827.)

Downing Street, 30 March, 1827. Sir, It having been represented to me that it would be very desirable were the Government to afford its aid towards the formation of a Publick Museum at New South Wales, where it is stated that many rare and curious specimens of Natural History are to be procured. I do myself the honour to acquaint you that, although I feel a difficulty in authorizing the commencement of any Building for that purpose, until an Estimate of the expense shall have been first submitted to my consideration, yet I am disposed, in the meantime, to allow a Sum, not exceeding £200 per annum, to be disbursed for the purpose of assisting in the accomplishment of this object; and, as one of the first steps towards ensuring its success seems to be the sending out some proper person to assist in collecting and arranging such specimens, as it may be possible to procure in that quarter, I have been further induced to consent to the appointment of a young man to that particular duty, who has been recommended to me as peculiarly fitted for it; and who will, therefore, be immediately sent out to the Colony in the capacity of Zoologist with the same rate of Salary and allowances, as appear to have been given to Mr. Frazer, the present intendant of the Botanic Garden at Sydney. I have, &c, BATHURST

Source: F Watson (ed), Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, Vol.13, Sydney, p.210. The original of this letter is held in the Mitchell Library, SLNSW.