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The Sydney Herald, Mon 19 Dec 1836 1

Sworn to no Master, of no Sect am I.”

    Considerable progress has already been made in the erection of the New Courthouse, Darlinghurst. The outer walls are elevated nearly to the height of the first story [sic], and the interior compartments in the lower part of the building are completely defined.

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Australasian Chronicle, Thu 3 Feb 1842 2


    His excellency the Governor directs it to be notified, for the information and guidance of all persons concerned, that all future quarter sessions for the town and district of Sydney will be held in the new court-house, Darlinghurst; and that all witnesses and other persons, whose attendance may be required at such sittings of the court, should attend at the new gaol, at Darlinghurst, accordingly.

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Australasian Chronicle, Tue 8 Feb 1842 3

Darlinghurst courthouse. Photo ID: SRNSW 4481_a026_ 000358.jpg
Darlinghurst courthouse.
Photo ID: SRNSW 4481_a026_ 000358.jpg


    The new court house at Darlinghurst was yesterday opened for the first time, and the court of quarter sessions held its intermediate sittings there. The court room is a very light, airy, and commodious place, but the whole of the arrangements and fittings are not yet completed; when they are, the court will be much more convenient and better adapted for the criminal business than the old court house, in King-street. It would be a great public accommodation if a clock were to be place somewhere in a conspicuous part of the hall, and there are several other arrangements and conveniences which will naturally present themselves to notice as the internal portions of it draw towards completion. There is a very commodious box appropriated for the use of the reporters; but we would suggest the propriety of furnishing it with a few inkstands and a supply of ink.

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The Australian, Tue 8 Feb 1842 4


    The adjourned Court of Quarter Sessions commenced its sittings in the new Court-house, Woolloomooloo , yesterday, before WM Manning, Esq, Chairman, Colonel Shadforth, and Captain Hollingsworth.

    The Court-house is yet in a somewhat unfinished state, and is not very well adapted for hearing.

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The Sydney Herald, Tue 8 Feb 1842 5

Darlinghurst courthouse central building opened 8 Feb 1842. Side-wings were added during the 1880s. Photo: Peter de Waal
Darlinghurst courthouse central building opened 8 Feb 1842.
Side-wings were added during the 1880s. Photo: Peter de Waal


THIS Court resumed its sittings yesterday. The Court was opened for the first time in the New Court House, Woolloomooloo, which, so far as the seating and fitting up is concerned, is still in an unfinished state. The jury box is on the right side of the bench, opposite which are two rows set apart for the grand jurors, but for the present named the reporters’ box. The dock stands in front of the bench, about the middle of the floor. The witness box, for the present, stands in front of the grand jurors’ seats, but is not fixed in its position. The witnesses have a room to sit in, where they can be sheltered from the weather, whether inclement or hot. It is not necessary to have the prisoners in Court all day, as, from the the [sic] proximity of the Gaol, as soon as one is disposed of another can be brought from it into Court without any delay.

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The Courier, Fri 18 Mar 1842 6


    The new Court-house at Darlinghurst, decidedly the most elaborate architectural erection in the Australian colonies, was opened for public business for the first time on the 7th February.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 2 Mar 1887 7


    ALMOST every Judge who has taken a seat upon the bench in the new courthouse at Darlinghurst has complained of the wretched arrangements made for lighting and ventilating the building, and during the last few days similar complaints have been made by his Honor Judge Dowling. Yesterday afternoon the jury, in consequence of the great inconvenience they were suffering through the sun shining too powerfully through the lantern roof of the courtroom, were obliged to vacate the jury boxes and occupy the reporters’ boxes on the opposite side of the court. The reporters were accommodated with chairs at the barristers’ table. The Judge again called attention to the want of better arrangements, and no doubt the sheriff will now take steps to have the defect remedied. It is very doubtful, however, whether any actual remedy can be applied.


1  The Sydney Herald,  Fri 11 Feb 1842, p. 3.

2  Australasian Chronicle, Thu 3 Feb 1842, p. 3.

3  Australasian Chronicle, Tue 8 Feb 1842, p. 2.

4  The Australian, Tue 8 Feb 1842, p. 2.

5  The Sydney Herald, Tue 8 Feb 1842, p. 2.

6  The Courier, Fri 18 Mar 1842, p. 4.

7  The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 2 Mar 1887, p. 9.