17 Apr 1925 - Braidwood's Centenary

Braidwood's Centenary

Mr. Aubrey Mowle, of "St. Asaph", Burradoo, writes:

With reference to a paragraph appearing in a recent issue of a Sydney paper from a Goulburn correspondent, that residents of Braidwood are discussing the question of holding centenary celebration, but a difficulty has cropped up with regard to the establishment of the town (1825 or 1835), which was named after Dr. Braidwood, I desire to make a correction.

My maternal grandfather, Thomas Braidwood Wilson, M.D., R.N., first arrived in Port Jackson on May 19, 1822, in the capacity of surgeon superintendent of the transport ship Richmond, and his administration on the voyage was so successful that the Navy Board directed him to act in a similar capacity on no fewer than eight voyages, either to Port Jackson or Hobart Town. Dr. Wilson's primary grant (in connection with hiscBraidwood estate, consisting of 12,300 acres) of 2650 acres was issued by virtue of an order of April 25, 1826. The reserve for the town of Braidwood was surveyed in March, 1837 and the Governor's approval given in April, 1837. The name Braidwood was given to the town by the Governor of the colony after Dr. Thomas Braidwood Wilson. The first court house at Braidwood, a red brick building, was erected in 1837. In connection .with the courthouse the following letter from the Deputy Surveyor-General; to the Colonial Secretary may be of interest:

"Since the plan of the town of Braidwood was transmitted to you I received a communication from the magistrate at that place representing that as considerable expense had been incurred in the erection of a handsome building for a courthouse, the appearance of the town would be much improved if an area were about the building that would serve as a place of recreation for the inhabitants. I have, therefore, in concurrence with Dr. Wilson's views upon the subject, prepared a fresh plan, which I have the honor to recommend, for approval."

Dr. Wilson built a windmill upon his estate, which was finished in 1843, but it was never used. It remained as a landmark until 1901, when it was razen by dynamite; otherwise it would, like the Pyramids of Egypt, have endured for all time.1