CHAMPION COLUMN | Town's First Fleet power couple

TOWN LANDMARK: Drummond House burned down in the mid-1960s.
TOWN LANDMARK: Drummond House burned down in the mid-1960s.

Drummond Street in Liverpool is the only reminder of the existence of First Fleeters John and Ann Drummond. It is a tribute to John Drummond that Governor Macquarie saw fit to name a street in the new township of Liverpool after him. Other streets in Liverpool were named either after Macquarie, his family or English lords. Drummond Wharf on the Georges River at Liverpool was also named after our First Fleet mariner.

John Drummond was born in Perth, Scotland in 1759. A humble shoemaker by trade, he joined the HMS Sirius in 1786 as a Quarter Gunner and was promoted to Quartermaster in 1787.

The HMS Sirius was the flagship of the First Fleet arriving in 1788. He was on board the Sirius when it was sent to Norfolk Island in March 1790 where it was shipwrecked and sunk just off shore.

John would have met Ann Read on Norfolk Island as she was one of the shipwrecked Sirius passengers and, by 1793, they were "co-habitating". By 1802, John had become the Harbour Master of Norfolk Island.

Ann was a convict who arrived on the Lady Penrhyn in 1788. She had been convicted of '"Assault & steal on the King's Highway" and was tried at the Old Bailey in 1785. She was sentenced to death which was commuted to life. John and Ann left Norfolk Island for Sydney aboard the Minstrel in March 1812 and were married on May 3, 1813. John had bought 100 acres at Liverpool and retired there on a pension.

The couple's home, Drummond House, was in Terminus Street. It was a well-known landmark, later a Children's Home and then a privately owned library. Drummond House survived until the mid-1960s when it tragically burned down. John died on July 1, 1827 and was buried at St Luke's Cemetery Liverpool. Ann died in September 1828, aged 61 years.


President, Liverpool Historical Society