Peter Garrett’s Hyde Park Barracks ancestor

 

Musician and former politician Peter Garrett is another of the growing number of Australians to claim an ancestor related to Hyde Park Barracks.

Featured in Season 8 of Who do you think you are? on SBS Television in September 2016, Garrett’s paternal great, great grandmother was an iconic figure in the history of Hyde Park Barracks.

Born in 1833 in The Rocks, Sydney, Lucy Applewhaite-Hicks (née Langdon) was appointed matron of the female Immigration Depot and asylum for aged and destitute women in 1861, which were housed at Hyde Park Barracks between 1848 and 1887. Lucy lived in the main barracks building with her first husband John Applewhaite, and their nine children. After John’s death in 1869, she married William Hicks, with whom she had another five children.

Tens of thousands of women stayed temporarily at the immigration depot, and Lucy was responsible for their physical and moral welfare, allocation of rations, and overseeing their hiring as domestic servants. Lucy was also responsible for the ill, aged and destitute women in the asylum and by all accounts, she maintained strict rules and conditions. With an annual salary of £200 for running both institutions, Lucy was an unusually highly-paid female public servant by mid-nineteenth century standards.

Mother to 14 children, nine of whom lived to adulthood, Lucy’s descendants alive today must number in the hundreds.

To find out more about Peter Garrett’s connection with Lucy Hicks, go to SBS On Demand to watch Who do you think you are? Season 8, episode 2.

Black and white photo of woman in formal dress seated at table.

‘Mrs Hicks’, c1870. American & Australasian Photographic Company, SLNSW, ON 4 Box 15 no.984. Possibly a portrait of Lucy Hicks, taken in Sydney not long after her marriage to William Hicks in 1870.

Illustration from old newspaper.

‘Hiring immigrants at the depot, Hyde Park’, Australian Town and Country Journal, 19 July 1879. State Library New South Wales. The figure standing at the counter is assumed to be Lucy Hicks.

About the Author

Fiona seated in hammock in Hyde Park Barracks.
Dr Fiona Starr
Curator
The Mint and Hyde Park Barracks Museum
Fiona claims her love of history is hereditary – passed on by her mother and grandmother, each interested in...

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