Margaret Catchpole: The Truth behind the Legend
To commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the death of the fascinating Margaret Catchpole, we invite you to retrace her steps in the Hawkesbury and get to know her from her surroundings. Discover the truth behind the legend of 'Australia's First Heroine' who arrived in NSW in 1801 as a convict.
Margaret Catchpole achieved notoriety in her own lifetime as a horse thief and gaol escapee in Ipswich, Suffolk, before her transportation to Australia. Twenty-six years after her death she became the heroine of a best-selling novel ‘The History of Margaret Catchpole, a Suffolk Girl’ written in 1845 by the Reverend Richard Cobbold.
Take this rare opportunity to visit places where she lived and worked during her years in the colony nursing.
Start with a talk at Hawkesbury Regional Museum followed by refreshments. Visit ‘Durham Bowes’ farmhouse built by the Dight family from 1806, and feel Margaret’s spirit as you stand in the kitchen she herself knew well. Then view the landscape from Richmond Hill to imagine Margaret’s world. Enjoy your picnic lunch beside Pugh’s Lagoon before you go in search of her grave at historic St Peter’s, Richmond where she was buried on 14 May 1819.
Come and hear the many theories about the location of her final resting place and try to solve the mystery- if you can!