The trio’s new paper was initially based in Redman’s Court, near George Street. Ten years later, John Fairfax began his family’s 149-year long control of the paper. The bankrupt Englishman had published the Leamington Spa Sketch Book before migrating to New South Wales in 1838.
The paper became a daily in 1840, two years before it was renamed the Sydney Morning Herald. The front page carried nothing but notices and advertisements, with news buried at the end of page two. Its editorial policies were based "upon principles of candour, honesty and honour... We have no wish to mislead; no interest to gratify by unsparing abuse or indiscriminate approbation."
Stephanie Gray and Peter Donohoe, descendants of two men with a close connection to the first edition, having been tracked down by today’s Herald editors are getting the red carpet treatment as part of the 175th anniversary celebrations.
Gray’s great-great-great-grandfather was Ward Stephens, one of the three founders of what is now The Sydney Morning Herald, whilst Martin Donohue was the first name mentioned in that first issue - on top of the first column on the front page on April 18, 1831. A public notice informed readers that Donohoe had been granted a ticket of leave, meaning that he was a convict released before his sentence ended, with certain restrictions.
Peter Donohoe has gathered evidence to show that Martin was his great-great-grandfather. He was born in County Mayo, Ireland, in 1784, four years before Arthur Phillip landed at Sydney Cove and was convicted of stealing a horse and arrived in Sydney on the ship Mangles in 1826.
The full story may be found at the Herald website.
With acknowledgements to the Sydney Morning Herald.