Who Was The City Of Sydney, Australia Named After?


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Julii Brainard answered
Sydney was named after Thomas Townshend, Viscount Sydney, who was then British home and colonial secretary. Townshend was an elected MP for Whitchurch in the mid 1700s. He was an important member of several British governments, serving on the Privy Council, as lord of the treasury, joint paymaster of the Forces, secretary of state for the Home Dept., and Leader of the House of Commons.

Townshend was nominated to the House of Lords in 1783. He took the title Sydney to mark his descent from Robert Sydney, 2nd Earl of Leicester, who himself descended from a Surrey yeoman, John de Sydenie. The name is thought to ultimately derive from a village in Normandy called Saint-Denis.

After the American Revolution Baron Sydney (as he was then) was given the task of planning convict settlements in Botany Bay. His appointee (Arthur Philip) named Sydney Cove in honour of Townshend. This later turned into Sydney town.

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