Australian Dictionary of Biography

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George Hughes (?–?)

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George Hughes (flourished 1796-1800), 'government' printer, was in Sydney in January 1796 when a theatre was opened. The actors were convicts and he performed with them in such plays as The Busybody and the Poor Soldier, although his name never appeared on convict lists. He was described by David Collins as 'a decent young man … with some abilities in the printing line' and was the first to be given charge of the wooden screw press brought to Port Jackson by Governor Arthur Phillip in the First Fleet. In a small printery behind Government House Hughes printed some 200 Government Orders, several broadsides and a few playbills; one of these was for The Recruiting Officer, in which he was a performer in March 1800. Next November when George Howe arrived and was 'immediately brought into employment' at the printery, Hughes returned to the obscurity from which he had emerged.

Select Bibliography

  • Historical Records of Australia, series 1, vol 2
  • J. A. Ferguson, A. G. Foster and H. M. Green, The Howes and Their Press (Syd, 1936).

Citation details

'Hughes, George (?–?)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1966, accessed online 25 May 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (Melbourne University Press), 1966

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© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.