An extract from 'A statistical account of the Seven Colonies of Australasia 1895 - 1896'q
by T. A. Coglan
The first settlement in New South Wales, the oldest of the seven colonies of Australasia, was effected by an expedition under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, who landed at Botany Bay on the 19th January, 1788, and formally took possession of the whole continent.
Botany Bay being found unsuitable, the fleet was brought round to Port Jackson and the city of Sydney founded on the 26th January, 1788.
New South Wales was proclaimed a colony on the 7th of February, 1788
The original colony of New South Wales extended through what is now known as Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania as well as about half of South Australia.
Though the colony was originally a penal settlement, there was an influx of free immigrants from the first and after the abolition of transportation in 1840 all traces of the penal element were rapidly lost.
The Constitution Act of New South Wales was ascented to on the 16th July, 1855, and proclaimed on the 24th November of the same year; and the first representative Parliament was opened on the 22nd May, 1856.