One of the strongest minds and most determined characters connected with the pioneering movement of the colony, Colonel Johnston, made his home within the suburb of Annandale. Johnston was a member of the marine detachment which arrived with the First Fleet in 1788. He later joined the NSW Corps. Johnson was favoured with many grants of land and four of them, forming Annandale, became his home. It was from Annandale, also, that in response to a requisition from the citizens dissatisfied with Governor Bligh, Johnston marched his troops, with flags and banners to the residence of the Governor to arrest him. Governor Bligh was then placed aboard ship and commanded to leave the colony. Colonel Johnston was ordered to England under arrest and his grant of Annandale confiscated and converted into a penal settlement by Governor Macquarie, who replaced Bligh.
The Annandale grant, however, was subsequently restored to Colonel Johnston, who was succeeded by his son Captain Robert Johnston. Robert Johnston was actively involved as a naval officer in the Napoleonic Wars and the war of 1812 with America. He led a retiring life as the Squire of Annandale.
In 1876 Robert began to subdivide North Annandale. He commenced by offering the area bounded by Parramatta Road, Johnston, Booth and Nelson Streets in lots of 66ft by 190ft. John Young bought about half of these lots. John Young was a dominant figure in the development of Annandale as a suburb, as he was a building contractor of great renown. His contracts included - the Land's Department; St Mary's Cathedral and the western half of the Sydney GPO. By 1895 Annandale was referred to as a "working man's suburb", similar to other inner-city Victorian suburbs with workers housing interspersed with manufacturing industry.
In 1949 the Annandale Council amalgamated with Balmain and Leichhardt Councils to form the Municipality of Leichhardt following a re-distribution of local council boundaries in metropolitan Sydney.
Since the 1970s much of Annandale's manufacturing industry has relocated to other parts of Sydney. The suburb's close proximity to Sydney's CBD coupled with property booms in the 1980s and 1990s has seen Annandale become a highly sought after address. In the 2001 Census the population of Annandale was approximately 8,228 people, an increase of 4.5% in 15 years.
Finding out about: Annandale a brief selection of resources
Annandale on the Web
Annandale Association, 2003. Annandale Amble
Roberts, Alan, 1970s. The Development of the suburb of Annandale : 1876 to 1899. From 'model farm' to 'model township'. Unpublished thesis, University of Sydney BA (Hons)
Leichhardt Historical Journal
Solling, Max and Peter Reynolds,1997. Leichhardt: On the Margins of the City. A Social History Of Leichhardt and the Former Municipalities of Annandale, Balmain and Glebe
Thorp, Wendy for Leichhardt Municipal Council, 1990. Leichhardt Municipality Heritage Study