The Bigge report
John Thomas Bigge’s 1822 Report of the Commissioner of inquiry into the state of the colony of New South Wales questioned Macquarie’s and Greenway’s fondness for architecture ‘finished in a style of ornament and decoration little suited to the limited means of so young a colony as New South Wales.’
Bigge freely acknowledged Greenway’s architectural talent, but also noted his ‘habits of negligence and indulgence’. His report placed most of the blame with Governor Macquarie, whom Bigge felt was far too extravangant in his architectural taste.
While Bigge was in the colony, he interfered in many of Greenway's architectural projects, and cut Macquarie out of communications between himself and Greenway. The bickering between Macquarie and Bigge over Macquarie's methods of running the colony led to the breakdown of the previously good relationship between the architect and the governor.
On his return to England, Bigge presented three reports to the House of Commons: The State of the Colony of New South Wales (19 June 1822); The Judicial Establishments of New South Wales and of Van Diemen's Land (21 February 1823); and The State of Agriculture and Trade in the Colony of New South Wales (13 March 1823).
The selections below are from the 1822 State of the Colony.