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James Raymond

1786 – 1851

James Raymond (1786?-1851), postmaster-general, came to New South Wales in 1826, his fortunes having declined in Ireland, where he was said to have been a landowner and magistrate. As a result of some networking, on arrival in Sydney with his wife, Aphrasia, and their nine children he was made coroner. Soon he found his income insufficient; Governor Darling increased his allowance, but the Colonial Office instructed him to withdraw the addition, and upon enquiry, Raymond proved inadequate to various positions that were considered for him. In 1829, the postmaster died, and Raymond was appointed to his position at a salary of £400. Although some doubts as to his competency were raised, he was officially commended; he suggested the use of stamped sheets as envelopes, an innovation that was adopted before the English brought in penny postage in 1840. Raymond and his wife eventually had seven daughters (one of whom married the future Governor King) and four sons; living with his family at Varroville, near Campbelltown, he was a grand entertainer and keen racegoer, and kept several racehorses. In 1835, his title was changed to postmaster-general - making him the first postmaster-general of New South Wales - and his salary increased substantially before he died at the age of sixty-five.

Updated 2018