This painting, titled 'House. Bunkers Hill' in Martens' "Account of pictures painted at Sydney, N.S. Wales" was bought by Alexander Walker Scott for 8 guineas on 9 March 1842. [Mitchell Library ZDL MS142]. Two preliminary drawings exist in the Mitchell and Dixson collections of the State Library of NSW [ZPXC 296, f.10 and ZDL PX 28, f.71]. The latter, dated 18 February 1842, includes notes about plants in the garden: 'canes; mimosa; arums; sunflowers'.
Cumberland Place was designed by Francis Greenway for Robert Campbell snr (1769-1846). James Broadbent in The Australian colonial house
(1997) notes that Greenway called tenders for this house, to be erected at Bunkers Hill on the west side of Sydney Cove, overlooking the Campbell wharves, in the Sydney Gazette on 19 December 1825. Greenway described the house as a "cottage ornee" but Broadbent points out that Cumberland Place, as the house was later named, was "neither small, either by colonial or present-day standards, rustic, nor picturesquely irregular", the usual criteria for a cottage ornee. Rather it was "essentially a large bungalow... bisected by an imposing pilastered and pedimented two-storeyed pavilion". This "central pavilion was ideally suited to the superior status of the house and to its siting... with views across the quay, the town, the Government Domain". (pp.100-103, 133-134).
Mrs Augusta Maria Scott (1775-1840) purchased the house from Campbell in 1832. When her daughter, also Augusta Maria, married Dr James Mitchell in 1833 the newlyweds lived at Cumberland Place and it was in this house that the renowned bibliophile David Scott Mitchell was born in 1836.
The house was demolished around 1912. [MM Feb 2005]