The Lady Fitzherbert docked in Sydney on 26 September, 1838. After a four-month journey, my great, great grandfather John Fairfax, his wife Sarah and four children -- one of whom had been born during the voyage and who was to die two months after arrival -- started their new life. John had been bankrupted in England fighting a defamation action that he won.

Imagine Sarah as John Fitzgerald Fairfax did in his 1941 biography: "If her heart was cold with fear, her face was serene with courage."

After a period as the librarian of the Australian Subscription Library -- the precursor of today’s State Library of NSW -- John teamed up with Charles Kemp to buy the Sydney Herald in 1841 for £10,000. Now, 180 years later and 190 years since its first publication, the paper survives as The Sydney Morning Herald.