Douro Street in Mudgee is named after the Douro River on Portugal’s Iberian Peninsula, one of four local streets bearing Portuguese names, along with Madeira Road, Lisbon Road and Oporto Road.
The reason for Mudgee’s Portuguese street names has been an enduring mystery for some years, but the explanation may lie in the man who gave his name to another nearby street - Henry Bayly.
Henry Bayly (1806 - 1863) came to Mudgee after marrying Hannah Lawson, daughter of explorer and local pioneer William Lawson.
He established the property Beaudesert downstream from Mudgee, while his brother Nicholas went on to purchase and name Havilah after coming to Mudgee to work for Lawson.
Henry Bayly was a successful racehorse breeder and was steward at Mudgee’s first race meeting in May, 1842.
He became a magistrate in 1840 and was the first warden of the Mudgee shire.
Bayly’s uncle, also named Henry Bayly, was a Lieutenant General in the British Army who fought in the Napoleonic Wars with the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards.
The older Bayly earned many accolades, being appointed aide de camp to the Prince Regent in 1811, and Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey in 1816, and accepting a knighthood in 1834.
In 1809 and 1810, the Coldstream Guards fought the Peninsular War against Napoleon’s French forces in Portugal, in Lisbon, Belem, Grijon, Oporto, Celerico and Bussaco.
Madeira is an archipelago southwest of Portugal; Lisbon is the Portuguese capital; and Oporto is the English name for Portugal’s second- largest city of Porto.
Sir Henry Bayly’s namesake nephew may have had his uncle’s battle experience in mind when it came time to name the streets of Mudgee’s fledgling settlement.
The young Henry Bayly had taken over raising his nine younger siblings following the death of his mother in 1821, five weeks after the birth of her youngest child, and his father’s suicide in 1823.
He took his brothers Charles and Nicholas Paget to England to complete their educations in 1829, with Henry returning in 1830 and Nicholas Paget in 1833, each making their way to settle in the Mudgee district.
They returned too soon to see their uncle knighted in 1834, but they may have heard his history of Portugal’s Peninsular War and brought back the place names for repurposing in Mudgee.
With its proximity to other local streets named for locations in the Peninsula War, Inglis Street may take its name from Lieutenant Colonel Sir William Inglis, a commander famed for fighting in several of the war’s heaviest battles.
Inglis became a symbol of the army’s fighting spirit and earned his battalion, the 57th Regiment, the nickname “the die hards” when he was wounded at Albuera remained at his post after being wounded and encouraged his men by calling out, “Die hard 57th, die hard!”
The earliest version of Inglis’ story appears in a letter in the 1829 United Service Journal, from a correspondent signing as “A Die-Hard” who claimed to have been present at the battle.
“When subsequently struck down by a grape-shot, which had perforated his left breast and lodged in his back, he lay on the ground close to the regiment, refusing all offers to be carried to the rear, and determined to share the fate of his “die-hards”, whom he continued to cheer to steadiness and exertion; and who, encouraged by the voice of their brave commander, continued to close in on their tattered and staff-broken colours, as their comrades fell in the line in which he had formed them.”
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3 (1969, and online at adb.anu.edu.au)
The London Gazette archives at www.london-gazette.co.uk
The internet’s strongest Napoleonic resource, www.napoleon-series.org
A History of Mudgee, by George Henry Frederick Cox
John Broadley’s invaluable Historic Houses of Mudgee (2011)