It was first settled by
Europeans in 1794 in a bid to acquire arable land to
feed the increasing population of the penal colony
at Sydney. In April 1794, Lieutenant Governor
Francis Grose submitted plans for the first 22 farms
on the Hawkesbury River in the present Pitt Town
Bottoms area. In June 1795 a camp of aborigines
opposing the landtakings was harassed by a British
regiment commanded by Paterson (who later regretted
the necessary injustice).
By 1811 Governor Lachlan Macquarie established the
five Macquarie Towns in the area. They are Windsor,
Richmond, Castlereagh, Wilberforce and Pitt Town.
Many of the early 19th century buildings still
survive today. Ebenezer has the oldest surviving
church and school building in Australia. Windsor
District Council was formed in 1843 and disbanded in
1846. In 1871 the Borough Council of Windsor was
founded and the Richmond Borough Council followed in
1872. The two Councils amalgamated in 1949 to become
Windsor Municipal Council. Colo Shire Council was
established in 1906 and joined Windsor Municipal
Council in 1981 to become Hawkesbury Shire Council.
In 1989, Hawkesbury became a City.