Willaim Gardner was a pioneer and historian. He arrived in Sydney from the UK in 1838. Upon arrival devoted himself to wide and varied cultural interests. These included sketching and photography as well as writing. Gardner's records contain invaluable information about the early years of New England, include a wide range of descriptive and statistical details, and were written by a keen observer who arrived only ten years after the first settlers, most of whom he knew personally. His sketches and drawings of old homesteads and natural features are particularly valuable.