About Senate

Secretaries to Senate

Dr Richard Greenup

Dr Richard Greenup (1803-1866) was the first Secretary to Senate and Registrar of the University of Sydney, from 1851 to 1852.


MD Camb
Secretary to Senate and Registrar: 1851 - 1852


Richard Greenup was born near Halifax in England in 1803. In 1826 he entered Queens College Cambridge where, in 1831, he took out his MB and, three years later, an MD.

His career

For over a decade he practised medicine in England, and then in 1850 he emigrated to Australia with his family, serving as ship's surgeon on the "John Knox". He arrived in Sydney in April 1850 and set up a private practice.

In 1852 Greenup accepted the appointment of Government Medical Officer at Parramatta.

Dr Richard Greenup

Dr Richard Greenup, photo, State Library of Queensland, negative 161626.

Greenup was a most concerned and involved citizen and, in addition to his public lecturing and church activities, he was responsible for the formation of the Parramatta Volunteer Rifle Corps in 1861.

He died on 17 July 1866 when, during a routing inspection, he was stabbed by an inmate of the Lunatic and Invalid Establishment at Parramatta and died two days later.

His involvement in the University of Sydney

Less than a year after his arrival in Sydney, on 17 March 1851, the Senate of the University of Sydney appointed him Secretary, later Treasurer and Registrar, to the new institution.

Greenup was very much involved in the University foundation period and at the Inaugural Ceremony in Sydney College he had the honour as "Chamberlain" of leading the procession of Fellows of Senate and academics into the Hall. Over his chair at the ceremony "was the pure white shield of Sydney University, no arms yet emblazoned thereupon, but bearing the motto, 'I will achieve' ''.

In 1852 however, Greenup accepted the appointment of Government Medical Officer at Parramatta but he kept up his association with the University as Examiner in Medicine (1856- 1866) and in Chemistry and Experimental Physics (1856-1866).

The Senate's debt to their first Registrar was acknowledged publicly at the time of his untimely death.

From an article by Ursula Bygott, University of Sydney Archives 'Record", September 1990