Archbishop Polding passed from this life in an upper room of the old Darlinghurst presbytery on 16th March 1877. His last illness, being nothing more than the decline of old age, was brief. The Benedictine monks prepared the body of the Archbishop in Gothic Revival Mass vestments and then he was laid-in-state in a downstairs room of the presbytery for two days. During that time, thousands passed through the room in order to pray for and pay respect to their much-loved Archbishop.
Understanding the significance of the occasion, an artist was present and sketched the scene in that room for posterity. Laying upon a draped table is the Archbishop, surrounded by a small group of the Faithful, together with some nuns, a priest and tonsured Benedictine monks. The room displays the full panoply of Victorian mourning. Drapes cover walls and windows, lighted candlesticks and flowers are everywhere in the room. The archbishop's crozier stands upright by his head.