Historic Themes for Buildings listed by the Tasmanian National Trust

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Table of Contents


7-1: Historic Tasmanian Towns

7-2: Historic Tasmanian Architects

7-3: Historic Tasmanian Families

7-4: Early Architecture of Tasmania

1. Historic Tasmanian Towns external image Historic_Towns_Animation.gif

Listed on the National Heritage Register

Bothwell Historic Town, Patrick Street, Bothwell, TAS, Australia

Bothwell Historic Town
Bothwell Historic Town

  • An important agricultural settlement laid out by surveyor Thomas Scott in 1824. The general character of the town is one of looseness, internal open spaces being important, with consistent architecture generally in good condition.
  • The settlement is important for its formal layout which is emphasised by continuing civic consciousness in building and landscape.
  • Bothwell (population 350) considers itself the 'gateway to the highlands', being the last service, educational and administrative town before the Central Plateau recreational area.
  • Bothwell is a classified historic town. Located in a broad river valley at an altitude of 300 metres, its Scottish namesake also bestrides the River Clyde. The first settlers, predominantly Scottish, who arrived in 1822, built sturdily, farmed successfully and quarrelled heatedly. The Bothwell Literary Society was early established, as were churches and schools. The Irish patriot John Mitchel spent time here. Convicts assigned to the area stayed to form the town's commercial and labouring core.
  • The oldest golf course in Australia is at Ratho, complemented by the Australasian Golf Museum. The area has always depended on primary industry, but the emphasis changed in the late twentieth century from purely pastoral to include extensive cropping areas.
  • Bothwell Historic Town is an agricultural settlement on the Clyde River, set in a modified landscape, surrounded by low naturally vegetated hills. Consistently it is a loose grid plan settlement with large lot sizes. Civic details include avenue plantings and Queens Square. Dense pine plantings occur en route to the showground. Important homesteads occur on the west side of the river. It has two village centres, with fine churches and cemeteries grouped about Queen's Square.
  • Further reading: John Seymour WEEDING: A History of Bothwell, 106pp, b&w photographs. Stapled in wrappers, as issued.
    • For all 60 Bothwell National Trust Buildings, visit here

Evandale Historic Town High Street, Evandale, TAS, Australia

Evandale Historic Town
Evandale Historic Town

  • Evandale is a small rural town in the northern midlands of Tasmania, some nineteen kilometres south of Launceston. It was originally established as a military post on Governor Macquarie's orders and settled about 1816.

  • Evandale was possibly named after George William Evans, the first surveyor-general in Tasmania; earlier names were Paterson Plains and Morven. In 1836 a plan was devised to supply Launceston with water from the South Esk River, via a tunnel excavated through a hill at Evandale, using convict labour. The scheme was abandoned, but Evandale continued to grow. It became an important pastoral and agricultural marketing centre, particularly as the junction of two important railway routes after 1876.

  • Today, Evandale is a popular tourist destination with its rich heritage of well-preserved buildings. The Evandale Village Fair, the National Penny Farthing Championships and the Railex Model Railway Exhibition are popular events.

  • An administrative and agricultural settlement with a rich agricultural setting, consistent architectural quality, good urban spaces and fine town plantings resulting in a highly integrated and successful townscape.
  • Agricultural and administrative centre located on knoll rising from highly modified plains. Landscape of setting important with hedgerows, windbreaks, copses etc. Important approaches with church spire as focal element. Town structure radiates from unusual junction of High and Russell Streets - number of focal elements at junction. Fine Georgian residences and fine churches, strong commercial buildings, cottages etc.
  • More reading: History of Evandale in Tasmania, Australia: www.evandaletasmania.com/history.html; Wikipedia: Evandale

Longford Historic Town, Longford, TAS, Australia

Longford Historic Town
Longford Historic Town

  • Longford, a small rural town in northern Tasmania, is the centre of a large farming district.
  • Longford is the centre of one of Australia's greatest pastoral areas known previously as Norfolk Plains and Latour and famous for its well bred sheep and cattle. The town has a fine collection of buildings with a church green at the centre of the settlement and internal landscaping contributing to the quality of the town.

  • Prior to European settlement the Panninher Band of the North Midlands Tribe of Aborigines frequented the area. The district was first known as Norfolk Plains (after the settlers who arrived from Norfolk Island in 1808), Latour (after Colonel Peter Augustus Latour of the Cressy Establishment), and finally, in 1833, Longford. New man Williatt has been credited as the founder of Longford, building the Longford Hotel (now Jessen Lodge) in 1829.

  • Lying at the convergence of the Macquarie and South Esk Rivers, Longford is prone to flooding:
  • In 1929 floodwaters rose to 56 feet above normal height, causing much stock loss and property damage and leaving two hundred people homeless. Between 1958 and 1968 the Longford Motor Racing Association conducted an annual round of the Grand Prix. Today Longford has a variety of small industries, and tourism contributes to the town's economy, with many historic buildings in and around Longford to delight visitors.

  • Agricultural and administrative centre at junction of South Esk and Macquarie Rivers. Low topographic relief setting in highly modified landscape. Grid structure of the town is bent on a central axis. Town centre is tight with harmonious buildings. Relationship of town centre to church green is important - urban space of value. Good series of focal buildimgs along main street. New residential area to southern section of town.
  • Read more: History of Longford - www.longfordtasmania.com/history---longford.html

Oatlands Historic Town, Oatlands, TAS, Australia

Oatlands Historic Town
Oatlands Historic Town

  • An agricultural and administrative centre in the Midlands, the town of Oatlands exhibits a very consistent townscape based on the quality of individual buildings, and the unifying use of stone as a material for buildings, outbuildings, walls, fences, etc. The town is set in a highly modified landscape with the structure determined by Lake Dulverton.

  • Oatlands, on the shores of Lake Dulverton, was named and selected as a township by Governor Macquarie on 3 June 1821, and by 1827 a survey and street plan had been laid out by surveyor William Sharland. It quickly became a vital link between Hobart and Launceston, with a good supply of building timber and stone, and the erection of barracks, gaol, courthouse, numerous inns (six licensed hotels by the 1850s), churches, schools and dwellings. It is the centre of a prosperous rural area, noted for sheep, cattle and grain (formerly milled at the Callington Mill), and is reputed to have more colonial stone buildings per capita than any other Australian town. The population today is over 2000.

  • Oatlands Historic Town is a significant agricultural and administrative settlement set in undulating topography beside Lake Dulverton. It is within a highly modified agricultural setting. The approaches are important yet different in character, and the old mill and church are focal elements. Old pine plantings occur within town. There is a consistent, unified and continuous streetscape of mainly stone buildings with many good groups. Numerous stone walls and picket fences occur.
  • Read more: On The Convict Trail: Oatlands

Queenstown Historic Town Orr Street, Queenstown, TAS, Australia

  • A large mining settlement with a doubtful economic future, the quality of the town derives from its powerful and unique topography and landscape qualities of its setting, its consistent architectural form, a variety of built and natural focal elements, landscape qualities within the town, internal views and spaces and the physical expression of activities and social orders.
  • Queenstown Historic Site
    Queenstown Historic Site
  • The west coast of Tasmania is an isolated rugged area only opened up for settlement by mineral discoveries from the 1860s. When the shanty town of Penghana associated with the Iron Blow copper mine was destroyed by fire in 1896, the population moved to the government's preferred town site, Queenstown.

  • The growth of the town of Queenstown was dramatic in the early years, being associated with the success of the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company Limited. By May 1899 Queenstown had 1300 dwellings and 5000 people.

  • The boom years for Queenstown were from 1896 to 1901 and most of the significant commercial buildings and hotels date from that period. Interestingly Queenstown was more closely linked by sea to Melbourne than to the rest of Tasmania at that time and the architecture reflects some of Melbourne's sophistication.

Richmond Historic Town, Richmond, TAS, Australia

  • Originally inhabited by the Moomairremener people, the Richmond district was explored by surveyor James Meehan, who named the Coal River after the coal he found there. Land grants were given from 1808, and Richmond quickly became a rich agricultural area, Tasmania's major wheat-producing region. Sheep and cattle also flourished.
    Richmond Historic Town
    Richmond Historic Town
  • A bridge over the Coal River, completed in 1825, facilitated travel to the east coast. A town grew up around it, a natural stopping place.
  • In 1824, Lt-Governor Sorell proclaimed the township of Richmond, the name coming from David Lord's nearby property, Richmond Park, from which land was taken for the site. In 1825, Richmond was an integral part of Lt-Governor Arthur's system of police districts, with a gaol, courthouse, barracks and watch house.

  • Lt Governor William Sorell named the town site 'Richmond' in 1824 and by the 1830's it was the third largest town in Tasmania. It was an important military post and convict station strategically situated on the route between Hobart and the east coast and Port Arthur.
  • The town is important because of the great architectural unity of buildings (due to common materials and period of construction), an interesting internal topography, a nationally important bridge and a high quality setting.

  • Historic settlement on Coal River, set in undulating countryside and ringed by low hills. In two parts, separated by the river and restricted to higher ground - apparent from approaches. Focal churches and corner buildings. Good building groups in main street, churches, gaol etc. Internal vegetation is of low scale, so that buildings dominate. Good quality architecture, often of stone, extends throughout. The stone bridge is of paramount importance.Read more: History of Richmond - www.richmondvillage.com.au/history.html

Ross Historic Town, Church Street, Ross, TAS, Australia
Ross Historic Town
Ross Historic Town

  • A small agricultural and administrative centre, originally important as a coach change, stock market and garrison town. The village is largely intact and contains a fine collection of historic buildings, many built of local stone.

  • European settlement began when Governor Macquarie established a military post in 1812. He named the area Ross in 1821 as the district was increasing in importance. There followed numerous land grants to free settlers. The area possessed easily quarried sandstone which encouraged construction of a superior nature: Georgian-style houses on surrounding estates, the Ordnance Store, the barracks and several inns.

  • A wooden bridge over the Macquarie River was replaced in 1836 by one of the finest stone bridges in Australia. Daniel Herbert's carvings are an outstanding example of convict art. The Female Factory was completed in 1847, and Horton College, a boarding school for boys, opened in 1855.
  • In 1863 the municipality of Ross was declared. Due to the foresight of successive councillors the historic fabric of Ross has endured.

  • Today the district is recognised for producing the finest merino wool in the world, and tourism is gaining an increasingly important role.
  • Attention to civic detailing is also very high and may stem from the original endowment of an outstanding stone bridge. The settlement has a fine landscape setting with a church spire dominating the village in the English manner.

  • Agricultural and administrative village on Macquarie River. Approaches important - especially from the north. The structure of the settlement is principally a main street with a civic precinct at its junction with a district road. Fine civic detailing includes monuments, stone walling, picket fencing etc. Fine collection of individual buildings - many stone. Important internal plantings - pine trees on knoll, street trees. Good landscape setting.
  • Read more: Visit Ross, Tasmania: www.visitross.com.au/

Stanley Historic Town, Alexander Terrace, Stanley, TAS, Australia

Stanley Historic Town
Stanley Historic Town

  • A small port settlement on the site of the first landing of the ship 'Tranmere' in 1826. About 1840 the town was named after the then secretary of state for the colonies. It has a spectacular and unique setting below Circular Head with the qualities of this maritime and agricultural environment extending throughout the town.

  • Stanley's site was chosen by the Van Diemen's Land Company for the first European settlement in the north-west, because it was the only one with the necessary sheltered deepwater anchorage and surrounding area of grassland for immediate grazing.
  • Settlement started in 1826. Edward Curr, the Company's chief agent, resided in an imposing home, Highfield, built on the hill overlooking the settlement. The township was surveyed in 1843 and named Stanley after the Secretary of State for Colonies.

  • Stanley achieved limited growth as a port for the district's expanding agricultural, rural and forestry industries, but its trade declined with improved road and rail connections to Burnie in the 1950s. The port is now used only by the local fishing fleet, but the town's historic significance has become a tourist drawcard.
  • Small port settlement sheltering beneath Circular Head - an outstanding natural feature. Wharves and seawalls of archaeological interest. Important approach reveals low scale of town and its subservience to The Nut. Chimneys are a skyline feature. Consistent though not spectacular streetscape with good examples of vernacular timber architecture. Outstanding site for cemetery.
  • Read more: Stanley, Tasmania - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley,_Tasmania
  • History of Stanley and Touchwood Cottage - Stanley ... - www.touchwoodstanley.com.au/history/

Strahan Historic Town, Esplanade, Strahan, TAS, Australia

  • Strahan, situated near the entrance to Macquarie Harbour, was founded in 1880 and largely established by Frederick Henry, owner of the historic homestead Orminston. It developed as a port to cater for the needs of the early inland mining fields of the west coast as well as the timber getters, particularly piners.
  • Strahan Historic Town
    Strahan Historic Town

  • Strahan was linked to Queenstown by the Abt railway in 1897. Fishing on a commercial scale was established in 1956 with the arrival of industrial refrigerators at Strahan.
  • Strahan's picturesque setting led to its development as a tourist resort. Cruises of Macquarie Harbour and the Gordon River began in 1969. The annual Piners' Festival, a celebration of the importance of Huon pine to the area, began in 1995, and, in 2003 the Abt Wilderness Railway was reopened as a tourist attraction. With new hotels and restaurants, Strahan is the major tourist centre of the west coast.

  • Strahan is a small port settlement on Macquarie Harbour on Tasmania's west coast established in the 1880's as a port for the export of rich minerals and as a centre for a fishing fleet and timber getters who had been logging the area since 1817. The town has only a limited number of valuable buildings, but it is the importance of the natural setting, which is of very high quality, that gives the settlement its national worth.

  • The Strahan township is a frontier town which grew in response to the servicing requirements of the 1890's mining boom settlements on the west coast of Tasmania. Strahan embraces, in extant fabric, natural landscape and documentary evidence a rich mixture of history, architecture, social structure and natural environment. The present layout and built form of the town and character of the Municipality reflects not only historic themes but also the more recent role of the town in the growth of the conservation movement in Australia and as a gateway to the South West Forests World Heritage Area. Much of Strahan's present 'sense of place' derives from the contrast between its low scale residential character and its vibrant tourist oriented commercial water front in the beautiful Macquarie Harbour natural landscape.
  • Read more: A pictorial history of Strahan by Arjan KOK; Strahan, Tasmania - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • - Return to Contents

2. Historic Tasmanian Architects

Until transportation was abolished in 1853, Tasmania's public works were constructed by convicts.
  • The Derwent and Port Dalrymple settlements each had an Inspector and a Superintendent of Public Works by 1807, although people occupying these positions did not necessarily have expertise in public works, and usually held several other positions.

Text with thanks to Pillars of a Nation

John Elliot ADDISON

(1796 - 1848) - Scots Church, Hobart; Dunrobin, Victoria
John Lee Archer (1791-1852), architect and engineer
John Lee Archer (1791-1852), architect and engineer




(1791 - 1852) - Companion to Tasmanian History
  • (1827-1838 Civil Engineer and Colonial Architect)
  • Born in Ireland in 1791, Archer trained with a London architect and then worked for five years with John Rennie, who designed three of the bridges over the River Thames. He returned to Ireland to work on architectural and engineering projects for eight years. In December 1826 the British Secretary of State for the Colonies appointed him Civil Engineer for Van Diemen's Land, and Governor Arthur appointed him to Lambe's position as well when he arrived in Hobart in 1827. He served for 11 years as Civil Engineer and Colonial Architect, and was relieved of responsibility for military construction in 1836, when officers of the Royal Engineers arrived. His position was abolished reluctantly in 1838 by Lieutenant-Governor Franklin, who appointed Alexander Cheyne to a new position of Director of Public Works.
  • Read more at Pillars of a Nation
  • Read more at On the Convict Trail
  • Read more at Great Australian Secret
  • Archer designed the following Tasmanian structures:
    1. Parliament House, Hobart
    2. Penitentiary Chapel, Brisbane St, Hobart
    3. Hobart court houses & original police station
      Book John Lee Archer $(KGrHqVHJBkE9!JzSZ8kBPRfcZtB4g--60_35.JPG
      Biography of John Lee Archer
    4. Canteen Building, Drill Hall and Subalterns’ Quarters at Anglesea Barracks
    5. Ordnance Stores on Castray Esplanade
    6. Richmond Gaol
    7. Oatlands Gaol
    8. Female House of Correction in Launceston
    9. Factory building on Maria Island
    10. Female Factory at Cascades
    11. Willow Court Barracks in New Norfolk
    12. Chaplain’s Cottage and the Commandant’s House, Maria Island
    13. Gaoler’s House in Richmond
    14. Low Head Lighthouse, and the Cape Bruny Lighthouse
    15. Bridgewater Causeway
    16. The Ross Bridge
    17. St. George’s Anglican Church in Battery Point
    18. St. John’s Church in New Town
    19. St. John’s Church in Ross
    20. St. Luke’s Church in Campbell Town
    21. St. Luke’s Church of England in Richmond
    22. St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church in Bothwell
    23. St. Peter’s Church in Hamilton
    24. St. Paul’s Church in Stanley
    - Return to Contents

William ARCHER

(1820 - 1874), first Tasmanian born architect. Hutchins School, Hobart

Orlando BAKER

(1891 ? - 1911 Draftsman)
  • Born in Gloucestershire, England, around 1834, Baker became a member of the Society of Architects. The dates of his arrival in Tasmania and subsequent appointment in Public Works are unclear. He served as principal architectural draftsman until his retirement in 1911. He is remembered for the fine architecture of the Hobart Customs House, 1902. He died in 1912.




(10 August 1803 – 3 March 1854)
  • An English civil engineer, surveyor and architect best known for his work in Australia, where he had been transported as a sentence for forgery. According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Blackburn "has claims to be considered one of the greatest engineers of his period in Australia, and his architectural achievements established him as Tasmania's most advanced and original architect."[1][2]
    He was key to the formation of the Department of Public Works in 1839, serving as one of its core members under Alexander Cheyne.
  • On 3 May 1841 he was pardoned, whereupon he entered private practice with James Thomson, another a former convict. Among the notable constructions of the firm was the swing Bridgewater Bridge completed in 1849.
    Holy Trinity Church is a grand, convict-built heritage-listed building
    Holy Trinity Church is a grand, convict-built heritage-listed building
  • In April 1849, Blackburn sailed from Tasmania with his wife and ten children to start a new life in Melbourne.
  • Blackburn and his family moved to Melbourne, where in addition to resuming his architect career, and pursuing other business interests, he became city surveyor.
  • His most notable effort in this role was the conception and design of a water supply system for Melbourne which drew from the Yan Yean Reservoir. On 24 October 1849 he was appointed Melbourne city surveyor, and in 1850-51 produced his greatest non-architectural work, the basic design and fundamental conception of the Melbourne water supply from the Yan Yean reservoir via the Plenty River.
    • Three years later, on 3 March 1854, Blackburn died of typhoid, with five of his ten children, eight of which had been born in Australia, surviving him.
  • Between 1839 and 1841, Blackburn was involved in the designs of Government buildings and churches.
    • Tudor lodges at St John's, New Town (1841-42)
  • In 1841, he was involved with the completion of Bridgewater Causeway. In August he submitted a proposal with James Thomson but further changes and delays were made. The project was finally begun in March 1847 and the bridge were opened in April 1849.
  • Stylistically the masterpiece of Blackburn's Gothic work, which looks forward to the Gothic Revival of the next decade, is Smaller examples range from to those attributed by the writerHarley Prestonsuch as the
    • unfinished St Mary's, Kempton (1838-44) and
    • the minuscule Congregational Chapels at Bagdad (1842, now mutilated) and Cambridge (1842-43).
    • (The Port Arthur church (1836-41) has no connexion with him.)
  • Of outstanding importance in the history of Australian architecture are three Romanesque or Neo-Norman works which mark one of the earliest colonial appearances of the style, being all designed in 1839 and built within four years:
    • St Mark's, Pontville;
    • St Matthew's, Glenorchy,
    • Sorell Presbyterian Church and its near repetition,
      St Mark's Anglican Church, Pontville : exterior [photo: Trevor Bunning (2009)]
      St Mark's Anglican Church, Pontville : exterior [photo: Trevor Bunning (2009)]
    • the former St Andrew's, Evandale.
    This unique style was modified into an Italian villa variant as early as
    • the Glenorchy watch-house (1837-38, demolished),
    • Spring Hill watch-house (1839-40),
    • Longford gaol (1839-42, mostly demolished),
    • the important and picturesque New Town Congregational Church (1842-45) and
    • imposing additions to Rosedale, Campbell Town (1848-50).
  • Blackburn was the foremost, although not the earliest, exponent of Greek Revival forms in Tasmania in
    • the Lady Franklin Museum (1842-43) and
    • the Public Offices portico, Hobart (1841-42).
    • St George's, Battery Point, an aggregate from four architectural hands, is dominated by Blackburn's tower and vestries (1841-47) where its Regency Greek manner is under slight Egyptianizing influence in conformity with John Lee Archer's nave (1836-38).
  • Further picturesque Tudor works are
    • old Trinity rectory, Hobart (1840-42),
    • designs (unbuilt) for a public school in Hobart (1839) and
      The Grange, a Gothic Revival mansion in Tasmania, and one of James Blackburn's finest works
      The Grange, a Gothic Revival mansion in Tasmania, and one of James Blackburn's finest works
    • the proposed New Norfolk College (1841),
    • and for Dr William Valentine at Campbell Town, The Grange (c.1848-49).
  • Besides many ambitious alternative plans in a variety of styles for Lady Franklin's Government House, there are many attributions by the writer Harley Preston and innumerable routine and minor public buildings, for example the

Francis BUTLER

(1823 - 1916) - Shene Stables
  • (1871-1873 Director of Public Works and Roads, Superintendent of Surveys)
  • Butler was born in England in 1823, and the following year his parents emigrated to Van Diemen's land, leaving him in the care of his aunt. After completing his architectural studies he followed his parents to Van Diemen's Land. He served for two years as Director of Public Works, assisted by Chief Clerk James Gray, who had served under Falconer. In addition there was a second clerk and office keeper. At the time of his retirement Butler was Commissioner for Taxes. He designed the Commercial Bank of Tasmania in Macquarie Street. He died in 1916.
  • Records for 1875 show the Honorable William Moore as Director of Public Works and Director General of Roads. His staff consisted of two clerks, a draftsman, and two superintendents of works.

Alexander CHEYNE

(1838-41 Director of Public Works)
  • In response to economic stringencies, Governor Franklin abolished the position of Colonial Architect and appointed Alexander Cheyne as Director of Public Works in 1838. During his term work revolved around roads, drainage and bridges. Although these took priority over public buildings, Archer's plans for the building to connect the Court House and Police and Convict' Offices were executed. Cheyne was ably assisted by James Blackburn, an engineer transported to Van Diemen's Land for forgery. After Blackburn was pardoned in 1841, he went into private practice with James Thompson, another ex-convict, and then moved to Melbourne as City Surveyor. He designed several beautiful churches including Holy Trinity, Hobart.

William Henry CLAYTON

(1823 - 1877) - Public Library Launceston



(1808 - 1876) - St Johns Orphan Schools,Overton House, Windermere Anglican Church

William Waters ELDRIDGE

(1879-1892 Architect and Chief Draftsman)
  • Eldridge was born in Brighton, England around 1850 and began his career as a junior draftsman before working as an architect. He traveled to Australia in 1876, and joined the Public Service in Tasmania in 1878.
  • The following year he became Government Architect on an annual salary of 350 pounds. After resigning in 1892 to enter private practice, he returned to government employment as Draftsman/Architect with the Tasmanian Government Railways.
  • He died in 1933 and was buried at Cornelian Bay. Remembered as a short stern man, who sang lustily in All Saints Church, Macquarie Street, bouts of alcoholism and financial problems may have contributed to his premature departure from the post of Government Architect.
  • An obituary described him as a familiar figure in Hobart, who was held in high esteem.
  • He is remembered for his fine architecture, which includes the Government Offices facing Franklin Square, and Launceston's Post Office and Customs House. In addition the post offices at Campbell Town, Ross and Oatlands are attributed to him. Read more at Pillars of a Nation

George FAGG

Architect, Elizabeth St., Hobart (1848 - 1897)
See also page: Architect George Fagg

  • British architect George Fagg M.S.A. arrived in Tasmania in 1885 and died at Claremont, 16 December 1897.
    See death notice in the Mercury Hobart December 17th 1897, p. 1. (reproduced below)
  • George Fagg practised as an architect in his office in London and in 1885 left with his son for Tasmania where they practised in Hobart for about ten years.

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  • George Fagg won the Tasmanian Exhibition Medal in 1891 for Architectural Drawings
    • In Tasmania, a series of arts and industrial exhibitions led up to international exhibitions held in Launceston in 1891/92 and Hobart in 1894/95.
    • The Tasmanian Exhibition, staged in Launceston over four months in the summer of 1891-1892, was the biggest event ever to be held in Launceston, attracting some 262,059 visitors.
    • "The exhibition had effectually removed the slur cast upon Tasmania by people who called it Sleepy Hollow, for it had shown that its people could do as well as any others, perhaps better." - p 16.

  • He also conducted a major renovation of Theatre Royal in 1890.
    See tender notice: Geo. Fagg, Hobart. Tenderers listed for alterations to Theatre Royal, Hobart, in the Australasian Builder and Contractor's News 24.5.1890.

  • Father of William George Fagg, an architect who worked in South Africa
    • "A partner in a well-known Cape Town firm, BLACK & FAGG, Fagg was active as an architect in Cape Town from about 1895 until 1938.
    • He was the son of a British architect, George Fagg, MSA, and was probably born in Britain where he was educated at the Whitgift Grammar School, Croydon, Surrey.
    • He trained as an architect in his father's office in London and in 1885 left with his father for Tasmania where they practised in Hobart for about ten years. George Fagg died in 1897, having won the Tasmanian Exhibition Medal in 1891 for Architectural Drawings 'most of which were my work' (W Fagg's comment in his LRIBA nom papers).
    • In the papers he stated which jobs were his 'work entirely' and listed a number of buildings he designed in Tasmania. After the death of his father, Fagg left Tasmania for South Africa in 1897 to work for William BLACK of Cape Town, who himself had come to South Africa from Australia in 1893."

Architect of Baptist Churches, Hobart and Perth, and of High Peak, Neika

  • Baptist Tabernacle in Elizabeth St., Hobart (1886-1889)
    Baptist Tabernacle in Elizabeth St., Hobart
    Baptist Tabernacle in Elizabeth St., Hobart

    Fagg, M.S.A., Architect, 2 Lord's Buildings, Elizabeth St., Hobart, calls tenders for the erection of the new baptist Tabernacle in Elizabeth St., Hobart. Launceston Examiner 24.11.1886

    The contract to erect the edifice was awarded to the contractors, Stabb Brothers. The foundation stone was laid on 5 October 1887, in the presence of about 300 people.
    A bottle was placed underneath the stone containing a copy of the “Day Star”, “The Mercury” and “Tasmanian News”, and a parchment scroll.

    The Tabernacle was opened for worship on 20 January 1889 with Rev. McCullough still the pastor of the church.

  • St. George's Church & Anglican Bishop's house (1888)
    • The Launceston Examiner reports that Fagg has examined the Anglican Bishop's house and said it would cost at least 1000 pounds to repair. Launceston Examiner 3.5.1888
    • George Fagg has given his opinion that the fracture in the keystone will not affect the stability of St. George's Church. R. Huchson concurred. Launceston Examiner 16.10.1888

  • St. Mary’s Cathedral, bell tower (1888)
    external image Img_9610.jpgexternal image Img_9607.jpg
    (Tasmanian News (Hobart, Tas. : 1883 - 1911: Mon 15 Oct 1888 Page 3)

  • Cottage Hospital at Campbell -Town (1889)
    17.10.1888: Fagg calls tenders for the erection of a hospital at Campbell Town. His address: 2 Lord's Place, Elizabeth St., Hobart.
    Launceston Examiner 17.10.1888:
    external image ZZ5hqy2vEdhBIenbNp9-HrpcQjZUqRhH_M-nkzsmk0bIwnAE-Kb461mOQ-ZMSq1BOGThiK_QM4K2uajvKFWH0zLiqusPnISeNDbaKroFGISCWzzfWpxZNFG-tI7JI1faDyuxKoWgIpvslWP1t9cTxy0D14UH4Iw-aV6-i9xrsJ1RDSK-Ax8axPd4ugNFqOElBZFxWLpz632VKSL66pTfL-HCuBjwjgTWzkzengWSrZd4eOotTqPBM3VYqSvX7PB0fFMVd56xM5fIVHTGLmJ9vQMbwx-agW7906X8AsShX-wLeWVFFXkuKcaLobGNlJokeyjuSAvR-oWrqVvBwuKvJlGLg1zk11WBnDHqhsI6gfgl3X4v-Bm3K9yRDwZ6hsvuLlQqhp6Xs3FtI1lBC7umTWIAqdlXXeNwMEN17rQ2F7m7tnVq1vIM1BWA-YmbW99WHizkrqy0e2HCuQjosb6GPWOOwu3uSzAOu_9zYWRzvH5d6PlnSWcGwv2-LDa2q8oVGoYBDxKHtAZfE6qglrn4-pWA14ZoX7taZvh-3KIIEeFS2FBGihAbay_rW_CmdtraNnA1KFqIT80swnr9K58A65e-BdRyFhde9h0tEVbkcL58V2Cwvg=w300-h199-no
    Architect- (Mr. George Fagg), contractor (Mr. James Dunn), clerk of works (Mr. Dalgleiah)
    The Tasmanian (Launceston, Tas. : 1881 - 1895) Sat 23 Mar 1889 Page 25 CAMPBELL TOWN HOSPITAL
    Winmarleigh Lodge and Stables, 6 Morris Avenue, Taroona TAS 7053
    Winmarleigh Lodge and Stables, 6 Morris Avenue, Taroona TAS 7053

  • Winmarleigh, Tarooma; (1889-1892)
and the classic ‘Winmarleigh Lodge & Stables’ building, a two-storey Federation, Queen Anne style statement.Fagg designed Winmarleigh in Taroona for H.W. Bayley, a Hobart stockbroker.
    • It was built of stone in 1892 and "is a magnificent example of the fully developed late Victorian colonial 'extravaganza' style of residential building."
    • Illus. Kingborough Council, National Estate Study Municipality of Kingborough, 1976, pp 23-24

"Breathtaking" Winmarleigh. Taroona
"Breathtaking" Winmarleigh. Taroona

  • "Even today, its interior is little changed from the original design."
    • Illus. J.N.D. Harrison, The National Trust in Tasmania, Cassell Australia, pp 215-17
  • Bishops Court, Hobart (1889)
    • Bishopscourt has been until recently the home of the Anglican Bishop of Hobart for over 100 years. The early part of the main house was designed by Henry Hunter, and the massive Federation extension is by George Fagg.
    • Included as part of the Fagg designed works was a separate brick schoolhouse near the rear entry. It was the beginning of Collegiate School, and one of its earliest pupils was ‘Monty’, Field Marshall Montgomery, of El-Alamein fame, who lived in the house from.
    • The property now belongs to Dermot and Rebecca Crean, and it is now their family home
    • Heritage listed Bishopscourt residence, Hobart c.1836
      Heritage listed Bishopscourt residence, Hobart c.1836

    external image YEG2r-VvrR_o1tREG-BB77ryLE_YcV-C1x49BXEGjmhY-XZEoksP6HEmxm5hXF4wo1QDmf2R0EcUQIzmRKWHvWK6967SYccVw4adKX8gWo-MoQmXhx7A-2imtFN-4TRWUzWnSLgpxObPYdazgM-xW31_-tthflyfjFNVj1PlOLDtB4u-btQ9eZ0zBzmtj5bdVOUhifEhk3cZGqTEVL3S7wJDVJDOsDk3D-iwNHyDIuzp0nDOtFlMbsJOI8JbtitDiKmmrxmC7Fgja2uosatM3s6afnO1dXE9j7nDkXmDIWKclS_mR0wo06_kG-VdrzxMhztyO_hZp7E7Vy9Ja2o5izDPjhaD7mSPfXCvHzoVaqIQQwK7_istMKs5BEOqh9M2tZfrxUpMGa7_HWcxdC6p77hNHhvKbnvc2QiiIQByz7ZQa3A45aK2K03H2TU9E4oyBvO3iJso9YChMk9wbkwFtRXgG0LIfHpsBuGimd6_QOk9Sr-eGSG-ys74WgcDwo1mEZfvanJnYg0N8YtQskusfBgss5VRY_xXTC6zxvSjYEferFIGT42LF0CeTblZh995BpYpAjHlfrOfZ-xt2mpNkJMkUtjHPeICO3Jzt5G5896OvXCBVA=w300-h198-no

  • Parattah Hotel, Oatlands (1889)
    Parattah Hotel, built in 1889
    Parattah Hotel, built in 1889
    Parattah is a small township in Tasmania, located approximately 6 kilometres (4 mi) southeast of the town of Oatlands. At the2011 census, Parattah had a population of 360.[1]
The area is home to about 100 families, and contains many historic buildings, such as
      • a farmhouse which was once home to Hudson Fysh, one of the founders of Qantas, and a historic railway station.
      • The main street contains a number of attractive dwellings dating from the town's heyday, some of which are currently undergoing restoration.

      • The village retains the original general store, the impressive Tudor style 'Parattah Hotel' and a number of historic churches.

  • The Parattah Hotel was built by W. Cheverton to plans by George Fagg for the Parattah Hotel Company. Illus. Nat. Trust News, No. 85, Oct. 1983, p.5

  • Theatre Royal (1890)
    Theatre Royal, Hobart
    Theatre Royal, Hobart
    Theatre Royal, Hobart
    Theatre Royal, Hobart

    He conducted a major renovation of Theatre Royal in 1890.
    See tender notice: Geo. Flagg, Hobart. Tenderers listed for alterations to Theatre Royal, Hobart,
    in the Australasian Builder and Contractor's News 24.5.1890.

  • Murray Street Hobart, Shops for A.P. Miller and Son, Chemists (1890)
    Miller's Corner Date 1904.
    Miller's Corner Date 1904.

    A. P. Miller's Drug Establishment photographed by Anson Brothers, Hobart.
    Architectural drawing prepared by the architect George Fagg.The Stabb Brothers built the "palatial three-story structure in red brick and Tasmanian freestone, at the corner of Liverpool and Murray Streets" for A.P. Miller and Son, Chemists.

    It was designed by George Fagg in the Queen Anne Italian style, and has an octagonal tower, balconette and oriel windows. [More details] Tas. Cyc., Vol I, p.351

  • High Peak, Neika (1891-1892)
    Fagg designed "High Peak", a house built in 1892 for C.H. Grant, M.L.C. near the Huon Highway at Neika. "A very academic, Tudor style building."
    • Illus. Kingborough Council, National Estate Study Municipality of Kingborough, 1976, pp 152-153external image 3022_14_123.jpg
    • Also see page:

    • High Peak, Neika

      • Fagg remains highly regarded for his work on church buildings, including the chancel and chapel of Hobart's St David's Cathedral.

      • The mountain chalet he designed is a grand, two-storey "Queen Anne" (Victorian Tudor-style) building, with an asymmetrical roof featuring gables of different sizes with battened ends.

      • The exterior woodwork is of rare King Billy pine— the trees were cleared on site—the windowsills are of Huon pine, the lower floor was built of rubble stone collected on the property, and the upper storey features stucco over timber lathes and wire mesh.

      • The home, one of only a few heritage Tudor-style buildings in Tasmania, has a grand formal entrance hall, dining and drawing rooms, children's playroom with separate entrance, a large kitchen, butler's pantry, seven bedrooms, servants' quarters, and a more recently built conservatory/sunroom living area. From the upstairs balcony, the views down over Kingston and the Derwent River are perhaps only surpassed by those from the Mount Wellington summit.

      • Exquisite stained-glass windows brought out from Belgium and featuring rare cranberry glass roundels adorn the front door. The home is decorated with Jacobean-style English oak furniture that was hand-carved in France especially for this summer home.

      • The house and tennis court at High Peak sit at the bottom of highly significant gardens, which have thrived in annual rainfall of over a metre (twice that of Hobart) and rich volcanic soil. Read More NorthernArchitecture

  • Re: Building and Engineering Journal.
    • The present number has some excellent illustrations, one depicts Mr C. H. Grant’s new residence, “ High Peak,” on the Huon road, and the other the handsome new residence on the Brown’s River road built for Mr H. W. Bayley. Both are built from designs of Mr George Fagg, M.S, architect.
    • 'High Peak', on the slopes of Mt Wellington, was designed by George Fagg in the late 1800s as a summer retreat for Charles Grant and his family. The elaborately carved cabinet and chairs in the main hall are some of the pieces of Jacobean-style English oak furniture especially hand-carved in France for the house.
    • ‘High Peak’ at Neika on the slopes of Mt Wellington is an 1891 Queen Anne style house. The extensive garden was started soon after the house was completed, its early establishment evidenced by huge old conifers on the drive and many other large old trees and shrubs.

  • Magdalen Home and Convent of the Good Shepherd (1892)
    "Erected at Sandy Bay by the Roman Catholics of Hobart under the will of the late Very Rev. W. J. Dunn, formerly Vicar-General of this diocese.
    Magdalen Home (1893 - 1974)
    Magdalen Home (1893 - 1974)
  • external image MccQb2iuBgUDv8gsMkU1WrRrdFeLUqfRdqE2OnrhUZ0rzMUNZLCIYey0Ja04NSFF3yoM1t4eKVZhL8mH_3WyAodRVwTJ9-edGFkc5ZDtk9qVQ8O1SgFm_cD1TmwDsufc1y-C1QIptbfAaZUuq79ddiW1xAcK1A15EoSX5aXm48iDQha6fvyQkX0Xmmg2FHTwXIAon21pzdZZRjIZ9Gs4KjMjVeIGrfnbxZ1hLChX4v0hE0-rF8yxkjaJjseFYYG39-dxx5-_oLvXTqJ5S2o2glWi9VVfqdXWuWon3ks9C-DtGqR8Uly_IGfWJttPZJqJwBL2kdJsd-YhxPtzck_Y7W7R7LTvg_FwQrfzvkmT3XmBg8GtEy2HClfU1ClzkdMNXt9XAhslrn2kCNqNCSFLUqagGTkc3OUcTC5I0kho8AL_gAlt5yALgk8KOql6L1Q1FrN38JOjsqPBZvLArUl6lPi-d_QFiQ7OZuylCalQoL38OeYI32alaq5wrVdStuKZltgW2SBRUMVZe_YyRxbFc8wThub3lqX7oVk2M9AUXLQwMM66BZ0Lt7ZeUdxv_QQrvF96ACuPqiQiBYI3cXO_PIXdQZG5W7oC3yhOlWZd_8IQND5kjg=w300-h224-no

    "The institution now in course of erection is situate(d) on a splendid site upon the elevated land west of the Sandy Bay Road, close by the third mile stone from Hobart, and commands an extensive and uninterrupted view over the river north and south."

  • "The present building is arranged to form the centre and right wing of a larger one for future completion, and contains the administrative offices, which are consequently larger than the immediate requirements necessitate.

    On the ground floor are the entrance hall, stone staircase, sisters' apartments, dining hall (which will be for the present divided to provide a chapel), large classroom (etc)"
    (The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) View title info Mon 15 Aug 1892 Page 3)

  • St Clements Church, Kingston (1894)
    external image T4S3HPJJgTdVx8EjAQUBciEGd4bIYm5wSnVdISVgZkZPwNVLj8uPPDOIQSSlQBQd9n7JRhrZ9qpe61EvxX2qmIBMyGtz1Ol-s27U3Dq6aeNMVI7F7LcHMsmBHH9IUTkDwggEil6gNTrL5eM4yV90AiiueGwNI2SIZZizIji0p51U7buXZWW1S4o19XW3MPN6rF3MU4_0EhoYH5G-iQdXqPrQsXNMEpuB9tHTvaI3qy6tjeJM0_ONetEJimFq3RmQp_86cJpCLjZ81RNR25O70S3hvAVYlHi23anObAF8MLllEmhqLk5rFyqdWEZFwb1ZddFaqvRJl2_Xz-Vfi39RNcH0y2E1MO660HZBhdf8BVJS9brH5ZCGMths7gIv-vmMFhXh6lEzNEQWir4U0Q8Y0pMYkd43RZhkFlgHPD0mUav4xs0CoE4ORZNW7LbDuMT_cp3bM9cqvqBEEStrSFD6dDq1r1unD_ryLrTds1UJZywP1UmM1mWcBQ3qRy8hyZbdBN_TlgjnkJUp_uEn8EBruzhkenx7L2J-BGYRJGFRApecfYjNEDaRD9VG4EPheBrCbUVejB2wpnp_cSrg-Xt4b57oHg5ejy7sFoIcmNbP1Y_r58nD8Q=w300-h225-noexternal image u8GTWRSiozxgy2cPXeVD4MGR3W4BT-tqoCExhD7Mb5LcfTYxYBBFLhjPd4q4JEdYudkC1F2DMja9BUVxnXKJZll1Iir-qCrxXBVNEyIsChpphSd1VMNZgY83Oge9nphzDHaO6UsUy5opJF-JKzgocx7IVLEHDc_DCgYtMPzbl1ceYcu08FFTlRxDSAqv5RzcTv8qkbiBaSHd5MgYLY0lTA00FryJ4a77VreQPnO6SniqJudM60G1SgYJTy7_wFl4VB_iGyOlI7gtgQGBTlfNcqulLyCHbc01lldY4TeVri3n4j2-eA4zCn0KjLM3TR9wHWjetW0yaA1cna0k8Ukmf5lYXISbys5Vb3COccMUAsYCGLyXnXaTMw9l6suOTtHnZQCW7JSzgOv9U8PDuE600xzBHcLjspMBU2LvEO2Topq5EVFYQqmxPkvI3cSq2iH303QIwOLDHXYXlwfK3gKzkv5bzCO3tw03R2wmgpNbESBhBg08HTC1h4dbL0151ZqtFFalqyAssWWGKTja-RB97mlq97WkpIuaPgmKnmQEFdbU24ZerLVFl3BqLb4Vqrby6_S4sKpkc2a64xO4jZVhuXvQ_8BcbeTYbV73Xh2k0x0L6Y9ZzA=w300-h225-no
    George Fagg's office designed the wooden St Clements Church, Kingston, in a late Victorian and Gothic inspired style. [Corner of Channel Highway and Beach Rd.]
    • Illus. Kingborough Council, National Estate Study Municipality of Kingborough, 1976, pp 51-52

  • Tasman Peninsula - Port Arthur (Carnarvon) - restoration and alteration to Town Hall buildings (George Fagg)(1895)
    Port Arthur Town Hall buildings
    Port Arthur Town Hall buildings

    Fagg had the Port Arthur asylum building reconstructed for the Tasman Council for use as Council Chambers.
    Crawford de Bavay and Cripps, To Conserve Port Arthur, Final Report, Vol.1, p.27Read more: On the Convict Trail: The Asylum Port Arthur

  • St David's Cathedral (1896)
    "The chancel, side chapel, chancel aisles, and vestries of the cathedral which have just been completed, are in the main in accord with the original design, and from the plans of Messrs. Bodley and Garner, of London, carried out under the supervision of Mr. G. S. Fagg, the local architect, and commenced early in December, 1890;"
    The chancel, side chapel of St David's Cathedral Hobart
    The chancel, side chapel of St David's Cathedral Hobart
  • " I feel that it should be pointed out that the greater part of the Cathedral, as it now stands, is the work of Mr. (Henry) Hunter, who, some year since, prepared a design for the entire completion, which, however, was not fully carried out at the time.
  • "In what is being done now I am endeavouring to follow the spirit of his intentions, which I consider to be due to his memory."
    • Yours, etc., GEORGE FAGG. 9, Elizabeth-street. (The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.) Mon 2 Nov 1896 Page 4)

St. James Anglican Church, Ranelagh, Tasmania
St. James Anglican Church, Ranelagh, Tasmania

  • St. James Church of England, Ranelagh (1896)
    The Anglican Church of St James, 1 Louisa Street, Ranelagh TAS, Australia
    Victorian with Gothic detail. Detailed in the Tasmanian Heritage Assessment 1985
  • St. Joseph's Church (1896)
    "During the past couple of months the sanctuary of St. Joseph's Churoh has undergone a complete renovation under the supervision of Mr. George Fagg, architect, of Elizabeth Street. The whole of the sanctuary has been re-decorated." (The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Fri 25 Dec 1896 Page 1 ST. JOSEPH'S CHURCH.)

  • external image a9e410d8ba462d7e402f4cfb7ac138be.jpg
    Baptist Tabernacle church in Clarence Street, Perth, Tasmania.(1899)
    • The church was designed by English architect George Fagg and built in 1889 by William Gibson. The church is said to have Indian influence, but Byzantine.
    • Erected in 1889 by William Gibson of ‘Native Point’, architecture by George Fagg during a visit from England, basically of European style but with strong Indian influences introduced, it is said, as a result of Mr Gibson’s travels in the east, or the visit to Perth of the Reverend Black, Indian missionary. It contains an Italian marble tablet to Mr and Mrs Gibson 'of the Point’.

  • Obituary - George Fagg
    Tasmanian News (Hobart, Tas). Thu 16 Dec 1897 Page 4

    Universal regret was expressed in the city to-day when it was announced that Mr George Fagg, architect, of this city, had expired at his residence, New Town.

    The deceased, who has been unwell for some time, burst a blood vessel, and notwithstanding that he had the best medical aid, succumbed. He arrived in the colony some 13 or 14 years since, bringing with him a high reputation from the Old Country as an architect of eminence, and many of our large public and private buildings were designed by him.

    His latest work was designing the extension to Mary 's Roman Catholic Cathedral, a work of some magnitude. He was a large-hearted philanthropist, and was associated with the carrying on of many of the philanthropic institutions of the city .

    He was a quiet, unassuming man, who did not mix him self up in any way with political movements. He was a close reasoner, and charitable to a degree. He and Mrs Fagg have done much during their stay in this city to carry sunshine into many a poor home.

    He leaves a wife and family to mourn their loss.


(1832 - 1892) Tasmania's most prolific Victorian architect - Companion to Tasmanian History
Henry Hunter (architect)
Henry Hunter (architect)

  • Born in Nottingham, England in 1832, Hunter was the son of a builder. He studied at the Nottingham School of Design, and in 1848 emigrated to Adelaide with his parents and sisters. Following the death of his parents, he went to Hobart in 1851, and in the following year traveled to the Victorian goldfields. On his return to Tasmania he worked in the timber industry in the Huon Valley. He began to practise as an architect in 1855 and was a major influence on church architecture. He embraced the revival of the Gothic style, applying it to churches and schools. His major public building was the Hobart Town Hall, commenced in 1862.
  • Hunter was one of the few notable Roman Catholic professional men in Hobart and had long given the congregation of St Joseph's Church 'the beautiful example of a devout Christian life'. He had also dominated the architectural scene in Tasmania where his admiration for Augustus Pugin, leader of the English Gothic revival movement, influenced his work especially in the churches he designed. His treatment of this style gave a pleasing effect to even the smallest church while his use of local materials enabled him to blend a wide range of building stone in a delicate manner. He brought wide experience and mature judgment to his profession and was generous in sharing his knowledge with those who studied under his direction.

Henry G. HUNTER Works from Wikipedia

Public buildings

Henry Hunter's plans for Hobart Town Hall
Henry Hunter's plans for Hobart Town Hall

Henry G. HUNTER Churches

Henry G. HUNTER Residences

  • Macquarie Manor, Hobart[14]
  • Stonehenge House, Oatlands[15]
  • Ashleigh House, Hobart[16]
  • Glenelg House, Gretna[17]
  • Airlie House, Hobart[16]
  • Lebrena House, Hobart[16]
  • 2 Mawhera Ave, Hobart[16]
  • Bishopscourt, Hobart[18]
  • St John's Church (now Pendragon Hall) Parsonage, Goulburn Street, Hobart[19]
  • 121 Harrington Street, Hobart.[20]
  • Gattonside, Battery Point[21][22]

Henry G. HUNTER Schools

Other Henry G. HUNTER Buildings

The Queensland Deposit Bank building in 1903.
The Queensland Deposit Bank building in 1903.

Legacy of Henry G. HUNTER

The Henry Hunter gallery in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
The Henry Hunter gallery in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

The Henry Hunter Prize for Architect is a prize awarded triennially to architectural projects that involve the "recycling or conservation of historic buildings".[33] The Henry Hunter Galleries, the main permanent art exhibition at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery are also named in his honour.[34] A collection of 1800 of his architectural drawings and notes are held by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.[35]

In 2006 the architectural firm founded by him (presently known as Crawford Padas Shurman Architects) celebrated its 150th anniversary of continuous business.[36]
Several of his apprentices went on to be influential architects in their own right; Alan Cameron Walker went on to construct several other notable Tasmanian landmarks, including the General Post Office, Hobart[37] and Leslie Corrie went on to become a prominent Brisbane architect and later Mayor of Brisbane.[38]

William Porden KAY

(1809 - 1897) - Government House, Lands and Survey Dept, Supreme Court, Harbour Master's House, Rokeby Court.

external image Govt_House_Animation_B%2526W.gif
external image Hobart___Lands_and_Surveys_Dept.jpg

Government House
Lands and Survey Dept

  • (1843-1847 Colonial Architect and Surveyor of Bridges, 1847 Superintendent of Kings Way, 1848-1858 Director of Public Works and Director of Waterworks)
  • Born in England in 1809, Kay was the grandson of an eminent architect, William Porden. His father was also an architect and a founding member of the Institute of British Architects. After training with his father, Kay was employed by the New Brunswick Land Company and the government. He was invited to Van Diemen's Land by the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir John Franklin, who needed an architect and was not prepared to give the position to either James Blackburn or James Thompson because of their convict backgrounds.
  • He became Colonial Architect and Surveyor of Bridges under Major James Victor of the Royal Engineers.
  • ... Many small official dwellings, watch houses and offices were built during his term of office. A major project was the building of the Supreme Court along Macquarie Street to Franklin Square (1858).
  • Kay also designed Government House, and the Lands Titles and Deeds building in Davey Street. Read more at Pillars of a Nation


Barrington Lodge
Barrington Lodge

    • Kay lived always in New Town, for some time at Barrington Lodge, now belonging to the Salvation Army, the classicist house he built about 1850 to his own designs.
      • Over the period of Kay's employment, a varied range of activity occupied the Department of Public Works. Particularly important were the new systems of roads, and necessarily, bridges, extending further into the interior. In addition, harbour repairs and enlargements, the reconstruction of Hobart and Launceston wharves, new transport systems, coastal lighthouses, water supply extensions, river improvements and swamp reclamation are recorded.


  • Architecturally, this post-depression period (after 1845) is a sparse one, ...
    • Innumerable small official dwellings and offices, and particularly watch-houses were designed and built, sometimes masquerading as tiny Italian villas, ornamental cottages in Tudor or other picturesque styles; a rare surviving example is the diminutive gabled Rokeby watch-house of 1850.
      • Generally, however, the period is noted for considerable extensions, alterations and repairs to earlier buildings, the Italianate additions projected variously between 1849 and 1855 for Government Cottage, Launceston, or the ballroom for old Government House, Hobart (1849-50), being examples.

    • Larger commissions reveal the main styles used by Kay: the symmetrical Tudor St Mary's Hospital (1847-48, now the Department of Lands), a fine example of the Italian villa style; the harbourmaster's house and the former post office (1851, demolished); the round-arched, and monumentally classicist Hobart markets (1851-53, destroyed by fire); and, representing purely utilitarian design, the stone-quoined brick Hobart slaughter houses (1844-59).
      • Of similar style are the addition to the Hobart Criminal Court of 1858-60 (extending John Lee Archer's Penitentiary Chapel, 1831-34) but the contemporary extensions along the Macquarie Street frontage of the Supreme Court buildings, based on Kay's conception and, in part, on his drawings, are more decoratively mid-Victorian.

    • Indeed, Kay's work marks the end of the early phase of Colonial architecture and the full arrival of the more grandiose and ornamental Victorian manner. One of his smallest works, the Gothic Revival Eardley-Wilmot memorial of 1850, reveals his ideals as clearly as his undoubted masterpiece and largest work, Government House, Hobart (1853-58), with its elaborately picturesque massing and romantic Elizabethan-Jacobean style. Read more at the Australian Dictionary of Biography:
      • He was pensioned from 1 January 1859, and on 3 February 1860 he sailed for England in the Isles of the South. He died on 29 April 1897 at Tunbridge Wells.
    • - Return to Contents


(1803 - 1843) - Church of St John Launceston, Richmond Council Chambers
  • (1824-1827 Colonial Architect)
  • Born in London in 1803, Lambe sailed to Van Diemen's Land with Governor Arthur, arriving in 1824. He was appointed as Colonial Architect on a salary of 150 pounds. During his term of office the town of Richmond burgeoned, with the construction of a gaol, court house, post office, and granary. Its bridge, dating back to 1823, is the oldest in Australia. Lambe's court house (1825) was unique for its time. It accommodated a watch house and hall and was used in due course as council chambers when Richmond elected its first council in 1861. The post office (1826) was extended by a second storey in 1829. Although it has been adapted for other purposes, it is said to be the oldest surviving post office building in Australia. The commissariat stores in Launceston were also built during Lambe's term of office. Lambe was replaced by John Lee Archer in 1827 and turned to farming, although his efforts ended with a meeting of his creditors in 1842, a year before his death.


(1826 - 1886) - Launceston Town Hall, Launceston Club

James Alexander THOMSON (1805 - 1860)

William WILSON

  • (1820-1824 Superintendent of Stone Masons)
  • Following his appointment in 1820, Wilson was sometimes referred to as the Government Architect. He built the original Supreme Court House on the corner of Macquarie and Murray Streets. It was used by the court even before it was completed, and later used not only for civil and criminal cases, but for public meetings and church services. Within its walls 302 people were sentenced to hang between 1826 and 1842. From 1858 the building served as the post office, with the original portico replaced by a colonnade and an arcaded loggia built along Macquarie Street. In 1905 the post office was moved and the open arches filled in to provide for the Tourist Bureau which then occupied the building.- Scots Church Hall

Alan C. WALKER (1864 - 1931)

  • Walker was born in 1864 in Hobart Town. He received his education here and in 1882 was apprenticed to Henry Hunter. He traveled to England to study at University College, London and was admitted as an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1888. He returned to Australia, where he practised in Melbourne, taking an active role in the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects. He returned to Hobart in 1895. In the following years he practised with Douglas Salier and later Archibald Johnston. He served on the Tasmanian Association of Architects, the Board of Architects of Tasmania, and the Council of Arts Society. He was a keen metalworker and enameller. He is remembered for his design of the Hobart Post Office (1901), and Public Library (1904-06). He died in 1931.

Edward WINCH

  • Chuch of St Peter, Hamilton; Narryna, Battery Point; Mount Vernon, Kempton

3. Historic Tasmanian Families

The Archers of Tasmania

  • Tens of thousands of acres have been farmed by Archer descendants, who remain central to agriculture in Tasmania. Perhaps the most notable was Thomas's son William, Fellow of the Linnean Society, MLC, MHA, of Cheshunt (1820–74), farmer, architect, engineer, eminent botanist and parliamentarian.

  • The Archers of Hertford, England were men of ambition and entrepreneurial spirit. Since these early days many of the Archer families have either died out or moved away however one has remained.
The Archers were once Tasmania’s greatest landholding family. But within the one dynasty were two brothers with very different ambitions.
  • One, Thomas Archer, would accumulate great wealth and become a member of the colony’s ruling elite.
  • The other, William, simply wanted to farm and farm well.
    Both built their estates on the back of free convict labour. But only one of these homes would survive in the family’s hands into the 21st century. Read more at ABC Dynasties 1
Woolmers in 1919 (ALMFA, SLT)
Woolmers in 1919 (ALMFA, SLT)

  • In 1813 when Thomas Archer, a miller's son from England, first took sight of Tasmania's fertile Norfolk Plains it took his breath away - prime Aboriginal hunting grounds and now the colonial government was just giving it away. Thomas had one thought and one thought only.
    • "This is my chance in life. The government wanted settlers, they wanted responsible people, they wanted income. They wanted produce and this is too good an opportunity to miss."
  • Thomas Archer chose the pick of the plains to build his home. By the mid nineteenth century he'd created an estate to match his ambition. Sumptuous Woolmers crowned 13,000 acres complete with crested china and furnishings from the continent.
    • He was a gentleman of some note in the colony by that time. He entertained governors, the fact that he was elected to parliament you probably would've considered him Tasmanian aristocracy.
      Thomas Archer shared his land & good fortune with his father and brothers. Soon they were one of the largest landholders in the colony. Like all free settlers their wealth was raised on the back of convict labour. And with convicts making up 90% of the colony, the Archer family had a ready supply. Read more at ABC Dynasties 2

Archer Properties

Four sons of Hertfordshire miller, William Archer (1754–1833), established themselves in Van Diemen's Land.
    1. Thomas Archer MLC (1790–1850), arrived in Sydney in 1812. Appointed to the Commissariat Department in Hobart in 1813, he acquired the properties **//Woolmers//** and Fairfield at Norfolk Plains.
    2. Joseph Archer, MLC (1795–1853), arrived in 1821 and acquired Panshanger, Burlington and Woodside.
    3. William Archer (1788–1879) followed and farmed **//Brickendon//** and Munden. The miller joined Thomas at Woolmers in 1827, and acquired Roxford and Altamont at Westbury. Joseph and William jointly owned Panshanger and Saundridge.
    4. Edward Archer (1793–1862) wound up his father's affairs in England before farming Northbury at Longford. Selling his father's lands, he purchased Leverington near Campbell Town.


World Heritage Listed Colonial Farm Village
  • For seven generations Brickendon in Tasmania has been home to the Archer family. Today three
    Brickendon House
    Brickendon House
    generations still live here under the one roof. And that's how it's been for nearly 200 years.,,,Woolmers is the same landscape that's been there for 180 years.
  • Family history - Brickendon: www.brickendon.com.au/about_us/family_history
  • World Heritage Listed Colonial Farm Village - brickendon.com.au/
    A rich tapestry of early Tasmanian history is encapsulated at Brickendon.


World Heritage Listed Convict Site
  • Woolmers on the other side of the valley belonged to another branch of the Archer family. The ancestral home where the dynasty began.
    But today Woolmers is lost to family forever. The last in line living in isolation and dying alone.
    Woolmers Estate, owned by the Archer family until 1994 and now owned by a private trust, comprises more than 18 buildings and structures in a rural setting of 13 hectares. Woolmers Homestead, a large two-storey building with a flagged veranda, was the home of the ‘private master’.
  • Read more at the Archer Families' Wikipedia page

The Bayleys at Runnymede

Captain James Bayley

Captain James Bayley
Captain James Bayley

Captain James Bayley (1823–1894), one of the early Tasmanian seamen, died on 16 September 1894 at his late residence, Runnymede, New Town, at the advanced age of 71 years.
(From the Obituary of James Bayley - Obituaries Australia)
  • He served his time with his brother, the late Captain Charles Bayley, on the bark Fortitude, and at the expiration of his apprenticeship he went to England to see his family, returning to the colony in 1846, in the bark Pacific in the capacity of second officer.
  • He sailed in this vessel on her first whaling voyage, and subsequently joined his brother as chief officer of the bark Runnymede. When Mr Askin Morrison became owner of the bark Flying Childers Captain James Bayley took the vessel to China and brought her back to Hobart with a cargo of tea.
  • The brothers Bayley subsequently took over Mr Morrison's vessels, and Captain Bayley assumed command of the old Runnymede.
  • Like most of those who go down to the sea in ships Captain Bayley had his quota of danger.
    • On one occasion when aloft trying to sight a school of whales the top gallant halyards, with which he was steadying himself, gave way and he was precipitated into the sea, just missing the bulwarks of his vessel through her heeling over. A Kanaka who was engaged on the vessel jumped overboard, and sustained his chief until both were rescued.
  • On retiring from the seafaring life some years ago Captain Bayley became a member of the Marine Board, and remained in office until the nominee system was abolished.
  • He was a director in the Derwent and Tamar Insurance Company at the time of his death. For years Captain Bayley was part owner with Hon. Alexander McGregor in the barks Lufra and Helen.
  • As a private citizen and a seaman Captain Bayley was looked upon as one of the most kind-hearted and genial men in the port of Hobart. He leaves a wife and one daughter to mourn their loss. The latter is married to Mr H. V. Bayly, secretary to the General Post-office.
Runnymede - National Trust House & Gardens
Runnymede - National Trust House & Gardens

Mrs Elizabeth Bayley nee Bayley

(with thanks to "Elizabeth Bayley at Runnymede, New Town 1874-1875"
Posted on August 15, 2015 by Thomas Nevin)

Elizabeth Bayley (1840-1910) arrived in Hobart, Tasmania from London on the 18th August 1872. She was 32 years old, unmarried, the daughter of R. J. Bayley, shipbuilder, of Ipswich, Suffolk, England.
  • It was her first voyage to Hobart and only the second return voyage of the new barque the Harriet McGregor under the command of Captain Richard Copping.
  • It happened to be one of the most protracted voyages made by the Harriet McGregor, lasting 110 days because of adverse weather conditions.
  • Accompanying Elizabeth Bayley on board were three cabin passengers:
    • her relative Captain James Bayley ((1823-1894), aged 49 years,
    • his daughter Harriet Louisa Bayley (1861-1931), aged 12 years, and
    • Mr. John Bull, former third mate of the whaling vessel the Runnymede, to whom Captain James Bayley was deeply indebted for saving his life in 1866.
Captain James Bayley’s new wife, Elizabeth Bayley nee Bayley
Captain James Bayley’s new wife, Elizabeth Bayley nee Bayley

  • The barque Harriet McGregor was built in 1870 by John McGregor (1830-1902) at the Domain slipyard Hobart which was established by Elizabeth Rachel Nevin’s uncle Captain Edward Goldsmith back in 1854 prior to his sale of the lease in 1855 to John’s brother, Alexander McGregor (1821–1896).
  • Alexander named the barque after his wife Harriet McGregor nee Bayley, sister of James and Charles Bayley.
    • Harriet Bayley and Alexander McGregor married on 24 June 1847. He was 24 years old, she was a minor.
    • She died on 23 October 1878, aged 49 years, of chronic hepatitis and peritonitis.

First Marriage

Captain James Bayley’s first marriage to Emma Elizabeth Butchard, daughter of Captain Tom Butchard, on December 30th 1856 ended at her death ten years later, on 4th December 1866.
  • She died of pulmonary consumption, aged 27 yrs at Battery Point.
  • Witnesses at the marriage were his brother-in-law Alexander McGregor and his brother Charles Bayley.
  • Her daughter Harriet Louisa Bayley, named after the Bayley brothers’ sister, was motherless at just 5 years old.

Her widowed father took her to England and when they returned on the Harriet Gregor in 1872, he was accompanied by a prospective new wife and stepmother to Harriet, his distant relative Miss Elizabeth Bayley.
  • Thomas Nevin photographed Captain James Bayley’s new wife, Elizabeth Bayley nee Bayley within weeks of her marriage on 21st December 1874.
  • This is his portrait of her wearing a vibrant check frock, her wedding ring clearly visible on her left hand resting on the back of the chair.

Elizabeth Bayley, the young woman pictured here who did not arrive from London until 1872, was among Elizabeth Rachel Nevin’s circle of friends, her cohort of younger women in the master mariner community.
  • Her father Captain James Day had served extensively on vessels as navigator, chief officer and master with his brother-in-law, merchant trader Captain Edward Goldsmith from the 1830s-1850s, and on vessels owned by the McGregor and Bayley brothers on Pacific and Mauritius routes up to his death in 1882, licensed by Captain James Bayley at the Marine Board.

Second Marriage: Bayley and Bayley

(21st December 1874)
When Elizabeth Bayley became the second wife of Captain James Bayley on 21st December 1874, she was in the last trimester of pregnancy.
  • She gave birth to a daughter, Bessie Mary, on the 25th February 1875. The baby’s death was registered on the 17th March by their informant Thos Whitesides of Liverpool St. Hobart. The baby had died twenty days later of diarrhoea. Captain James Bayley and Elizabeth Bayley had no more children.
  • Although the marriage of Elizabeth Bayley to Captain James Bayley appears to have been tardy in the light of her late stage of pregnancy by 21st December 1874, the reason for the delay was due to the Bayley family’s state of mourning.
    • Three weeks prior to their marriage, on the 2nd December 1874, Mrs Charles Bayley, wife of James Bayley’s brother, died at Runnymede, New Town after a protracted illness.
    • And six weeks later Captain Charles Bayley himself also died at Runnymede, on the 22 January 1875. That huge loss left Runnymede without a master.
    • Captain James Bayley moved his daughter Harriet Louisa and his new wife Elizabeth into Runnymede and awaited the birth of Bessie, only to find themselves plunged further in mourning at her death at less than a month old, on 17th March 1875.


Elizabeth and James Bayley on the verandah at Runnymede, New Town, Tasmania ca. 1890
Elizabeth and James Bayley on the verandah at Runnymede, New Town, Tasmania ca. 1890

Captain James Bayley died on the 16th September 1894, aged 71 years.
  • His second wife Elizabeth Bayley nee Bayley died on 19th May 1910 at Runnymede, aged 70 yrs.
  • This photograph was taken of Elizabeth and James Bayley standing on the verandah of Runnymede, New Town, in the early 1890s.

Since their only child Bessie Mary had died in infancy in 1875, Captain James Bayley’s daughter, Harriett Louisa Bayley by his first marriage to Emma Elizabeth Butchard, inherited Runnymede.
  • In 1895, Harriet married H. V. Bayly (his real name even if very similar).
The house and grounds were held by her descendants, sisters Halle and Emma Bayley, until it was passed on to the National Trust of Tasmania.
  • New Town residents in the 1950s would remember the two elderly Bayley sisters. Some might even remember the pale thin English immigrant children who stayed with them and attended the “Campbell Street Practising School” in 1960.

The Runnymede

(1849 -1881)
  • Not to be confused with the 720 ton ship built in Sunderland UK in 1854 wich was employed as a convict transport for Western Australia.
Captain Charles Bayley's favourite ship, Runnymede
Captain Charles Bayley's favourite ship, Runnymede

The barque Runnymede was a 'whaler' built by John Watson at Battery Point in Hobart for Askin Morrison, who named it after his estate on Tasmania’s east coast.
  • Registered at Hobart (No. 25/1849) it had two decks, a square stern and a scroll stem. John Watson favoured building vessels from Tasmanian blue gum.
  • Runnymede was a famous whaler which featured on the cover of the 1988 Hobart phone book, (as another Watson-built ship).
  • At some time prior to 1874 the Runnymede was purchased by Alex McGregor and James Bayley, the latter commanding the vessel on its whaling voyages for many years.
  • The Runnymede was a "four ship" vessel, that was to say she carried four smaller boats for the pursuit of whales. The Runnymede under the command of Captain H. Hill.
  • The vessel was still registered at Hobart (No. 7/1874).
  • Runnymede had two large coppers on the deck of the vessel which boiled blubber, and the oil was released by cocks at the bottom of each to flow down into casks in the hold. The casks were used for the carriage of fresh water for the crew, and as they became empty were filled with oil.
Final days
On 27 October 1881 the Runnymede under the command of Captain J. Travis with a crew of 27 put in to Albany, as the second mate had been badly injured when a whale stove in a boat.
  • This was certainly not the first visit of the Runnymede to Albany, as it is recorded as arriving at the port on 9 May 1876 under the command of Captain Thomas Davis, with 66 tuns of oil on board.
  • On Wednesday 14 December 1881 the Runnymede anchored in six fathoms (11 m) at Frenchman Bay (Albany, W.A.) in order to take on water.

The log for the next four days reads:
  • Sat, Dec 17th; At daylight a strong breeze from eastwards and the ship rideing [sic] at anchor with 30 fathoms chain. At 10pm let go second anchor and payed out to 45 fathoms.
  • Sun, Dec 18th; At daylight a fresh gale from eastwards, the ship rideing with two anchors down. 60 fathoms on port one and 40 on the other, regular watches kept. At noon the gale stronger. At 8pm set the sea watches. The Mate headed the first watch. At 15 minutes past midnight parted the port chain got the large anchor and bent it on to the port chain, let it go and paid out 20 fathoms chain on it and other anchor held on without dragging.
The Loss:
  • Mon, Dec 19th; At daylight rideing with both anchors out. The gale continuede [sic] the same. At 6.30am parted the starboard chain and ship went on shore and the crew were employed saving what they could. At 5pm all hands got ashore safely.
  • Tues, Dec 20th; At daylight the weather fine and the crew employed gitting [sic] the stores from the wreck. The water about 5 feet in the hold. At sundown the crew came ashore for the night (Dickson, 2007: 587).
  • It was recorded in several newspapers that the Runnymede was a complete wreck. ‘The crew, stores and oil, were all saved.'

Read more about the Ship Runnymede: 2002, English, Book, Illustrated edition:
"A most dangerous occupation : whaling, whalers and the Bayleys : Runnymede's maritime heritage / Peter Mercer." Mercer, Peter G.
Bookmark: http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/40428507
Physical Description: xiv, 81 p. : ill, maps, ports., fascim. ; 21 cm.
Published: New Town, Tas. : Runnymede Committee, National Trust of Australia (Tasmania), 2002.

The Kermodes at Mona Vale

'Mona Vale', Ross, Tasmania; Unknown; c. 1960s; TSO00017917
'Mona Vale', Ross, Tasmania; Unknown; c. 1960s; TSO00017917

190 years ago a Manx-man called William Kermode set off from the Isle of Man and sailed to Tasmania – then called Van Diemen’s Land – arriving there in December 1819. He was a successful merchant trading out of Liverpool with his own ships.
  • On arrival he had to seek the permission of the Governor of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land to land – that Governor was a Scottish soldier born in Mull, one Major General Lachlan Macquarie.

In June 1821 William Kermode was granted 2000 acres (809 ha) on the Salt Pan Plains near Ross, Tasmania, where he eventually established a successful farm breeding sheep. There he built a house called Mona Vale, thought to be named after Castle Mona, the original home of the Duke of Atholl on the Isle of Man.
  • William Kermode was elected to parliament from which he later resigned in protest over a financial scandal.
  • He also became a director of a new company called the Sydney & Van Diemen’s Land Packet Company and a founding shareholder of the Bank of Van Diemen's Land before eventually retiring to Mona Vale, where he died on 3 August 1852.

William Kermode (1780-1852), merchant and settler, was born at Port Erin, Isle of Man, the son of Thomas Kermode and his wife Elizabeth, née Killey. As a youth he took up the sea as a career and is said to have made several voyages to India.
  • In 1810 he married Anne Quayle, daughter of Rev. John Moore, vicar of Braddan, and Margaret, née Quayle, of West Hill, Castletown.
  • Kermode first arrived at Hobart Town in November 1819 as supercargo in the Robert Quayle. He went on to Sydney, where he had difficulty in disposing of his cargo and left it in the hands of agents. He sent his ship to the whale fishery and returned to England in the Admiral Cockburn.
  • He made another voyage to Van Diemen's Land as supercargo in the Mary in 1821 and in June was granted 2000 acres (809 ha) on the Salt Pan Plains near Ross, but in Sydney, through mismanagement by his agents, he was declared bankrupt.

William returned to England in 1822, taking with him a Tasmanian Aboriginal boy, George Van Diemen, at Lieutenant-Governor William Sorell's request.
  • In 1823 Kermode again visited Australia with a large cargo, intending to fulfil the settlement conditions of his land grant.
  • In Hobart he was elected a director of the Sydney and Van Diemen's Land Packet Co. and became a founding shareholder of the Bank of Van Diemen's Land.
  • In 1824 he was granted another 1000 acres (405 ha) and bought 2000 (809 ha) more, thus building up the property which he called Mona Vale, probably after Castle Mona, the original home of the Dukes of Atholl on the Isle of Man.
  • Kermode sailed for England in 1826 and returned next year with his son and George Van Diemen.

In June 1827 the land commissioners reported that William Kermode was improving and cultivating his 'excellent Sheep Walk'. After his wife and daughters joined him in May 1828 he was able to give the personal attention which was to make Mona Vale a show place.
  • By 1834 his first modest timber house had been replaced by a substantial brick building; stone cottages and farm buildings were being erected and much of the estate laid out and fenced.
  • According to The Centenary History of the Midland Agricultural Association (Launceston, 1938) 'Kermode was probably the most progressive of all the fine settlers who arrived in Sorell's time. He had vision and the energy and practical ability to bring his ideas into being'.
    • With Saxon sheep from the Van Diemen's Land Co. he started his own stud in 1829 and later won many prizes for his sheep, horses and produce.
    • The dry summers and negligible flow of the two streams which crossed the Salt Pan Plains led him to an early interest in water conservation. Both streams were dammed and hundreds of acres of irrigated pasture laid down to clover and grasses on hitherto useless land.
    • Although the advice of such experts as Hugh Cotton on irrigation, and Count Strzelecki on soil analysis was not followed by the government, it was extensively used by Kermode who also gave generously of his time and energies to any practical proposals for improving farm production or standards.

The original Mr. William Kermode was granted a stretch of land embracing practically the whole of what is now Battery Point, Hobart, and subsequently Mrs. R. Q. Kermode gave a block of land for St. George's Church, Battery Point.
  • The family, however, settled at Mona Vale, which was a grant by Sir Thomas Brisbane, Governor of New South Wales, and entered upon pastoral pursuits, taking an active interest also in public life.
  • William Kermode, Esq., of Mona Vale, departed this life on August 3, 1852, in the 73rd year of his age, after a residence of 30 years in this colony, during which he distinguished himself by energy and uprightness of character in the discharge of public and private duty.
Robert Kermode, c. 1840 by Henry Mundy
Robert Kermode, c. 1840 by Henry Mundy

Robert Quayle Kermode

(1812 – 4 May 1870)

Robert Quayle Kermode, the eldest child and only son of William and Anne Kermode, had arrived in Van Diemen's Land with his father in 1827, and was soon helping to enlarge their estate and improve farming methods. In the following year, his mother and sisters also travelled to Tasmania.
  • Robert was appointed a justice of the peace in 1843 and elected for Campbell Town to the Legislative Council in 1851 where he took a leading part in political questions as an anti-transportationist.
  • He had liberal and enlightened views and contributed largely to the building funds of various churches and public institutions in the Ross district.
  • Mona Vale, Ross, Tasmania,c,1880’s
    Mona Vale, Ross, Tasmania,c,1880’s
  • Mona Vale was built by Robert Kermode and designed by William Archer, his brother-in-law.[5][6]

  • In 1865 he commenced building the third family home at Mona Vale; built of local sandstone, it had a tower and over fifty rooms and was, and most likely still is, one of the largest private homes in Australia. In 1868 Mr. Robert Quayle Kermode completed the Mona Vale mansion.
  • He entertained the Duke of Edinburgh there in 1868, shortly after the building was completed.
    • The Duke planted two trees there, one of which still lives, and promises to become a noble oak.

  • On the death of Mr. R. Q. Kermode the estate was divided among his three sons.
    • Mr. Robert. C. Kermode received a third, including the Mona Vale cottage.
    • Lewis was left another third on the Ballochmyle side, and
    • to William fell the Mona Vale homestead.
      This was entailed, and went to his son Eric, who sold it to Sir. Eustace Cameron, the present occupant.
  • Robert Quayle Kermode died on 4 May 1870 and was buried at Ross.

Robert Kermode
Robert Kermode

Mr. Robert Crellin Kermode (1847-1927)

Tasmania has lost a prominent pastorallst, an enthusiastic church and mission worker, and a great philanthropist beloved by a wide circle of friend, by the death of Mr. Robert Crellin Kermode, of Mona Vale, Ross, which took place at his residence at 5.30 p.m. yesterday,
  • Mr. R.C. Kermode was a son of Robert Quayle and Martha Elizabeth Henrietta Mona Vale, and was 80 years of age on Sunday last.
    • A few months ago he had a stroke from which he was making a good recovery, but on his birthday, last Sunday, after he had delivered a speech, he had a second stroke, and gradually sank.
    • He was a much travelled man, and Tasmania has benefited greatly from his experience and the energy he threw into his work in many directions for the welfare of his country and his fellowmen.
  • Mr. Robert Crellin Kermode was born at Mona Vale, Ross, on February 6, 1847. His grandfather (Mr. William Kermode) came to Tasmania in 1823 with his wife, and their three sons,
        • Messrs. Robert Quayle Kermode (father of deceased),
        • William Archer. Kermode, and
        • Lewis Q. Kermode, were all born in Tasmania.
          Martha Kermode
          Martha Kermode

At Longford on 10 November 1839, Robert Kermode married Martha, daughter of Thomas Archer; she bore him six sons and died in January 1853.
William Archer Kermode and Family at Bellerive
William Archer Kermode and Family at Bellerive

  • On 16 June 1859 in London he married Emily, daughter of Henry Addenbroke of Cheltenham; they had a daughter and two sons. Kermode died on 4 May 1870 and was buried at Ross.

  • Mr. William Kermode was one of the first members of the Legislative Council in Van Diemen's Land, being appointed by the British Government in 1842, and Mr. Robert. C. Kermode's father (Robert) was also a member.

  • He was also the first president of the Midland Agricultural Association in 1837.
    • The presidency of this notable society has fallen to the lot of three generations of the Kermodes.
    • The late Mr. R. C. Kermode was president for many years and acted in this capacity right to the last.

After his education in England Mr. Robert Crellin Kermode, returned to Tasmania and took up pastoral pursuits at Mona Vale.
  • His father imported Merinos from England, and he took an interest in these for many years.
  • Mr. R. C. Kermode was one of the first men to start golf in the Midlands and was a keen cricketer, at which game he excelled, his support being given to the Ross team.
  • After a few years (about the year 1887) he went to Florida, where he joined his brother and took up orange growing. While in Florida he indulged his sporting proclivities in shooting, and the hall at Mona Vale contains several glass cases of stuffed birds of brilliant plumage which he shot in America.

After leaving Florida again Mr. Robert Crellin Kermode went to England, and then travelled extensively.
  • A little over 40 years ago, before going to Florida, Mr. Kermode married Miss Georgiana Fawns, daughter of the Rev. J. Fawns, of Launceston, and after his marriage continued his travels.
  • Then he settled down at Mona Vale. Mrs. Kermode died in 1923. There were no children.
  • Last year Mr. Kermode added an excellently appointed children's ward to the Campbell Town Hospital, entirely at his own expense, as a memorial to his late wife.

Georgiana Kermode

Woman's Christian Temperance Union
Georgiana Kermode
Georgiana Kermode
Georgiana Fawns married Rt. C. Robert Crellin Kermode JP, a wealthy landowner, in 1885 at Caulfield, Victoria.
The couple lived in the stately home, Mona Vale near Ross, that was known for many years as the Calendar House due to its reputed 365 windows, 7 entrances, 52 rooms, and 12 chimneys.
Later they moved to the neighbouring property Lochiel.

Georgiana Kermode was active in the Campbell Town WCTU, obtaining petition signatures and leading a well-attended public suffrage meeting in 1896 - despite the opposition of family and friends. She accompanied Jessie Rooke to the triennial WCTU convention in Queensland in 1897.
As the Colonial Suffrage Superintendent of the WCTU, Georgiana proposed an aggressive propaganda initiative to pressurize politicians over the vote. She undertook a 'winter campaign' in 1896 with Jessie Rooke, addressing well-attended drawing-room and public meetings all over Tasmania, gaining much public support and 2,278 signatures for a petition to parliament - a creditable effort, given the small and isolated population.
She later became 'a prominent worker' in the Liberal organisation, the Tasmanian National League. Georgiana died in September 1923 at Middlesex, England.

Among pastoralists Mr. Robert Crellin Kermode was widely known as an enthusiastic breeder of high-class Shropshires, in which he interested himself many years ago, and took prizes at the different shows; but in more recent years he changed his fancy, and went in for Lincolns, which he has bred for the last nine years.
  • He kept his Lincoln stud flock at a farm at Sheffield, in West Kentish, and also owned the Dog's Head property at Lake Sorell, Interlaken.
  • He was always a successful exhibitor at and keen supporter of the Campbell Town and Hobart shows, at which he was a prominent figure.
Mr. Kermode was a prominent member of the Municipal Council of Ross. He joined it in 1894, and had been a member, also a justice of the peace ever since.
  • Mr. Kermode was a prolific correspondent, and is said to have found time for writing, on an average, 40 letters a week.
    - Return to Contents

The Camerons

Read More at Companion to Tasmanian History

The Cameron Family arrived in Tasmania in 1822, when Donald Cameron (1780–1857), Scottish surgeon in the British Navy, obtained a land grant, located at Fordon, Nile. He acquired other properties, and from that date the Camerons have been included among Tasmania's leading pastoralists.

Donald Cameron (1780-1857), surgeon and landowner, was born on 10 January 1780 at Edinburgh, the second son of John Cameron (d.1794), merchant and sole male survivor of his family after the 1745 rebellion, and his first wife Mary (d.1785), daughter of John Richardson, also an Edinburgh merchant. His father's second wife was Elizabeth, née MacDonald.
  • Donald attended High School and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. After his father died he fell out with his stepmother, joined the East India Co. and never returned home again.
  • In 1798 he sailed as surgeon's mate in the Good Hope for Madras, where he joined the navy and became surgeon's mate in H.M.S. Suffolk (under Captain Pulteney Malcolm).
  • He served on several ships on the Indian coast, Persian Gulf and Red Sea, was in the French prize, La Forte, when she was wrecked at Jedda and then transferred to the Adam Smith transporting troops to Egypt. In 1802 he returned to England as surgeon in H.M.S. Lion and was paid off.
  • He began a private practice in Edinburgh and on 21 May 1803 at St. Giles's Cathedral married Margaret Ann, daughter of Robert Still, merchant.

He sailed with his wife and five children from Leith in the Skelton (under Captain James Dixon).
    1. Elizabeth CAMERON b. 25/04/1804 d. 18/05/1871
    2. ? John Cameron (1806-1866) see photo below
    3. Donald CAMERON b 1-Aug-1814 d 31/10/1890
    4. Robert CAMERON b. 1816 d. 13/11/1874
    5. Margaret Ann CAMERON b. 1820 d. 02/04/1857[1]
Son? John Cameron (1806-1866) merchant, with daughter Kate (aged 12) in Hobart
Son? John Cameron (1806-1866) merchant, with daughter Kate (aged 12) in Hobart

He arrived at Sydney on 16 January 1821 with an Aberdeen M.D., professorial letters of recommendation and capital valued at £1400.
  • Governor Lachlan Macquarie offered him a government post or a 1000-acre (405 ha) grant. Cameron chose the land and while negotiating to locate it in Van Diemen's Land he practised in Sydney.
  • He left Sydney on 11 April 1822 for Launceston where he was granted a town allotment, site of the later General Post Office.
    • He declined recommendation for a magistracy but built 'at great expense and trouble two commodious brick dwellings which add much to the appearance and respectability of the Town'; one of them was exchanged for £400 and for a 1000-acre (405 ha) grant near Quamby which he later traded with Richard Dry for four hundred sheep.
      Fordon House, Outbuildings and Garden
      Fordon House, Outbuildings and Garden
  • In June 1823 his own original grant was located on the Nile River and named Fordon. Later he bought more land near by and received another grant, Lundavra, at Break O'Day (St Marys). Donald and his wife Mary extended the family holdings, including Lowestoft at Chigwell near Hobart;
    • Donald entered the Legislative Council where he was ultra-conservative, and Mary is credited with introducing Jersey cattle to Tasmania.
  • Their descendants flourished, and today family members own many properties in the Midlands, notably Mona Vale and Lochiel at Ross.
    • The family made other contributions to Tasmania: between 1868 and 1943, three Donald Camerons were parliamentarians, in all four possible houses, with two in the first Federal parliament; and Cyril St Clair Cameron was an outstanding soldier as well as a politician.

The Cameron Sons and Grandsons

Cameron managed his properties with the help of his sons.
  • In the mid-1840s he suffered serious stock losses, and crime in the area was prevalent, including two murders. In 1848 he retired to Launceston where he died on 19 February 1857; he was buried at Evandale.
    • His wife disliked town life; her interests were in the country and she was largely responsible for the water-race at Fordon. There she died on 17 June 1860 and was buried with her husband. Read more: Australian Dictionary of Biography
  • Their youngest son Robert Cameron inherited the properties at Lundavra and Clairville. He had married his cousin, Maria Sefton, daughter of Alexander Still, who after the South American venture settled in Sydney.

The second son Donald Cameron, born in 1814 at Fordoun, Scotland, early showed great industry and ability, became his father's partner in 1838 and by 1840 was virtually managing their livestock.
  • By 1840 he was virtually manager of this farm which his father had named 'Fordon'. He bought rams from Norfolk Plains and from the Forlonges and was said to have been called in to arbitrate when the Taylors acquired Kenilworth from the Forlonges.
    Donald Cameron, Member for North Esk
    Donald Cameron, Member for North Esk
    • In 1844-1848 Donald toured the Continent and Britain, visited his birthplace and on 8 June 1847 married Mary Isabella, daughter of James Morrison, a banker of Stirling.
  • He returned to Tasmania early in 1848 with his wife, a piano and a billiard table and settled at Fordon, which he later inherited.
  • In 1863 he bought Burnside and, because he suffered from asthma, moved about a mile (1.6 km) to the higher ground.
  • His business prospered and he bought more properties. He improved his flocks with rams from James Gibson of Belle Vue estate and ewes from W. Taylor of Patterdale.
  • The farm still prospered, allowing him to represent the area in the Tasmanian parliament.[2]
    From 1868-1886 he represented North Esk in the Legislative Council
    Lowestoft, Hobart
    Lowestoft, Hobart
  • In 1871 bought for £3500 the property of Lowestoft(now part of Chigwell suburb), Hobart.
    • Their three sons and a daughter all gained distinction in their chosen spheres.
    • He was father of Donald Norman Cameron (MHR for Tasmania 1901-1903, MHA 1904-1906) and
      Cyril St Clair Cameron (Senator for Tasmania 1901-1903) and

      grandfather of Donald Keith Cameron (MHA 1934-1937).When he died on 31 October 1890, an obituarist in the Colonist claimed that he was ultra-conservative in politics but always had the courage of his opinions and expressed them fearlessly.
    • His wife survived him and continued to run the property for the next twenty three years. His wife travelled extensively between Tasmania and Europe. She is credited with the introduction of Jersey cattle into Tasmania and in 1904 became the first president of the local branch of the Victoria League.

Donald Norman Cameron (1851-1931), landowner and politician, Eustace Noel Cameron (1864-1939), major landowner, and Cyril St Clair Cameron (1857-1941), soldier, landowner and politician, were brothers, and the sons of Donald Cameron MLC (above).
Donald Norman Cameron M.P.
Donald Norman Cameron M.P.

  • Donald Norman was born at Fordon, Nile, Tasmania, eldest son of Donald Cameron and his Scottish wife Mary Isabella, née Morrison, and grandson of Donald Cameron who migrated from Scotland in 1820.
  • At 8 Cameron attended Glenalmond College, Perthshire, Scotland, returning to Tasmania in 1870 to take up sheep-breeding on his property, //Bentley//, at Chudleigh:
    Current Bentley, at Chudleigh, Tasmania
    Current Bentley, at Chudleigh, Tasmania
  • He became one of the colony's foremost farming authorities.
    • On 8 June 1880 at St John's Church of England, New Town, he married Anne Lillias Scott.
  • Cameron was elected to the House of Assembly for Deloraine in 1893 but resigned after six months to unsuccessfully contest Tamar for the Legislative Council.
  • He represented Deloraine again in the assembly from 1897 to 1899.
  • He became a free-trade member for Tasmania in the first Federal House of Representatives; defeated for Denison in 1903, he won Wilmot next year in a by-election following the death of Sir Edward Braddon and held it until 1906.
  • A member of the select committee on the Electoral Act administration in 1904, he was regarded as an energetic member who, although he spoke seldom, had a forceful personality.
  • He represented Wilmot in the House of Assembly in 1912-13 and 1925-28. Read more:

Mr. Eustace N. Cameron (b 8-Apr-1865 d 1-Feb-1939) purchased the Mona Vale property and remembers the Duke of Edinburgh's visit to Tasmania. His grandfather was a doctor in the British Navy when he came to Tasmania about a century ago, and settled at Fordon.
  • His father was the late Mr. Donald Cameron MLC, also of Fordon.
  • Cameron St., Launceston, is named after the family.
  • Mr. D.A. Cameron, son of Mr. E.N. Cameron, resides at Lochiel, a fine homestead on the Mona Vale estate. (The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.) Fri 16 Oct 1936)
    02 Feb 1939 - SUDDEN DEATH AT 75 Mr. E. N. Cameron
    02 Feb 1939 - SUDDEN DEATH AT 75 Mr. E. N. Cameron
Mr. Eustace Noel Cameron, one of Tasmania's largest landholders and the producer of one of the biggest wool clips in the Midlands, died suddenly at his residence, "Mona Vale," Ross, yesterday, at the age of 75.
  • Mr. Cameron raised some of the finest superfine Merino wool in Tasmania, and obtained 24d at the Launceston sales this week.
  • Born at "Fordon," Nile, in 1864, he was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Donald Cameron. He was educated at the old Hobart High School under the late Rev. Poulett-Harris, and later pursued his studies in Germany at the Universities of Gottingen and Bonn.
  • At the time of his death he owned the following estates— Williamwood (Ross), Mona Vale (Ross), Charlton (Ross), Fassifern (Tunbridge), and Kelvin Grove (Conara). He also owned property in the Lakes district.

The Cameron Family at Mona Vale

Mona Vale (former residence of Col. Allan Cameron), lies in the fork formed by the Blackman and Macquarie Rivers and was granted to William Kermode in 1823.
  • Then, through lack of heirs, the Kermode's Mona Vale property was sold.
  • Fassifern’ was the first to go and was bought by the Hon. Donald Cameron, M.L.C., son of Dr. Donald Cameron, R.N., of Edinburgh, who came to Hobart Town on the way to Sydney in 1820 with his wife, three sons and two daughters.
  • Failing to obtain a grant to his liking from the Government in New South Wales, he came back to Tasmania in 1822 and while waiting for a house to be built, pitched his tent in an open field where the Launceston Post Office is now standing in Cameron Street.

Until his grant was located, he practiced in Launceston for a year and then moved to ‘Fordon’ at the Nile. where the old house is still standing. ‘Clairville,’ at Western Junction also became his property.
  • Charles Headlam then obtained a lease of the ‘Mona Vale’ property, but Robert Quayle Kermode still kept a few acres and the home.
  • Then in 1902 the late Mr. Eustace Cameron (youngest son of Donald). bought the property and came from ‘Kelvin Grove’ to live in the house.

Soon after the late Mr. Eustace Cameron acquired Mona Vale, his brother the late Col, Cyril St. Clair Cameron saw in the open plains and low hills of the property an ideal training ground for cavalry.
CAMERON, Cyril St Clair  (1857–1941
CAMERON, Cyril St Clair (1857–1941

  • Cyril St Clair Cameron, army officer and farmer, came from a northern Tasmanian family which produced four parliamentarians.
  • Son of Donald Cameron, MLC, and Mary, née Morrison, he was born on 5 December 1857 at the family property, ‘Fordon’, Nile.
  • Educated in Tasmania and Scotland, Cameron received a second lieutenant’s commission with the Queen’s Royal Lancers in 1879. In 1879–80, he served in Afghanistan, Read more:

  • In 1908 with his brother’s help and permission the first annual camp for military training was established beside a willow-lined irrigation drain in a sheltered spot to the east of the homestead and for some years the Light Horse held an annual camp here.
  • But alter the 1914-18 war a more exposed position to the south-east, near Don’s Battery, was chosen’ and a camp for all arms was established.
  • Then the Commonwealth Government acquired a ninety years” right to train military forces on the estate, and during the last war an artillery range was made and reserve troops for the Island’s defence were largely centred here.
  • As early as 1896 Col. Cameron had raised an infantry company at Evandale when Tasmania had its own defence force and the Common‘wealth had not been formed.
Mona Vale, Ross, 1880 (AOT, PH30/1/2966)
Mona Vale, Ross, 1880 (AOT, PH30/1/2966)

The ‘Silver Plain’ run, after being leased to Edward Ferrar, was added to ‘Mona Vale’ in 1929.
  • Charlton” (Mr. E. J. Cameron) is run by him with the homestead property, ‘Lochiel’ and the Great Lake Plain in the Western Tiers.,
  • When the original owner (Smith) returned to England, the property became one of the many owned by Charles Headlam and it was bought by the late Mr. Eustace Cameron from the Headlam estate in 1906.
  • Lochiel’ (so named by Mr. Eustace Cameron), had been originally known as 'Mona Vale Cottage’ and was built apparently as a dower house.
  • This, with ‘Fassifern,’ ‘Interlaken,’ ‘Dog’s Head’ and “Silver Plains,’ with runs at the Lakes and Sorell, along with holdings in New Zealand and elsewhere, were all part of the Kermode estate. Fat stock from the irrigated areas on his property at Ross brought good prices from the Hobart Town.butchers and from the Government contractors, who supplied the convicts and military.

Charlton, Fassifern and Mona Vale, south of Ross, are now managed by John and Fiona Cameron.

Select Bibliography

  • W. James, The Naval History of Great Britain (Lond, 1822)
  • A. MacKenzie, History of the Camerons (Inverness, 1881)
  • manuscript catalogue under Donald Cameron (State Library of New South Wales)
  • correspondence file under Donald Cameron (Archives Office of Tasmania)
  • Cameron papers (privately held). - From Australian Dictionary of Biography: Cameron, Donald (1814–1890)
    - Return to Contents

Henry Hopkins of Westella and Summerhome

Henry Hopkins (1787-1870), merchant and philanthropist, was born on 16 August 1787 at Deptford, England.
  • His mother was Mary, née A'Gutta, of Flemish descent. He was brought up in a pious Nonconformist middle class home and had a sound business training, spending '16 years in the wool trade in England'.
  • He married his cousin Sarah Rout, daughter of Margaret A'Gutta, and sailed with her from Deptford in the Heroine. Among the passengers were Robert Mather and his wife and family, and George and Martha Clarke.
  • On 10 September 1822 they arrived at Hobart Town, where Mather and Hopkins became partners, and as retailers and buyers of produce opened a small shop in Elizabeth Street.

Successful Businessman

Henry Hopkins (1787-1870), by unknown photographer, 1860s
Henry Hopkins (1787-1870), by unknown photographer, 1860s

As Hobart's first wool buyer, Hopkins was credited with the entire export of the colony in 1822: twelve bales of wool bought at 4d. a pound, and sold in London at 7d.

  • The partnership with Mather was short-lived. Hopkins moved to his own shop and cottage, 'two rooms and a skilling', at the corner of Elizabeth and Bathurst Streets. His main stock was ironmongery, but he was keenly interested in developing the wool trade.
  • On 28 December 1825 he applied for a land grant, offering as qualifications his long experience in the wool trade and a capital of £2000. The application failed because he would not accept the required residence conditions, but as a townsman and trader he rapidly prospered.
  • In 1835 he built Westella, the great square stone house which still stands in Elizabeth Street, a landmark from which, in the absence of a Town Hall, were proclaimed the governor's orders on King William's death, Queen Victoria's accession, the birth of Edward Prince of Wales, and later the cessation of transportation.
  • Hopkins also acquired other properties and in 1839 he put up for sale ten houses in Hobart, a farm and numerous town allotments. In 1837 he had visited the Port Phillip District to buy land and wool. He bought Wormbete, near Winchelsea, and stocked it with merinos from Van Diemen's Land.
  • Later he made it over to his second son, John Rout, and acquired another Victorian property at Lake Murdeduke, for his third son, Arthur.

Henry Hopkins was a prominent merchant and also a ship owner.
  • He had NAUTILUS built by Mackey at Battery Point and made his first trip home to the United Kingdom in it.
  • His other vessels included St BRICEDALE, IRAZU andCOUNTESS of SEAFORD.

The whole family went to England in 1839 (on the Nautilus) and were away for three years, returning in the Jane Frances in December 1842.
Westella, built for Henry Hopkins, merchant and philanthropist
Westella, built for Henry Hopkins, merchant and philanthropist

  • Although Hopkins was still buying wool in 1847, he appears to have given up active trading, for in 1845 Lieutenant-Governor Sir John Eardley-Wilmot noted that 'Mr. Hopkins is a gentleman retired from all business, residing in Hobart Town and living on a large independent fortune'.
  • About this time he was engaged in enlarging the house on his farming estate, Summerhome, formerly Robert Giblin's New Town Academy for boys. Here for his remaining years Hopkins spent his summer months, returning to Westella for the winter.

Civic Functions

Hopkins arrived in Hobart Town in 1822 with a shipment of boots when they were in short supply. He made a huge profit and invested the earnings in local wool for export to England.
  • He had begun life in Hobart Town sharing a two-room house with an Earth floor with his wife. However, after ten years of exporting wool, he was wealthy enough to build "Westella House", then the biggest in Hobart Town, and still standing today. It had 48 rooms and the dining room could seat 60 guests.[49]
  • Hopkins campaigned heavily to abolish transportation, which had already been abolished in New South Wales. This placed a heavier burden on Van Diemen's Land, which by 1830 was Britain's only external gaol.
  • He was one of the founders of congregationalism in Hobart Town and built a chapel at his own expense in Collins Street. He also contributed to building funds for the still existent St. David's Anglican Cathedral, as well as other Presbyterian and Wesleyan churches, and started scholarships for theological students.[49]

In 1843 he became a magistrate and for many years was chairman of the Hobart Town General Sessions, presiding at all magistrates' meetings. In the political struggles of 1846 he accepted nomination to the Legislative Council on the resignation of the 'Patriotic Six', but could not agree with Wilmot's policy and resigned after three months.
Hopkins, Henry - lantern slide; P_GSL200
Hopkins, Henry - lantern slide; P_GSL200

  • In 1849 he became a leading member of the Anti-Transportation League and its early Hobart meetings were held at his house.
    • He was one of the trustees and later president of the Hobart Savings Bank,
    • chairman of directors of the Hobart Gas Co. in 1857-70,
    • president of the Chamber of Commerce,
    • chairman of the Van Diemen's Land Bank, the Tasmanian Insurance Co. and the Mersey and Deloraine Tramway Co.,
    • an original subscriber and shareholder of the Hobart High School, and
    • a generous donor to the Bible Society, Ragged School, Benevolent Society, City Mission, and innumerable churches.


The one thing this shrewd little man deemed more important than money, success or worldly goods was his religion.
  • Brought up in an era of religious revival and missionary activity when the great missionary and philanthropic societies were being founded in England,
  • Hopkins had a strong personal faith and that missionary spirit which impels the believer 'to go into all the world and preach the gospel', or in his case, to supply funds for spreading the Word. To all causes that appealed to him, he contributed with 'princely liberality'.
  • The London Missionary Society and the building of Congregational churches called forth his most lavish gifts, but although firm in his own faith he was no bigot, and he gave generously to the building funds of Presbyterian and Wesleyan churches and of St David's Cathedral.
  • When All Saints' Anglican Church was founded he was the first to come forward with his donation, while the neighbouring Davey Street Methodist Church bears his name on its foundation stone.
  • According to his son-in-law George Clarke, 'Money he regarded as a trust and a stewardship, and all his life he acted on the principle of devoting a fixed proportion of his income to objects of Christian philanthropy. Much that he gave is known, much more is a secret that he never disclosed'.


Thad Leavitt, 'Congregational Church, Princes Square', 1887 (Tasmaniana Library, SLT)
Thad Leavitt, 'Congregational Church, Princes Square', 1887 (Tasmaniana Library, SLT)

Hopkins has often been credited with founding Congregationalism in Australia. Soon after his arrival he began to teach in the Wesleyan Sunday school, and for ten years he worshipped with the Presbyterians.
  • But Hopkins wanted his accustomed form of worship, and in 1828 he wrote to the London Missionary Society asking for a pastor and offering him a home.
  • This resulted two years later in the arrival of Rev. Frederick Miller and the building of the Brisbane Street Chapel.
  • In 1835 Hopkins was again instrumental in bringing out a second Independent minister, Rev. John Nisbet.
  • He also gave land for the Berea chapel in Liverpool Street and in 1837 built the Collins Street chapel, Hobart, at his sole expense. When this became too small and a meeting discussed the building of Davey Street Church, the minute book recorded that 'Mr. Hopkins engages to pay a sum equal to that which may be collected within the twelve months from 1st August 1853'.
  • Many country churches also received his support, and in 1837 he asked the new Colonial Missionary Society for a minister to be sent to Melbourne, and gave money for his outfit and passage.
  • In September 1839 Hopkins laid the foundation of the first Victorian Congregational Church, 'a neat and spacious brick building' at the corner of Collins and Russell Streets. Twenty-seven years later, when it was replaced by the present church, Hopkins again journeyed to Melbourne to lay that foundation stone.
  • About this time, too, he gave a further £3000 to the London Missionary Society, and £1000 for a bursary to Camden College, Sydney, for the training of Congregationalist ministers. His last public act was to lay the foundation stone of the Memorial Church, Hobart, to which he donated £500.


Henry Hopkins with his family at his residence, Summerhome, Moonah
Henry Hopkins with his family at his residence, Summerhome, Moonah

Sarah and Henry Hopkins, Hobart's most significant Independent settlers, arrived in 1822.
  • In response to their request, the Rev Frederick Miller (1806–62) was sent in 1830 from Highbury College in London to become the first settled Independent minister in Australia.
  • His difficulties led to the sending out of a number of ministers to assist, including John Nisbet, Joseph Beazley, Alexander Morrison, John West and Charles Price.
  • Price arrived in 1832, but was not wanted in Hobart Town, failed to establish a church in Launceston, and left the island, returning to Launceston in 1836, where he ran a school and ministered until his death.
  • The arrival of John West in Launceston led to a schism in Price's Tamar Street congregation, and the setting up of St John's Square Chapel in 1839.

Due to the efforts of the ministers, with financial support from Hopkins, Congregational chapels became widespread in southern Tasmania, but not in the north, where Baptists were more prevalent, except in Launceston and at the Forth River.
  • Prominent lay Congregationalists included the Waddell and Button families, including William Button, first Mayor of Launceston and Henry Button, author; historian James Fenton; pharmaceutical manufacturer Landon Fairthorne; lawyer Henry Jennings; and James Aikenhead, co-founder with West of the Launceston Examiner.
    • Read more: Companion to Tasmanian History; National Trust Tasmanian Heritage Register
      "Forty years ago I had the privilege of introducing the first Independent minister to this colony, and thirty years since I was the means of the introduction of the first Independent minister into Victoria. Two months ago I had the privilege of laying the foundation stone of the new Wesleyan Church in Davey-street, and now I am called upon to lay the foundation stone of the Memorial Church, which stone bears the name of the Rev Frederick Miller, who arrived in this place forty years ago. He was a man of piety and energy and he felt a great love for the people, and for every cause that had for its object the glory of god and the good of his fellow man". - Ferguson and Urie blog
His wife Sarah died on 17 November 1849, aged 56. Hopkins died on 27 September 1870, after a peaceful and happy old age and a very short illness.

John Rout Hopkins

John Rout Hopkins (1828-1897), pastoralist, was born on 18 August 1828 at Hobart Town, the second son of Henry Hopkins and his wife Sarah, née Rout.
  • The family lived in England in 1840-42 and after their return to Van Diemen's Land John received a thorough grounding in sheepbreeding, spending some time at David Gibson's famous stud.
  • In 1845 he was sent to manage Murdeduke, one of his father's Western District runs, and then became owner of Wormbete, also near Winchelsea.
  • In 1850-55 Hopkins acquired freehold of 20,000 acres (8094 ha) and bought the adjoining St Stephen's and River stations.
  • In 1854 and 1855 he occupied the Mount Hesse run. Hopkins greatly improved his land and developed a special Wormbete merino which he inbred successfully from then onwards, shearing up to 26,000 sheep a year.

Hopkins had a long and uneventful political career. In the Legislative Assembly he represented South Grant in 1864-67 and 1871-77 and Geelong in 1892-94. In parliament he was concerned mainly with the issues of local government. In 1880 he was vice-chairman of the Geelong Group of the Municipal Association and was elected mayor of Geelong in 1892.

The Reibeys at Entally

Mary Reibey’s legacy lives on at Entally House, Tasmania

Roses are a prominent feature in the gardens of Entally House, Tasmania. Picture: © Holly Kerr Forsyth
Roses are a prominent feature in the gardens of Entally House, Tasmania. Picture: © Holly Kerr Forsyth
The property, which was home to Mary Reibey’s eldest son Thomas, is set in 35ha of park-like grounds. Picture: © Holly Kerr Forsyth
The property, which was home to Mary Reibey’s eldest son Thomas, is set in 35ha of park-like grounds. Picture: © Holly Kerr Forsyth
The local TAFE college runs horticulture courses in the grounds. Picture: © Holly Kerr Forsyth
The local TAFE college runs horticulture courses in the grounds. Picture: © Holly Kerr Forsyth

* HOLLY KERR FORSYTH, The Australian, 12:00AM January 30, 2016

If ever there is an example of how much can be achieved in this country — if you have energy and application — it is the story of Thomas Reibey, who in 1819 built Entally House near the village of Hadspen in northern Tasmania.

Thomas was the eldest son of Mary Reibey who, as 14-year-old Mary Haydock, was transported to the colony of New South Wales in 1792 as punishment for stealing a horse.
The day after her arrival, in a letter to her aunt Mrs Hope in Lancashire dated October 8, 1792 (the oldest surviving letter sent from the colony), Mary wrote:
  • I write this on Board of ship but it looks a pleasant place — I will Watch every oppertunity to Get away in too or 3 years But will make my self as happy as I can ... I am well and hearty as ever I was in my life ...

In 1794 she married Thomas Reibey, a junior marine officer, and together they had seven children.
After her husband’s death in 1811, Mary (whose face is featured on our $20 note) took over his businesses and, through hard work and talent, amassed vast landholdings in NSW and Tasmania.
She wrote to her cousin Alice in 1818:
  • The Estate that I have lately purchased at Van Diemans Land of 2000 acres that I purchased as an entail on my Children ... so that my yearly Income is one Thousand pounds ... but no one will do well that is not thrifty correct and Sober this place is not like England you are under the Eye of every one and your Character Scrutinized by both rich and poor ...

In 1821, her son George praised her in a letter to his cousin David Hope in Glasgow as“a Mother — whose long anxious and the great exertion for the improvement and future happiness of her children was scarcely ever surpassed”.
  • In the way of many colonists who, once they became successful, sent their children “home” to be educated, Mary’s great grandson was sent to Eton: his letters can be read in the Mitchell wing of the State Library of NSW.

Today, Entally House is set in 35ha of park-like grounds and gardens; the convict-built house, chapel, coach house and stables are open for inspection.
You arrive through a long drive bordered with mature oaks planted in the 1820s and edged in English box (Buxus sempervirens) over which rhododendron spill, in full flower in mid-November. The end of the drive is punctuated by a massive Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara) thought to be more than 180 years old, the seed brought back from one of the overseas voyages made by Thomas’s son.
Mary Reibey (1777-1855), by unknown artist
Mary Reibey (1777-1855), by unknown artist

Reibey family speaks out for Entally House

Posted 2 Jun 2004, 12:47pm
MAP: Launceston 7250
The decision to terminate the lease on one of Australia's most historic buildings has been described as a wake-up call for the National Trust in Tasmania.
Convict turned businesswoman Mary Reibey had Entally House near Launceston built for her son, Thomas, in 1819 - the trust's lease on the house ceases in July.
The Tasmanian Government is seeking expressions of interest for Entally.

Mary Reibey

Mary Reibey, née Haydock, (1777-1855), businesswoman and trader, was born on 12 May 1777 in Bury, Lancashire, England. She was convicted of horse stealing at Stafford on 21 July 1790 and sentenced to be transported for seven years.
  • When arrested she was dressed as a boy and went under the name of James Burrow, but at her trial her identity was disclosed. The whole episode which resulted in her conviction as a felon at the age of 13 and transportation to New South Wales was probably no more than a high-spirited escapade attributable to lack of parental control, for her parents were dead and she lived with her grandmother.
  • She arrived in Sydney in the Royal Admiral in October 1792 and was assigned as a nursemaid in the household of Major Francis Grose. On 7 September 1794 she married in Sydney Thomas Reibey, a young Irishman in the service of the East India Co., whom she had met in the transport and who had returned to Sydney in the Britannia that year.

Mary Reibey, Thomas’ mother and matriarch of the family, was transported to Australia in 1790 for the crime of horse stealing, then aged 13. She would later marry a junior officer of the East India Company who established the Entally name as a successful trading company that owned a number of vessels running coal up the Hawkesbury River in New South Wales.
  • Following her husband’s death in 1811, Mary became one of the richest and most successful businesswomen in Australia. Today, Mary is most recognisable as the face of the Australian 20 dollar note.
  • The Estate provided the training grounds for the 1884 Melbourne Cup winner Malua, and includes a cricket oval that’s believed to be one of the first in the country; hosting games before Melbourne was settled.

Thomas Reibey

Thomas Reibey (1769-1811) appears to have been the first free settler outside the military ring to trade. The first years of his married life were apparently spent on the Hawkesbury, where he acquired property and was engaged in the grain-carrying business; later he established himself near the waterside in what is now Macquarie Place and turned his former association with the East India Co. to advantage by importing general merchandise.
  • He named his trading establishment Entally House, after a suburb in Calcutta.
    • The scope of his business activity was indicated when in 1801 he became indebted to Robert Campbell senior for the sum of £160 10s., and in October 1803 he mortgaged to Campbell three Hawkesbury farms totalling 260 acres (105 ha), their buildings, crops, livestock, and boats, along with certain other property and buildings in Sydney, for a further credit advance of £150 to enable him to carry on his business.
    • By 1803 he also owned three small boats, James, Edwin and Raven, and traded to the Hunter and Hawkesbury Rivers in coals, cedar and wheat. He entered into partnership with Edward Wills (1778?-1811) and was engaged in sealing in Bass Strait in 1805; in 1807 they bought the schooner Mercury for trade with the Pacific Islands.
  • During the great Hawkesbury River floods of 1806 Reibey did heroic work and saved the lives of several people. He was appointed a pilot in Port Jackson in March 1809 which suggests that he thought of giving up the sea, but in October he undertook his last voyage to China and India made necessary by losses suffered in New South Wales.
  • He left Sydney in the Lady Barlow and returned a year later in the Mary and Sally. He died at Entally House on 5 April 1811 after a lingering illness, the origin of which was attributed to a coup de soleil which he suffered while in India. Reibey appears to have been an astute trader and kept apart from the squabbles of Governor William Bligh and his antagonists.
Mary Reibey
Mary Reibey



Convict. Crime: Horse Stealing

Tried: 24 Jul 1790, Stafford, 7 years

Mary married 1 Aug 1794 at St Phillips Sydney, Thomas REIBEY, Naval Officer, Britannia 1791.

Thomas Reibey in 1809 was recorded as Harbour Master and pilot of Sydney Cove. He died in 1811, buried at the Old Sydney Burial ground and later re interned to Devonshire Street Cemetery.

After Thomas’s death in 1811 Mary carried on his merchant and shipping business. Mary soon became recognized as a leader in business matters and a prominent land holder in Sydney Town and was held a respected place in society. She easily was able to hide her convict background as with her business dealings, Mary had became part of high society in Sydney.

1822: Mary was listed as Came free, 1821, this being correct as she had returned to England, but does hides her convict past.

1825: Free by Servitude, per Royal Admiral 1792, Householder, Campbelltown

Mary HAYDOCK or should I say James BURROWS was tried for horse stealing in August 1791 at Stafford with a sentenced of 7 years transportation. It was only after the court case that is was noticed that she was actually a female.
Mary Haydock joined the Royal Admiral as a female being only 15 years old. Upon arrival she was assigned to Lieut Grose.

  • Mary Haydock married 1 Aug 1794 St Phillips Sydney Thomas REIBEY. Witness at the marriage was Sarah HIGGINSON, Convict Royal Admiral. Sarah placed her mark (X) on the registry, this is the only record relating to Sarah Higginson in the Colony.
  • Mary was involved with the formation of the Bank of New South Wales in 1817. This bank is now called Westpac and one of the largest Banking Corporations in Australia today.
  • Apart from her land holdings in Sydney and in the Hawkesbury region the , Mary also bought land for her sons in Tasmania.
  • Image: Pendant featuring drawing of Mary Reibey, photo taken by Cathy Dunn 2013 at the Mitchell Library Sydney.
  • Mary died 30 May 1855 at her home in Newtown. She was buried beside her husband Thomas at the Devonshire St Cemetery. Central Railway Station now stands on the cemetery site today.
  • So much has been written about Mary Hadock as she would be the most well known lady of the Royal Admiral 1792. Her name doesn’t ring a bell….. well try Mary Reibey, a lady one seen most days as she is featured on the Australian $20 note.
  • Read more: Australian History Research

Mary Reibey was an Englishwoman who was transported to Australia as a convict but went on to become a successful businesswoman in Sydney. Wikipedia

Born: May 12, 1777, Bury, United Kingdom
Died: May 30, 1855, Newtown
Spouse: Thomas Reibey (m. 1794–1811)
Buried: Camperdown Cemetery, Newtown
From the Reserve Bank:
1777: Mary Reibey, baptised Molly Haydock, was born on 12 May 1777 in Bury, Lancashire, England.
1779: Following the death of both her parents by
1779, she was raised by her grandmother, before being sent into service.
1791: She ran away, and was arrested for horse stealing in August 1791.
1792: Sentenced to seven years’ transportation, she arrived in New South Wales on the Royal Admiral in October 1792.
1794: On 7 September 1794, 17-year-old Mary married Thomas Raby, a junior officer on the store ship Britannia. Raby also used the surnames Raiby, Reiby and Reibey interchangeably, but the family adopted the spelling Reibey in later years.
Thomas Reibey was granted land on the Hawkesbury River, where the couple lived and farmed following their marriage. He commenced a cargo business along the Hawkesbury River to Sydney, and later moved to Sydney. He acquired several farms on the Hawkesbury River.
1804: Thomas Reibey’s business undertakings prospered, enabling him to build a substantial stone residence on a further grant of land near Macquarie Place. 1807: The schooner Mercury was bought for trade with the Pacific Islands.
1811: When her husband died, Reibey assumed sole responsibility for the care of their seven children and control of his numerous business enterprises. She was no stranger to this task, having managed her husband’s affairs during his frequent absences from Sydney. Now a woman of considerable wealth, Reibey continued to expand her businesses.
1812: She opened a new warehouse in George Street. 1817: She extended her shipping operations with the purchase of further vessels. 1825: She was appointed one of the Governors of the Free Grammar School.
1828: By 1828, when she gradually retired from active involvement in commerce, she had acquired extensive property holdings in the city. On her retirement, she built a house at Newtown, Sydney, where she lived until her death.
1855: Reibey died on 30 May 1855. Five of her seven children had predeceased her.

On the death of her husband and his partner Edward Wills a month later, Mary Reibey was left with seven children and in entire control of numerous business concerns.
  • She was a hotel-keeper, and already had had experience in assisting her husband and managing his interests when he was absent on voyages; she soon became a very prosperous member of the group trained in the tough school of competition with American, Chinese and Indian traders.
  • Unlike many of her contemporaries she was not litigious but proved capable of conducting her business affairs with the utmost vigour. Perhaps she preferred her own more direct methods to enforce payment of debts, for in May 1817 she was found guilty of an assault upon one of her debtors, John Walker, at Windsor.

In the eyes of her contemporaries Mary Reibey gradually rose to respectability and affluence in the new emancipist society.
  • She was a favourite of Governor Lachlan Macquarie.
  • She opened a new warehouse in George Street in 1812 and continued to manage her husband's ships and extended her operations by buying the John Palmer and in 1817 the brig Governor Macquarie.
Mary Reibey, persevering and enterprising in everything she undertook, became legendary in the colony as the successful businesswoman.

  • In 1816 she advertised for sale all her property, which included seven farms on the Hawkesbury, with the intention of returning to England. She was then said to be worth about £20,000, and by 1820 held 1000 acres (405 ha) of land, half of them by grant.
  • In March 1820 in the Admiral Cockburn she took her daughters Celia and Eliza to England, and in Lancashire amid the scenes of her childhood she was received with interest and admiration.
  • After her return to Sydney next year with her daughters, her affairs continued to flourish. She made extensive investments in city property.
By 1828 she had erected 'many elegant and substantial buildings in Macquarie Place, near the King's Wharf, and in the centre of George Street', and was turning her attention to Castlereagh Street. She gradually retired from active business and lived on her investments.

  • She took an interest in the church, education and works of charity. In 1825 she was appointed one of the governors of the Free Grammar School.
  • Later Bishop William Grant Broughton commended her exertions in the cause of religion generally and of the Church of England in particular. On her retirement she lived in the suburb of Newtown until her death on 30 May 1855.
  • The peace of her later years was disturbed a little by the publication in 1845 of Rev. Richard Cobbold's book on Margaret Catchpole, which led to understandable rumours that she was the heroine of Cobbold's colourful story.

Thomas and Mary Reibey's three sons, who founded the Tasmanian branch of the family, all followed their parents' lead in mercantile and shipping ventures.
  • The eldest son, Thomas (b. 6 May 1796), went to sea with his father and in November 1822 became a partner of his brother as a general merchant and commission agent at Launceston, trading under the name of Thomas Reibey & Co. He died at his estate, Entally, Hadspen, near Launceston, on 3 October 1842.
  • The second son, James Haydock (b.2 October 1798), was apprenticed in 1809 to John Campbell Burton, a merchant and agent from Bengal. In the 1820s he was trading in partnership with his elder brother and engaged in sealing and other coastal shipping activities.
    • He was one of the first directors of the Derwent and Cornwall Banks in Van Diemen's Land in 1828.
    • He originally settled near Hobart Town but later bought a property adjoining Entally and died in 1843.
  • Of the four Reibey daughters, the youngest, Elizabeth Ann (b.1810), married Captain Joseph Long Innes.
The surname was variously spelt as Raby, Rabey, and Reiby, but after the death of Thomas Reibey in 1811 Reibey was usually adopted by the family.

Thomas Reibey


Thomas Reibey was the Premier of Tasmania from 1876 to 1877.

Thomas Reibey (1821-1912), by J. W. Beattie
Thomas Reibey (1821-1912), by J. W. Beattie

  • The Entally Estate was established in 1819 by Thomas Haydock Reibey (senior) in Hadspen, Tasmania.
  • Reiby worked in the East India company, and named the house after the suburb of Entally in Calcutta, India.

Thomas Haydock Reibey II was the eldest son of Thomas and Mary Reibey.
  • Thomas Reibey (1821-1912), clergyman, farmer and politician, was born on 24 September 1821 at Entally House, Hadspen, Van Diemen's Land, son of Thomas Haydock Reibey, merchant, and his wife Richardie, née Allen, and grandson of Mary Reibey.
  • Educated at W. G. Elliston's school in Longford, Thomas and his brother James were sent to England to be coached for university and holy orders.
  • He was barely equal to his parents' aspirations, being remembered at Trinity College, Oxford, more for his rowing and vigour in the hunt than for academic success.
  • On 28 October 1842 at Plymouth he married Catherine Macdonald Kyle. Though he returned to Tasmania without a degree his prestige, wealth and sociability amply repaired this omission.
  • At a ceremony performed by Bishop Nixon in 1844, Reibey became the first native Tasmanian ordained in his homeland. On 22 October 1853, while in England with his wife, he received an honorary M.A. from the archbishop of Canterbury.

Reibey was an excellent cleric, popular with his parishioners as rector of Holy Trinity, Launceston, and the church at Carrick. The Anglican synod also liked him, for he needed no stipend from the faltering Sustentation Fund or its successors but endowed Carrick with land, church and rectory and would have done the same at Hadspen but for disagreements with Bishop Bromby.
  • In May 1858 Reibey was created archdeacon and in 1863-68 he and his wife again visited England. As adviser to the widow of James Cox and trustee of the Clarendon estate he was drawn into a family quarrel about the division of property among the daughters.
  • In 1868 Cox's son-in-law, H. W. Blomfield, in a letter to synod, accused Reibey of attempts to seduce his wife Margaret. Reibey unsuccessfully sued for libel and the ensuing scandal rocked the colony. He resigned in 1870.

In 1874 Reibey campaigned for the House of Assembly seat of Westbury, a district in which he owned the Oaks estate, and was returned by an enthusiastic majority which he sustained until 1903.
  • From July 1876 to August 1877 the man the Mercury had labelled 'the ecclesiastical debauchee' was premier of Tasmania. He had a progressive public works policy, including purchase of the privately-owned railways, but was frustrated by the Opposition.
  • He was colonial secretary in 1876-79, Speaker of the House in 1887-91 and was on the Executive Council in 1894-99 while minister without portfolio in Braddon's government. He died on 10 February 1912 at Entally, predeceased by his wife. They had no children.

  • - Return to Contents

The Swanstons at New Town

Charles Swanston (1789-5 September 1850) merchant, banker and politician was a financial backer of the Port Phillip Association.
Charles Swanston
Charles Swanston

  • Swanston was an extremely powerful figure in the Tasmanian colony acting as an import and export agent for a number of firms, attracting large amounts of overseas capital for investment at high rates of interest, and becoming managing director of the Derwent Bank.
  • In 1835 Swanston formed the Port Phillip Association which supported John Batman's expedition to establish grazing properties in today's Victoria (this is why one of the main thoroughfares in Melbourne is called Swanston Street).

  • Charles Swanston was born in Berwick upon Tweed, England the son of Robert and Rebecca (née Lambert) Swanston.
  • At 16 he was commissioned a lieutenant in the private army of the British East India Company.
  • In 1810 he was a member of an expedition which obtained the political overthrow of Mauritius and was appointed to survey the island.
  • Swanston arrived at Hobart Town in HMS Success on 4 January 1829 with his wife Georgina (née Scherson) and young family.
  • Although on leave, he soon purchased 'Fenton Forest' an estate on the Styx River.
  • He also bought several other properties of over 3000 acres (12 km²). He returned briefly to India in 1830 at the expiration of his leave, where he resigned his military commission and returned to Van Diemen's Land in May 1831.
Hobart - New Town Park
Hobart - New Town Park

Charles Swanston bought property known as New Town Park, stretching from New Town Rivulet, past Risdon Road and up along Main Road.
  • Charles Swanston occupied the property, which he renamed New Town Park, from shortly after his arrival in Van Diemen's Land in 1829 and purchased it in August 1832.
  • The house “New Town Park” was built here, as well as a number of outbuildings once part of the estate, which still stand (Pearce and Doyle, 1997:16). Pearce and Doyle (1997:16) argue that Swanston was representative of the capitalist class that became established in New Town.

In September 1828 Charles Swanston who held the office of military paymaster in the provinces of Travancore and Tinnevelly, (a position he held for six years) was granted a year's leave to Van Diemen's Land on account of ill health.
  • He arrived at Hobart Town in H.M.S. Success on 4 January 1829 with his wife Georgina, née Sherson, and family.
  • Although on leave, he evidently decided to settle in the country, for he soon bought Fenton Forest, an estate on the River Styx, and Newtown Park at New Town.
  • He also acquired land at Kingborough and some 4200 acres (1700 ha) in the County of Westmorland.
  • He returned briefly to India in 1830 at the expiration of his leave and, having resigned his army appointment, left again for Van Diemen's Land in May 1831.
    New Town Park House was built in the mid 1830s by Thomas White and Henry W Seabrook,
    New Town Park House was built in the mid 1830s by Thomas White and Henry W Seabrook,
  • Now finally settled in the colony he became closely acquainted with Lieutenant-Governor (Sir) George Arthur and his chief officials, especially Captain John Montagu and Captain Matthew Forster.

In November 1831 Swanston was appointed managing director of the Derwent Bank, which was established as a partnership by a group of Hobart citizens, including several officials, and first opened for business in January 1828.
  • In addition to the bank he conducted a big business as import and export agent, investment agent and wool broker.
  • He imported rum, tea and other goods in quantity, acting as agent for Jardine, Matheson & Co. of Canton and for firms in Madras, Mauritius, Calcutta, Manila and the Netherlands Indies, whose goods he distributed not only in Hobart but in Sydney and Adelaide.
  • On behalf of many officers and officials in India he also invested money in Van Diemen's Land in mortgages and bank shares. His largest investor was George Mercer of Edinburgh.
  • In 1835 when John Batman sought support for his proposal to colonize Port Phillip, a syndicate called the Port Phillip Association was formed with Swanston and Joseph Gellibrand as leading members.
In October 1841 Swanston had converted the Derwent Bank into a mortgage bank.
  • As the depression of the 1840s deepened the flow of overseas investments to the bank greatly diminished, the value of the land over which the bank held mortgages dropped disastrously, the price of wool fell and debtors to the bank found difficulty in meeting interest payments.
  • He managed to keep the Derwent Bank going for another five years, latterly with the financial assistance of the Bank of Australasia and the Union Bank but, when in 1849 these institutions withdrew their support, he resigned and the Derwent Bank went into liquidation, John Walker being appointed liquidator.
  • The bank's affairs and Swanston's had not been kept separate, and his liabilities were £104,375, of which £58,504 was due to the bank. Finally his creditors received 10s. in the £.
  • In 1850, tired and worried, he sailed for America but stayed there only briefly. On his return voyage to Australia he died on 5 September and was buried at sea.

Throughout his life in Tasmania Swanston was a controversial figure, conducting the affairs of the Derwent Bank with an autocratic hand and influencing the colony both by his financial dealings and by his intimate contact with colonial administrators.
  • His association with the governor through his membership of the Legislative Council was friendly while Arthur held office, but sometimes bitter during Sir John Franklin's rule.
  • In 1845, when Sir John Eardley-Wilmot was lieutenant-governor, Swanston was one of the Patriotic Six, led by Thomas Gregson, who walked out of the council leaving it without a quorum.

Swanston foresaw the great potential of the future Victoria but accepted the defeat of his Port Phillip scheme with good grace. He was unfortunate that economic circumstances beyond his control finally caused the failure of his bank and his own ruin.

Charles Swanston had five sons and three daughters.
  • The eldest son, Charles Lambert, took over his father's interest in Swanston & Willis in 1850 and continued the management of the properties near Geelong. He was an early subscriber to the endowment of Geelong Grammar School. Later, with his brother Kinnear, he held a large sheep station, Otama, in the South Island of New Zealand from 1864 until 1877.
  • Two other sons, Oliver and Nowell, joined the Indian army, both retiring as major-generals.
  • The fourth son, Robert, became British consul in Fiji.
  • Of his three daughters, Caroline married Edward Willis.

Read more:

4. Earliest Farms & Businesses in Tasmania

Tasmania's oldest family businesses
1. Summerville farm, near Brighton est. 1808
2. Gala Estate Cranbrook, 1821
3. Weedington Oatlands, 1823
4. Gunn Family farm Tea Tree, 1824
5. Archer family farm Longford, 1824
6. Mace family farm Buckland, 1828
7. McShane family farm Broadmarsh, 1832
8. Gateforth Farm Stanley, 1841
9. Hiscutt & Sons Howarh, 1867
10. Morris Store Swansea, 1868

1. Summerville farm, near Brighton est. 1808

Summerville farm, near Brighton est. 1808
Summerville farm, near Brighton est. 1808
Summerville has been farmed continuously since 1808.
  • The property was settled just after Hobart was was established in 1804, and was recently handed to its seventh generation. The most recent owner Jim Thompson says he is proud of his family's record on the land.
He believes his descendants on Summerville had to cope with bushrangers and droughts.
"It all started with Daniel Stanfield, he came out as a marine on the First Fleet, on the ship Sirius," he said.
  • "My mother would not talk about the past and I can't judge those first four generations because I know nothing about them other than my research.
  • "But I know I've got a lot of respect for what they went through and what they did each generation."
Mr Thompson says the farm was initially controlled by the female side of his family, with Daniel Stanfield passing the property to his daughter.
  • In the early part of the 20th Century, Summerville produced livestock, wheat and chaff and at one time supplied feed for most of the horses in Hobart.
  • The property was recently handed to Jim Thompson's sons Walter and Peter who now grow poppies and beef.
"You always have those hard years and you just hope that you have a good year somewhere in the mix so that gives you hope to keep on going," Walter Thompson said.
  • Jim Thomson hopes his grandchildren will continue the tradition.
  • "Generation eight is nearly all granddaughters but that doesn't bother me. We've had two of the early generations have come through the ladies so it may keep going."

2. Gala Estate Cranbrook, (1821)

external image fIJg-Gxr9DgHdjXrDa389AxCkp8GzpBDk9ABNuPvXm6jenQq8kCbCLJ7MrGOKsnX2ZJL11aTHZjoPLUw0I8nedl593nYDU51-F2T-vDrsIHvd9X8IDKDMEweSYD-NvFpI3JpBjWxlwu9Xz_JAkCVQVPqQ3Yb4Yzvx7Ix87DLS0CFU-cHTareF1okJtqwL0lYLanZOoYNTOTOH7eB9GrQvZjJLkm5Df5Lg_J85-G-E_kZUovHuIMkUHfsrrw3ieky-KPkueeE8-9ZbjOJLSaNpnTJlTHWxmuoYJbS6kFznMZYcyLn1JJ9Hi4gh8UCBUtgwrI-0IiVX-523gby6obFOO6C5B5PJ0t7ektM6BNH6j2w1chJayL36udQipK5RYYNoH2guV7kdhVuWHqVP2G36eIV_E-QjpV8ub1rT_qVaZLuCONbMk5uHcKDT2giMOUXHSBhfczvGlnM_JXrRn1GfP1EvZySDJpBcvnmYmXWeblAij_jdWEGG3jASf-s9vWeCiQs8bBl8ZFh6QCmkdsh6efN_n4N_DENJ32gxekjDFU4FMiaHn0U0c8oosEn7Q000v72yaCvFn5DYcv1k6l9tTjT3wiKG9ps3KbEPh51fh3ZHSkhrg=w794-h391-noGala Estate Cellar Door is an attraction not to be missed. Once home to the legendary old-timer Theodore (Ted) Castle, this quirky green weatherboard cottage on the Tasman Highway was home to Ted’s family for over 60 years.
  • A true reflection of rural Tasmanian living that has been lovingly reclaimed by the Greenhill family in 2011.
  • A photographer's dream location, your curiosity will be well rewarded with this hidden treasure. Sit back and experience Tasmania with a glass of our award winning wines.
In 1821, Gala Estate in Cranbrook was granted to Adam Amos. 0riginally of Galashiels in the borders of Scotland, the family now makes up the 6th, 7th and 8th generations of descendants still farming the land. The 4.5 HA vineyard was planted in 2008.
  • “Gala Kirk Hill” was chosen as our primary vineyard site because of its harsh, shallow ironstone soils and warm northern aspect. The top of the vineyard is only 500 metres from the 42 degree southern parallel, comparable to Burgundy, which lies on the 42 degree northern parallel.
  • It is considered that this latitude delivers the optimum climatic balance for cool climate wine production, with warm days and cool nights which prolong the ripening process and enables the berries to express their full fruit flavours with tight acidity.

3. Weedington Oatlands, (1823) Wellington Street Oatlands 7120Tasmania

Mr James Weeding, 1823
Mr James Weeding, 1823
Weedington Oatlands, (1823)
Weedington Oatlands, (1823)

Weeding Way through history
Weeding Way through history

Weedington has convict-built walls which have been repaired, and added to, by a self-taught woman waller, Maria Weeding, who is a descendant of the original inhabitants.
Maria Weeding's new stone wall
Maria Weeding's new stone wall

Cyclopedia of Tasmania 1900

"...," and has a family of four children, two boys and two girls.
Mr. J A M E S W E E D I N G , General Farmer, " Weedington," Oatlands, was born in 1827, and is a son of the late Mr. JamesWeeding..."

Weeding WikiTree:
James Weeding was born 1827 in Oatlands, Tasmania
Died 28 Jul 1916 in "Weedington", Oatlands, Tasmania

Husband of Jane Oliver — married 11 Sep 1851 in Oatlands, Tasmania

Father of
  1. James Weeding,
  2. Nancy Weeding,
  3. Thomas Weeding,
  4. Jane Christine Weeding,
  5. Isabella Frances Weeding,
  6. Francis Frank Weeding,
  7. Andrew Weeding,
  8. George Weeding,
  9. Allan Weeding,
  10. Mary Weeding,
  11. John Weeding and
  12. Susan Harriet Weeding


4. Gunn Family farm Tea Tree, (1824)

The farming property had been given to Campbell’s great-great grandfather William Gunn by Lieut-Gov Arthur as a reward for his “patriotic exertions”. William led colonial soldiers in a confrontation with Matthew Brady’s bushranging gang at Sorell and lost an arm in the conflict.
  • In 1835, an extensive land grant at Brighton, which became the properties Invercarron and Arndell at Broadmarsh, and Glen Quoin at Tea Tree was granted to Police Lieutenant William Gunn, who at the age of 15 had attended the Battle of Waterloo, and became known as Wingy in consequence of having an arm shot off in a battle with notorious bushranger, Matthew Brady and his gang in Sorell.
    • Wingy’s wife was the daughter of First Fleeters Dr. Thomas Arndell, and Elizabeth Dalton who arrived in Terra Australis as a convict.
  • From the late 1850s the house 'Invercarron' was inhabited for over 60 years by William Gunn Jnr (Wingy’s son), who died on the property in 1920, 19 years after the death of Queen Victoria.
    • During the 15 years prior to purchase by Henry Jones, the 2 spinster Gunn ladies [daughters of William] passed away [1946; 1951], neither having ever married [despite the large lounge having reportedly been added to the house to facilitate their courtships].
    • The last resident domestic employee was Millie Bannister, whose room was what the library is now. Apparently she died or departed around 1953. [3]

Nowadays Mr Gunn and brother Ronald farm 1800ha of owned and leased land - from their historic homestead at Glen Quoin, near Tea Tree, they run a mixed cropping, wool, prime lamb and cattle trading ­operation.
  • He and a crew of five have been busy shearing 2000 fine-wool merino ewes on the 320ha University farm they lease for grazing near Cambridge.

Source: The Mercury, 10 March, 2001, p.23

Taking the 'waste' out of water

About 275ha of Brighton farmland is under treated effluent irrigation for the first time this summer and this farmland is being used to grow poppies, broccoli seed, barley, oaten hay, fennel, hemp and pasture.

Back Tea Tree Rd farmer Chris Gunn's family has lived in the area for five generations.
  • "We are winners and the Derwent wins too," he said. "The district has been doing it tough due to a recession and drought." About 100ha of his 460ha property can be irrigated.
  • Mr Gunn said records proved the areas's rainfall had dropped over the years.

Campbell Gunn was one of of nature’s true gentlemen

March 31, 2010
CAMPBELL Gunn, who died last month, was one of the senior statesmen of the Brighton community – a former municipal councillor, Rotarian, bowls enthusiast and farmer.
  • Mr Gunn was, as he would have said with a whimsical smile, “in active retirement”.
  • The patriarch of Tea Tree’s well-known family of farmers passed away suddenly on Friday March 12. The funeral was held one week later, on what would have been Mr Gunn’s 82nd birthday.
Brighton Mayor Tony Foster was among the estimated 300 mourners at the funeral. “The large number of mourners came from throughout the community,” Cr Foster said. “Campbell was one of nature’s true gentlemen and was so well-respected.”

He recalled the four years when he and his old friend served as councillors together.
  • “Campbell was fairly conservative and never rushed into things. Even when he retired as a councillor he was always happy to give sound advice or a second opinion if I phoned to ask for it.”

Mr Gunn had two terms as a Brighton councillor – from 1966 to 1977 and from 1993 to 1996.
  • In an interview in Brighton Community News last year, Mr Gunn recalled his years as a councillor. “It probably wasn’t good having a second spell as a councillor – too much homework, too much reading.”

The Brighton Council chambers were originally at Pontville, the seat of local government until the late 1970s when a vote was taken. Campbell Gunn wanted to rebuild the chambers at Pontville, but Council voted to build a new one at Gagebrook instead.
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Until he retired from active farming, Campbell Gunn lived with his family at the historic homestead “Glen Quoin” on Back Tea Tree Road, in Tea Tree.
  • In his later years Campbell and his wife Anne, a former district nurse in Richmond, lived in a smaller house just 2km from ‘Glen Quoin’.
Their two sons Ronald and Christopher farm sheep and cereal crops on the property. Ronald, the eldest son, lives in the historic homestead and Christopher lives close by.
  • A third son, Andrew, is a stock manager in Victoria’s Western District and Campbell and Anne’s daughter Elizabeth is a nurse in Launceston.

5. Archer family farm Longford, (1824)

6. Mace family farm Buckland, (1828)

7. McShane family farm, Broadmarsh, (1832)

external image 745uLZrNxCRDfYLEZR2ClnU51Wdk20h3aFsOql_RqPv67lHWiOFX_RAinl94WK63KLfaPWoeoSVvWghbiqdW7fa4XGNljNHn88qyEOvw6h1KaXiRxntmFYoFW0Sax00KN6M8uqHYl7ubJJmFXIaWn1bYvzeAuc2ZP5zL5cKx6DCwV2K1M6q0iBty-4kuEKWFEIE6GiPhyMsFpLg85b-M8WX89O3R0MUmA7ySfyuJQJ_fvn__wcZqASoVMJWmb0_Qs-mPcXCzrnO5RlwLzhyGJ4g-wTYM9PZjA4e38W0T-9BHvaAZxCPrTZs47uzI6b3UC0pVW8Lpcvlx64HJ6P6Nz1fZOwhtecR__box7lWEgfP4i5aAtROFOA8QFCK94txgIJYh0mfaeDUUlmCRI7cMKs3gG_a6D_WWbBiCCskiQtO4csM-nubAjkrAZO6ffZq2UZ5PqApeskMpXOXfN00OBqG3qj3ERijaWwasrMBfXuUIeioaj-AgJIMmigoPtnXxQSpB9HwCz12R08wBsd08j5QHLxC_sU_vKOn_-RtViBUSi91H8GHe5lIkbkSK4A1Li7z2IsTmE03TOChduNn5Z_MGByzqYcqHGVtnzbQmNT6EkgLuug=w705-h513-no

8. Gateforth Farm, Stanley, (1841)

9. Hiscutt & Sons, Howarth, (1867)

10. Morris Store Swansea, (1868)

5. Early Architecture of Tasmania

"Tasmanian Architecture of the Nineteenth Century" by Roy S. Smith

  • An essay published in the book "Priceless Heritage" p.17-19


The colonies of New South Wales and Tasmania were founded during England's Georgian period of architecture, and in Tasmania the Georgian period carried over into the reign of Queen Victoria and was greatly favoured even to the middle years of the century.
Quamby Managers House, Westwood Rd, Hagley, TAS
Quamby Managers House, Westwood Rd, Hagley, TAS

Pioneer settlers and building tradesmen were steeped in the Georgian traditions, and endeavoured to reproduce in the colony little bits of their native Britain. Their homes were symmetrically planned about a central hall with a dignified entrance door, often crowned with a beautiful fanlight.
The larger homes were set among English trees and hedges, and in the country were flanked by spacious and harmonious farm buildings. Cottages in towns and villages often rose directly from the public footpath, and these too were formal in character.

The domestic work generally retained the symmetry and proportions of traditional Georgian, but considerations of economy, combined with a dearth of skilled tradesman, brought about a simplification of detail. The resulting buildings though sometimes a little stark, retain the virtues of dignity and good proportion and in their arboreal settings fit delightfully into the Tasmanian landscape.

Colonial Architecture

In many early homes the verandah was introduced, and where it was an integral part of the design, fitting under the main roof of the building, a truly 'Colonial' effect was produced.

The latter half of the eighteenth century saw the passing of the Georgian vogue and the introduction of a variety of types of design.

Gothic Revival

Clifton Priory Wentworth Street Bothwell, TAS, Australia
Clifton Priory Wentworth Street Bothwell, TAS, Australia

  • The Gothic style had steeply pitched gables, with fretwork of one or another ingenious pattern on the barge boards.


  • Another housing style was the pseudo-Italian villa complete with tower and attached verandahs.

Quite early in the history of Tasmanian colony good building stone was found to be well-distributed over the southern half of the settled portion of the island, and during Lieutenant-Governor Arthur's period (1824-1836) skilled tradesmen were brought to Van Dieman's Land from the British Isles under an assisted passage scheme. These included masons, brickmakers, bricklayers and carpenters who were employed in the erection of buildings of a permanent character.

In Arthur's time some of Hobart's most important public buildings were erected to the designs of a talented Colonial Architect, John Lee Archer;
  • the present Parliament House
  • the Public Offices in Murray Street, and
    Photograph - View of Parliament House facade, with flower garden in the foreground, Hobart
    Photograph - View of Parliament House facade, with flower garden in the foreground, Hobart
  • the Ordnance Stores.
These set a standard of restrained and dignified design on classic lines, which has been followed with rather more richness of detail by such architects as James Blackburn, William Porden Kay, and Henry Hunter, whose design for the Hobart Town Hall in the Italian Renaissance manner was prepared in 1862.
  • Hobart's public buildings contribute greatly to its gracious atmosphere, and in Launceston worthy examples are found, ranging from the simple old Commissariat building, now the Patterson Barracks, of the eighteen-twenties, to the ornate Custom House of the eighteen-eighties.

Church Architecture in Tasmania

Early churches were erected by the Government or with Government assistance and were often the work of the Colonial Architect of the day. Some few were in the manner of the period.

Colonial Renaissance Church

John Lee Archer's 'Old Trinity' Hobart, is an outstanding example of a Colonial Renaissance church.

Georgian Churches

The old church of St David, Hobart, and St. John, Launceston were Georgian churches.

Colonial Church Architecture

St Peter, Hamilton, the Presbyterian church of St. Andrew, Evandale and a number of non-conformist chapels.

Tudor Gothic Revival

Early in the eighteenth century Gothic and Tudor details were introduced at St John's, New Town, and St. Luke's, Richmond.

Romanesque Revival Churches

 Anglican Church of St Thomas, Avoca
Anglican Church of St Thomas, Avoca

About 1840 James Blackburn made his own Romanesque Revival, designing four or five churches in that style. Most of his early church designs took the form of a rectangular nave with a high square western tower, and some of these still dominate the grouping of the square western tower, and some of these still dominate the grouping of the buildings in the little towns, and serve as focal points in the landscape.

The churches of the middle of the eighteenth century were erected without the help of a Government labour and the massive towers were omitted. Often a belfry was introduced into a gable and gabled porch was featured on the side wall.

Gothic Revival Churches

From about 1860 onwards, the Gothic Revival came firmly into its own, when many churches of merit were designed by Henry Hunter and his pupils, and the two cathedrals were erected in Hobart.

Colonial Georgian buildings in Tasmania find a near counterpart only in New South Wales. The Tasmanian examples are so full of merit and still so widely distributed as to form a heritage to be preserved, and to be admired for simple and satisfying beauty.

William Kermode (1780-1852), merchant and settler, was born at Port Erin, Isle of Man, the son of Thomas Kermode and his wife Elizabeth, née Killey. As a youth he took up the sea as a career and is said to have made several voyages to India. In 1810 he married Anne Quayle, daughter of Rev. John Moore, vicar of Braddan, and Margaret, née Quayle, of West Hill, Castletown.
Kermode first arrived at Hobart Town in November 1819 as supercargo in the Robert Quayle. He went on to Sydney, where he had difficulty in disposing of his cargo and left it in the hands of agents. He sent his ship to the whale fishery and returned to England in the Admiral Cockburn. He made another voyage to Van Diemen's Land as supercargo in the Mary in 1821 and in June was granted 2000 acres (809 ha) on the Salt Pan Plains near Ross, but in Sydney, through mismanagement by his agents, he was declared bankrupt. He returned to England in 1822, taking with him a Tasmanian Aboriginal boy, George Van Diemen, at Lieutenant-Governor William Sorell's request. In 1823 Kermode again visited Australia with a large cargo, intending to fulfil the settlement conditions of his land grant. In Hobart he was elected a director of the Sydney and Van Diemen's Land Packet Co. and became a founding shareholder of the Bank of Van Diemen's Land. In 1824 he was granted another 1000 acres (405 ha) and bought 2000 (809 ha) more, thus building up the property which he called Mona Vale, probably after Castle Mona, the original home of the Dukes of Atholl on the Isle of Man. Kermode sailed for England in 1826 and returned next year with his son and George Van Diemen.
In June 1827 the land commissioners reported that Kermode was improving and cultivating his 'excellent Sheep Walk'. After his wife and daughters joined him in May 1828 he was able to give the personal attention which was to make Mona Vale a show place. By 1834 his first modest timber house had been replaced by a substantial brick building; stone cottages and farm buildings were being erected and much of the estate laid out and fenced. According to The Centenary History of the Midland Agricultural Association (Launceston, 1938) 'Kermode was probably the most progressive of all the fine settlers who arrived in Sorell's time. He had vision and the energy and practical ability to bring his ideas into being'. With Saxon sheep from the Van Diemen's Land Co. he started his own stud in 1829 and later won many prizes for his sheep, horses and produce. The dry summers and negligible flow of the two streams which crossed the Salt Pan Plains led him to an early interest in water conservation. Both streams were dammed and hundreds of acres of irrigated pasture laid down to clover and grasses on hitherto useless land. Although the advice of such experts as Hugh Cotton on irrigation, and Count Strzelecki on soil analysis was not followed by the government, it was extensively used by Kermode who also gave generously of his time and energies to any practical proposals for improving farm production or standards.

  1. ^ http://www.anniealanspringwood.net/Gedscape/249.htm
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  3. ^ http://ontheconvicttrail.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/invercarron-broadmarsh.html