Historic Themes for Buildings listed by the Tasmanian National Trust - Historic Tasmanian Families

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Table of Contents


1. Historic Tasmanian Towns

2. Historic Tasmanian Architects

3. Historic Tasmanian Families

Tasmania's oldest family businesses

4. Early Architecture of Tasmania

3. Historic Tasmanian Families

1. The Archers of Tasmania

2. The Bayleys at Runnymede

3. The Kermodes at Mona Vale

4. The Camerons of Tasmania

5. The Hopkins at Summerhome

6. The Reibeys at Entally

7. The Swanstons at New Town

8. Earliest Farms in Tasmania

1. 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.


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

2. The Bayleys at Runnymede

2.1. 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 Bayleytook 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 House, Stable & Gates 61 Bay Road, New Town
Runnymede House, Stable & Gates 61 Bay Road, New Town

2.2 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.

2.3 Runnymede

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.

2.4 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.

3. The Kermodes at Mona Vale

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

3.1 William Kermode

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

3.2 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.

3.3 Mona Vale Homestead

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.

  • Listed on the Register of the National Estate
    • Tasmanian Heritage Register Place ID #5266
    • Read all about Mona Vale on the Tasmanian National Trust Heritage Register
  • 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.
  • Mona Vale has received multiple royal visits over its lifetime. In 1868, Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh visited, and later the then Duke of York (future King George VI) and the Duchess of York visited in 1927, with then Princess Elizabeth (Elizabeth II).[7][8]"The narrative would, however, be very incomplete unless accompanied by some kind of description of the mansion at Mona Vale, where His Royal Highness stayed on his upward and downward journey, and where every provision was made for his comfort, which the real genuine hospitality of an English gentleman could devise, or Princely munificence accomplish.
    The mansion of Mona Vale is, I have no hesitation in saying, one of the most splendid and magnificently furnished residences in the whole of the Australian colonies, and it is replete with every comfort and conveniences that modern art has yet suggested." Read More

A Royal Visit to Mona Vale, near Ross
A Royal Visit to Mona Vale, near Ross

The drawing room of 'Mona Vale', near Ross, at the time of the Royal visit
The drawing room of 'Mona Vale', near Ross, at the time of the Royal visit

The Duke planting a tree at Mona Vale during his tour of 1927
The Duke planting a tree at Mona Vale during his tour of 1927

The Duke's bedroom in 'Mona Vale', near Ross
The Duke's bedroom in 'Mona Vale', near Ross

  • 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.

3.4 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,
  • Robert Kermode
    Robert Kermode
    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.
Martha Kermode
Martha Kermode

  • 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.

      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.

3.5 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.

4. 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.

4.1 Donald Cameron

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).
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

    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]

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.

4.2 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 Vueestate 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.

4.3 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:

4.4 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

Obituary: Mr. Eustace Noel 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.

4.5 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.

4.6 Colonel Cyril Cameron

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

5. 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.

5.1 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.

5.2 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.

5.3 Philanthropy

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'.

5.4 Religion

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.

5.5 Congregationalism

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.
  • They had three sons and three daughters, the youngest of whom, Martha, married Rev. George Clarke and had eight children.
  • Memorials are in the Congregational Church at Davey Street and in the grounds of the Congregational Church, New Town.
  • 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.

6.0 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

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.

6.1 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.

6.2 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.


  • HAYDOCK, Mary

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 theRoyal 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.

6.4 Thomas Reibey (1821-1912)

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.

7. 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:

Addendum: 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)

external image Q6ovNk7RF7ZexVNXy2StAGJd9MnI65axMdU_C0nlLybynfa0EdurD4-1Z5sDHGJ-a7EfHf3_nEc2PjxgmQq4igDtB6It60-X9PnUiJuHwA9UFR24bT4Ifkvj2a6IgaolwUj0UlGWDh95r7Pj9Kci8dSQPgbZCJKYUVlZfjqGlATtxO0yl2rRAe1S5WiJnMZCKQVwvYWbdcHWAFfcvrhIUnHlnnsIUkReI8n5b8C0jCERiDLr0dFjb9C8rIz9_GNm_29bs-FsJwGm9TDSA319IKkeSUZ0QZW7UGP5xA-SG02l6nWWVTd_1Vaz_8IftiLIxKZ3f9dK6gg1GPb_m4YSSsNRh0B_zCd1aB8K-DCSINCSJj4QOlslp7z6RM4PdGVrBKq-g8_94p7gYHJFMmf1-zvPqyBBF2QVI-_lpFdQThnA8BjxJhutvkYMwP6qXWHXsP5rCAIZR68jd3rAMEmxm1RwjoQ-94vdYKJV9h-BZnmL8pAtPP89VK2hbLCPd4MjKMNiOCdOQUvn6GNv0riZH_MCBR-6laeN77hnD1B3sHe_YCaYskLa_XwGXmBbOA8dDydk5CshOO_H38qixEV4tkJY5x697hpt-aZXgAiDsGTTqMh3Rw=w714-h535-no

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
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[2]

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.
Campbell Gunn
Campbell Gunn

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)

McShanes make their Mark
McShanes make their Mark

8. Gateforth Farm, Stanley, (1841)

9. Hiscutt & Sons, Howarth, (1867)

10. Morris Store Swansea, (1868)