Saturday, December 12, 2015

Old Hobart Town and environs 1802-1855

Carolyn R Stone and Pamela Tyson collected selections from official reports and accounts of the settlement of Hobart which have been published with a collection of maps and early drawings and paintings depicting the new settlement. This volume, published in 1978, provides valuable information about the establishment of Hobart Town from the initial colony led by David Collins in 1804 until the end of transportation in 1853 and obtaining self government in 1855.

The first members of my family to live in Tasmania arrived from Norfolk Island in 1805. Consequently it is interesting to read the accounts of what the settlement would have been like when George Guest and his family arrived and how the town developed. Thomas William Birch arrived in the colony in 1808 and prospered as a merchant and land owner. In 1834 the merchant, George Mackillop, brought his family to Hobart Town and lived there for approximately six years before returning to the UK. Simeon Lord junior arrived in Tasmania in 1826, initially to look after some of his father's interests in the colony until developing his own enterprises in the state. Recently I was in Hobart for a week where I spent as much time as I could exploring the area where my ancestors once lived. It has therefore been interesting to read these early accounts comparing the descriptions in the book with the city of today.

I found looking at the maps and illustrations fascinating and there is also a select bibliography listing further reading. Hopefully I will find some of these titles in the State Library. All in all this book is a good introduction for anyone interested in the establishment of European settlement in Hobart.

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