Saturday, May 17, 2014

Captain Edward Goldsmith in Davey Street, Hobart 1854

Paternal uncle and benefactor of Thomas J. Nevin's wife, Elizabeth Rachel Day was the much respected master mariner and merchant Captain Edward Goldsmith (1804-1869), who first arrived in Van Diemen's land in 1830 and departed never to return in 1856. He retired to his estate at Gad's Hill, Higham, Kent, UK, where novelist Charles Dickens became a neighbour in 1857 when he purchased a house at No. 6 Gadshill Place.

Captain Goldsmith did not become a colonist, nor did he profit directly from convict transportation. His many and varied services and contributions - some at his own expense - during those years to the mercantile, horticultural and shipping development of the colony were inestimable. He built a patent slip on the Queen's Domain and a vehicular steam ferry, the Kangaroo, n 1854, sat on civic committees, established a marine insurance company, and set up a permanent residence for his family at lower Davey Street, Hobart, although he was away at sea for most of every year. The playwright and journalist David Burn who met him in Sydney in 1845, noted in his diary that Captain Goldsmith's turnaround was eight months (SLNSW Call No: B190) : from England via the Americas or the Cape of Good Hope to the Australian colonies for a single a round trip took just eight months, and during all those voyages not one major incident was ever reported (apart from his very first command on the James to W.A. in 1830 - see this article.)

Title:[St. David's Cemetery]
Publisher:[ca. 1870]
Description:1 stereoscopic pair of photographs : sepia toned ; 9 x 18 cm. (mount)
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001125299511
Source: W.L. Crowther Library

This stereograph shows the tombstone of Stuart Jackson Dandridge who died of "low fever" aged 31 yrs, on 16 June, 1861. He was a member of the Second Rifles, Southern Tasmanian Volunteers. Unattributed, and probably taken by Thomas J. Nevin in the late1860s (he advertised tombstones as one of his services e.g. TMAG Collection Ref; Q1994.56.20.1 ), it also shows master mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith's three-storey building directly facing St David's Burial Ground (now St David's Park) in lower Davey Street, Hobart. The building itself was not simply a residence for Captain Goldsmith, his wife Elizabeth and sons Richard Sydney Goldsmith and Edward Goldsmith jnr, it also functioned as offices for lawyers, shipping and insurance agents, marine merchants, and auctioneers. The address of the building was "19 Davey Street", listed as Captain Goldsmith's at the time of auction of his household goods in mid 1855 in preparation for his family's permanent departure from Tasmania on the Indian Queen in February 1856. In March 1854, the weather board cottage located between Stewart's Brewery and Captain Goldsmith's residence opposite the Burial Ground, was sold to Mr. Lee.

The Hobart Courier 30 March 1854

Commercial and Markets
Hobart Town, March 27
Mr. T. Y. Lowes sold, on Friday, a weather board cottage residence with premises, 85½ links frontage and 200 depth, between Mr. Stewart's brewery and Capt Goldsmith's residence, in Davey-street, opposite the Burial Ground, for £1350; the purchaser being Mr. Lee, of Victoria.

Hobart Courier 8 August 1855
Auction of household goods at Capt Goldsmith's house, 19 Davey St

Referred to as Captain Goldsmith's house or residence in newspapers of the period, the building pre-dated the Congregational Church, erected in 1857, and the Royal Tennis Court, erected in 1875. Photographs taken of Davey Street in the 1870s show all of these buildings in a row, facing St David's Park, and many are still standing today, but by 1854, only six or so landmarks existed:

- the Waterloo Inn - favoured by sea captains visiting the town - on the corner of Murray and Davey Streets, now the offices of the legal firm, Butler, McIntyre & Butler;

- a weather board cottage sold to Mr Lee of Victoria in 1854, which sat between Captain Goldsmith's house and Stewart's Brewery;

- photographer Douglas Kilburn's house, now known as Kilburn House

- and the Odd Fellows' Hall, also photographed by Thomas Nevin in July 1871 which was labelled the "Tasmanian Hall" on early maps, located at the corner of Davey and Harrington Streets. The present building was founded by Monsieur Camille Del Sarte as a concert and music hall, designed by Mr. F. Thomas, and opened officially in May 1860.

The Waterloo Inn on the corner Davey and Murray Sts - "a favourite with the sea captains visiting the town" - now the offices of the legal firm, Butler, McIntyre & Butler. Courtesy ePrints UTAS.

Captain Goldsmith's Neighbours 1853-54
The premier city residential address for proximity to the harbour was undoubtedly lower Davey Street Hobart in the 1850s. Two neighbours figured prominently in Captain Goldsmith's life in these years. Firstly. the photographer Douglas T. Kilburn, brother of William Edward Kilburn, photographer to Queen Victoria, who photographed Capt Goldsmith in Sydney in 1849, and most likely moved to Hobart as a consequence of this encounter. His photographs of the houses in Davey Street were exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1855. Secondly, marine merchant F. A. Downing, who bought ships and shipwrecks, and ended up in court with Captain Goldsmith over the failure to return a Siebe Gorman & Co. diving apparatus he had borrowed from Capt Goldsmith to salvage wreckage from the Catherine Sharer (more about this in a later post).

Captain Edward Goldsmith (1804-1869) ca. 1849
Daguerreotype by Douglas T. Kilburn, Sydney
Copyright © Private Collection KLW NFC Imprint 2014

D. T. Kilburn, Esq., of Davey-street, exhibits five calotype views of different localities in Hobart Town. (1.) A view of Macquarie-street, from above Mr. Crisp's residence, looking down towards the Domain, and including within range St. Joseph's (R. C.) Church, the Cathedral of St. David's. &c. (2.) The New Market Place, Hobart Town. (3.) St. David's Cathedral. (4.) View of Macquarie-street, including the Bank of Australasia, Macquarie Hotel, &o. &c. (5.) View of the houses in Davey-street, opposite St. David's Cemetery.

Source: THE COURIER. (1854, November 9). The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859), p. 2. Retrieved March 27, 2014, from

Above: Reproduction of an earlier photographer's portrait of Douglas T. Kilburn, who died in 1871, aged 58 yrs, more than a decade before John Watt Beattie arrived in Tasmania and reproduced these Members of Parliament portraits ca. 1895.

Title: Douglas Thomas Kilburn
In:Members of the Parliaments of Tasmania No. 95
Publisher: Hobart : J. W. Beattie, [19--]
Description:1 photograph : sepia toning ; 14 x 10 cm
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001136191202
Source: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts

Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2014
Thanks to Astrolabe Books Salamanca Place Hobart

From the Hobart Town Gazette 1853: Captain Edward Goldsmith, landlord of a house at Davey Street, valued at £120, rates at £6 per annum. Douglas T. Kilburn's house next door was listed as "empty" in 1853 because the Kilburns were resident at Claremont House, 254 Elizabeth St, constructed on John Mezger's original land grant in 1838.
On the 19th inst., at her residence, Claremont House, Elizabeth-street, Hobart Town, the lady of Douglas T. Kilburn, Esq., (late of Victoria,) of a son.
Source: Family Notices. (1853, January 27). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 4. Retrieved March 27, 2014, from

The house on the other side of Capt Goldsmith was owned by Lt Nunn of the 99th Regiment who married Ann Pedder. Neighbours in 1853 were:

F. A Downing - store
Robert Walker - house and store
J. James and G. Moore - Office and cellar
Robert Pitcairn
Wilson's estate and Wilson's brewery
Lieutenant Nunn and William Bayles
Capt Goldsmith
- Kilburne [sic]
Peter Oldham
John Dunn
William Roberston
Thomas Gardner
Frederick Packer
Miss Dixon
Mrs Walch etc etc

Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2014
Thanks to Michael Sprod, Astrolabe Books Salamanca Place Hobart

From the Hobart Town Gazette 1854: Captain Edward Goldsmith, landlord of a house at lower end of Davey Street, valued at £120, rates at £6 per annum. His neighbours were:

Frederick A. Downing
Peter Nichol
John Ferguson
George Moore
Robert Pitcairn
John Leslie Stewart
William Bayles
Edward Goldsmith
Douglas T. Kilburn
Frances Gill

Captain Goldsmith's residence, Davey St. Hobart
Photo © KLW NFC Imprint 2014

Kilburn House
The site next to Captain Goldsmith's building is now The Trades Hall Building component of the Edward Braddon Commonwealth Law Courts, 39-41 Davey St, Hobart. In 1855, Captain Goldsmith's house was No. 19 Davey St. Douglas Kilburn's house, which is still standing, was No. 22, but is now Kilburn House, 51 Davey St.

Kilburn House, now a three storey building with red roof - next to poplar trees, Davey St. Hobart
Photo © KLW NFC Imprint 2011

According to the Australian Heritage Database, Kilburn house is a large free-standing townhouse in Colonial neo-Renaissance style owned by Douglas Thomas Kilburn in 1858, let to William George Lempriere, and which is "marred by third level addition. Glazing bars to windows are missing."

The Trades Hall site, as the Australian Heritage Databasenotes, was Stewart's Brewery: -

The earliest European occupation of the building was in 1847, with the Trades Hall building being occupied by John Leslie Stewart who owned the building until the1860s as part of the Brewery Complex.
Millionaire W.J.T Clarke owned the building from 1863 - 'he owned it for a dozen years and for the last five of those his tenant was Alexander Ireland who conducted his boy's school, the Collegiate Institution'.
The property was then purchased by Samuel Smith who established the adjoining Hobart tennis court, and club in 1875 (Hobart Real Tennis Club 2008). Travers owned the property until his death in 1888 and leased the building to Dr Turnley. From 1899 to 1924 the building was used as a Girl's Industrial School, and then as a Trades Hall from 1924 until it was acquired by the Commonwealth in 1974.

The Congregational Church and Real Tennis Court

Detail of -
Title: [Hobart Town] / A.C. Cooke, delt
Creator: Cooke, A. C. (Albert Charles), 1836-1902
Publisher: [Melbourne : Wilson and Mackinnon], 1879
Description: 1 print : woodcut ; sheet 33 x 53 cm
Format: Print
ADRI: AUTAS001128189651
Source: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts
Balloon's eye view
Published in the Australasian sketcher with pen and pencil, 10 May 1879 - printed and published at the Argus Office for Wilson and Mackinnon, 1879

The foundation stone of the Congregational Church, highlighted in this detail of Cooke's balloon's eye view of Hobart 1879 and visible in this photo on the right, was not laid until in 1857, and the Real Tennis Court (Royal Tennis) was built next to it in 1875.

Davey St looking west: Image courtesy ePrints, University of Tasmania

Charles Abbott: Congregational Church, Davey St. Kilburn House is partially visible on extreme left. Image courtesy ePrints, University of Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Hall or Odd Fellows Hall

Courtesy University of Tasmania Library Special and Rare Materials Collection. "Photograph of Davey Street, Hobart, looking east, in about 1876. The photograph is taken from the intersection with Harrington Street and Oddfellows Hall is in the foreground. The photographer was Henry Hall Baily who had studios in Elizabeth and Liverpool Streets, Hobart from 1865 until 1918."The slightly different photograph below is unattributed, taken at another time. Thomas Nevin's photograph(s) of the Odd Fellows Hall were praised in the press of July 1871.

The Mercury 25 July 1871

THE ODD FELLOWS' HALL - A very fine photograph of the Odd Fellows' Hall (corner of Davey and Harrington-streets) has been taken for the Society by Mr. Nevin, of Elizabeth-street. The view is taken from Davey-street, opposite the corner of the Freemasons' Hotel, and thus shows the entrance to the rooms, with the whole front and side of the buildings. A well-known member of the institution, and a less known youth, have come within the range of the camera, and their presence greatly assists in conveying an idea of the dimensions of the hall. The picture is undoubtedly creditable to the artist.
A fortnight earlier, on July 12, 1871, Thomas J. Nevin married Elizabeth Rachel Day, niece of Captain Edward Goldsmith, daughter of master mariner Captain James Day, the brother of Captain Goldsmith's wife Elizabeth.

The Oddfellows Hall, formerly Delsarte’s building and the IOOF Lodge
Photo © KLW NFC 2011 ARR

Professional photographer Thomas J. Nevin became a member of the LOYAL UNITED BROTHERS LODGE, A. & I.O.O.F. (Australian and International Order of Odd Fellows) in 1869 and fulfilled several roles within the Society, including official photographer, committee member for the Anniversary Ball held at the Bird and Hand Hotel, and agent for the Secretary. During September 1875, he placed an advertisement in The Mercury soliciting members of the medical profession to render services to Lodge members and their families.

St Mary's Hospital & Dr Edward Bedford

Davey Street Hobart 1870s: on the left where three men are standing, is St. Mary's Hospital; on the right, Captain Goldsmith's two-storey house - bearing the Collegiate School name by the 1870s - facing St. David's Cemetery (Burial Ground). Image courtesy ePrints, University of Tasmania

On the opposite side of (lower) Davey Street, adjoining the Burial Ground, was St Mary's Hospital, erected in 1847.When elder son Richard Sydney Goldsmith fell gravely ill with fever in 1854, he was attended by Dr Edward Samuel Pickard Bedford (1809-1876) at the hospital. Edward Bedford was the medical officer for the City in 1852, on whose committee Captain Goldsmith served when Bedford campaigned for election in February 1855. But on 15 August 1854, at his father's house, Richard Sydney Goldsmith died, aged just 24 yrs old. He was born to Elizabeth Goldsmith only days after her arrival at Fremantle, W.A. in May 1830, on board the ill-fated brig the James alongside her very young husband Captain Edward Goldsmith on his first command. Richard Sydney was baptised on 11 Nov 1830 at St. Philips Sydney, NSW. At the time of his death, he was a cashier of the Union Bank of Van Diemen's Land, located in Macquarie Street, Hobart. He was buried in St David's cemetery opposite the family home.

Richard Goldsmith 1854
Photographer: Henry Frith?
Private Collection; TAHO copy

Richard Sidney [sic] Goldsmith (1830-1854)
Obituary, The Courier Hobart 15 August 1854

RGD 35/04. Deaths, 19 May 1853-19 Jun 1855

Title: Photograph - Hobart - Macquarie Street - Union Bank
Description: 1 photographic print
Format: Photograph
ADRI: PH1-1-32
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania
Series: Album of Photographs of Tasmania, 1870 (PH1)
Notes: 1870

Title: Photograph - Hobart - St Mary's Hospital, later Lands Dept (Beattie photo)
Description: 1 photographic print
Format: Photograph
ADRI: PH30-1-5605
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

Dr Edward Bedford published 'On the epidemics of 1852-3' (1854)

Title: Dr. Edward Bedford 1874
Publisher: [1874]
Description: 1 photograph : silver albumen print ; 8 x 6 cm
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001125882340
Source: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts
Notes: Exact measurements 75 x 53 mm
Title inscribed in pencil on verso in unknown hand

LIST OF DR BEDFORD'S COMMITTEE, with power to add to their number :
Anson, J Lawrence, John Brown, Thomas Lovell, S. Butler, Henry. M.L.C Levy. S, Burgess and Barrett Momsnn, A., M.L.C Bailey, J. G. Maning. A. H. Barnett, Mr. Meikle, Robert Bales, William Mc Kay, A. B. Cook, Henry Milne, George Chandler, Edward Manson, David Dunn, John, M.L.C. Nicholas, Alfred Flegg, C. Orr, Alexander Forster, John Perkins, John Fearnley, James Pitt, William Farrelly, P. Bernard Priest, J. Goldsmith, Edward Pain, Henry Graves J. W. Seabrook, H W. Green, H. J. Stuart, J. W. Hamilton, Mr. Sly, James Hornby, William Turner, James Haywood, C. Walch, J. H. B. Lewis, Richard Watchorn. W. Lewis, Neil Wilson, Henry Lipscombe, Alderman Wilson, Robert Lowes, T.Y. White. J.
The Committee meet every evening at seven o'clock (Saturday and Sunday excepted), at Messrs. Meager and Basstlian's, Argyle-street.
559 Fred. CANE, Secretary.
Biographical Extract sourced from ABD;

"... Dr Bedford's duties as surgeon to the Commissariat Department included attendance on the sick in the Colonial Hospital, various penitentiaries, the Orphan Schools, convict road-gangs and the constabulary. From 1841 he served on the Medical Examiners' Board and made the recruitment of doctors a special interest. Realizing that the sick poor of Hobart loathed the Colonial Hospital with its convict discipline and associations, he started St Mary's in Campbell Street as a subscription hospital; in 1847 the foundation stone was laid for the unpretentious, but charming, building in Davey Street, Hobart, which was used as public offices after St Mary's closed. By 1856 Bedford had planned in detail a medical training school at St Mary's with Thomas Arnold as its classical and mathematical lecturer and himself teaching surgery. The scheme was unsuccessful, for the Royal College of Surgeons refused its recognition, and Hobart was left with few scholars when prosperity declined after 1856. Some young men did, however, make their first steps in a medical career with Bedford before going to British universities, but none of them returned to Tasmania.

Bedford was active in social affairs. In 1856 he was elected to the first Legislative Council under responsible government and held his seat until 1859 but revealed no particular talent for politics. He was prominent in the Royal Society and showed a diversity of interest in his three papers: 'Observations upon the condition of young marsupial animals' (1842); 'On the epidemics of 1852-3' (1854) and 'On the origin of nervous force' (1863). He was an early and enthusiastic collector of local art and acquired several water-colours by John Skinner Prout and Thomas Wainewright. He sponsored art exhibitions and lectured to the Mechanics' Institute on 'The Grecian Statues' and 'Expression with reference to the Fine Arts'. He was a founder of the Tasmanian Club in 1861.

His enthusiastic local patriotism evaporated with the depression of the 1860s, when the government closed his private hospital. In 1863 he migrated to Sydney and the congenial company of his brother-in-law, Sir Alfred Stephen. Appointed medical adviser to the New South Wales government, he vigorously promoted legislation to enforce the use of vaccination against the smallpox which during 1869 was in the front of every mind because of the outbreaks in neighbouring colonies. Bedford attended the public meeting on 20 March 1868 which accepted the proposal for a new hospital to commemorate the Duke of Edinburgh's narrow escape from assassination and he seconded the motion to name it the Prince Alfred Hospital. He was on the first working committee to gather subscriptions for this hospital and continued active in its affairs for some years. He took an interest in the Sydney Infirmary and in 1872 was nominated its honorary surgeon. He died in Sydney on 24 February 1876. On 14 January 1836 at Hobart he had married Mary Selby of Wilmington, Kent. He was survived by two daughters and seven sons, five of whom attended the Hutchins School."

Select Bibliography
Votes and Proceedings (House of Assembly, Tasmania), 1861 (34)
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Gazette, 26 Apr 1918, hospital jubilee
Empire (Sydney), 22 Oct 1870, 21 Mar 1871, 7 Feb 1872
Sydney Morning Herald, 26 Feb 1876
St Mary's Hospital, Report, 1856 (Archives Office of Tasmania)
Hutchins School, Admission Register, 1846-92 (Archives Office of Tasmania)
Colonial Secretary's letters (Archives Office of Tasmania).

Early Maps of Hobart Town VDL

1851 Plan PWD 2661786

Map of Hobart 1854

Map of Hobart 1858
All maps courtesy of Archives Office Tasmania

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Captain Edward Goldsmith and the land at Lake St Clair 1841

LAKE ST CLAIR Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania)

"This part of the country unknown" north of the Great Lake was printed on the Surveyor-General's map of Van Diemen's Land in 1824. Of course that part of the country - as every other part - was known to the Aboriginal inhabitants of Tasmania since their arrival sixty thousand years ago right up to the period before colonisation at the beginning of the 19th century. The decimation of their numbers within a few decades of the British establishing the colony they called Van Diemen's Land (1804) is widely regarded as genocide (Robert Hughes, James Boyce, Lyndall Ryan etc)

Tasmanian Heritage and Archive Office
Title: Chart of Van Diemen's Land from the best authorities and from actual surveys and measurements / by Thomas Scott Assistant Surveyor General ; engraved by Charles Thompson (Cross) Edinburgh
Creator: Scott, Thomas, 1800-1855
Map data: Scale [ca. 1: 545,000]
Publisher: [London : s.n.], 1824
Description: 1 map : col. ; 83.5 x 59 cm
Format: Map
Notes: "from the original survey brought by Captain Dixon of the ship Skelton of Whitby 1824"
Map of Tasmania with land grant, distances from Hobart, comment on topography and settlement. Relief shown by hachures and bathymetric soundings
Table of references with grants and owners

By 1840, master mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith had acquired 100 acres from Thomas Drew in this area of Van Diemen's Land, now known as the Lincoln Land District of Tasmania. He was well aware of the success of The Van Diemen's Land Company (also known as Van Dieman Land Company) in the north-west, and envisaged a similar operation in the Falkland Islands. The Van Diemen's Land Company was founded in 1825; it received a royal charter and a grant of 250,000 acres (1,000 km2) in 1826. The company was a group of London wool merchants with plans to supply the British textile industry. Captain Edward Goldsmith was aware of disputes with the VDL Company's white servants over Aboriginal women which had escalated into the Cape Grim Massacre of 1828. The Falklands did not present such problems. In a letter to the Sydney Gazette, July 1839, he wrote: -
I am satisfied that the Falklands, from their position and internal resources, and being free from natives, will, under a company, thrive much faster than Van Dieman's Land. Sheep will do well, and may be easily imported from New South Wales.
Source: The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) Saturday 27 July 1839 p 2 Article ADVANCE AUSTRALIA SYDNEY GAZETTE.

Coincidentally, there is a road called the Gad's Hill Road which runs through the Mersey Forest (7304), due east of Lake St. Clair, which Captain Goldsmith may have named after his estate, Gad's Hill, at Higham, Kent. He may have visited the region before conveying it to George Bilton in February 1841. Bilton's co-partnership with Edward Goldsmith, Andrew Haig and William Williamson in The Derwent Ship Building Company was dissolved a few weeks later, in March 1841.

Lincoln Land District is one of the twenty land districts of Tasmania which are part of the cadastral divisions of Tasmania. It was formerly one of the 18 counties of Tasmania. Its south-eastern tip is surrounded by the River Derwent on one side, and the Nive River on the other. It is bounded to the north by the Pieman River. It includes Cradle Mountain, the Overland Track, Lake St Clair and most of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.

George Bilton, 100a., Lincoln, originally Thomas Drew, who conveyed to Edward Goldsmith, who conveyed to the applicant; claim dated 20th January, 1841.-Bounded on the east by 40 chains southerly along Lot .'350 located to Thomas Burnett, on the south by 25 chains westerly along Lot 358, on the west by 40 chains northerly along Lot 359, and on the north by 25 chains easterly also along Lot 359 to the point of commence-ment.
Source:Classified Advertising. (1841, February 12). The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859), p. 1. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from

Memorial to Lieutenant Thomas Burnett
St David’s Park, Hobart, Tasmania
Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2014 ARR

The land at Lake St Clair in the county of Lincoln, VDL, conveyed by Captain Goldsmith in February 1841 to George Bilton was bounded on the south by land allocated to Lieutenant Thomas Burnett, who had drowned four years earlier, on 21 May 1837 while conducting hydrographic surveys of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel aboard the colonial cutter Vansittart. Lieutenant Burnett had accompanied the newly-appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the colony, Captain Sir John Franklin on the voyage to Hobart on board the Fairlie just months before he (Burnett) drowned, arriving on 6th January 1837. He was buried with full naval honours in St David’s cemetery, where his monument still stands. Designed by John Lee Archer, Colonial Architect, the monument stands on the stone plinth intended as the main stand for an observatory for Burnett.

Detail: Memorial to Lieutenant Thomas Burnett
St David’s Park, Hobart, Tasmania
Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2014 ARR

George Bilton acted as proxy for John James Meaburn in the dissolution of the enterprise “The Derwent Ship Building Company” dated March 3rd, 1841, witnessed by Captain Goldsmith’s neighbour in Davey St, Robert Pitcairn.

NOTICE.- The Copartnership hitherto carried on by the undersigned, under the style or firm of "The Derwent Ship Building Company", has been dissolved as on this date.
George Bilton
for John James Meaburn
Andrew Haig
E. Goldsmith
Wm. Williamson
Witness- Robert Pitcairn
Hobart Town, March 3. [1841]
Source: Classified Advertising. (1841, March 5). The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859), p. 3. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from

The company was originally established in 1839 once the acquisition of land at Secheron Bay, Battery Point, was settled, with Captain Goldsmith's expressing his intention of establishing a patent slip there. The local press reported the venture with considerable optimism:
LAND.-The property of Mr H. W. Mortimer,sold on Wednesday last by Mr W.T. Macmichael, realized the following prices, viz.-an allotment fronting the Derwent, 115 feet,£5 5s per foot,£903 12s do do. 115 feet, £9 10s, £1092 10s; and the dwelling house and premises, £625.-Messrs Bilton & Meaburn, and Captain Goldsmith of the Wave were purchasers, and we have been informed it is their intention to lay down a patent slip, which Captain Goldsmith will bring with him next voyage.-

Source: Southern Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1838 - 1844) Wed 6 Nov 1839 Page 3 V. D. LAND EXTRACTS.
SHIP BUILDING. - A Ship Building Company, composed of Messrs. Bilton, Goldsmith, Haig, Meaburn, and Williamson, are just about to commence, on the ground lately purchased from Mr. Mortimer, where an extensive and well sheltered building yard, and patent slip, are to be erected; an enterprise very much required, and deserving of encouragement. The parties are all gentlemen of practical knowledge, a qualification very much calculated to give general satisfaction, and to ensure success, for the attainment of which they have our best wishes.
Source: Colonial Times, Tues 29 October 1839, page 7, Domestic Intelligence

Artists such as John Glover (in 1834) and Skinner Prout (in 1845) had travelled in the region and represented Lake St Clair and surrounding mountains in sketches, but it was not until the 1860s when photographs taken by Morton Allport of his party's excursion to Lake St Clair made the region a better known traveller's destination.

Glover, John. (1834). [Four Tasmanian views]
NLA Catalogue online:

In: Excursion to Lake St. Clair February 1863 No. 12
Publisher: Hobart : M. Allport, 1863
Archives Office of Tasmania$init=AUTA001126254101P34

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Prisoner Ephraim DOE

Ephraim Doe was photographed by T. J. Nevin on discharge from the Hobart Gaol, 18 March 1874.

Prisoner Ephraim Doe
Photographed by T. J. Nevin 18 March 1874
QVMAG Ref: QVM1985_P_0066

A copy is held at the Archives Office of Tasmania, Hobart.


Ephraim Doe was photographed by T. J. Nevin on discharge from the Hobart Gaol, 18 March 1874.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Trial of Joshua ANSON 1877

Joshua ANSON, criminal offence 1877
Photographers H. H. BAILY, T. J. NEVIN, ANSON Bros. 1870s-1880s
James CRONIN, prisoner ex Aboukir 1851

Detail of Joshua Anson's Hobart Gaol record with photos taken 1877 (Nevin) & 1897 (unknown)
Source: Archives Office State Library of Tasmania
Mugshots 1891 GD67-1-10, 1895 GD128-1-2, 1901 GD128-1-1

The Anson brothers photographers, and there were only two - Joshua, who called himself John once paroled from prison on January 12, 1879, and his brother Henry who died in 1890 (the third brother Richard, b. 1851 died in infancy) - bought Samuel Clifford's studio and stock in 1878. Included in that purchase were photographs, negatives, cartes and stereographs by Clifford & Nevin taken and printed during their partnership which began in the 1860s and lasted beyond 1876 when Nevin transferred the "interest" in his commercial negatives to Clifford (Mercury, January 17th, 1876). John Watt Beattie joined the Anson brothers in 1890, buying them out in 1892, and reprinting many of the stock of Clifford and Nevin he had acquired through the purchase and without due attribution.

Joshua Anson 1877 and 1897
Joshua Anson was indicted for feloniously stealing a quantity of photographic goods from his employer, H. H. Baily, photographer, of Hobart Town on May 31st, 1877. The charge was larceny as a servant. The prisoner pleaded not guilty. Despite the depositions of good character from photographer Samuel Clifford, Charles Walch the stationer, and W.R. Giblin, lawyer and Attorney-General, Joshua Anson (b. 1854, Hobart), was found guilty of stealing goods valued at £88, though the real value of the goods, which included camera equipment, negatives, paper, mounts, chemicals, tripods etc exceeded £140. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, with parole. On July 12, 1877, the Mercury reported that Joshua Anson’s appeal was ” to seek to retrieve his character by an honest career in another colony; and asked that during his incarceration he might be kept from the company of other prisoners as much as possible, though not, he said, on account of feeling himself above them, as the verdict of the jury removed that possibility.” The seriousness of the crime warranted a 14 year sentence, but the jury strongly recommended him to mercy “on account of his youth“.

Henry Hall Baily, the victim of Joshua Anson's theft in 1877, was a colleague and close friend of Thomas Nevin. Their respective studios in the 1860s were located opposite each other in Elizabeth St. Hobart Town. Baily and his wife were in Nevin's company that fateful night in December 1880 when Nevin was detained by Detective Connor on suspicion of acting in concert with the "ghost". The Chief Justice in Joshua Anson's case was Sir Francis Villeneuve Smith, who was photographed about this same time holding a carte-de-visite. The photograph was later reprinted by Beattie, and although the original is unattributed, it can safely be assumed from the Justice's ascerbic comments on Anson's character in the course of hearing the case on July 11, 1877, that Joshua Anson was certainly NOT the photographer.

Joshua Anson's trial stirred interest. The Mercury, July 11th, 1877 reported:
Second Court
Before His Honor the Chief Justice
Joshua Anson was indicted for feloniously stealing a quantity of photographic goods from his employer, H. H. Baily, photographer, of Hobart Town on May 31st, 1877. The prisoner pleaded not guilty.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL prosecuted, and Mr. J. S. DODDS defended the prisoner."
Despite the depositions of good character from photographer Samuel Clifford, Charles Walch the stationer, and W.R. Giblin, lawyer and Attorney-General, Joshua Anson (b. 1854, Hobart), was found guilty of stealing goods valued at 88 pounds, and sentenced to two years' imprisonment, with parole. This was no small misdemeanour. Joshua Anson had also racked up a large bill at Walch's Stationers with promissaries for goods which included expensive imported equipment.

The Mercury, July 11, 1877 further reported:
"H.H. Baily's evidence was in substance the same as that given at the preliminary examination in the Police Court. He believed all the articles produced in Court, embracing views, portraits, mounts, albums etc were his property, and specially identified some particular albums and other goods as his.
By Mr. DODDS: Two albums produced are not mine, but they contain views that have been taken from negatives that belong to me. The mounts produced I claim, as I have similar mounts in my shop. Other photographers in the town have not got mounts of the same quality. I cannot possibly say that the cards are mine. The albumenized paper I cannot swear as to my property. The glass produced I cannot identify as my property, but I have missed some glass of a similar description, marked with a diamond in the corner. I cannot swear to the brushes produced ..... The stereoscopic views (produced) were printed by the prisoner from negatives belonging to me .... I have treated the prisoner as my brother.... About 12 months ago, I increased his salary from 2 to 3 pounds a week, but I did not then offer to give him an interest in the business .... I have assisted him in printing from negatives belonging to him in order to see the effect of the printing. Some of these negatives were upon glass belonging to me. I did not then suspect him of taking my property. I had lent the prisoner a camera and lens, a tripod stand, and a glass but nothing else. I gave the prisoner on one occasion permission to take two bottles of chemicals home, so as to take quantities out for his own use ....." " .... W.R. Giblin said he had known the prisoner for about seven years, and his reputation for honesty was good. Witness had personally a very high opinion of the prisoner and had offered to find him 50 to 100 pounds to set him up in business but the prisoner declined the offer....."

Attorney-General W.R. Giblin by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1874
Archives Office of Tasmania Ref: NS 1013/1971

"The Jury, after a retirement of about 20 minutes, found the prisoner guilty, and strongly recommended him to mercy on account of his youth...."

The charges warranted a sentence of 14 years, but was shown mercy on account of his youth.

Source: Criminal: re Anson, June 29, 77 (1.189)

On July 12, 1877, The Mercury reported that Joshua Anson's appeal was -
" to seek to retrieve his character by an honest career in another colony; and asked that during his incarceration he might be kept from the company of other prisoners as much as possible, though not, he said, on account of feeling himself above them, as the verdict of the jury removed that possibility."

Joshua Anson, 22 years old, arraigned at the Supreme Court, Hobart on 10th July 1877 for the offence of larceny as a servant, was sentenced to two years.

Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police, Gov's printer J. Barnard

Joshua Anson was discharged from H. M. Gaol on 15 January 1879, the residue of sentence remitted.

Joshua Anson's Hobart Gaol record
Source: Archives Office State Library of Tasmania
Mugshots 1891 GD67-1-10, 1895 GD128-1-2, 1901 GD128-1-1

Joshua Anson did not take the two photographs of himself that were pasted to his criminal sheet, the first (on left) in 1877 when he was 23 yrs old, and the second (on right) in 1897 when he was 43 yrs old, nor did he photograph any of the other prisoners for gaol records while serving time at the Hobart Gaol. His abhorrence of the company of convicts was extreme, as his statement testifies. His 1877 prisoner mugshot was taken by Constable John Nevin in situ, and unmounted. Thomas Nevin may have printed another for the Municipal Police Office Registry at the Town Hall, Macquaries St. Hobart where he was the Hall and Office Keeper, but it is yet to be identified among the Tasmanian prisoner cdvs held in public collections. Joshua Anson was certainly the beneficiary of Thomas Nevin’s stock and commercial negatives when Samuel Clifford acquired them in 1876 and then sold them on to Joshua Anson and his brother Henry Anson in 1878. The Anson brothers reprinted Clifford & Nevin’s Port Arthur stereoscopes for their highly commercial album, published in 1890 as Port Arthur Past and Present without due acknowledgement to either Nevin or Clifford.

The Launceston Examiner reported another theft by Joshua Anson on 30 May, 1896.

HOBART, Friday
At the City Court to-day Joshua Anson, photographer, was charged with having robbed Charles Perkins of £32 12s5d. Accused, who was not represented by counsel, stated he had had two epileptic fits since he was arrested, and his head was not now clear. He asked for a remand. After the evidence of the prosecution had been taken, the accused was remanded till Tuesday.
Beautiful spring-like weather is prevailing.
Both of the Anson brothers were incarcerated at different times at the Hobart Gaol. In July 1889, Henry Anson, aged 39, was sentenced to one month for being drunk. Soon after Joshua Anson's parole, the two Anson Brothers set up business at various addresses:

132 Liverpool St. Hobart 1878-80
129 Collins St. Hobart 1880-87
36 Elizabeth St. Hobart 1880-87
52 Elizabeth St. Hobart 1887-91

Ansons' studio, 36 Elizabeth St 1880 (TAHO)

The photograph of ex-convict James Cronin

Studio portrait of ex-convict James Cronin ca. 1880
Anson Brothers 1880s, TMAG Collection

This is the only extant image of former convict James Cronin (1824-1885). It was taken by the Anson brothers, commercial photographers, as an Album portrait in their Hobart studio in the 1880s, i.e. it was therefore a privately commissioned portrait, and this is evident from both the street clothes and the pose of the sitter. It is not a police photograph, ie. a mugshot pasted to a criminal record sheet, unlike those taken by Thomas J. Nevin for the express use of police authorities, because James Cronin was not an habitual offender, at least, he was never convicted and sentenced under his own name in the decades 1860s-1880s or up to his death in 1885 at the Cascades Hospital for the Insane, Hobart. The Tasmanian Police Gazettes of those decades registered no offence for James Cronin, nor even an inquest when he died of pulmonary apoplexy on July 16, 1885.

Criminal and Transportation History: James Cronin (1824-1885)
James Cronin may have offended at Limerick for theft prior to his major felony of shooting at Jas. Hogan with intent to kill in 1847. He was transported to Bermuda on HMS Medway in the same year to serve eight years.  It was at Bermuda that he attempted to murder Mrs Elleanor Howes, wife of James Howes, mate in charge of the prison hulk, the Coromandel. Despatches from Charles Elliot, governor of Bermuda (CO 37/135) requested James Cronin be returned to England on HMS Wellesley to be convicted and transported to Tasmania (VDL) in correspondence dated January and April 1851. James Cronin arrived at Norfolk Island on board the Aboukir in March 1852, and thence to the Port Arthur prison Tasmania in December where he was "detained" until 1857 and assigned on probation to Major Lloyd at New Norfolk, Hobart on 27th November.

The National Archives UK has two entries for James Cronin detailing his attempt to murder Mrs Howes in Bermuda:
1. Reference:CO 37/135/4 Description:
Reports that a convict named James Cronin had attempted to murder Mrs Elleanor Howes, the wife of James Howes, mate in charge of the Coromandel hulk. Considers the existing laws inadequate to punish such cases. Recommends that a law should be passed to bring such cases to Courts Martial. Adds that in Cronin's case a convict named Edwin Smith intervened and saved Mrs Howes. Recommends Smith for a free pardon. Encloses a memorandum and correspondence concerning the matter.

Convict Establishment No. 4, folios 15-38
Date: 1851 Jan 18 Held by: The National Archives, Kew

2. Reference:CO 37/135/35 Description:
Reports that the convict James Cronin would be returned to England in HMS Wellesley. Encloses the requisite documents.

Convict Establishment No. 29, folios 224-230
Date: 1851 Apr 17 Held by: The National Archives, Kew

Source: Tasmanian Archives
Cronin, James
Convict No: 16007
Extra Identifier:
Voyage Ship: Aboukir
Voyage No: 347
Arrival Date: 20 Mar 1852
Departure Date: 07 Dec 1851
Departure Port: London
Conduct Record: CON33/1/106
Muster Roll:
Appropriation List:
Other Records:
Indent: CON14/1/31
Description List: CON18/1/56

Indent: CON14/1/31 

Title: James Cronin, one of 280 convicts transported on the Aboukir, 24 December 1851.
Details: Sentence details: Convicted at Ireland, Limerick for a term of life on 08 March 1847.
Vessel: Aboukir.
Date of Departure: 24 December 1851.
Place of Arrival: Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land].

The death of James Cronin, labourer, was registered at the Cascades Hospital for the Insane on 16 July 1885. His cause of death was pulmonary apoplexy, unlike several other deaths of asylum inmates which were registered in the same month, e.g. "brain softening".

Death of James Cronin, male, 63 yrs old, 16 July 1885, Hobart, Tasmania
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1232085
Resource: RGD35/1/10 no 2506
Archives Office Tasmania

On board the "City of Hobart" 31st January 1872