Category Archives: Van Diemen’s Land

Early Moves towards Government Support

From the mid-18th century, politicians and reformers were starting to look at ways of broadening access to education to include all levels of society. Derek Gillard’s Education in England: a History Chapter 5 provides a useful timeline, and list of … Continue reading

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Sir John Franklin – Explorer

Sir John Franklin was the fifth lieutenant governor of Van Diemen’s Land, replacing Sir George Arthur who had administered the Colony for twelve years from 1824 to 1836. Arthur had no doubts about the nature of his responsibilities: first and … Continue reading

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Address of Sir John Franklin to Legislative Council 1837

On Friday 14th July 1837, the Hobart Town Courier reported on the first meeting of the Legislative Council that had taken place in Hobart four days earlier. At 1 o’clock the Lieutenant Governor, Sir John Franklin, took the Chair and … Continue reading

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Changing the Guard

When Sir John Franklin arrived in Van Diemen’s Land to take up the position of Lieutenant Governor in January 1837, the shadow of twelve year’s autocratic rule by Sir George Arthur loomed ominously over the future administration of the Island. … Continue reading

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English Maritime Explorers

Captain James Cook Captain James Cook undertook three Pacific voyages during his service with the Royal Navy. The first voyage was a joint venture between the Royal Society and the Admiralty, and its stated aim was to expand the scientific … Continue reading

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The legal system 1803-1832

Colonial Office Instructions on treatment of natives From 1788, when the First Fleet arrived in Port Jackson to set up a penal colony for convicts sentenced to transportation, governors and lieutenant governors had quite specific instructions on how they were … Continue reading

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French Maritime Explorers

Marion de Fresne With the Dutch losing interest in Van Diemen’s Land after Tasman’s departure in 1642, the natives were able resume their normal lives until 1772 when the first French explorer, Marion du Fresne, following the route taken by … Continue reading

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Dutch Maritime Explorers

While it is probable that Portuguese sailors in the 16th century came in sight of the west coast of what was imagined to be the Great South Land, the usual route taken by the Dutch and Portuguese spice traders on … Continue reading

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Law and Order 1803-1826

There were two main tools used to enforce law and order in Van Diemen’s Land when the first white settlers and convicts arrived in 1803: justices of the peace who swore an oath to enforce “the Laws and Customs of … Continue reading

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