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Convicts, transporation etc

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  • Arthur Phillip – First Governor of New South Wales – Early Mezzotint c1790′s

    Arthur Phillip – First Governor of New South Wales – Early Mezzotint c1790′s

    A well-executed copper engraving using the mezzotint technique, of First Governor Arthur Phillip from the original German publication of his First Fleet Journal.

    Arthur Phillip (1738-1814) was appointed Governor designate of the new Colony to be formed in New South wales. His First Fleet arrived in January 1788 and he selected Port Jackson as the first settlement having decided Botany Bay was unsuitable. He returned to England in 1792 an was succeeded by John Hunter.

    Dimensions 20cm by 12cm with a strong plate impression an clear bold printing. Framed would make a nice library item for a First Fleet follower.

    Price $75.00 unframed.

    Nice historic image of Arthur Phillip.


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  • The Sarah Island Conspiracies – R. I. Davey

    The Sarah Island Conspiracies – R. I. Davey

    A super Tasmanian book by Richard Innes Davey. This is the hardback edition, most available are the earlier soft cover.

    Published by The Round Earth Company, Tasmania. This the Second Revised Edition 2007.

    Small quarto, 210 pages nicely illustrated and in fine condition with a fine dust jacket.

    Sarah Island behind the Gates of Hell in Macquarie Harbour on the west coast of Tasmania was home to the harshest penal establishment imaginable.

    This well crafted book is based on the account of twelve Voyages made by a one G.K. (his name is not known) the Sarah Island between 1822-1833. G. K. was a clerk a minor bureaucrat and supposedly as shadowy figure. He observes the men banished to this desolate place and is gradually drawn into their world.

    True life, mystery and intrigue at Sarah’s Island

    A word about the author … Richard Innes Davey (1938-2013) what a character … he spent seven years as a Dominican monk before exploding a laboratory in Adelaide, met his wife Kathleen while recuperating. Much travel overseas and strange and artistic goings on followed. back in Australia (Perth) he expanded his artistic bent … sculpting, theatre directing and playwright, outback storytelling, remote communities etc. Moving to Tasmania with his own Round Earth Company he became the man of knowledge regarding Sarah Island. If you have been to Strahan you will be aware of his play “The Ship that Never Was”, our longest running play (Australia’s Mousetrap).


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  • Photograph by B Sheppard – Spiky Bridge [Built by Convicts], Near Swansea, East Coast Road Tasmania

    Photograph by B Sheppard – Spiky Bridge [Built by Convicts], Near Swansea, East Coast Road Tasmania

    An original photograph by B (Benjamin) Sheppard (1902-1987). Size 21 x 16cm. Overall in good condition. Sheppard was most active in the 1950’s and the photograph likely cones from that period. The rear of the photograph carries B Sheppard’s stamp, that of the Agent General for Tasmania and a manuscript note identifying the location … a rather obvious one to those that love and live in the Apple Isle.

    You can still see the solid Spiky Bridge built by Convict labour in 1843. The road has been moved onto a more modern and rather boring structure. The spikiness is thought to be an invention to stop cattle falling into the water … maybe. If you go there the remain of the Governor’s cottage can be seen on the hill nearby.

    A Tasmanian landmark … Spiky Bridge a strange structure built by convicts


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  • The Life and Labours of George Washington Walker of Hobart Town, Tasmania. By James Backhouse and Charles Taylor – First Edition 1862

    The Life and Labours of George Washington Walker of Hobart Town, Tasmania. By James Backhouse and Charles Taylor – First Edition 1862

    First edition published by A.W. Bennett, London and Thomas Ready, York in 1862. Large octavo, 556 pages with 12 page “Friendly Counsel” bound at the rear. Original ribbed cloth binding with gilt title to spine. Appears re-cased retaining the original jet black endpapers. Frontispiece of George W Walker with facsimile note and signature. Light staining off the image on the frontispiece and a few signs of ageing here and there. Manuscript note on title indication from the Library of the Doncaster Friends, possibly donated by Backhouse of you understand the geography. Overall still a good to better copy of a very interesting compilation. Essential reading on Tasmania.

    George Washington Walker (1800-1959) was a Quaker and humanitarian born the 21st child! Of John Walker. He was brought up by his grandmother in Newcastle, England. His first job as a linen draper introduced him to the Quakers and James Backhouse of York. He became active in the movement. In 1831 he accompanied James Backhouse to the Australian and South African Colonies, investigation conditions for convicts and indigenous people. They encouraged schools for the poor, temperance, cleanliness and care in hospitals generally arousing a social conscience. Walker returned to Hobart and married Sarah Mather. He set up a linen draper’s shop and from there distributed Bibles. He formed the Hobart Savings Bank to assist those at the bottom of the pile. Generally, he was well liked although his campaign to stop drinking on Sunday’s did not go down well. He worked to suppress vice at the Female Factory and kept in close touch with the Aboriginal mission stations. His eldest son James Backhouse Walker became one of our most respected historians. He spent the last two years of his life living in Narryna and was buried in West Hobart following his death on 2nd February 1859.

    The book is comprehensive … Walker arrived with Backhouse at Hobart by page 32 after having described the approaches. He meets Governor Arthur, John Leach and G.A. Robinson. Observes the Bridgewater Chain-gang the toils of their work still seen today … the exhaustion and conditions of their work hard to imagine. They visit New Norfolk and the Clyde district and come into contact with aboriginal groups. Then a major voyage to Port Davey and Macquarie Harbour. Back in Hobart visits to Richmond and then off to Flinders Island and the aboriginal settlements and the ill-treatment of aborigines. To Launceston and up to George Town and on to Circular Head, Woolnorth and Cape Grim … and much more before leaving for New South Wales and Norfolk Island. Two hundred pages are devoted to Mauritius and South Africa before Walker returns to Hobart in 1840 to live out his life much of which is dealt with by reference to his letters from that period.

    Thorough treatment of Walker’s Life and an excellent complement to “A Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies” by Backhouse



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  • Michael Howe: The Last and Worst of the Bush rangers of Van Diemen’s Land

    Michael Howe: The Last and Worst of the Bush rangers of Van Diemen’s Land

    A nice facsimile production by The Folio Society, London, published in 1977. With useful introduction by Ian Atkins

    Three copies of the original book are known to exist, one in the Bodleian (from which this facsimile is produced), one in the British Museum and the other in the National Collection, Canberra from which was bought from Maggs in 1946 having been purchased by them at Sotheby’s.

    This original account was the first book of general literature published in Australia, in Hobart Town, in December 1818.

    Nostalgic and interesting in many ways


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  • Tasmanian Photographer ( Beattie) – Margaret Tassell and David Wood – 1981

    Tasmanian Photographer ( Beattie) – Margaret Tassell and David Wood – 1981

    Published by Macmillan in Australia. Quarto, 155 pages heavily illustrated, as you would expect. Good dust jacket and generally a very good copy.

    The first name that springs to mind when it turns to photography in Tasmania.

    A well put together collection by Tassell and Wood published in 1981. Many examples of his better work categorised into – Historic; Industrial and Scenic, and Norfolk Island for a broader interest in that association. Some of the “originals” clearly showing their age but the subject matter and technique still very worthy.

    Beattie Photographic Imagery – Defining Tasmania


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