This memorial erected to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the foundation of Hobart was unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second on 20th February 1954.
Persons victualled at Port Phillip and/or the River Derwent 17th October 1803 to 31st December, 1804. Recorded by Lieutenant Colonel David Collins Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land [ Names ]
Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association 20th February 2004.
This memorial stands on the traditional land of the Mouheneenner people the original custodians of this site.
Four sculptures commemorate the convict women and their children who were transported to Van Diemen`s Land (Tasmania). The sculptures are at the location where they disembarked after their journey. From 1803 to 1853, almost 13,000 convict women together with 2,000 children arrived in Van Diemen’s Land.
He graduated in 1786, but by this time had been borrowing substantially and was said to have become associated with the hunting and shooting set of the young Viscount Clermont. He was ordained deacon at Norwich in December 1788 and priest a year later. By this time he was so deeply in debt that he had to sell half of Threxton to Clermont; but he continued his heavy borrowing and in October 1795 was forced to sell the remainder of it. It is likely that he became chaplain to Clermont and later to Earl Spencer, through whose influence he was appointed chaplain in H.M.S. Resolution in 1801. He served in the West Indies and elsewhere until in 1803 he joined David Collins's expedition to Port Phillip.
From that date he began his famous diary and continued it until his death. At what is now Sorrento he conducted the first religious service in Victoria in October 1803 and, after Collins decided to abandon that settlement, the first service in Tasmania at Hobart Town in February 1804. In March 1805 he moved from his tent to Cottage Green, the house he had built at Battery Point, 'having been sixteen months three weeks and five days exposed to the inclemency of all weathers and continual robberies by convicts and servants'.
In addition to his 400-acre (162 ha) glebe at Clarence Plains (Rokeby), Governor Philip Gidley King granted him 100 acres (40 ha) there and thirty acres (12 ha) in Hobart, Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted him another 500 acres (202 ha) in 1815, and he also had a grant on the South Esk. But despite all this his ineptitude in money matters led to difficulties. By 1816 he was forced to accept an offer of £2000 for the Cottage Green property, though this fell through and in 1824 Lieutenant-Governor Sir George Arthur acquired it for £800. He served as a magistrate from March 1804 until 1828 and despite a reputation for kindliness showed no apparent concern at the severity of the sentences he felt called on to impose. He toured his huge parish on horseback, travelling as far as Port Dalrymple until Rev. John Youl took up appointment there in 1819.
The near-illiteracy of his diary in the Royal Society of Tasmania, Hobart, is not borne out by his correspondence, and his letters show a man of finer qualities than those of the generally accepted sporting parson. The diary reveals that for many years he had a painful complaint, though his frequent indisposition was always ascribed to intemperance; but his liquor bills provide plenty of evidence of his conviviality. He entertained generously; Collins was a frequent visitor, and Knopwood often dined at Government House.
The diary is a daily record of his own doings and those of the settlement; its value lies largely in the fact that often there is no other source for the period, and one wishes that he had devoted less space to the weather; he writes of his pride in his garden, and of his affection for Betty Mack, whom he had adopted as an infant when her mother was deserted by a marine.
Henry Savery, meeting Knopwood at Government House, saw him as 'an elderly parson in a straight-cut single breasted coat with an upright collar, a clergyman of the old school, remarkably mild and placid countenance, manner easy and gentlemanly in the extreme, conversation lively and agreeable—a choice spirit'. However, he was no favourite of Macquarie, who frequently criticized his behaviour.
Knopwood's last years were saddened by sickness and poverty. In 1817 his salary of £182 was increased to £260; but in 1823 when he retired through ill health his pension was only £100, though he had his land at Rokeby. He ministered unofficially to his neighbours there until in 1826 he was appointed rector of the parish. He held this position until his death on 18 September 1838, harassed from time to time by his creditors.
His grave was unmarked until Betty Mack's daughter, Mrs Stanfield, who had inherited his estate in Chancery, erected the present monument. He lived at Battery Point
In 1803 he joined the expedition of Lieutenant-Colonel David Collins to Port Phillip, and was in the first contingent which sailed thence to establish a settlement on the Derwent, Van Diemen's Land, in February 1804. In the same year he built the first private house in Hobart Town. In February 1805 he was granted sick leave to return to England, but after six months in Sydney he returned to Hobart with several ewes and a ram 'near the Spanish breed', the latter a gift from Governor Philip Gidley King. He was appointed first lieutenant on 3 December 1805 and a month later received his first grant of 100 acres (40 ha). By October 1806 he was the largest stock-owner in Van Diemen's Land; and within another year he was the senior officer there, subordinate only to Collins.
He again visited Sydney in April 1808, soon after the deposition of Governor William Bligh, and from Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Foveaux he obtained, among other favours, an appointment as magistrate and a grant of 500 acres (202 ha), which he selected on the Derwent, towards New Norfolk. On 8 October 1808, soon after his return to Hobart, he married Maria Risely. He was an implacable opponent of Bligh while the deposed governor was at the Derwent from March to December 1809. Bligh complained that Lord and William Collins kept a shop, contrary to regulations, and monopolized 'the advantages of Trade to the great Injury of the Settlement'; for all that, in the same year Lord was appointed Naval Officer and inspector of public works.
When David Collins died unexpectedly on 24 March 1810 Lord took charge of the settlement and is said to have burned all the papers at Government House the same night. He applied to the secretary of state for the colonies to succeed Collins. Lachlan Macquarie, who had a poor opinion of Lord, hastily sent Captain John Murray to take charge, relieved Lord of his offices and gave him leave to return to England. There on 20 October 1812, having learned that his application to succeed Collins had failed, Lord resigned his commission in the marines; next day through the influence of his brother John Owen, M.P. (who had changed his name on inheriting the rich Orielton estates near Pembroke) he received an order for a grant of 3000 acres (1214 ha). He took 1500 acres (607 ha) near Sydney and the other 1500 (607 ha) formed the nucleus of his Orielton estate in Van Diemen's Land, which grew to 3500 acres (1416 ha).
Lord returned to Hobart in March 1813 in his own brig, the James Hay, with goods worth £30,000, and was soon on intimate terms with Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Davey, although Macquarie had warned Davey that Lord was 'a dangerous and troublesome man'. One reason for Davey's recall was that in defiance of Macquarie he gave preferential trading concessions to Lord, and bought wheat from him at an excessive price. In 1817 Lord was suspected of smuggling from the Kangaroo which Captain Charles Jeffreys had improperly brought to the Derwent and, when Lord charged Acting Commissary William Broughton with improper trading, Lord refused to go to Sydney to prosecute at the court martial that Macquarie and Broughton desired. Judge-Advocate (Sir) John Wylde criticized both Lord and those officers in Hobart who had supported his accusations, and Macquarie exonerated Broughton, describing Lord as 'vindictive and implacable'.
When William Sorell became lieutenant-governor, Macquarie named Lord first on his list of 'bad characters' at the Derwent. Despite this Lord and Sorell soon became close friends.
When Lord returned to England late in 1819 he told Bathurst that he had been 'injured to an almost incalculable Amount' by Macquarie's 'harsh and unjust proceedings' and sought redress. Although his charges were refuted Bathurst gave him an order to Macquarie to grant him 3000 acres (1214 ha) and recommended him to Sorell.
Having bought the Caroline, he returned to Van Diemen's Land in November 1820 with a large cargo of merchandise, and was at once appointed a magistrate. Soon afterwards he exchanged fourteen acres (5.6 ha) in Hobart for 7000 (2833 ha) in the interior; these and his 3000 granted acres (1214 ha) formed the nucleus of his noted estate, Lawrenny, on the River Clyde. At this time he was said to be the richest man in Van Diemen's Land, the owner of three ships, warehouses in Hobart and Port Dalrymple, 6000 cattle, 7000 sheep and 35,000 acres (14,164 ha). When the Van Diemen's Land Agricultural Society was founded on 1 January 1822 Lord became its first president and he was also an original proprietor of the Bank of Van Diemen's Land.
During 1822 he was accused of trying to bribe the head of the commissariat, but Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane was prevented from investigating the matter by Lord's departure in the Royal George which he had chartered to carry wool to England. The ship was almost wrecked at Cape Town, which caused Lord 'serious Losses'. At this time he claimed assets in Van Diemen's Land of £200,000, and debts owing to him of £70,000. When in England, he asked Bathurst in 1823 to grant Van Diemen's Land independence from New South Wales, partly because of the difficulties in prosecuting in Sydney suits for the payment of debts; he also asked for a legislative council and the right of trial by jury in the colony. He returned to Hobart briefly in 1824, and again in 1827 when he signed a petition to parliament for 'Trial by Jury and Legislation by Representation'.
His relations were far from cordial with Lieutenant-Governor (Sir) George Arthur. Governor Brisbane spoke of his sordid interests and proposed to remove him from the magistracy. In 1828, leaving a manager in charge of his estates, Lord returned to England and settled at Downe, Kent. He visited Van Diemen's Land in 1838-39 and the tenacity of his character was revealed in 1846-47 when at the age of 65 he made his seventh voyage to the colony to press a claim for land in further compensation for a deficiency in the original survey of his Lawrenny estate twenty-five years earlier. Lieutenant-Governors Arthur and Sir William Denison had both rejected this, but despite opposition Lord ultimately won his claim in 1854.
He died at 12 Westbourne Terrace North, London, on 14 September 1859. His estate in England was valued at £2000, and he still held considerable property in Van Diemen's Land, though much of it was encumbered. In December 1824 Lord won a case against Charles Rowcroft, settler, for criminal conversation with his wife, who had remained in Van Diemen's Land and died there two months before him. Lord was survived by one son and two daughters of this marriage, and by three sons and one daughter of an alliance in England.
While in Van Diemen's Land in 1846-47 two portraits of Lord were painted by Thomas Wainewright. A third portrait by an unknown artist is in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart.
In the preface to that valuable historical record we read--''At a little village a few miles from Hobart there still walks about (1887) a hale, hearty man, who was born at Port Philip Heads, on November 25, 1803. His parents had landed there with the rest of the intended colony about six weeks before.
"On the following Christmas Day, under the gum trees, overlooking what is now called Sorrento, after the Chaplain's sermon, the assembled civil and military officers, the settlers and the convicts, Lieut-Governor Collins handed the little son of the Sergeant of Marines to the Rev. Mr. Knopwood, and stood, godfather to William James Hobart Thorne, the first white child born in the settlement.
In another month, godfather and godson, officer, emigrants and outlaws had hove up their anchors, and sailed away for Tasmania, where Hobart Thorne and Hobart Town grew up together. Hobart Thorne is confounded with Robert the hale and hearty man mentioned as living in Tasmania a few years ago. It would refer to the latter as Hobart at the age of 21 who went to Sydney, settled there and became immensely wealthy.
Robert spent the whole of his 81 years in the land of his birth, living the greater part of his life in the Sorell district, where at one time he possessed 13 estates, and in conjunction with his brother-in-law, Mr. Frank Pitt (late Harbourmaster, Hobart), carried on an extensive whale fishery, but the tide of adversity set in, and like many another he lived to see nearly the whole of his fortune swept away. His remains will be interred in the Church of England burial ground at Forcett where his wife was buried last year. ''