Sunday, 17 January 2016

Maps of early settlement on Norfolk Island

A number of early maps of Norfolk Island can be found online.

One of the earliest is on The National Library of Australia website. It consists of two maps - one of Norfolk Island and the other of the south of the island. The map was created by W Bradley in 1788.
There are a number of maps online of the early settlement in the south of Norfolk Island. The following three maps were found on the State Library of New South Wales website. The maps on the website can be viewed in three versions including one using Zoomify allowing a closer examination of the map.

Plan of the town of Sydney on the south side of Norfolk Island, December 1793. The map was drawn by Charkes Grimes, Deputy Surveyor.
Plan of the town of Sydney on the south side of Norfolk Island with the adjacent grounds 1794. The map was drawn by William Neate Chapman.
Plan of the settlers lots and ground cultivated for the publick on Norfolk Island 1796 can also be found on the State Library of New South Wales website. This map also has three versions.
A segment of the map shows lot 17 belonging to George Guest
The State Records of New South Wales, on their information sheet about Convict Settlement - Norfolk Island includes a number of small maps of early settlement on the island. Unfortunately there is no date but they do provide an idea of the layout of the early settlement on the island.
I am still searching for a map showing where George Guest owned land on Norfolk Island during the first European settlement. One day ...

Maps of Hobart - Campbell Street

Recently I have come across a number of maps of Hobart Town either online or in books.

Campbell Street - coloured section shows location of Seven Stars
This is part of a Chart of  Sullivan's Cove. A copy of the full map was located initially in the book Old Hobart Town and environs 1802-1855 (1978) on page 78. It was originally published in Narrative of a voyage to the South Seas ... by Charles Meyett Goodridge. The first edition of this book published in 1832 contains an additional section on Goodridge's views of Hobart - Statistical view of Van Diemen's Land - after spending eight years in the colony. This book can be viewed online. The (folded) chart is after page 146.
Location of George Guest's land
LINC Tasmania has a copy of a map showing the location of George Guest's land in Campbell Street near the corner of Collins Street. A section of the map is shown above. In this map Campbell Street is referred to as Old Market Place. The full version of the map is shown below.
AF393_1_68 Map
The map, dated 1841, was map 71 in Sprents. According to Trove this collection of maps comprises the survey by Surveyor-General James Sprent of Hobart commencing on 25 February 1841 according to Book 1, p1 of his field notes. The maps include street names and the names of landholders. The map would have been drawn shortly before George Guest died. The parts of the land with buildings are identified.

These two maps confirmed the location that I suspected was where the Seven Stars once stood. Part of the confusion I had had in finding the exact location was that sometimes the Seven Stars was listed as being in Campbell Street while on other occasions the address was Old Market Place. This section of Campbell Street appears to have had both names on occasion.

Another one of Sprent's maps shows the location of the new market building.
Section of AF394_1_39 Map
This map is also located on LINC Tasmania. Notice that in this map the section of the street bordering the New Market Place and Seven Stars is referred to as Campbell Street. The full map is shown below.
AF394_1_39 Map
A search in LINC Tasmania for 'Hobart Map Sprent' produces other maps in the series.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Market in Hobart

As Hobart Town grew it became apparent that there was a need for an organised market for people to sell and purchase produce. The following article discusses the need to establish a market.

GOVT. AND GENERAL ORDERS.
Government House, Hobart Town,
Saturday, December 18th, l819.  
THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR having received a Recommendation from the Bench of Magistrates, that for the Purpose of enabling the Settlers who may be desirous of bringing Produce of any Kind for Sale, into Hobart Town, as well as for the Accommodation of the Inhabitants, a Piece of Ground should be allotted for a Market; a suitable Space will be immediately fenced in at the end of Davey-street for this Purpose ; and as soon as the necessary Arrangements can be completed, the same Regulations will be established as exist in the Market at Sydney. In the mean Time, commencing on Saturday the 1st of January 1820, the Ground will be open for the Admission of all Persons who bring Produce for Sale, and on the same Day in every following Week,

All Boats belonging to Settlers coming direct with Produce for the Market will be permitted to land at the Extremity of Murray-street, on Saturdays from Day- break till Bell-ringing at l0 o'Clock, and to depart till Two in the Afternoon, preparatory to a Wharf being constructed for that Purpose; but no Boats, except those with Produce, and no Boat that has touched on board any Ship, are allowed to land there.

OLIVER SMITH, Overseer in Government Service, is appointed to take Charge of the Market for the present, and will be sworn a Constable. He will take Care that   the Market Ground be clear before Dark; and that no Irregularity of any Kind be permitted, and that all Scales and Weights and Measures be regulated by the Standard.
By Command of His Honor
The Lieutenant Governor,
H. E, Robinson, Secretary.
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 18 December 1819 

An article in the Critic 17 June 1911 provides information about the original market on the site in 1829 and and the new market that replaced it at the end of 1853. The article also mentions the Seven Stars across the road from the market.

Old-Time Reminiscences.
[By Argo]
The old Exhibition Building is now a mass of ruins, and the lower portion of it near Collins-street has been turned into a stonecutters’ yard. Old timers will recollect that long before it was used for exhibition purposes it was the chief market of the city. The market was erected in Sir William Denison’s day, and it was stated by one of the local historians that Governor Denison was compelled to fill up and drain the market site before he could build upon it.

This statement is incorrect as the place was a market place long before Denison’s time. It was gazetted as such by Colonel Arthur, who was then Governor of the Colony. When one makes an historical statement one likes to back it up by fact, and here is the fact in the form of a government notice dated Colonial Secretary’s Office, October 11th, 1829: - Some temporary difficulties have arisen whereby the completion of the arrangements for the establishment of a market in Hobart Town is impeded. The Lieutenaut-Governor is desirous to afford the inhabitants without further delay so much of the convenience and advantage of the plan as under existing circumstances may be attainable. His Excellency has therefore been pleased to direct that the vacant space at the foot of Collins-street shall be open to the public for the ordinary purposes of a general market, without any charge  of any kind for the ensuing twelve months, at the expiration of which period it is expected that the necessary arrangements for regulating the market dues, weights, measures, stalls, pens, etc., will be completed. The want of a market in this town having been long much felt, His Excellency, in order to remedy the inconvenience, has been induced to cause a large piece of ground to be prepared at a considerable expense, he therefore feels assured that in an undertaking wherein the industrious part of the community is interested he will meet with the ready co-operation of the public by the exclusive deposit and purchase of marketable commodities at that place, and that the inhabitants of the town in particular will abstain from buying any articles which may be offered for sale at private houses. Regular supplies, fair competition, and steady prices will thus be promoted, and disappointment and impositions prevented.  

To make a long story short, this   old-time market was duly established and constables were stationed there from 7 o'clock in the morning till in the afternoon every Tuesday and Friday, for the protection of property and the preservation of peace and good order. The arrangements for the sale of goods was most primitive, and at first only three sheds and booths were erected for public convenience. These were let for a period of twelve months. No live stock were exposed for sale here, a situation being reserved for this purpose in the suburbs. An old resident who died a few years ago gives a lively description of marketing days on what he terms the "Swamp."  The townspeople used to flock down with their baskets and haggle with the vendors over prices so forth. These were the days of heavy drinking, and the “ pub ” known as the Seven Stars,” opposite the market place, did a thriving trade. When the new market was opened in the fifties things were introduced on a more elaborate scale, but towards the middle of the sixties there were very few of the retail sheds left. Several Hobart families made a competence under the roof of what may he termed a heap of blackened ruins, the result of the fire which reduced the building to cinders.

William P Kay, Director of Public Works drew the plans for the New Market. John Arrowsmith produced the lithograph of the plans. I found an image of a copy that had been sold but was kept online for reference purposes. Sections of the drawings are shown below.
Ground Plan showing layout with shops
Part of longitudinal section showing elevation of shops
 The market buildings were constructed by convicts.

A banquet to celebrate the opening of the new market was held at the market building on Friday 20 January 1854. The following link provides information about the opening of the market buildings.

The New Market was destroyed in a fire on Thursday 4 November 1909. The following information in The  Mercury 6 November 1909 discusses the financial loss of the building.

LOSSES AND INSURANCES
THE CORPORATION
The Town Clerk, when interviewed yesterday, said that he made a mistake when he stated that the amount of the insurance policy on the building was £8,000. That sum covered a lot of other property owned by the Corporation, but the actual amount of insurance on the building was £2,000. A rental of about £500 per year was being derived from the structure, and its demolition would be a heavy loss to the Council.- He could not say what the building was valued at, as no valuation had been made of it in recent years. The amount of insurance would not in any way compensate for the loss of the building. The Council had not considered what they would do in the future, hut it was probable that they would give consideration to the matter on Monday when they met.

A number of businesses trading in the market building, of course, also experienced losses. Reports on some of the losses were also covered in The Mercury article.

MESSRS. ROBERTS AND CO.
Among the greatest sufferers by the fire are Messrs. Roberts and Co. As stated above, they had stored in the building large quantities of chaff and grain which they were holding for clients, and they also had stored there an immense quantity of agricultural implements in preparation for the coming season. A lot of these implements only arrived by the last boat, and had been placed in the building a few day before the fire. The whole of the machinery and produce were completely destroyed, along with a large quantity of oils, hinder twine, and sundries. When the principals of the firm were interviewed yesterday, , they pointed out that though their losses would be heavy, it was √≠mpossible to estimate them at present. The insurance policy which was carried was a variable one, rising and falling according to the quantity of the stock held. They did not feel disposed to say how much that policy was, but it would not cover their loss. It is believed that the value of the goods destroyed belonging to this firm amounts to nearly £3,000.

HOBART FREEZING CO.
The business carried on by Mr. F. Pender under the name of the Hobart Freezing Company occupied a considerable portion of the building on the Campbell-street side. The plant was one of the most complete in Australia, and was specially designed to suit Mr. Pender's purposes. The only policy on it was one for £500, and so the fire means a dead loss of £3,000 to Mr. Pender. When spoken to yesterday with regard to the fire, Mr. Pender took his loss very philosophically, and remarked jocularly, "The thing can't be helped, and I suppose something else will turn up." The insurance policy is held by the Commercial Union office.

ABBOTT AND SONS.
Abbott and Sons had a large quantity of farm and orchard produce stored in the building. It was impossible to estimate its value off hand,as an examination of the books will have to be made before any estimate can be formed. A policy of £400 is held over the stuff, but this will not cover the loss.

The market building was also an entertainment area.

THE SKATING RINK.
At the Elite Skating Rink a large quantity of skates and the new floor laid down at the opening of the season were destroyed. The skates were insured for £200, and a similar policy was also taken out on the floor. Mr. Clark, the proprietor of the rink, however, estimates that he had £150 worth of stock in the rink which was uninsured. The City Band is also a heavy loser. The band always provided the musical programme at the rink, and many of the bandsmen were in the habit of leaving their instruments there, instead of taking them home. Some £40 worth of instruments were destroyed, along with about £60 worth of music. This will he a great loss to the band, as there were no insurances on either of the items.

After description of the construction of the building the article concluded with the following paragraph:

As time rolled on, the market saw many ups and downs. At one time it was a second Petticoat-lane, and all sorts and conditions of things were on sale. Later on a portion of it was converted into a municipal bath, but this never paid, and had to he discontinued. In the eighties an exhibition, in the initiation of which Mr. J. G. (now Sir George) Davies took a prominent part, was held, and later on various other industries and amusements have been carried on within its walls. The area, which comprises about an acre and a-half, will always be an excellent asset for the Corporation. 

Front of the market building - Tasmanian Exhibition 1883 [LINC]
View of part of interior of building 1883 [LINC]
After the fire the land was cleared and the City Hall was built and opened in 1915 and celebrated its centenary last year. 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Building regulations in Hobart town - Trove

The book, Old Hobart Town and environs 1802-1855 by Carolyn R Stone and Pamela Tyson (1978) provided information on regulations for building in Hobart town, published in the Hobart Town Almanack for the Year 1830.

Below is earlier information found in Trove.

Government Public Notice.
HOBART TOWN, 23d October, 1817.
THE Public are required to take notice that no Buildings in this Township are to be erected but in a Regular Line of the streets; and in future the Plans of those Dwellings intended to be Built must be submitted to the Inspection of the Deputy Surveyor, in order that they may be in Conformity with the Regulations fixed upon by His Excellency the Governor, in Chief on that subject.

No Skillings are permitted; and those which have been Built, being in Breach of a former Order, if they be not added to, within twelve Months from this Date, will be Removed.

It is further directed that all Persons √≠n possession of Town Allotments do, without Loss of Time, make a Path-way, Nine Feet Wide, in front thereof; and it is also expected, that the Paling or Fence  be put up in a Decent and Regular Manner, or otherwise they will be Removed.

The Intent being that those Individuals who are allowed Town Allotments should immediately proceed to Fence them in and to Build, in any Case where no Steps for commencing these objects are taken within one Month from the Period of the Ground being given in possession by the Deputy Surveyor, he will be authorised to Revoke the Location, and to allow it to any other Person upon the regulated Term.          

It is therefore proper that no Person should make Application for a Town Allotment until quite prepared to Build; but the Deputy Surveyor is instructed to state that the Lieutenant Governor will attend to Applications for such from all well conducted Persons; their being Crown Prisoners forming no objection.      
By Command of His Honor the Lieutenant Governor  
G. W. EVANS, Deputy Surveyor General.
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 25 October 1817. 

SURVEYOR GENERAL'S OFFICE.
Hobart Town, January 2d, 1819.
FINDING a Number of the Plots of Land remaining Vacant and Unimproved that were marked off to Individuals some Time previous to my leaving this Settlement in March last, for the Purposes of Building thereon; It is herebv notified that, unless Means are taken before I receive the Authority for similar Indulgences, other Persons will he put in Possession who have the Means of complying with the Regulations relating to Town Allotments, as stated in the Government Public Notice of the 23d of October1817.
By Command of His Honor
The Lieutenant Governor,  
G. W. EVANS, D. Surveyor General.
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 9 January 1819.

Development of Hobart - background notes part 3

I have reborrowed from the library the book, Old Hobart Town and Environs 1802-1855, by Carolyn R Stone and Pamela Tyson (1978) and have copied this section (pages 99-104) originally published in The Hobart Town Almanack for the Year 1830.

LAWS AND REGULATIONS
Conditions on the Location of Building Allotments in the Towns and Suburbs
I. In the Towns
1. The allotments will be divided into three classes or rates
2. The class or rate of an allotment, when applied for by any individual, shall be named by the Governor through the Surveyor General.
3. Allotments of the first class shall consist of one acre of land and upwards, but not exceeding three acres: -Allotments of the second class, half an acre and upwards, not exceeding one acre; and allotments of the third class, a quarter of an acre and upwards, not exceeding half an acre.
4. The extent of the allotment in either of these three cases to depend on the remoteness of the situation from the centre of the town, and the outlay of capital which the grantee pledges himself to expend.
5. That on an allotment of the first class, a house shall be built of a frontage extending not less than 60 feet; on an allotment of the second class, a house with a frontage of at least 35 feet; and on an allotment of the third class, a house with a frontage of at least 15 feet.

On granting permission to any individual to occupy an allotment, he will be required to enter into a written obligation to perform the following conditions.
1. That he will make a foot-path of nine feet wide on the side or sides of his allotment, next any street or public way, and inclose such allotment with a good fence, within six months of the date of the obligation.
2. That he will complete the erection of a house of brick or stone, of the proper dimensions, according to the class of the allotment, within six months after the location order is given, keeping the line of the front at a distance of not less than 12 feet from the street.
3.  That he will complete the erection of the house as far as regards the outward appearance, if of the first rate within two years; if of the second rate, within 18 months; and if of the third rate within 12 months.
4. That he will, within that period expend, at least, according to the extent of the allotment, in the erection of buildings, if of the first rate one thousand pounds; if of the second rate, five thousand pounds; and, if of the third rate, two hundred pounds.
5. That he will not alienate his allotment, within the period of twenty-four, eighteen or twelve months, (as the case may be with reference to the rate), but will himself make the improvements required.

Any individual having failed to comply with any of the above conditions, his allotment shall be forfeited to the Crown. - If however, through misfortune, or any other unavoidable cause, it shall be made to appear that he has become unable to perform the conditions, he shall be permitted, on application to the government, to sell to a purchaser, who will become bound in like manner to fulfil them.

But on the expiration of twenty-four, eighteen, or twelve months, [as the case may be], if he shall have fully complied with the conditions, he shall be entitled to a grant, for the first and second class, subject to the payment of the undermentioned quit rent:-
In Hobart town and Launceston, nine pence per rod per annum.
In the townships of New Norfolk, Sorrell and Richmond, three pence per rod per annum.
In all the townships in the interior two pence per rod per annum.

And for an allotment of the third class, to a lease for twenty-one years, subject to the undermentioned rent.
In Hobart town and Launceston, six pence per rod per annum.
In the townships of New Norfolk, Sorrell and Richmond, two pence per rod per annum.
In all the townships in the interior, one penny per rod per annum.

These regulations are not to extend to allotments on the wharfs, which are subject to a distinct arrangement.

The quit rents on all town allotments are to be chargeable from the date of the location order, and in possession being given to the parties by the Surveyor General.

II. For the Allotments in the Suburbs of Hobart town
That they be fenced in with a four rail fence, or some other equally substantial fence, and effectively cleared of all trees, [except such as may bona fide be reserved for ornament], stumps and roots of trees, within twelve months.  The ground to be properly broken up by the spade or plough, and a crop, either of turnips, vetches, grass or potatoes sown within the second twelve months, and a house or other buildings (of stone or brick) erected to the amount in the whole for such buildings of 750l. within three years or more, - thus, fenced and cleared the first year, - ground broken up and a crop the second year ,- buildings erected the third year.

A ticket giving possession, will be exchanged for a grant, on compliance with the conditions, at a quit rent of five per cent, calculated on the present value of the land, according to the valuation of the Land Commissioners, approved by the Lieutenant Governor.

If the grantee is rather disposed to reverse this arrangement, and commence with the erection of the house, it is optional with him to do so, and a grant will be issued as soon as the house is completed.

The largest allotment not exceeding ten acres, and to be decreased according to its vicinity to the town.

As it is not to be expected that buildings in the townships in the interior can, at present, be erected of the extent and value which the regulations require, alike with regard to those townships, and to Hobart town and Launceston. The Lieutenant Governor has directed that it shall be in the discretion of the several police magistrates, but subject to His Excellency's approval, to modify the conditions relating to the extent of frontage and value of the buildings, in such manner as they may consider best calculated to encourage the erection of buildings in the townships, and they will accordingly communicate with the Surveyor General upon each case, in which they shall recommend a departure from the regulations.

The Lieutenant Governor has directed this arrangement, in order to prevent the delay which would be occasioned if applications on this subject were made direct to the Surveyor General, by the necessity of referring for information respecting them, and it shall be understood that the modified terms which shall be recommended by the Police Magistrates are sanctioned by the government, unless his Excellency's disapproval shall be immediately signified.

Two earlier amendments are also included:
Feb 26, 1827 - With a view to public convenience and utility, notice is hereby given to all persons enclosing their lands on the line of public roads, that they must leave a clear space of sixty feet, for the formation of a carriage road and foot path, and in townships where buildings are about to be constructed, the plans must first be submitted to the acting Surveyor General, in order that no deviation from the uniformity of the line of street, or encroachment upon the high way, may take place.

In every case where the due observance of this regulation shall be neglected, neither grants nor leases will be issued, but legal measures for the immediate removal of the nuisance will be forthwith adopted.

This notice will not affect those persons who have already enclosed their lands, or erected buildings under any former regulation.

Sept. 30, 1826. - It should never be lost sight of, that an expenditure of imported capital, in the improvement of the soil, is the leading stipulation which accompanies its gift; and that where, at the expiration of the prescribed period, a neglect of this condition shall be apparent, the possession of cattle or sheep in any number or of any value, will not be considered sufficient, and the land will be subject to be resumed by the Government. Settlers apportioning small allotments on their farms to be cultivated by their crown servants, for the exclusive advantage of the latter, will on detection be deprived of all indulgences from the Government, and also, if they allow their assigned servants to work for themselves a like deprivation of indulgences will be in force.

Also
Report of the Transactions of the Survey Department of Van Diemen's Land .... Report is available cia the State Library of Victoria (SLV) catalogue.

Early banks in Hobart

As the new settlement developed and grew, especially with a growing number of free settlers, it became necessary to establish a banking system in the colony. The Bank of New South Wales had been established in Sydney in 1817 but this was not particularly useful for those living in Hobart Town.

The Bank of Van Diemen's Land was established on 11 August 1823 and opened Monday 15 March 1824. This was Tasmania's first bank and the second bank established in Australia. The bank was initially located in Macquarie Street. Articles in Trove for 1823 provide information about the formation of the bank. The bank failed in the depression of 1891. At that time the bank was located in an impressive building on the corner of Collins Street and Elizabeth Street.
Bank of Van Diemen's Land Macquarie Street 1834 [LINC]
In the An Account of the Colony of Van Diemen's Land (1830) an anonymous writer provides thoughts on the colony. An excerpt from this work has been included in Old Hobart Town and Environs 1802-1855 by Carolyn R Stone and Pamela Tyson (1978).  The observations about banks begin on page 92.
There are two public, and one private Bank in Hobart Town, and one public one in Launceston. I shall now speak of the former. The Van Diemen's Land, or Old Bank, as it is sometimes called, was founded in 1823, and is a joint Stock Company, with a limited number of shares, of £50 each,on which only £31, 5s. has been as yet called for. The affairs are conducted by a president and six directors, two of whom go out yearly in rotation; a cashier and principal and assistant accountant. Ten per cent. per annum is the rate of discount on good bills, but gives no interest upon them. The half yearly dividend has never been less than 8 per cent, on the amount paid upon each share.
The Derwent Bank was established in 1827 and opened for business on 1 January 1828 in Davey Street, Hobart Town. The Convict Savings Bank was initially attached to the Derwent Bank to encourage convicts to save money to improve their life. In 1846 a new bank building was erected at 132 Macquarie Street. This building now houses the Tasmanian Club. The bank failed in 1849.
Derwent Bank in Davey Street 1834 [LINC]
Anonymous also made observations about the Derwent Bank:
The Derwent Bank was established in 1827, principally by the Government officers. Its shares are £100 each; and it is conducted nearly on the same principles, and by the same number of officers as the old bank. Shortly after its establishment, the Government Officers were obliged to withdraw, in obedience to an order of Government. This was caused by the complaints that were made of the undue preponderance obtained by this bank, in consequence of its close connection with the members of Government.  The paper of these two banks is received as a legal tender in all payments into the Government coffers. A change has lately taken place in the management of the Derwent Bank...
The third bank mentioned by Anonymous was the Commercial Bank.
Commercial Bank Macquarie Street 1834 [LINC]
The Commercial Bank was established in June 1829 by John Dunn and moved to the location shown in the image in January 1831. The building was rebuilt in 1864-1866 and is currently occupied by Heritage Tasmania. The bank was purchased in 1921 by the English, Scottish and Australian Bank Limited (ES&A). During the existence of the Commercial Bank it was controlled by the Dunn family and then the Barclay family. The comments about the Commercial Bank made by the anonymous writer are as follows:
The Commercial Bank is a private undertaking by the sole proprietor, Mr John Dunn, who was formerly a shopkeeper in Hobart Town, and realized a good deal of money by his dealings. It was established in 1829, and, like the other banks, issues its paper, which is, however, not received by the Government. Those who keep accounts in this bank can discount every day, but strangers only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Ten per cent. per annum interest is allowed for money deposited more than six months. A good deal of business is done by this bank, which has, in a great measure, been caused by the public ones refusing to receive its paper in any shape; thereby assisting to keep it in circulation, and forcing in their own. This was found to be so much the case, that they have lately come to a resolution to receive the Commercial banknotes to a limited amount. ...
As noted above the banks issued their own notes:
Bank note from Derwent Bank 1838 [LINC]
The Companion to Tasmanian History has an article on Banking and Finance in the state.

Monday, 11 January 2016

George Guest - Seven Stars part 2

When we were in Hobart last November I went looking for the possible location of the Seven Stars. At that time the information that I had stated that George Guest had land in Campbell Street and that he ran the Seven Stars (Hotel, Inn, Tavern, Public House), usually with the address of Campbell Street but sometimes Old Market Place. The addresses usually came from the annual licencing records published, with name of licensee and hotel, in the newspaper from 1825. One article had mentioned that the hotel was near the bridge that crossed the Hobart Rivulet and was therefore near the Collins Street corner.
Corner of Collins Street & Campbell Street
From the newspaper articles I have found via Trove since returning home I am sure that the Seven Stars would have been located in Campbell Street across the road from City Hall (previously the market).
Probable location of the Seven Stars in Campbell Street
The Seven Stars was one of many hotels in the area known as Wapping, near the Docks.
Derwent River & Docks at end of Campbell Street
Reading the articles about the area published in the early twentieth century the Hobart Rivulet was a prominent feature that was a main water resource for the settlement. It also flooded from time to time and over time the rivulet has been diverted and drains added to remove excess water. The rivulet still exists today but is only a fraction of the rivulet in the early days of European settlement.
Hobart Rivulet 2015
A photograph of a possible sketch of the Seven Stars can be located on the LINC site. The image is from the Archives Office of Tasmania.
Seven Stars
What did the Seven Stars look like?
In the Census of 1841 and 1842 the building was described as a timber building.
An article in the Critic 30 January 1915 describes the building: - There is an absence of design about the building, and the only thing to recommend it is the enduring material of which it is built—swamp gum and good old stringy bark. The most enlightened commentary of the times in which it was built is the presence of wooden shutters. From what one recollects of these many years ago they were strongly fashioned and fit to resist a siege when some of the wild spirits of the times were out on the rampage, looking for trouble.

The Daily Telegraph 3 February 1904 provided this information:-
On the right-hand side of Campbell street proceeding from the direction of the wharf, and one door removed from the Campbell-street bridge, stands, a weatherboard edifiice of a somewhat tumble-down appearance. It lies off the street, and at least 3ft -below the level of the footpath.

The Seven Stars was located opposite the Market. The description of the buildings of the street in 1831 states: - On the right or east side, fronting the Market Place, was the London Arms, kept by the Messrs. Lucas, afterwards the “ House of Blazes,” next to this property, belonging to G. Guest, which was afterwards theSeven Stars Inn,” the premises of Peart, a baker... Critic 9 February 1917

When was the Seven Stars established?
So far I do not have an answer to this. We know that George Guest and his family arrived from Norfolk Island at the end of 1805 and was granted land at what was later known as Macquarie Point in January 1806. Reports about this parcel of land indicate that George cleared and farmed the land but lived with his family in Campbell Street. He therefore had land in Campbell Street from his early days in Hobart Town. The first mention of Seven Stars in the newspapers currently on Trove occurs in 1825 in a  licensing list. The first  mention of licenses for liquor establishments appears in one of the 1817 newspapers but it does not list names of people or hotels. However in 1821 George Guest junior is listed as being licensee of the City of London Arms which was next door to what became the Seven Stars.
Except for a few issues from 1810-1812 there are currently no newspapers for Hobart Town prior to 1816 so I will continue to search other sources for clues. One newspaper for 1814 will appear in Trove later this year. Until 1820 George was making frequent trips to Sydney and it is hard to imagine how he juggled farming at Macquarie Point, managing 300 acres at Risdon as well as possibly having property in Sydney and running the Seven Stars. Maybe the family initially lived in a building on the land which was later converted to a liquor establishment.

The Guest family and the Seven Stars
George Guest held the licence to the Seven Stars until 1829. George was granted the licence but in October 1829 transferred ownership to Thomas Devine.
There were a number of owners and then in 1840 the licence was transferred from Isaac Lear to George Guest junior. This George Guest kept the licence until his death in 1845. The family then relinquished the licence until 1856 when the grandson of our original George Guest applied for and was granted the licence. However the premises by this time were considered unfit for public use and the licence was not renewed in 1857.
Members of the Guest family also operated other hotels in Van Dieman's Land including William Guest who was licensee of the Lovely Banks Inn at Green Ponds.

As with most research the more you discover the more questions begged to be answered.

There is still lots to investigate about the Seven Stars. Reading the nostalgia pieces written in the early twentieth century many of the locals remembered the Seven Stars, often fondly. From what I have read so far the establishment had a chequered history which all contributes to the colourful story of this area of Hobart Town. One project will be to go carefully through Trove to find out as much as possible about the Seven Stars when the Guests were not involved. There appear to be a number of court cases resulting from events at the Seven Stars. Eventually the Seven Stars was used as a private house before being demolished in the clean up of the Wapping area in the first quarter of the twentieth century.

The State Library of Victoria has a number of books I want to look at including -
Here's Cheers: a pictorial history of hotels, taverns and inns in Hobart by C J Dennison 2008
Down Wapping: Hobart's vanished Wapping and Old Wharf districts 1998
as well as general histories of Hobart Town. All I need is time!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

George Guest - Seven Stars

Although there were some references to George Guest and the Seven Stars in newspapers during his lifetime, some of the most useful descriptions of the public house and the area where it was situated are to be found in newspapers published in the twentieth century. Some of the newspapers had regular nostalgia columns which are useful. Stories about early Hobart were also written when many of the properties in the area were being demolished around 1915. Of course some of the statements about George (particularly about how he came to the Colony) are incorrect however the articles generally provide useful background information about the Seven Stars and the neighbourhood in which it was located. The information also provides leads for further investigation.

At the Capital
Alderman Moore wishes to make this city eyesore a kind of business fairyland. The Wapping residents say that he ought to be ashamed of himself. One old resident, whose father drank rum out of a tin dipper when a man named George Guest kept a pub, at the upper end of Wapping, called the 'Seven Stars,' in the year 1817, and who was born within a few rods of the place where the bar room of the days that are gone stood, in tends to petition the Council to let him die in peace, listening to the music of the waters of the turgid stream that flows by his door. Another Wapping resident who remembers the time when he used to boat firewood up as far as the Argyle-street bridge, and who remembers the waters of the rivulet when it flowed over the market-place, thinks Alderman Moore would do well to take a voyage to the South Polar regions, and not worry himself much about returning. A fishmonger who owns a block of land in Wapping has placed a fancy price upon it since Monday last. If the Council acquire Wapping for the purpose of carrying out Alderman Moore's scheme, it will cost them a cool £100,000. Just at present it would not be well to meddle with Wapping. It might cause blood shed .
Daily Telegraph (Launceston) 13 June 1903

At the Capital
On the right-hand side of Campbell street proceeding from the direction of the wharf, and one door removed from the Campbell-street bridge, stands, a weatherboard edifiice of a somewhat tumble-down appearance. It lies off the street, and at least 3ft -below the level of the footpath. Very shortly it will be removed to meet the march of improvement in Wapping, and before it is swept out of existence one would like to draw the attention of -old-timers to its history. This edifice was the famous "Seven Stars," which was kept by a man named George Guest, one of Bowen's little band of pioneers. Guest at one time of day owned a portion of the Domain, which was granted to him in Governor Collins' time, but he afterwards transferred his interest to the Government in return for a piece of land somewhere in the city. When Guest started pub keeping there was no bridge across the Rivulet, and Wapping, which was then a swamp, was undergoing the process of being filled up. Years afterwards a bridge called the 'Palladio Bridge' was built, and this stood the floods and storms of nearly half a century before it was replaced with a more modern structure. Guest- bore the repute of being a man of action and spirit, and when Collins snubbed Governor Bligh on his visit to Hobart Guest, was one of those who helped the vice-regal visitor to get certain comforts for his daughter, who was treated very scurvily by the Government House people. The 'Seven Stars' was in its palmy days the resort of the best Government officials and sea captains. If Guest- didn't make a fortune he deserved to, as he had the best of the days of Imperial expenditure, when a five-pound note -was valued less -than a sovereign is in these days, Many books were written about Tasmania over 80 years ago, and in all these is the Seven Stars mentioned. In 1857 the 'Seven Stars' still paid a license fee, but it was very low class,   and catered to the wants of one of the most disreputable parts of the metropolis. Above the 'Seven Stare' was an other ancient hostelry called the 'Dorchester Butt,' the history of which one proposes to give in a future letter.
Daily Telegraph (Launceston) 3 February 1904

The Commentator
The Seven Stars, one of the very early pubs, at Hobart, will probably very shortly be demolished. This ancient hostelry is close upon a century old, and it is a standing monument of the durability of Tasmanian stringy bark and blue gum. Its first landlord was a man named Guest, who in the early days of settlement held a grant of a portion of the Queen’s Domain, which he afterward transferred to the Government of the day in return for a piece of land in the city. In the rum drinking days the Seven - Stars saw some rollicking times. The neighborhood all around was the lowest of the low, and was a congregating place for all the riffraff of the city.

In the year 1845 John Price, who was then police magistrate, severely reprehended the landlady, Mrs. Guest, for the way in which the house was conducted. In this period this lady threw up the sponge, and the license was passed on to an old identity named Wood, who was for many years landlord of the Montpelier Retreat.

Wood issued a coinage of copper penny tokens. Whether he did anything in the way of reforming the Seven Stars history does not say. Anyhow, Wood made considerable money before be joined the great majority.

Critic 23 January 1914

The Commentator
One came across a photo of the old "Seven Stars" public house this week.   The "Seven Stars" is nearly a century   old, and during that period has been a mute witness of the many changes that have taken place with the eastern portion of the city. If the true history of this ancient hostelry was written it would fill a volume. When the Seven Stars was first built, the locality round it was split up into intersecting lanes and houses sprawled in all directions, little heed being paid to the conformation of the thoroughfares. One has only to look at the residential portion of Wapping to show the scant desire of the builders of nearly a century back to make their dwellings artistic and orderly. The district near the “ Seven Stars” was, in the days gone by, full of queer names. The rivulet was called the “ Ditch.” There was “ Snake Avenue,” called after an immense snake that was killed near Wapping in the early days, and “ Mosquito Hollow. ” Bligh, the hero of the Bounty Mutiny, landed in Wapping, and if history speaks truly, he had a drink at the Seven Stars. Anyhow, a resident of Lower Collins street took Bligh to his bosom in the face of the Governor’s disapproval, and received the customary number of lashes for breaking through Vice-Regal conventialities. There were wells sunk near the “ Seven Stars.” How many no man in this day knows. One was found inside the Theatre Royal some years ago. Another was discovered near the centre of Wapping after , a resident had fallen through the covering a distance of thirty feet, and saved breaking his neck by striking water. Still another was stumbled across accidentally at the rear of the ‘‘Seven Stars.” Human remains were found at the bottom of this well, which gave strong evidence that the times in the early days were really no better than they ought to be.

It is not easy to read the history of the “ Seven Stars” from its tout ensemble. There is an absence of design about the building, and the only thing to recommend it is the enduring material of which it is built—swamp gum and good old stringy bark. The most enlightened commentary of the times in which it was built is the presence of wooden shutters. From what one recollects of these many years ago they were strongly fashioned and fit to resist a siege when some of the wild spirits of the times were out on the rampage, looking for trouble. The first licensee of the “ Seven Stars” was a man named Guest, who, at one period of his life owned a portion of the Queen’s Domain, and swapped his patrimony for a piece of land in some other locality. Guest had a big clientele, and his house was a big centre place for local gossip and the meeting of nautical personages, who paid the port a visit at irregular periods. There was no telegraphic system in those days, and when old country news reached the settlement it was four or five months old, and Guest was one of the first persons to get tidings from abroad. In later years the “ Seven Stars” became a whalers’ haunt, and the result was that the inside and outside of the old inn saw some stirring times. Then the Scarlet Woman, promenaded, and the Lion of Judah stalked abroad in a lordly manner, and defied law and order. In the days when the Stars had its bottom plates laid, the Hobart Rivulet distributed its waters over a swamp which filled the place of the present palatial Municipal Hall. It saw the new market go up, the festivities which celebrated its opening, and its subsequent destruction by fire. It has seen public men come and go, wars, rumours of wars, armies proceed to foreign countries, and return, and five Kings and a Queen sit on the English Throne. In its days of decay it is mutely gazing on the greatest war the world has ever seen.

Directly the march of progress - will sweep the “ Seven Stars” and Wapping away for ever, and two links that bind us with long forgotten past will be snapped asunder.
 Critic 30 January 1915

Notes by the Way
... George Guest, who was landlord of an inn called the Seven Stars, which was in Campbell street, opposite the eastern wall of the new City Hall. ...
Critic 22 December 1916

"J.C.W. "—The deviation which took the Hobart Rivulet through Wapping and round the Park Street bend was carried out in the year 1829. The old inn-known as the Seven Stars, is still standing, and is now used for residential purposes.
Critic 14 October 1921