Guide to the Guide to Records of the Van Diemen's Land Company (as filmed by AJCP)

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M337-M364, M585-M589

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Creator
Van Diemen's Land Company
Title
Records of the Van Diemen's Land Company (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1823 - 1930
Collection Number
M337-M364, M585-M589
Extent
102 items
Language of Materials
English
Repository
Australian Joint Copying Project
Sponsor
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) Online Portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.

Introduction

Scope and Contents

Minutes of Court of Directors in London 1824-1904 (M337-M339); London Office outward letter-books 1825-1902 (M340-M343); London Office outward letter-books 1839-1878 comprising letters to correspondents in Ireland and Great Britain, including government departments (M344); minutes of annual general meetings of proprietors of the company 1826-1908 (M585).

London Office inward letters 1833-1900 from correspondents in Australia, including the company's chief agents and J. & C.S. Henty and Co. (M344-M352, M360)

Copies of letters written to Australian correspondents from the company's offices in Tasmania 1826-1848; Tasmanian letter-books 1848-1859. (M353-M358)

Miscellaneous papers, including copies of instructions to Edward Curr and Stephen Adey 1825; papers concerning the establishment of a savings bank in Van Diemen's Land; two-page document by John Macarthur, Statement of the Improvement and Progress of the Breed of Fine Woolled Sheep in New South Wales (London, 1803); statistics of wool imported into Great Britain 1826-1836; Colonial Office correspondence 1825-1831 concerning the foundation of the company; Van Diemen's Land Company Acts, annual and other reports, and memoranda (M359-M360, M365). Subjects covered include: Alexander Goldie's journey of exploration to the west coast of Tasmania 1826; the ship Thomas Laurie 1839; Roman Catholics 1849-1854; Australian postal services 1854-1856; discovery of gold; the town of Stanley, Tasmania; Emu Bay Butter Factory; and emigration. (M359-M360, M365)

Emu Bay to Mount Bischoff Railway Co reports, documents, valuations, plans 1841-1885. (M361-M362, M589)

Invoice and accounts books of the Van Diemen's Land Co 1825-1834 (M363), 1833, 1838-1858, 1880-1889 (M586), showing expenses involved in transporting merino sheep from Hamburg to Tasmania, listing equipment, furniture, supplies taken to Tasmania by the company's staff, and other transactions during these periods. (M363, M586)

List of maps and plans of the company, housed in the State Archives of Tasmania; 23 sketches, paintings, maps, charts, including drawings by John H. Hutchison depicting Highfield and Hampshire Hills estates on the north-west coast of Tasmania, and maps of northern Tasmania, many by Henry Hellyer, 1824-1831. (M366)

Conveyances 1851-1930 for company land in Tasmania, each group of documents being preceded by a nominal index; correspondence concerning the Emu Bay breakwater 1886-1889, the Mt Bischoff Tin Mining Co. Mount Bischoff Tramway, and land at Circular Head, Tasmania, 1871-1882. (M589)

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project. Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February-23 September 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref: http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-987654321)

Archival History

Filmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1960-1961,1964 at the offices of the Van Diemen's Land Company, London. (AJCP reel M337-M364, M585-M589). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

The records of the Van Diemen's Land Company are held at the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (formerly the Archives Office of Tasmania), Tasmania.

For further information see Van Diemen's Land Company at Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (https://librariestas.ent.sirsidynix.net.au/client/en_AU/tas/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fARCHIVES_AGENCIES$002f0$002fNG13/one).

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2248039] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding Aid Note

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.

Administrative History

In 1824 a group of woollen mill owners, wool merchants, bankers and investors met in London to consider establishing a land company in Van Diemen's Land similar to the Australian Agricultural Company in New South Wales. Encouraged by the support of William Sorell, the former Lieutenant-Governor, and Edward Curr, who had recently returned from the colony, they formed the Van Diemen's Land Company and applied to Lord Bathurst for a grant of 500,000 acres. Bathurst agreed to a grant of 250,000 acres. The Van Diemen's Land Company received a royal charter in 1825 giving it the right to cultivate land, build roads and bridges, lend money to colonists, execute public works, and build and buy houses, wharves and other buildings.

Curr was appointed the chief agent of the Company in Van Diemen's Land. He arrived in May 1826 and travelled north with the surveyor Henry Hellyer. They selected land at Circular Head, the Surrey and Hampshire Hills and Woolnorth. Eventually they were granted six parcels of land in the north-west of the colony, amounting to over 350,000 acres. The Company established its base at Highfield House at Circular Head and in 1829 began renting land to tenants. Only after 1840, however, did settlers begin to arrive in small numbers. Much of the land was found to be barren and large-scale sheep farming was abandoned. The Company's main income came from the sale of breeding stock. Curr was on bad terms with the colonial government and the directors in London were dissatisfied with the slow progress of the Company. He was dismissed in 1840.

James Gibson became the manager in 1841. He completed a survey of the Company's lands and arranged for convict gangs to build roads, schools and churches. The towns of Stanley at Circular Head and Burnie at Emu Bay were surveyed. He sought to convert the Company into a real estate company and in 1851 all its land, stock and plant were advertised for sale. The attempt failed. Gibson moved his office to Launceston in 1856 and was dismissed three years later.

The Company's fortunes improved after James Norton Smith became general manager in 1869. He moved back to Circular Head and in 1875 established the Company's headquarters at Burnie. The Company was to be the dominant presence in the town up to the 1950s. Norton Smith established a stud of Hereford cattle at Woolnorth and improved the quality of the Company's stock. The discovery of rich tin deposits at Mount Bischoff in 1871 led him to construct a tramway from Waratah to Emu Bay, which was replaced by a railway in 1884. The Emu Bay and Mt Bischoff Railway Company was a subsidiary of the Van Diemen's Land Company until 1897. Norton Smith retired in 1903 and was succeeded by Andrew McGaw, who held the post until 1947. By that time, the Company owned about 91,000 acres at Circular Head, the Hampshire Hills, Woolnorth and Burnie. It continued to breed cattle and sheep. By 1970 its holdings were limited to about 50,000 acres at Woolnorth.

Subjects

Adey, Stephen; Business records; Circular Head, Tasmania; Curr, Edward; Emu Bay to Mt Bischoff Railway Co; Emu Bay, Tasmania; Exploration: land; Farms and farming: Tasmania; Gibson, James; Gold and goldfields: Tasmania; Goldie, Alexander; Great Britain. Colonial Office; Hamburg, Germany; Hampshire Hills, Tasmania; Hellyer, Henry; Henty, J. & C.S. and Co; Highfield, Tasmania; Hobart Savings Bank; Hutchison, John H.; Land: Tasmania; Macarthur, John, Capt.; Maps, plans and charts: Tasmania; Mines and mining; Mount Bischoff Tin Mining Co; Mount Bischoff, Tasmania; Nichols, Charles; Paintings, drawings and prints: Tasmania; Postal services; Railways: Tasmania; Roman Catholic Church: Australia; Smith, James W.N.; Stanley, Tasmania; Tasmania; Tasmania: pastoral industry; Tasmian: maps; Thomas Laurie (ship); Trade: Australia; Van Diemen's Land Company; Wool and woolgrowing: Australia

Bibliography

Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 472, p. 184.

Item Descriptions

Series M337-M339. Minutes of the Court of Directors of the Van Diemen's Land Company, 1824 - 1904

Archival history

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M337-M339

Minutes Vol.1, May 1824 - August 1830 (File)

Minutes Vol.2, September 1830 - December 1833 (File)

Minutes Vol.3, December 1833 - May 1841 (File)

Minutes Vol.4, June 1841 - September 1852 (File)

Minutes Vol.5, September 1852 - July 1858 (File)

Minutes Vol.6, July 1858 - May 1866 (File)

Minutes Vol.7, June 1866 - December 1874 (File)

Minutes Vol.8, January 1875 - June 1881 (File)

Minutes Vol.9, June 1881 - July 1886 (File)

Minutes Vol.10, July 1886 - August 1895 (File)

Minutes Vol.11, August 1895 - December 1904 (File)

Series M340-M344. Letter Books, 1825 - 1902

Archival history

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M340-M344

Subseries M340-M341. Private and Outward letter books, November 1825 - December 1873

Private Letter Book, 9 November 1825 - 30 August 1844 (File)

The letters were written by James Inglis, James Bischoff, John Jacob, Brice Pearse, John Gurden, William Burnie and other directors and George Tucker (secretary). The recipients included Stephen Adey, Edward Curr, James Gibson, Henry Hellyer, J. & C.S. Henty, John Kerr and Henry Reed.

Vol.1, September 1825 - March 1831 (File)

The letters were written by James Inglis, James Bischoff, Stuart Donaldson, Brice Pearse and other directors and George Tucker (secretary). The recipients included Stephen Adey, Edward Curr, John Kerr, Joseph Milligan and the Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land, Colonel George Arthur.

Vol.2, March 1831 - August 1835 (File)

The letters were written by James Bischoff (managing director), John Jacob, William Burnie, Brice Pearse, Thomas Sheppard and other directors and Samuel Ewen (clerk). They were mostly written to Edward Curr and the other recipients included J. & C.S. Henty, J.J.C. Hutchinson, John Kerr, Henry Reed, Richard Jones & Co. (Sydney) and Colonel George Arthur.

Vol.3, August 1835 - November 1851 (File)

The letters were written by John Cattley (governor), William Burnie, Brice Pearse, Joseph Bond, Jacob Montefiore, George Rougemont and other directors and Samuel Ewen (secretary) and George Howell (secretary). They were mostly written to Edward Curr, James Gibson and J. & C.S. Henty.

Vol.4, March 1852 - December 1871 (File)

The letters were written by John Cattley (governor), Brice Pearse (governor), Valentine Knight (governor), Thomas Hughes and other directors and Henry Cattley (secretary). They were mostly written to James Gibson (Circular Head, Launceston), Charles Nichols (Launceston) and J.W. Norton Smith (Circular Head). Other recipients included Allport & Roberts (Hobart), James Henty (Melbourne), John L. Archer, Rev. Robert Crook (Stanley), Green, Cleveland & Co. (Launceston) and Ronald C. Gunn (Launceston).

Vol.5, January 1872 - December 1873 (File)

The letters were mostly written by Thomas Hughes (deputy governor), James Brickwell (chairman) and W. Brooker (clerk) and were mostly written to J.W. Norton Smith (Circular Head).

Subseries M342-M343. Copy books, January 1874 - October 1902

Note: Each of the five copy books has a subject index.

Copy book, January 1874 - April 1880 (File)

The letters were written by James Brickwell (chairman) to J.W. Norton Smith (Circular Head, Emu Bay).

Copy book, May 1880 - February 1885 (File)

The letters were written by James Brickwell (chairman) and W. Brookes (secretary) to J.W. Norton Smith (Emu Bay, Burnie).

Copy book, February 1885 - February 1891 (File)

The letters were written by W. Brookes (secretary) to J.W. Norton Smith (Burnie).

Copy book, February 1891 - October 1898 (File)

The letters were written by W. Brookes (secretary) and Alfred Studholme (secretary) to J.W. Norton Smith (Burnie).

Copy book, October 1898 - October 1902 (File)

The letters were written by Alfred Studholme (secretary) and J. Halford (acting secretary) to J.W. Norton Smith (Burnie).

Subseries M344. Outward Letter books (Inland), 1839 - 1878

Vol.1, April 1839 - April 1853 (File)

The letters were written by the Secretary of the Company to correspondents in Britain.

Vol.2, November 1853 - December 1878 (File)

The letters were written by the Secretary of the Company to correspondents in Britain. They included Bischoff, Coxe & Bompas (London), M. & F. Davidson (London), James Gibson (Torquay), William Norman (London), Sir Edward Poore (Salisbury), George Rooper (London, Watford), Charles Trotter (London), S. Wood (London), H. Woodfall (Birkenhead) and S.A. Youl (London).

Series M345-M352. Inward despatches and letters, 1833 - 1899

Archival history

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M345-M352

Numbered despatches, January 1837 - April 1840 (File Parcel 1)

Numbered despatches from Edward Curr (Circular Head) to the Governor and directors of the Company. Attached to the despatches are copies of correspondence, accounts, newspaper cuttings, returns of stores, provisions and clothing, and other documents.

Letters, May 1833 - August 1848 (File Parcel 2)

Letters from J. & C.S. Henty (Launceston) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, February 1842 - October 1843 (File Parcel 3)

Numbered despatches and attachments and private letters and despatches from James Gibson (Circular Head, Hobart) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, December 1843 - September 1846 (File Parcel 4)

Numbered despatches and attachments from James Gibson (Circular Head, Hobart, Launceston) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, September 1846 - October 1847 (File Parcel 5)

Numbered despatches and attachments from James Gibson (Circular Head) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, February 1848 - December 1850 (File Parcel 6)

Numbered despatches and attachments from James Gibson (Circular Head) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, January 1851 - October 1859 (File Parcel 7)

Numbered despatches and attachments from James Gibson (Circular Head, Hobart, Launceston) to the Governor and directors or the Secretary of the Company.

Document entitled 'Summary of despatches received from Mr Gibson', submitted to a Special General Meeting, 25 August 1842 (File)

Exercise book containing rough indexes to despatches, 1877 - 1879 (File)

Exercise book containing rough indexes to despatches, 1880 - 1884 (File)

Numbered despatches, October 1869 - December 1875 (File Parcel 9)

Numbered despatches and attachments from J.W. Norton Smith (Circular Head, Emu Bay, Launceston) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, January 1876 - December 1878 (File Parcel 10)

Numbered despatches and attachments from J.W. Norton Smith (Emu Bay) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, January 1879 - December 1880 (File Parcel 11)

Numbered despatches and attachments from J.W. Norton Smith (Emu Bay) to the Governors and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, January 1881 - December 1882 (File Parcel 12)

Numbered despatches and attachments from J.W. Norton Smith (Emu Bay, Circular Head) to the governors and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, January 1883 - November 1884 (File Parcel 13)

Numbered despatches and attachments from J.W. Norton Smith (Emu Bay) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, January 1885 - August 1887 (File Box 1)

Numbered despatches and attachments from J.W. Norton Smith (Emu Bay, Burnie) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, August 1887 - January 1891 (File Box 2)

Numbered despatches and attachments from J.W. Norton Smith (Burnie, Woolnorth) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, February 1891 - May 1893 (File Box 3)

Numbered despatches and attachments from J.W. Norton Smith (Burnie, Woolnorth) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, June 1893 - August 1895 (File Box 4)

Numbered despatches and attachments from J.W. Norton Smith (Burnie, Stanley, Woolnorth) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, August 1895 - September 1897 (File Box 5)

Numbered despatches and attachments from J.W. Norton Smith (Burnie, Woolnorth) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Numbered despatches, October 1897 - December 1899 (File Box 6)

Numbered despatches and attachments from J.W. Norton Smith (Burnie) to the Governor and directors of the Company.

Series M353-M358. Letter books (Van Diemen's Land), 1826 - 1848

Archival history

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M353-M358

Letter book Vol. 9, March 1826 - January 1828 (File)

Copies of letters from Edward Curr, Henry Hellyer and Joseph Dixon (Hobart, Circular Head) to correspondents in Australia. The recipients include Stephen Adey, Thomas Archer, Colonel George Arthur, Walter Bethune, John Burnett, George Cartwright, Joseph Dixon, Edward Dumaresq, Joseph Fossey, Alexander Goldie, Jorgen Jorgenson, Alexander McNab, T.C. Simpson and Archibald Thomson. (534pp)

Letter book Vol. 10, February 1828 - April 1829 (File)

Copies of letters from Edward Curr (Circular Head, Launceston) to correspondents in Australia. The recipients include Stephen Adey, Colonel George Arthur, Campbell & Co. (Sydney), George Cartwright, Joseph Dixon, Joseph Fossey, Alexander Goldie, Henry Hellyer, J.H. Hutchinson, John Kerr, Samuel Reeves, Archibald Thomson, Thomas Watson and Thomas White. (531pp)

Letter book Vol. 11, April 1829 - September 1830 (File)

Copies of letters from Edward Curr (Circular Head) to correspondents in Australia. The recipients include John Burnett (Hobart), Campbell & Co. (Sydney), Richard Connor, Joseph Fossey, Alexander Goldie, Henry Hellyer, J.H. Hutchinson, John Kerr, James Rankin (Launceston), Samuel Reeves, Thomas Reiby (Entally) and George Robson. (514pp)

Letter book Vol. 12, September 1830 - January 1832 (File)

Copies of letters from Edward Curr (Circular Head) to correspondents in Australia. The recipients include Adam Beveridge (Launceston), Campbell & Co. (Sydney), Henry Hellyer (Emu Bay), John Kerr (Hobart), James Rankin (Launceston), Henry Reed (Launceston), Samuel Reeves (Woolnorth), William Tremlett (Launceston) and Thomas Watson (Emu Bay). (536pp)

Letter book Vol. 13, January 1832 - April 1833 (File)

Copies of letters from Edward Curr (Circular Head, Launceston, Hobart) to correspondents in Australia. The recipients include Colonel George Arthur, Adam Beveridge, T.H. Bolger, Campbell & Co. (Sydney), Cartwright & Allport, George Cartwright, William Chitty, J. & C.S. Henty, Alfred Horne, J.H. Hutchinson, John Kerr, James Rankin, Henry Reed, Samuel Reeves, George A. Robinson, George Robson, Adolphe Schuyer and William Tremlett. (526pp)

Letter book Vol. 14, April 1833 - June 1835 (File)

Copies of letters from Edward Curr and J.H. Hutchinson (Circular Head) to correspondents in Australia. The recipients include Adam Beveridge, E.E. Bolger, T.H. Bolger, Cartwright & Allport, William Chitty, Lewis Gillen, J. & C.S. Henty, Alfred Horne, John Kerr, Henry Reed, Samuel Reeves, Adolphe Schuyer and George Scott. (506pp)

Letter book Vol. 15, June 1835 - November 1836 (File)

Copies of letters from Edward Curr (Circular Head) to correspondents in Australia. The recipients include Cartwright & Allport, Ronald C. Gunn, Henty & Co., J.H. Hutchinson, John Kerr, Joseph Milligan, Henry Reed, Samuel Reeves, Adolphe Schuyer, George Scott, M.L. Smith and John Underwood. At the beginning of the volume is a register of letters, Sept. 1825-April 1826. (334pp)

Letter book Vol. 16, November 1836 - April 1840 (File)

Copies of letters from Edward Curr (Circular Head) to correspondents in Australia. The recipients include John L. Archer, Samuel Dyer, Henry Emmett, Sir John Franklin, Ronald C. Gunn, Alexander Maconochie, Joseph Milligan, Adolphe Schuyer and John Underwood. (537pp) Loose sheets inserted in the volume cover the period Dec. 1839-April 1840. (114pp)

Letter book Vol. 17, May 1840 - October 1841 (File)

Copies of letters from Edward Curr (Circular Head) to correspondents in Australia. The recipients include John L. Archer, Samuel Dyer, Ronald C. Gunn, Henty & Co., Joseph Milligan, William Romaine, Adolphe Schuyer and John Underwood. (347pp)

Letter book Vol. 18, October 1841 - July 1844 (File)

Copies of letters from Edward Curr and James Gibson (Circular Head, Hobart) to correspondents in Australia. The recipients include H. D'Arch, John L. Archer, John Chambers, Samuel Dyer, Henry Emmett (Adelaide), Rev. Thomas N. Grigg, Henty & Co. (Launceston), John Jacobs, N. Kentish, Hugh Mackay, William Mill, J.H. Munce, Robert Power, Thomas H. Power (Melbourne), William Romaine, George Rouse and J.D. Willshire. (408pp)

Letter book Vol. 19, July 1844 - June 1848 (File)

Copies of letters from James Gibson (Circular Head, Hobart) to correspondents in Australia. The recipients include John L. Archer, John Cannan, James Davie, Samuel Dyer, Henry Emmett, Glendon & Henty, Richard Green, Rev. Thomas N. Grigg, Henty & Co., James Henty (Launceston), C.H. Marshall (Woolnorth), William Mill, J.H. Munce, Thomas H. Power (Melbourne), George Small (Sydney), Robert Small and William Younghusband. (510pp)

Series M358-M363. Miscellaneous papers - Copies of letters and agreements, 1823 - 1910

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reels M359-M363.

Copies of various letters and agreements, 1838 - 1859 (File Volume 1)

Copies of instructions, 1825 (File Volume 2)

The documents comprise copies of instructions to Edward Curr (Chief Commissioner and Resident Agent) and Stephen Adey (Second Commissioner and Superintendent), Aug.-Sept. 1825, and an abstract of instructions to Alexander Goldie, Agriculturalist, 14 Sept. 1825.

Copies of addresses and various agreements and memoranda, 1832 - 1838 (File Volume 3)

The documents include an address from the Company to the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Council on the establishment of a savings bank (n.d.), an address to the Bishop of London (1832), a list of men in the service of the Company shipped on the Thomas Munro (1833), rules and orders to be observed by servants of the Company (1833), a list of persons in the service of the Company (1833), a list of ships by which the Company's goods, passengers and despatches have been sent (1832-1833), a memorandum by Dr Hutchinson on taking charge at Circular Head (1833), a memorandum on the establishment of a Council in Van Diemen's Land (1834), a memorandum to the Secretary of State for the Colonies for the exchange of some of their lands (1834) and estimates of the colonial expenditure of the Company (1834).

Statistics of wool imports (File Volume 4)

The documents comprise John Macarthur. Statement of the improvement and progress of breed of fine woolled sheep in New South Wales, 16 July 1803 (2pp) and statistics of sheep and lamb wool imported into Britain, 1800-1836.

Letters from the Colonial Office on the foundation of the Company, 1825 - 1831 (File Parcel 1)

The letters were written to James Inglis, James Bischoff, Brice Pearse and Edward Curr. The correspondents include Lord Bathurst, R.W. Hay, Horace Twiss, William Huskisson, Edward Stanley, Sir George Murray and Lord Howick.

Van Diemen's Land Company Acts and Bills, 1825 - 1877 (File Parcel 2)

Copies of the Van Diemen's Land Company Acts of 1825 and 1847 and the Van Diemen's Land Company Bills of 1847, 1863 and 1877.

Reports on the affairs of the Company, 1825 - 1886 (File Parcel 3)

The reports and documents include the minutes of the intended arrangements between Lord Bathurst and the proposed Van Diemen's Land Company (11 May 1825), Minutes of the Van Diemen's Land Company (Hobart, 1826), reports made to the yearly general meetings (1826, 1828, 1829, 1830, 1845, 1857), a report by Alexander Goldie of his journey from Georgetown to Cape Grimm and the western coast (1826, typescript copy), a report of the Committee of Management (1827), a report of Sir Edward Poore to a special meeting of the proprietors of the Company (14 July 1859), a report of James Bailey (Auckland) to the Company (188?) and a report of Capt. James Rowe (1888).

Miscellaneous papers from the London Office, 1839 - 1910 (File Parcel 4)

The papers include copies of letters from passengers on the Thomas Laurie (1839), miscellaneous letters from British correspondents (1847-1856), a statement of assets (1840-1848), an account from Bischoff & Co. (c. 1849), notes summarising reports from Henty & Gunn (1851), papers on the sale of forfeited Company shares (1849, 1853), a draft agreement with Charles Ritchie (1853), extracts from despatches concerning Roman Catholics at Circular Head (1849-1854), a report of a committee appointed to negotiate with James Gibson (1853), papers concerning Australian postal services (1854-1856), papers and cuttings concerning Australian gold discoveries, including a letter of George Howell in Sydney (1856-1862), the case against James Gibson (1860-1863), a paper by James McCall on Tasmania's resources read to the Royal Colonial Institute (1909, printed) and a copy of Van Diemen's Land Company: Tasmanian timber.

Miscellaneous papers from the Tasmanian Office, 1840 - 1903 (File Parcel 5)

The papers include returns of tenants and stock (c.1840-1857), conveyances for land at Circular Head and Emu Bay (1848-1850), agreements and indentures, the parties including James Gibson (Circular Head), John Lucas (Circular Head), Henry Emmett (Circular Head), James Grant (Launceston), Agnes Stirling (Burnie) and James Stirling (Burnie), a petition from the inhabitants of Burnie to the Company concerning a recreation ground, an extract from a letter from N. Simenons to Charles Nichols (n.d.), a memorandum about the Company's property (June 1888), and the report of the directors of the Emu Bay Butter Factory Company (26 Sept. 1896, printed).

Papers concerning emigration, 1823 - 1859 (File Parcel 6)

The papers include the terms on which the Company could lease or sell land in Van Diemen's Land (Jan. 1842), the draft of an address on emigration, proposals for the encouragement of emigrants as tenants to the Company (1833, printed), draft leases, a copy of a pamphlet by F. Boucher, Authentic information regarding the British colony of Tasmania and the Van Diemen's Land Company (1859, 22pp), instructions for the sale of land at Emu Bay, and a letter (29 April 1847) from Patrick Brennan (Fall River) to his sister Alice Brennan (Stoneyford, Ireland).

Emu Bay Railway Company papers, 1883 - 1915 (File Parcel 7)

The papers comprise correspondence (1897-1914), miscellaneous papers (1883-1912) and annual reports of the Emu Bay Railway Company (1899-1915). The correspondents include J.S. Reid and W.B. Arnold (Emu Bay Railway Co., Melbourne), E. Habben (Emu Bay Railway Co., London), J.W. Norton Smith (Burnie) and Bischoff, Coxe & Bompas (London). The miscellaneous papers include a report on the western and north-western mining districts of Tasmania (1892), prospectus of the North Western Tasmanian Railway, Lands and Mining Company (1896), a report by A. Montgomery, geological surveyor (21 Aug. 1896), a report by J.W. Norton Smith on the Waratah and Zeehan Railway Act (29 Aug. 1896), the prospectus of the Emu Bay Railway Co. (1897), the memorandum and articles of association of the Emu Bay Railway Co. (1900), newspaper cuttings on the Emu Bay Railway Purchase Bill (1912), and an agreement between the Emu Bay and Mount Bischoff Railway Co., the Emu Bay Railway Co., and Charles Hanson and Frederick Gordon (25 March 1915).

Miscellaneous reports, valuations and letters, 1840 - 1885 (File)

The papers include a despatch from Edward Curr (Circular Head) to the Governor and directors of the Company (31 July 1840), an extract from a despatch of James Gibson (26 Jan. 1843), a report by John Cannan on Emu Bay and the Hampshire and Surrey Hills (1 Sept. 1846), a letter from Charles H. Marshall (Woolnorth) to James Gibson (27 Jan. 1849, copy), a memorandum by James Gibson forwarded to Bishop Francis Nixon (22 April 1851, copy), a letter from J. McNutty and Ronald C. Gunn (Launceston) to the Company (1 Aug. 1852), a letter from James Grant (Launceston, 20 May 1855), a document on the Hampshire Hills, a letter of instructions to Sir Edward Poore on his proceedings as Commissioner in Tasmania and a letter from Poore (Salisbury) to the Governor (28 July 1858), a letter from James Grant to James Gibson (10 Sept. 1858, copy), a report by Thomas Barrett (Stanley) on the Surrey Hills, Hampshire Hills and Middlesex Plains (2 March 1861?), a rent-roll (1867), two reports on timber at Emu Bay (1877), a list of allotments at Burnie (1885), and a conveyance of forest land at Circular Head from the Company to Jonathan House (n.d.).

Invoice book, 1825 - 1834 (File)

Kept in Van Diemen's Land containing copies of invoices for goods and stock purchased in England and shipped to Van Diemen's Land and wool shipped from Van Diemen's Land to England.

Series M364. Maps, plans and drawings, c.1827-1832

The drawings (1830-1832) of the settlement at Circular Head are mostly unidentified, apart from a drawing of Highfield House, the residence of Edward Curr. The maps include a panoramic sketch by Henry Hellyer from the summit of St Valentine's Peak (14 Feb. 1827), a map by Henry Hellyer of the coast from Table Cape to Blithe River (May 1827), a map by Joseph Fossey of a tour from Launceston to the western marshes and Table Cape (May 1827), a map by Henry Hellyer of the interior discoveries made by the Van Diemen's Land Co. (Sept. 1828), a map by Henry Hellyer of the Hellyer River, Surrey Hills (Aug. 1830), a map by Henry Hellyer of the Surrey Hills (23 March 1831), an undated map of the north-west coast of Van Diemen's Land, and undated charts of Emu Bay. Each of the maps and drawings were filmed at several settings.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M364

Series M364. Annual reports and reports to special meetings of the Van Diemen's Land Company, 1856 - 1922

Archival history

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M364

Annual report no. 31, 1856 (File)

Annual report no. 48, 1873 (File)

Annual report no. 53, 1878 (File)

Annual report no. 97, 1922 (File)

Report to special meeting, 23 November 1854 (File)

Report to special meeting, 19 October 1881 (File)

Series 3. List of maps, plans and sketches of the Van Diemen's Land Company

The list (9pp) is divided into the following nine categories:

  1. Exploration charts and plans
  2. General maps of the Company's properties
  3. Estate maps
  4. Geological plans
  5. Sketches and photographs
  6. Railway plans
  7. Agricultural plans
  8. Tasmanian stock maps
  9. Non-Tasmanian stock maps

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M364

Series M585. Documents relating to the incorporation and rights of the Van Diemen's Land Company (1 volume), 1825 - 1877

Archival history

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M585

Van Diemen's Land Company Act, 1825 (File)

Charter of incorporation of the Van Diemen's Land Company, (ms, 58pp), 10 November 1825 (File)

Van Diemen's Land Company Act, 1847, 1847 (File)

Van Diemen's Land Company Bill, 1847, 1847 (File)

Van Diemen's Land Company Act, 1863, 1863 (File)

Van Diemen's Land Company Act, 1877 (File)

Series M585. Minutes of annual general meetings of the proprietors of the Van Diemen's Land Company, 1826 - 1908

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M585

Minutes of annual general meetings Volume 1, March 1826 - March 1854 (File)

Minutes of annual general meetings Volume 2, March 1855 - March 1878 (File)

Minutes of annual general meetings Volume 3, April 1879 - May 1908 (File)

Series M586. Financial and Accounts, 1833, 1838-1889

The documents comprise of annual abstracts of colonial balances, annual receipts and disbursements in London (1850-1853, 1856-1858) and annual receipts and disbursements in the colony (1854-1857).

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M586

Accounts, 1833, 1838-1858 (File 3)

Includes meeting minutes, Colonial Balances, and receipts and balances.

Account book (341pp), 1840 (File 4)

Invoice book, January 1841 - December 1845 (File 5)

Pay Orders, Drafts and Office Cash Orders, March 1842 - March 1852 (File 6)

Pay Orders March 1944- March 1952 and Office Cash Orders March 1942- March 1981

Audited accounts, 1880 - 1889 (File 7)

Annual accounts, comprising general revenue account, balance of London and colonial ledgers, a balance sheet, revenue account, dividends unclaimed, railway traffic account and other documents.

Series M587-M588. Tasmanian letter books, 1848 - 1859

Archival history

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M587-M588

Letter book Volume 1, May 1848 - August 1850 (File)

Copies of letters from James Gibson (Circular Head), mainly to correspondents in Australia (887pp). The recipients include John L. Archer, John Cannan (Emu Bay), H.J. Emmett, Rev. Thomas Grigg (Stanley), James Henty (Launceston), Manning Bros. (Hobart), C.H. Marshall (Woolnorth), William Mill, Thomas Power (Melbourne), George Rouse (Emu Bay), George Small (Sydney), Underwood & Eddie, and Younghusband & Co. (Adelaide). The legibility of the volume is poor.

Letter book Volume 2 Part 1, May 1848 - July 1859 (File)

Copies of letters from James Gibson and the accountants William Flaxman and Joseph Hurley (Circular Head), mainly to correspondents in Australia (c. 867pp). Most of the letters in the first half of the volume are from the accountants and relate to financial transactions, while the later letters were mostly written by Gibson and deal with a wider range of subjects. The recipients include John Dowling (Table Cape), H.J. Emmett (Circular Head), John Ferguson (Circular Head), Rev. Samuel Fookes (Circular Head), F.W. Ford (Circular Head), Rev. Thomas N. Grigg (Stanley), James Henty (Launceston), J. Henty & Co. (Melbourne), John House, George James (Emu Bay), William Mill (Emu Bay), Charles O'Connor and John Whitbread. The volume appears to be in poor condition.

Letter book Volume 2 Part 2, May 1848 - July 1859 (File)

Copies of letters from James Gibson and the accountants William Flaxman and Joseph Hurley (Circular Head), mainly to correspondents in Australia (c. 867pp). Most of the letters in the first half of the volume are from the accountants and relate to financial transactions, while the later letters were mostly written by Gibson and deal with a wider range of subjects. The recipients include John Dowling (Table Cape), H.J. Emmett (Circular Head), John Ferguson (Circular Head), Rev. Samuel Fookes (Circular Head), F.W. Ford (Circular Head), Rev. Thomas N. Grigg (Stanley), James Henty (Launceston), J. Henty & Co. (Melbourne), John House, George James (Emu Bay), William Mill (Emu Bay), Charles O'Connor and John Whitbread. The volume appears to be in poor condition.

Series M588-M589. Conveyances, 1851 - 1930

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reels M588-M589.

Conveyances Volume 1, January 1851 - October 1872 (File)

Copies of conveyances relating to properties of the Van Diemen's Land Company at Burnie, Circular Head, Emu Bay, Port Maldon, Stanley and Woolnorth.

Conveyances Volume 2, May 1873 - May 1909 (File)

Copies of conveyances relating to properties of the Van Diemen's Land Company at Burnie, South Burnie, Circular Head, Circular Head Forest, Emu Bay Estate, Emu Bay Forest, Hampshire Hills, Stanley and West Montagu.

Conveyances Volume 3, May 1909 - November 1916 (File)

Copies of conveyances relating to properties of the Van Diemen's Land Company at Burnie, South Burnie, Circular Head Peninsula, Emu Bay Estate, Hampshire Hills Estate, Ridgley, Stanley and Surrey Hills Estate.

Conveyances Volume 4, November 1916 - May 1930 (File)

Copies of conveyances relating to properties of the Van Diemen's Land Company at Burnie, South Burnie, Circular Head Peninsula, Emu Bay Estate, Hampshire Hills Estate, Ridgley, Stanley and Surrey Hills Estate.

Series M589. Correspondence concerning the Emu Bay Breakwater, 1886 - 1889

Correspondence of J.W. Norton Smith with Tasmanian Government ministers concerning the proposed extension of the breakwater at Emu Bay. The correspondents include Nicholas Brown, Edward Braddon, Andrew Inglis Clark, and Alfred Pillinger.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M589

Series M589. Miscellaneous letters and documents, 1871 - 1882

Correspondence, telegrams, newspaper cuttings and other documents mainly relating to the Mount Bischoff Tin Mining Company, the Mount Bischoff Tramway, and to land at Circular Head. Most of the letters are addressed to J.W. Norton Smith (Emu Bay), while a few are addressed to W. Brookes or the directors of the Van Diemen's Land Company (London). The correspondents include H. Bland (Launceston, Melbourne, Reading), T. Bland Garland (Reading), S.B. Emmett (Circular Head), R.W. Ford (Circular Head), Joseph Harman (Circular Head), Thomas Hughes (Melbourne), Mary Morris (Emu Bay), Henry Ritchie (Launceston), William Ritchie (Launceston) and James Smith (Circular Head).

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M589

Series M589. Indexes to despatches

There are no dates in the two indexes, but references to Federal income and land taxes suggest that they refer to despatches dating from after 1910.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M589

Index to despatches, nos. 1-842 (File)

The main subjects include accounts, blackwood, brickyards, income tax, London business, myrtle timber, palings, sawmilling, shipments and timber.

Index to despatches, nos. 1-989a (subjects and persons) (File)

The main subjects include annual accounts, accounts monthly, Bank of Australasia, Burnie, South Burnie, Circular Head, Circular Head Forest, conveyances, Emu Bay, Emu Bay Mount Bischoff Railway Company, farming, Hampshire Hills, land sales, mortgages, prospecting, remittances, Ridgley, sawmills, scrubbing, Stanley, Surrey Hills, timber, Woolnorth.


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