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Settlement

Britain Establishes Settlements in Van Diemen's Land

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Lieutenant Gordon John Bowen,  Risdon Cove 1803
The Lady Nelson arrived in Risdon Cove, September 9th 1803, The Albion with Lieutenant Bowen aboard sailed into Risdon Cove three days later on September 12th. Orders given to Bowen, were to establish a settlement in Van Diemen's Land on the eastern banks of the Derwent at Risdon Cove, with a settlement party of 49 persons.

Lieutenant Colonel David Collins, Sullivan's Cove 1804
Collins was not impressed with Bowen's chosen site, or the progress made. Collins immediately took charge and moved the settlers to a more suitable site five miles down river,on the western side of the River Derwent at Sullivan's Cove where Hobart Town was established February 20th. 1804. Named in honour of Lord Robert Hobart.

Lieutenant Colonel William Paterson, Port Dalrymple 1804
November 4th 1804, William Paterson with a fleet of ships the HMS Buffalo, the HMS Lady Nelson, the Francis and Integrity entered Tamar heads to establish a northern settlement in Van Diemen's Land, at Port Dalrymple with a party of 181 persons including 74 convicts. The settlement was finally established December 27th 1804.

John Bowen
John Bowen
David Collins
David Collins
William Patterson
William Patterson

 

The Risdon Cove Settlement 1803
Lieutenant Gordon John Bowen 1780 - 1827
Lieutenant Gordon John Bowen, sailed from Sydney Town to Van Diemen's Land, to establish a small settlement at Risdon Cove, on the River Derwent. The French had been showing much interest in Van Diemen's Land.

Bowen was quickly despatched, on hearing inebriated French sailors, sailing with Captain Baudin, mention the French were going to claim and establish settlement in Van Diemen's Land. The "Lady Nelson" dropped anchor at Risdon Cove, at 3 PM on the 9th of September 1803. Bowen was aboard the "Albion" an active whaling ship hired for the journey and captained by Ebor Bunker. Arriving on September 12th. A small party of 49 had arrived to establish the settlement.

The site for the settlement was recommended by Matthew Flinders and also John Hayes who named the cove. The party went ashore and Lieutenant Bowen named the new settlement Hobart, needing to quickly clear land and build shelter Bowen was very eager, however the convicts and soldiers were extremely lazy and progress was slow at the first Van Diemen's Land settlement.

Lieutenant Bowen, sailed for Sydney Town after discovering a ‘very dangerous plan’ to rob ‘the public store’ by his own soldiers. Bowen arrived back in the Derwent on the 19th of March, to find Collins had been there for almost a month and had moved the Risdon Cove settlement camp down river to Sullivan’s Cove. Bowen refused to resign his commission to Collins for five months and as a result Van Diemen's Land had two governments on the Derwent less than five miles apart. Bowen finally handed over his commission to David Collins and sailed from Van Diemen's Land August 9th 1804, returning to England.

The Battle Of Risdon May 3rd, 1804, approximately three hundred, mostly unarmed natives hunting kangaroo were lead into the Risdon camp. On seeing such number's of natives, a soldier fired on the hunting party fearing they were under attack. Two or three aboriginals were killed, but many years later the total was said to be around fifty, later still the total grew to hundreds.

The Tasmanian Government handed Risdon Cove over to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council in 1995, once a tourist attraction, it is now in disrepair, all artefacts have been removed and the even the plaques depicting it's historical significance destroyed.

Lieutenant Gordon John Bowen
Lady Nelson

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Sullivan's Cove Settlement 1804
Lieutenant Colonel David Collins 1756 - 1810
David Collins, was born in 1756 and joined the Marines aged 14, he was at Bunker Hill during the American War of Independence in 1775. Collins sailed to Botany Bay with the First Fleet in 1788 and was a founder of Sydney Town. Returning to England in 1797, David Collins returned to establish a new settlement on Bass Strait at Port Phillip Bay. Collins deciding the area was not suitable for a settlement sailed from Sorento for Van Diemen's Land.

Advised to establish a settlement on the Tamar river at Port Dalrymple, on the Van Diemen's Land north coast, Collins, was not impressed by the Tamar river or the hostility of the natives and sailed to join John Bowen at the Risdon Cove settlement. The Ocean and the Lady Nelson with party of free settlers and 300 convicts, from the unsuitable Sorento site at Port Phillip Bay, entered the River Derwent and sailed for Risdon Cove dropping anchor at 6.30 PM, February 15th 1804.

Collins was no more impressed with Lieutenant Bowen's chosen site, or the progress that had been made there. Taking immediate charge of the situation, Collins moved all the settlers to a more suitable site on the western shore of the Derwent, down river at Sullivan's Cove.

John Bowen had sailed to Sydney shortly before Collins arrived at Risdon Cove, Lieutenant Moore was in charge of Bowen's fledgling settlement during Bowen's absence. Moore discovered a ‘very dangerous plan’ rob ‘the public store’ by his own soldiers. Bowen arrived back in the Derwent on the 19th of March, to find Collins had been there for almost a month and during that time had moved Bowen's Risdon Cove settlement camp down river to Sullivan’s Cove.

Lieutenant John Bowen, bitter at what Collins had done, refused to resign his commission to Collins and for a strained five months Van Diemen's Land had two governments on the Derwent less than five miles apart. Bowen finally handed over his commission to Collins and left Van Diemen's Land August 9th 1804, returning to England. Collins named his settlement Hobart Town, in honour of Lord Robert Hobart the British Under Secretary of State for War and Colonies, appropriating the name from Bowen’s tiny settlement.

David Collins was Lieutenant Governor of southern Van Diemen's Land from 1804 until his death in Hobart in 1810.Collins was a well respected man with all of Hobart Town paying their respects at his funeral. He was laid to rest in a coffin crafted from Huon Pine.

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Port Dalrymple Settlement 1804
Lieutenant Colonel William Paterson 1756 - 1810
November 4th 1804, Lieutenant Colonel William Paterson, and a fleet of ships HMS Buffalo, the HMS Lady Nelson, the Francis and the Integrity, entered the Tamar heads on the north coast of Van Diemen's Land, with a party of 181 including 74 convicts. On navigating the Tamar River Paterson's ship the HMS Buffalo, was blown ashore in a gale at Low Head, onto Lagoon Beach. Paterson was to establish a settlement at Port Dalrymple.

An outer cove on the eastern side of the Tamar (George Town), was chosen temporarily and the settlers made camp there. Paterson continued to explore the Tamar for a better area, on findng two good streams of fresh water he named the area York Town (Beaconsfield) and would transfer all the settlers here before Christmas. The following day November 12th 1804, a large group of Aboriginals approached Paterson's camp, appearing to be quite friendly. They attacked a Marine guard and were fired on with muskets by the Marines. One native was killed and another was wounded.
Despite the hostility of the natives, Paterson continued to explore the area without further incident. Good pasture land and thick forest's were found at the head of the Tamar (Launceston). Paterson also discovered and named the North Esk and the South Esk Rivers he was most impressed with the Cataract he discovered in a gorge of the South Esk river. Choosing to stay at the York Town settlement, Lieutenant Paterson moved the small settlement to a more fertile area he named Patersonia, (Launceston) in March 1806.

William Paterson became Lieutenant Governor of Northern Van Diemens Land, Paterson was also Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales giving him authority over David Collins in the south. Van Diemen's Land was combined under one government in 1812 and governed from Hobart.

Lieutenant Colonel William Paterson, left Port Dalrymple on January 1st 1809, Paterson was in ill heath, and was returning to Sydney Town to take over command of the colony from Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Foveaux. Paterson was in control of the colony until Governor Lachlan Macquarie arrived in January 1810.

William Paterson, returning to England aboard the "Dromedary" died at sea on June 21st 1810, aged 54.

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