Item 1 - Diary

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  • 1848-1850 (Creation)

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1 document - 11 papers folded to form a booklet, unsewn

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Biographical history

Alexander Cheyne (1785-1858), son of John Cheyne of Leith, Scotland, was a captain in the Royal Engineers. In 1834, after retiring from the army he emigrated to Australia and settled first in Western Australia put arrived in Hobart in December 1835 and became Director General of Roads and Bridges and in 1838 Director of Public Works. He was dismissed in 1848 partly owing to the personal animosity of the colonial secretary John Montague. He contracted to supply water to Launceston but suffered from' long delays in payment of bills by the Government. He then became supervisor of Launceston's. swamp draining but was injured and permanently lamed in a coach accident. In 1847 he was appointed director of Hobart Water Works but was dismissed in 1848. In 1852 he became assistant superintendent of road works.' . He was a Presbyterian, superintendent of the Sunday School and a friend of Rev. John Lillie and Dr. Adam Turnbull. for more information see :

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Diary of Alexander Cheyne, dated 22 Feb 1848 to 3 December 1850, in Hobart (lodging first in Fitzroy Place and later in Macquarie Street). He notes his attendance at church - and comments on the preacher; the pain in his leg and wearing a lacing 'case'; and Captain Swanston preparing a case for his claim in re his dismissal from the waterworks contract. He also refers to the arrival of ships, the weather including snow in the streets of Hobart on 29 September 1849; to friends such as Dr. Lillie' , and James Thomson; the drowning of Mr Montague brother of 'the late Puisne Judge' (8 Jan. 1849); a duel fought by Edward Macdowell and F. Smith (1849) and his application for the post of town Surveyor in Melbourne.

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This material is made available for personal research and study purposes under the University of Tasmania Standard Copyright Licence. For any further use permission should be obtained from the copyright owners. For assistance please contact

When reusing this material, please provide the following acknowledgement:
“Courtesy of the UTAS Library Special & Rare Collections - ENTER COLLECTION & REFERENCE NUMBER]”

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Original inventory and descriptive notes can be found at

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Also includes a typescript copy of the diary made, corrected and annotated by Charles Wolfhagen, also a carbon copy of the transcript with added research notes : Private deposit C3/1 a & b

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HE Dec 17




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