Item 1 - Belbin pocket book

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Belbin pocket book


  • 1808-1810 (Creation)

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1 pocket book

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Name of creator


Biographical history

James Belbin was transported to N.S.W. in 1791, after conviction at the Old Bailey, London, in 1789. Later he settled on Norfolk Island and received a grant of land. In 1808 Belbin and his children, with the other Norfolk Islanders, were resettled in Tasmania, receiving supplies from the Government Stores. He was twice arrested for remaining loyal to Governor William Bligh, deposed by officers of the New South Wales Corps; and for attempting to send an address to him in spite of Lt.Gov. Col. Patterson's proclamation prohibiting communication with
Bligh in 1809. In 1811 Belbin went to London to petition for restoration of his rights as a Norfolk Island settler and was granted a free passage back in 1813, land at Cambridge and Government victuals for eighteen months for himself, son James and his new second wife

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Presented to the Royal Society of Tasmania by L.B. Rogers,1953

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Scope and content

Small memorandum book in leather pocket book. In this James Belbin noted his departure from Norfolk Island arrival in Hobart on 3 October 1808, being victualled from the Government stores after having already received. blankets etc. in Norfolk Island. He then noted the arrival and departures of ships, their cargoes and sometimes what provisions, etc were issued from the stores. He noted the arrival of Governor Bligh in the 'Porpoise'. Interspersed a bit haphazardly amongst the regular entries were personal memoranda, such as his arrest for support of Governor Bligh: The first entries, recording his arrival in 1808, are written on the back page, the regular entries of arrivals and departures of ships begin at the front of the volume. A few miscellaneous memoranda appear to have been entered at the back of the notebook (including a note from The News of the trial of Governor Picton of Trinidad in the Court of Kings Bench 1806) or in any odd space, including the leather of the wallet (eg. a note that the Government cow shed built by Mr Lord had fallen down killing 12 cattle). Inside the cover Belbin entered the dates of birth of himself and children and the death of his wife and a daughter at Norfolk Island

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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

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Publication note

RST P&P article - Downing, Charles Toogood 1859 , '0n Norfolk Island, its character and productions.' ,
Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, vol. 3, no. 2 , pp. 195-212 .

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HE May2020




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