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Quakers -- Tasmania -- History
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Joseph Benson Mather Correspondence

  • Collection
  • 1862-1881

The bulk of the correspondence consists of Francis Cotton's letters to Joseph Benson Mather, and some other correspondence from members of the Society of Friends (Quakers), family and a few business correspondents also a few letters addressed to Joseph Benson Mather’s children.

Joseph Benson Mather

Walker Family Papers

  • Collection
  • 1820-1913

The papers consist mainly of family correspondence of G.W. Walker and his children and a few diaries and miscellaneous papers. James B. Walker's letters to his sisters, particularly letters to Mary Augusta while she was over seas are especially descriptive of his activities and of Hobart life. Mary Walkers' letters from London describe her life as a student in London and her correspondence with friends met then contain references to artists, especially women painters and sculptors.

George Washington Walker


Personal letters and other documents, letterbooks and business correspondence

George Washington Walker

George Washington Walker

Collection consists of correspondence, diaries, accounts and documents relating to personal life and the Society of Friends

George Washington Walker


Copies of original diaries covering George W Walker's missionary journey in Australia from 1831-1838.

George Washington Walker

Temperance Society

Notes of opinions on alcohol (notebook), petitions to Legislative Council, copy of pledge, list of subscribers, correspondence

George Washington Walker

Letter to Philip Smith

Letter to Philip Smith, Hobart Town, regarding the committee of the Temperance Society and the importation of intoxicating drink

George Washington Walker

Donation from Bicheno

Document dated Liverpool 1844, George Walker on behalf of the Total Abstinence Society for the donation of a pound towards funds from James Ebenezer Bicheno

George Washington Walker

Letter from Bicheno, Colonial Secretary's office

Letter dated 30th November 1850 from the Colonial Secretary's office signed by James Ebenezer Bicheno regarding a grant of land at the south end of Collins Street Hobart to the Total Abstinence Society.

George Washington Walker

Plan for the advocacy of the Total Abstinence Society cause

List of gentleman and proposed dates for the plan for the advocacy of the Total Abstinence Society cause in connection with the V.D. Land T.A Society at the Prisoners Barracks, Hobart Town up to December 1851 on the second Friday evening in the month at 7 o’clock

George Washington Walker

Minutes of meeting

Minutes of an overflow meeting held in promotion of National Temperance in the Infant School Room, Murray street on the evening of Thursday 6th July 1854. Address delivered by David Blair on the important subject of "National Temperance". George W Walker in the chair.

George Washington Walker


Memorandum regarding the location and the construction of the Temperance Hall at the end of Murry and Davey Street, Hobart dated 1854 and signed George Washington Walker

George Washington Walker

Copy of circular addressed to candidates at elections

Copy of circular addressed to candidates at elections. Letter to Arthur Perry (Member of the Legislative Council) dated 5 March 1855 from the committee of the Tasmanian Temperance and Total Abstinence Association bringing to his consideration the very demoralising effect of treating Electors with intoxicating drinks and the vile system of supplying the means of drunkenness and debauchery at elections

George Washington Walker

Circular addressed to licenced victuallers

Copy of circular, dated 1855, Hobart Town, addressed to licenced victuallers and others interested in the sale of intoxicating drink advising them of the enclosed petition prepared by the Tasmanian Temperance and Total Abstinence Association to the Legislative Council prohibiting the Sunday traffic in intoxicating liquors.

George Washington Walker


Copy of an uncompleted petition from the inhabitants of Hobart Town and its vicinity to the Honourable the Legislative Council of Van Diemen's Land. Petitioners therefore pray that the 38th Section of the Licensing Act, commonly known as the " Sunday Clause" may not be repealed.

George Washington Walker


Undated complaint by the finance committee of the Hobart Town Total Abstinence Society addressed to Mr J.B. Mather and Mr Geo. Bell, of suffering grievous moral wrong and slander from Geo. W Walker

George Washington Walker


Account with Temperance Alliance rendered 20 May 1857 in account with Geo. W Walker

George Washington Walker

Sarah Benson Walker

Collection consists of family correspondence, miscellaneous papers, household accounts and personal mementos

Sarah Benson Walker


Marriage certificate of George Washington Walker and Sarah Benson Mather, married at Friends Meeting House, Hobart. Dated 15th December 1840. Witnessed and signed by many of the respectable inhabitants of the colony

George Washington Walker

Petition to the Legislative Council

Undated petition to the Legislative Council regarding the act to regulate the sale of liquors being the 38th Section of the Licensing Act, the Sunday Clause not be repealed

George Washington Walker

James Backhouse Walker

Collection consists of correspondence, diaries, accounts and documents relating to personal life, the Society of Friends xxxxxxx

James Backhouse Walker

Reminiscences of Sarah Benson Walker

Sarah Benson Walker's reminiscences of her life in Hobart Town as recorded by her son James Backhouse Walker. It includes narrative of the voyage out, and descriptions of Hobart in the very early period, information about Hobart personalities as well as the story of Sarah Benson Walker's life

James Backhouse Walker

Family reminiscences

Family reminiscences by James Backhouse Walker (handwritten in block copy, New Testament cover)

James Backhouse Walker

Miscellaneous notes

Miscellaneous notes on the history of the Walker, Benson & Mather families

James Backhouse Walker

Unidentified document

Undated and unsigned document regarding excessive drinking in taverns, ale houses and gin palaces. May be a draft for a magazine.

George Washington Walker

Memorial to the Honourable the Legislative Council of Van Diemen's Land

Petition detailing the large portion of human misery, inculding poverty, disease, and crime induced by the use of alcoholic or fermented liquors and asking that the Council enact a law similar to that now in operation in the State of Maine ; which must, by its natural effect, not only entirely banish intemperance and all its consequent evils from the community, but will remove the oppression with which it weighs upon the moral and physical energies of the people, and be the surest means of promoting their social and domestic happiness, and their advancement in wealth, knowledge, and religion.

George Washington Walker

Interview - part one

Part one of an interview with Peter Jones by Ben Ross from the . Recorded February 21st 2019

Peter D Jones

Interview - part two

Part two of an interview with Peter Jones by Ben Ross from the . Recorded March 7th 2019

Peter D Jones

Friends' Meeting House, Murray Street

Photograph titled First Friends' Meeting House: The first Quaker Meeting House in Hobart. A cottage at 39 Murray Street which was bought by James Backhouse in 1837 with a loan from Meeting for Sufferings, London. The cost was £400 including alterations. Shows Mr Cheverton and Mr Shields and uniformed police constable in front, Holy Trinity Church on hill in background. From 12 February 1832 the visiting Quakers James Backhouse and George Washington Walker held periods of worship in the Quaker manner and others sought leave to join them. These included ex-English Friends who had been transported, some of whom were still prisoners, other convicts and ‘locals’, together with four current members. The gatherings were held in private homes and various rented rooms. The Hobart Meeting began in 1833 when the first Meeting for Discipline was held on 20 September 1833 at the home of Thomas Crouch, Bathurst Street. Members present were Thomas Squire, Ann Pollard (minor), James Backhouse and George Washington Walker. Photograph (mounted) J. Bishop, Osborne (& copy neg)

George Musgrave Parker

Photograph Album

Photograph album of the Hodgkin's visit to Australia during 1909. Includes photos of Christ Church Annual Meeting, Adelaide General Meeting, other meeting groups, Evelyn Camp, Gosforth Camp, Healsville Camp, members of families of Woodham, Erskine, Benson, Howie, Greaves, Allen, Sayce, Robson, Dixon, Mather, Mackie, Isaac Sharp. Also views of New Zealand, Maori carvings, Dandenongs Victoria, Sydney and Point McLeay Mission. Also a loose photo of Mary Augusta Walker aged 93 wearing her mother’s Quaker dress, and the first General Meeting in Hobart 1903

Thomas Hodgkin

Thomas Hodgkin Collection

  • Collection
  • 1909-1910

Collection consists of 1 photograph album of people met, groups and scenery and account of a visit to Australia in 1909 written by L. Violet Hodgkin describing her impressions of colonial life (not always favourable ), the meetings and social functions and detailed descriptions of the chief Friends in each place some photos stuck into the diary account.

Thomas Hodgkin

Account of the visit to Australia

Two volumes describing L. Violet Hodgkin impressions of colonial life (not always favourable), the meetings and the social functions and detailed descriptions of the chief Friends’ in each place. In Hobart, where they arrived on the 9th of March, 1909, after brief calls at Perth and Melbourne, and stayed a Heathorn’s Hotel, Violet, described especially the Mathers, the Robeys and their daughters Linor and Margie, the Prosptings whose shop was not doing well, Edith Barnett, John Ridley walker, Elder of the Meeting, and his aunt Mary Augusta Walker. Violet Hodgkin and her brother held special meetings, talks or bible classes for the younger members in each place and in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide joined the Young Friends camps. In Hobart Violet describes several girls from Friends High School. Hobart, New Zealand and Adelaide were highlights of the visit. Violet Hodgkin does not say much about Sydney, where they spent two months, except for a visit to the Allens in the Blue Mountains, and the visits to Queensland and Melbourne were short and often difficult. Some photos of groups and people are stuck in the “Diary” account. There is also a photograph album of people met, groups and scenery (DX10/3)

Thomas Hodgkin

Friends' Meeting Papers

Drafts and circulars to Members of Friends' Meetings reminding them to organise their monetary affairs and to make their wills, etc.
To Hobart friends, signed by Hannah Propsting and J. Ridley Walker.
To Lisburn friends, signed by Clerks of Committee on Ministry and Oversight:
• Norah Douglas - 20 December 1943
• Arnold Benington - 7 December 1946
• Cecil M. Johnson - no date

"Our Friends"

Autograph book with signatures of friends, some with addresses and brief descriptions. 19 December 1889 - 26 March 1914 and no date.

Charles Sowden

Photograph of Charles Sowden, , B.A., age 28, teacher at Friends' School, Hobart, depicted ringing school bell.

Miscellaneous Quaker Papers

  • Collection
  • 1889-1950

Collection consists of miscellaneous items found in books that were purchased for the Quaker Collection from the Rowntree Family. Includes circulars, photographs, Ackworth School material and sketches

William Levitt Wells Collection

  • Collection
  • 1884-1910

Collection consists of journals and letters relating to William Levitt Wells and his family.

William Levitt Wells


The journals have been published as "Immense Enjoyment, the illustrated journals and letters of William L Wells 1884·1888, the life of an early Quaker family in Tasmania" edited by Faye Gardam and published by the Devon Wells Historical Soicety (1987) a copy is held at UTAS Library Cent.Quaker DU 194.3, .W45, A3 1987
Diaries, illustrated with sketches, written in duplicate copy books, using a lead point on thin copying paper with a blue "carbon" pad which printed both on the back of the copying paper to darken the faint impression made by the lead point as well as on to the slightly thicker copy paper pages which were perforated to tear out (the copy being darker and clearer writing than the "top"). In the last volume, however, the top flimsy pages were removed to send overseas (possibly now written with a pen) and the copy made with a blacker "carbon" was retained

William Levitt Wells

Don Store : diary four

Diary of the Don Store, 11 February 1887 - 30 December 1888. In February 1886 Wells was appointed manager of the Don branch store of the Don Trading Company by John Henry, the owner, and about 1888 he took over the store, which became William Wells & Co

William Levitt Wells

Don Store : diary one

Diary of the Don Store, 14 March 1886 - 6 June 1886. In February 1886 Wells was appointed manager of the Don branch store of the Don Trading Company by John Henry, the owner, and about 1888 he took over the store, which became William Wells & Co

William Levitt Wells

Don Store : diary two

Diary of the Don Store, 6 June 1886 - 31 October 1886. In February 1886 Wells was appointed manager of the Don branch store of the Don Trading Company by John Henry, the owner, and about 1888 he took over the store, which became William Wells & Co

William Levitt Wells

Don Store : diary three

Diary of the Don Store, 31 October 1886 - 9 February 1887. In February 1886 Wells was appointed manager of the Don branch store of the Don Trading Company by John Henry, the owner, and about 1888 he took over the store, which became William Wells & Co

William Levitt Wells

Letters : William Wells to Father

Letters written by William Wells to Father dated 25 September 1885, 8 January 1888 Hobart: Mather family, job prospects, Thomas Lidbetter there - reminds them of Martin Lidbetter, children and new "young Tasmanian" Martin (1885); Don: birth of Hugh (1888).

William Levitt Wells

Letters : Bessie Wells to father

Letters written by Elizabeth Lucy (Bessie) Wells to father, Martin Lidbetter, and mother 1884 - 1886. Bessie's letters to her parents were intended for all her family, as she says in her first letter on the voyage (6 May 1884) which was addressed to Father, Mother, Robert & Sophie, Tom & Lizzie, Willie, Harry & Mary. Her first letter was written from Greenhithe before sailing and describes their boarding, seen off by the Wells father, Prissie, Uncles James Wells, Henry & Louie and her two children, Mabel and Arthur. Her letters supplement the journal of the voyage and describe their lives on the voyage, in Hobart and later at the Don River. There are references to the children's schooling, their hopes for a Friends School and eventual arrival of Samuel Clemes and family and the start of the School and the attendance of Edith and Frank, although the expense was almost too much but Edith gained a scholarship. There are references to visits from other Friends and occasionally relatives, visits to Melbourne, etc. A letter of 13.12.1891 was written on Wells Store printed letter-head.
• Nos. 8-12, 1884 - voyage
• Nos.13-18, 1885 - January 1886 - Hobart
• Nos.19-25, 1886, February-August Don River store (including incomplete letter from Melbourne with postscript from Don, 8 June 1886 - Arnold's eye)
• Nos.26-44, 1887-1893 Don River (including two undated letters c1891- Edith got scholarship, c1892 wedding of Walter Lean at Table Cape, Minnie Furmage and 2 children, Willie going to Latrobe daily, Frank possibly not returning to Friends School after Christmas as fees £50 now he had turned twelve)

William Levitt Wells

Letter : William L. Wells

Letter written by William L. Wells to "Sister" dated 17 July 1910. Grandson, Frank and Isabel's child, William Walker Wells, little Francie,
Arnold, Ella.

William Levitt Wells

Letters : William and Bessie Wells

William and Bessie Wells to Thomas and Lizzie dated 1885 – 1888. William to sister and brother in law, with notes and one letter enclosed from Bessie: Baby 12 weeks old, Frank and Edith attending Miss Johnson's school, wishes Edith could go to Ackworth school with Fanny, Father & Prissie (September 1885); Hobart house with sketch of verandah railings and "frieze" made by William L. Wells., Edward Octavius Cotton, Mr Henry's business offer, Thomas Lidbetter and son staying after birth of another son for T.L. (18.10.85); family life; birth of fourth son Hugh, business (24.1.88); Miss Greer to be married (5.9.88).

William Levitt Wells

Friends Meeting

Notes for the "semi-retreat" and the "day of harmony", note on silence or "stillness".

Clive Sansom

John H Fisher Letters

  • Collection
  • 1842-1845

Collection consists of five letters from a Quaker, John H. Fisher, in Hobart to his brothers, Reuben A Fisher and Thomas W.Fisher in Cork, Ireland.
John Fisher asked for news of his family, mentioning particularly his sisters May, Susanna and Margaret, Uncle John, cousins and friends and the other apprentices and he inquired if brother Thomas was still apprenticed to Henry Morris. His past misfortune was his own fault and he did not expect friend Thomas Harvey to forgive him (F.1/2) and he wanted to know if the Friends Society had disowned him and how people he owed money to felt (F.1/4). He had not been much to the Friends Meeting House in Hobart -- it was very different from home (F.1/3). Fisher had been in Port Philip and went into the bush but had an accident crossing the Goulburn River when a bullock dray ran over his legs and broke his thigh. In Hobart Isaac got him a job as overseer to David Lord but he was the only free person employed. Now he was working with Isaac who was teaching him hat making (1843 F.1 /2) but in 1845 he wrote that hats could be imported more cheaply and Isaac was fell mongering - getting up wool for the English market (F.1/4). There was a depression in Hobart but his life was comfortable. Hobart had 4 insurance offices, 4 churches (2 English, 2 Scotch), a Catholic chapel, 4 dissenting houses and a Friends Meeting House. In his last letter, dated 11 November 1845, John Fisher says he is thinking of
trying for Californian gold. One letter was later endorsed with a letter from A. Fisher to Thomas dated 31 . 12 . 1894 from Dymond City, N.C., enclosing the letters from their brother John and commenting on A.F.'s good life in the U.S.A., news of his children and his
farm on which he still led an active life although both he and Thomas had "passed the three score and ten"

John H. Fisher

Thomas Judd's diary

Diary of Thomas Judd (1822-1915) son of Thomas Judd (1794-1887) and Elizabeth (Cane) on a voyage from England to Tasmania on the "Sir Charles Napier" with his family: "Father and Mother, Elizabeth, myself, John, Ann, Rebecca, Susan, Martha and Henry (we have left William behind - being deaf and dumb - to receive his education in the asylum)". The diary consists mainly of the voyage: weather, activities on board, prayer meetings in their cabin. On arrival they took a house in Macquarie Street and looked for jobs. Ann and Elizabeth were offered posts as governesses but Elizabeth died on 30 December, at the age of 22, and was buried in the Scotch burial ground.
Typed typescript made by D. Little 2 July 1953 - spelling and punctuation altered.

Thomas Judd

Historical notes and cuttings

Notes and cuttings relating to the Brownell, Judd, Barnett and Propsting families, made by Nancie Hewitt, including:-

Brownell: notes by Mrs Hewitt including extracts from an account of Thomas Coke Brownell by his son John Beecham Brownell, photograph of T.C. Brownell.
Barnett: news cutting on Archdeacon Ernest Judd Barnett (died 1955) and copy of memorial address, notes, photograph of Grace Hannah Barnett, obituary of Barbara Burnett (1946).
Patricia Hewitt to serve in India news cutting 1961.
Judd: notes on Judd family; copy of letter from Elizabeth Judd to her aunt, H. Cane, London, on arrival in Hobart describing their voyage, Father being schoolmaster for the voyage in an emigrant ship, and describing Hobart - many things cheaper than in England 1 December 1842 (typed and manuscript copy).
Propsting: marriage declaration of no impediment to the marriage of Alfred Henry Barnett to Elizabeth Georgina Propsting no date; notes on the Propsting (or Probstein) family; extract from minutes of Friends Meeting concerning Henry Propsting 1878, 1901; photographs of Ann and Hannah, first and second wives of Henry Propsting.
Family tree showing connection of Brownell, Barnett, Judd and Propsting families.
News cuttings: Friends School painting of Matthinna, Arthur Circus, Fern Tree Hotel.

Thomas Judd

Judd & Brownell Family Papers

  • Collection
  • 1822-1961

Miscellaneous items collected by Nancie Hewitt (nee Brownell), including copies of Judd and Brownell papers, notes relating to Judd, Brownell and Propsting families and other items given to Mrs Hewitt. Also Mrs Hewitt's notes on the Society of Friends and the Quaker faith and some photographs of Quakers.

Thomas Judd

John Beecham Brownell letter to parents

Written from school, Mr Cowle's 'Hobart Town Classical and Commercial Academy' by John Beecham Brownell to parents [Thomas Coke and Elizabeth Brownell] dated 15 December 1851: Christmas holidays would start on 17 December.

Thomas Judd

Abraham Davy - letter to Francis Cotton

Letter to Francis Cotton from Abraham Davy dated 7 November 1844. Davy remembered his visit to the Cottons and the Cottons visit to NSW. He also mentioned his family - Helen making progress at school, Meetings, Quakers Ruth Allen and J.P. Robinson, plainness of speech, T. Pollard's children, second marriage.

Thomas Judd

Barnett family

Miscellaneous papers relating to the Barnett family. Barbara Barnett, the grand-daughter of Henry Propsting, established the first ‘rest home’ for old people in Hobart in 1922.

Thomas Judd

Notes on the Society of Friends (Quakers)

Nancie Hewitt's notes on the Society of Friends (Quakers), including drafts of talks, "James Backhouse and George Washington Walker, adapted and summaries from 'a narrative of a voyage to the Australian Colonies by James Backhouse' for young friends by Nancie Hewitt" (typescript), photographs of pages of F. Mackie's "Journal" including sketch of Hobart Town 1852.

Thomas Judd

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