John Walker

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John Walker

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1799-1874

History

In September 1822 he arrived in Hobart Town in the "Heroine". By his own account he was 'penniless and unfriended'. Within a month he was appointed superintendent of the government flour-mill on the Hobart Town Rivulet. Next year he received a grant of 200 acres (81 ha) and in 1824 built a mill at Richmond. Thanks to convict labour he had five prosperous years, increased his capital to £2000 and received a maximum land grant of 2560 acres (1036 ha). Moving to Launceston in 1830, he built a mill at the foot of the Cataract Hill. Back in Hobart he bought the government flour-mill together with its attached residence in Barrack Street and opened a brewery. By adding a steam-engine he greatly increased his milling business and extended his activities to commerce, whaling, shipping and insurance. He became a local director of the Bank of Australasia and of the Bank of Van Diemen's Land. He also helped to form the Derwent Bank and as managing director had to act as its liquidator in 1850. He was also commissioned to wind up the Tasmanian interests of Lieutenant-Governor (Sir) George Arthur. As his assets increased Walker acquired the estates of Belmont and Shawfield on the River Ouse and Clarendon on the Derwent where he opened another flour-mill. For more information see: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/walker-john-2765

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AU TAS UTAS SPARC RS39

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