Collection J2 - Johnstone & Wilmot Papers

Index to J2

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Johnstone & Wilmot Papers


  • 1841-1939 (Creation)

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4 items

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Biographical history

William Johnstone (1820-1874) arrived in Tasmania with his wife Martha on the barque "Arab" in November 1841 and by August 1842 he had secured a lease on a building in St John Street, Launceston and started the new business William Johnstone, Merchant. In the 1850s William Johnstone was appointed Agent for the Northern Assurance Co. and at the time of the 90th anniversary of Johnstone and Wilmot it is noted that Johnstone and Willmot were the oldest agents of the Insurance Company in the World (1932). Following the death of William Johnstone in 1874 his son William John Johnstone was joined by Stuart Eardley - Wilmot who had married Johnstone's daughter Rosa and from this date the firm was known as Johnstone and Wilmot. Following the death of William John Johnstone in 1891 Stuart Eardley Wilmot carried on the busines on his own until 1910 when the business was converted into a proprietary company. The managing directors being Eardley - Wilmot, W Stewart Johnstone and W P Dobson. In 1920 Commander Trevor Eardley Wilmot was taken into the Company. Frank Shaw was appointed the first Company Secretary, a positon he still held in 1932. Other employees include Robert Bain, William Stroud, Henry Bourke was the Accountant for many years, Arthur Davis, James Wallace and George Fletcher. On the 17 March 1921 a Branch House was opened in Devonport under the Management of George Saul. From: Examiner 12 August 1932 p11 Launceston Firm Celebrates 90th Anniversary

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Biographical history

Stuart Eardley Wilmot was the second son of Augustus Hillier Eardley Wilmot and his wife Matilda Jessie Dunn. His paternal grandfather, Sir John Eardley Wilmot, was governor of Tasmania from 1843 to 1846. His maternal grandfather was John Dunn, founder of the Commercial Bank of Van Diemen's Land. Stuart was born in Hobart on 16 Sep 1847 and accompanied his parents to England from 1854 to 1863, where he was educated. He remembered seeing the troops marching through the streets to embark for the Crimean War. He spent several years working on various stations and travelling on the roads with cattle in Queensland and NSW. In April 1869 he came to Launceston, joining the staff of the Commercial Bank in Cameron Street. A couple of years later he entered into partnership with John S Taylor in the wool and grain business. He married Rosa Johnstone on 29 Jan 1874. His father-in-law, William Johnstone, died the same year and Stuart joined his brother-in-law, W J Johnstone, in his business which had been established in 1842. It became known as Johnstone and Wilmot.

Stuart was one of the municipal auditors for many years. He served as a board member for the Launceston Gas Company, Mount Bischoff Company, the Cornwall Insurance Company, the steamer Great Eastern before she was launched, and the Marine Board. He was one of the executive committee of the Launceston Bank for Savings and one of the commissioners for the sinking fund of the Launceston Municipal Corporation. He founded a branch of the Navy League in Launceston in 1900 and was chief representative of the Northern Assurance Co. Ltd.

Stuart Eardley Wilmot died aged 86 on 29 Jun 1932. His wife Rosa had died aged 78 on 1 Aug 1924. He was survived by two sons, Commander Trevor Eardley Wilmot of Launceston, and Parry Eardley Wilmot of Western Australia. His sons Gerald, who died in 1909, and Trevor are both in the Family Album. There are two plaques at St John's Church in memory of Stuart and Rosa, who were married for fifty years. From

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Biographical history

Son of William Johnstone and husband of Mary Elizabeth Groom (1841-1911) took over the firm after his fathers death and went into partnership with his brother in law Stuart Eardley Wilmot

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Scope and content

The papers of William Johnstone consists a copy of his diary of the voyage to Launceston on board the "Arab" November 1841 - March 1842 and of material in relation to the business of Johnstone & Wilmot, general merchant, importer of wines, spirits & cigars established in Launceston in 1842

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Conditions governing reproduction

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 cite the reference number and provide the following acknowledgement:
“Courtesy of the UTAS Library Special & Rare Collections”

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Publication note

• NG915 - Johnstone and Wilmot -
• NG1500 - William Johnstone, Merchant and Family -

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Dates of creation revision deletion

HE May 2018




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