Collection L1 - Leake Papers

Letter from Matt Seal: April 11 1893 Letter from Matt Seal: April 14 1893 Letter from Matt Seal: June 5 1893 Letter from Matt Seal: July 6 1893 Letter from Matt Seal: July 9 1893 Letter from Matt Seal: August 26 1893 Letter from Matt Seal: October 29 1893 Letter from Matt Seal: December 21 1893 Letter from Matt Seal: March 3 1894 Letter from Matt Seal: August 26 1894 Letter from Matt Seal: November 12 1894 Letter from Matt Seal: January 6 1895 Letter from Matt Seal: April 29 1895 Letter from Matt Seal: July 18 1895 Letter from Matt Seal: January 6 1896 Letter from Matt Seal: February  14 1896 Letter: 5th November 1833 Transcript Transcript Letter: 24 February 1834 Letter: 16 May 1836 Transcript of Letter: 16 May 1836 Transcript Letter: 20 May 1836 Letter: 20 May 1836 Transcript of Letter: 10 September 1836 Letter: 10 September 1836 Transcript of Letter: 10 June 1838 Letter: 10 June 1838 Transcript of Letter: 16 March Letter: 16 March Ttanscript of Letter: 15 December 1838 Letter: 15 December 1838 Note: 10 June 1838 Note: 2  June 1840 Note: 10 June 1838 Letter: 7 April 1841 Transcript of Letter: 13 June 1841 Letter: 13 June 1841 Transcript of Letter: 15 August 1841 Letter: 15 August 1841 Letter: 22 August 1841 Letter: 22 November 1841 Transcript of Letter: 15 March 1842 Letter: 15 March 1842 Transcript of Letter: 25 May 1842 Letter: 25 May 1842 Transcript of Letter: 5 June 1842 Letter: 5 June 1842 Transcript of Letter: 7 April 1841 Transcript of Letter: 22 November 1841 Letter: 5 June 1842 Letter: 14 August 1842 Letter: 29 August 1842 Letter: 14 September 1842 Letter:  2 October 1842 Letter:  2 October 1842 Letter:  13 October 1842 Letter:  undated (October 1842) Letter:  14 November 1842 Letter:  27 October 1842 Letter:  20 November 1842 Index to L1 Leake History Family tree Sketches of Rosedale
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Leake Papers


  • 1801-1932 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

31 Type 1 boxes and some oversized items

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Name of creator


Biographical history

John Leake (1780-1865) was born in Kent, U.K., in 1780, son of Robert and Sarah Leake. The family were merchants connected with the firm of Travis and Leake of Hull and John worked as a shipping and cargo agent, trading in various commodities between Hamburg, Hull, and North Sea and Mediterranean ports. In Hull in 1805 he married Elizabeth the daughter of a Hull merchant, William Bell, and between 1806 and 1819 they had six sons and two daughters, but one daughter died in childhood. After the Napoleonic Wars Leake and his family settled in Hamburg, an important trading centre and home for many British merchants, where he acted as agent for a number of East Yorkshire and German business companies, especially in agricultural produce, linseed oil, whale oil, cotton, etc. In the 1820s and 1830s, however, business began to decline and many of the Anglo-German merchant community emigrated. Leake was encouraged by William Wilberforce and the British consul in Hamburg to emigrate to Van Diemen's Land and he and his family sailed from Leith in 1822 and arrived in Hobart in 1823. The family settled near Campbell Town in the Midlands where many other former merchants of Hamburg and Altona (Holstein) settled, including Lewis Gilles and the Oakden and Milliken families etc. Others, later settled in South Australia, including Osmond Gilles and two of Leake's sons, Robert and Edward. Leake still kept in touch with friends and relatives in Hamburg and Hull. Former business associates acted as Leake's agents for the sale of wool and other business, especially Leake's father-in-law William Bell of Hull and his son, William Bell jr. Leake's father-in-law left property in Hull, in the street called "Land of Green Ginger", in trust for the education of Leake's son John Travis Leake as a surgeon, the residue for Bell's daughter Elizabeth Leake and then for Elizabeth's other children (see L.l/D.277-99). John T. Leake studied medicine in Kiel and Dublin and later received an MD. from Kiel University. William Bell the younger offered to educate a younger son, Arthur, and teach him the merchant business, so he was sent back to Hull and spent some years there and also in Hamburg with his other uncle Edward John Bell. One of Edward Bell's daughters, Clara, came to live with the Leakes in 1857 and in 1869 married the youngest son, Charles. Bell's son Ernst joined Robert Leake at Glencoe for a few years and then settled at Mt. Drummond near Port Lincoln, South Australia. Another son, Edward Geiss settled in Queensland, and after their father's death the youngest sister, Helen, came out to join the Leake family at Campbell Town in 1878.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Bequest of Dorothy Foster in 1964. Additional items given by J. Hudspeth in 1978

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection consists of some of the papers of John Leake (1780-1865) of Rosedale, near Campbell Town, pastoralist, justice of the peace, member of the Legislative Council and a former merchant of Hull and Hamburg, who settled with his family near Campbell Town, Tasmania, in 1823, and of his family, including his youngest son Charles Henry Leake (1819-1889) whose heirs inherited Rosedale.

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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

The Leake and Mercer families : a study of the rural gentry in colonial Tasmania / P. Hutchison University of Tasmania, Dept. of History, 1966 Morris Miller-Rare-Book CS 2009 .L43 1966z

Publication note

Correspondence - John Leake, Rosedale, Campbell Town part
also various photographs of Rosedale held by Tasmanian Archives + Heritage

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Dates of creation revision deletion

HE May 2018




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