Item 2 - Research notes for the book "The history of the Van Diemen's Land Company"

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Research notes for the book "The history of the Van Diemen's Land Company"


  • 1958 (Creation)

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8 folders

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Archibald Lawrence Meston (1890-1951), educationist, historian and anthropologist, was born on 5 June 1890 at Launceston, Tasmania. His most important anthropological work was the discovery and description of the rock carvings at Mount Cameron West in 1933. Another major addition to the study of Tasmanian prehistory was his initiation of large-scale excavation in the shell midden at the South Cave, Rocky Cape. Meston's collection of implements and other Aboriginal relics is now housed in the Museum of Victoria; his library is the property of the City of Launceston. For more information see entry in Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Administrative history

Nineteenth-century British businessmen were interested in developing colonial resources, and the Van Diemen's Land Company was formed in May 1824 to ensure a cheap supply of wool for British factories. The colonial experience of William Sorell and Edward Curr was enlisted. Directors sought a 500,000 acre land grant and Sorell suggested land between Port Sorell and Cape Grim. An 1825 Bill granted only half this area, 'remote from settlers'. No thought was given to the dispossession of Aborigines. A vanguard of officials left England in October assured of a company Charter, which was issued in November 1825. The chief agent (Curr), with Stephen Adey (superintendent), Alexander Goldie (agriculturalist) and Henry Hellyer (surveyor and architect), accompanied by surveyors Joseph Fossey and Clement Lorymer, arrived in Hobart in March 1826. Lt-Governor Arthur's reception was encouraging; however Arthur and Curr soon squabbled over the remote location of the grant.
The imminent arrival of the Tranmere carrying indentured servants, livestock and supplies pushed Curr into settling at Circular Head. For more information see:

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Deposited by Mrs. A.L. Meston

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Research notes for the book "The history of the Van Diemen's Land Company"." edited for publication by W.M. Meston, 1958. Includes copies of dispatches, minutes of the council and miscellaneous notes and correspondence of the V.D.L. Co.

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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
When reusing this material, please provide the following acknowledgement:
“Courtesy of the UTAS Library Special & Rare Collections, Meston Papers - M11”

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Publication note

The Van Diemen's Land Company, 1825-1842 / by A.L. Meston ; arranged for publication by W.M. Meston ; introduction by K.M. Dallas ; edited by Frank Ellis| Published by the Museum Committee, Launceston City Council | [195-?]
Available at Morris Miller-Book (HD 1039 .T3 M3) -

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Dates of creation revision deletion

August 24, 2017 (BR)




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