Collection H15 - Walworth Baguley Letters

Index to H15

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Reference code



Walworth Baguley Letters


  • 1914-1915 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2 photocopied letters (11 pages)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Walworth (Wallworth) Baguley was part of a company, Tasmania Colonising Association, formed to find land in Australia for the sole purpose of developing it with the help of Canadian and British immigrants. They found the required land in Tasmania, 20 miles from Smithton. There were strong protests from the locals who wanted the land kept for returned soldiers and 'native' Australians

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Xerox copies of the original letters held at the Hocken Library, University of Otago, N.Z. in the archives of the Otago Harbour Board, Chief Engineer's private file.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Letters from Walworth Baguley, Smithton written 12/8/1914 and 20/5/1915. Two photocopies of original letters, signed W. Baguley, written from Smithton and Irishtown, addressed to 'Wilkie'. He describes attempts to establish a settlement in North West Tasmania: 'Blythe and I are at present squatted in the midst of a vast forest…' They hoped to obtain a grant of 10,000 acres on condition 50 people were settled there within three years and has had a promise from 5 cabinet ministers to that effect. The organisation was to be known as 'The Tasmania Colonizing Association Ltd.' In the meantime they were clearing timber and living in an old surveyors' hut 24 miles from Smithton - 'Smithton has a population of about 500, six stores, seven churches, 1 pub. 1 school, a sawmill, post-office etc.' By the time Baguley wrote his second letter they had been joined by 3 men, wives and children from British Columbia, Canada, but the bill to authorise the land grant had been defeated (although they hoped to try again) and so they had taken various jobs, including road making. Baguley also referred to the war - 'Bad job isn't it' - and sent 'kind regards to all in the office', probably his former colleagues since he also commented that now 'I ... shoulder an axe and walk into the forest, just as naturally as I used to walk up stairs to that refrigerator called an office in Birch St., Dunedin!

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions governing access

Available for consultation, for permission for copying or publication refer to Hocken Library, University of Otago, N.Z..

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
Available for consultation, (for permission for copying or publication refer to Hocken Library).

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Existence and location of originals

Hocken Library, University of Otago, N.Z.

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Publication note

Diary of Walworth Baguley : August 1914 - March 1918 / transcribed and edited by Dorothy Meadows.
Tasmanian Colonising Association

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Dates of creation revision deletion

November 2017 PP




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