Collection S17 - William Sorell : Journal

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William Sorell : Journal


  • 1823-1825 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

1 typewritten transcript ( 83 pages) & name index to diary on catalogue cards

Context area

Name of creator

(1800 -1860)

Biographical history

William Sorell (1800 -1860) was the eldest son of William Sorell (1775 -1848), who served as Lt. Governor of Van Diemen's Land 'from 1816 until May 1824, and Louisa Matilda (Cox), who was separated from her husband in 1807 and remained in England with their seven children. Young Sorell arrived in Hobart to see his father on 27 December 1823 and then stayed at Government House until his father's departure in May 1824. Shortly afterwards Sorell, with his friend William Fletcher, leased a house in New Town. In 1825 Sorell met Elizabeth Julia Kemp (daughter of Anthony Fenn Kemp) whom he married in September 1825 at St David's Cathedral.

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Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection consists of type written transcript of original diary of William Sorell Jnr. for the years 1823-1825.
In his journal Sorell made brief daily entries of his voyage out, his reception at Government House, the arrival of Lt. Governor Arthur, his new post as Registrar of the Supreme Court. The entries are brief but of particular interest are his references to the arrival of ships and his meeting officers and other people of note landing at Hobart. He makes occasional references to his work and cases in court and to Judge Pedder and his wife. Apart from his work Sorell's chief activities, as noted, were riding, walking, reading and dining with 'friends and officers of the Barracks and Convict Department. He attended church regularly on Sunday and mentions the arrival of an organ subscribed for by the in habitants (13, 14 April 1825). He took occasional shooting trips, mainly to the Coal River (Richmond). Most of the entries are, however, brief and lacking in detail or descriptive accounts as may be illustrated by his reference to a proposal to transfer the capital to Brighton: 'Meeting at Government House. Removal to Brighton in a large Meeting. I attended. I think the Lt. Governor has made up his mind upon the removal.' (19 May 1825)
Transcript of original diary of William Sorell Jnr. made by L. Rodda and P.S. King. ( 83 pages) Photocopy only now held. Also a typed name index to diary to diary - on catalogue cards made by L. Rodda.

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

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Dates of creation revision deletion

HE Jan 2018




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