Stage 2 on 4/9/2014 William Gellibrand’s convicts Email 8 of 14

Researchers, Penelope Marshall and Alan Townsend, have written “The Convicts of South Arm” (available from which offers information and insights.  Here below are some examples of workers on Gellibrand property.

  • John Asgill, a labourer and shoemaker from Coventry in England, was transported aged 19 years for stealing gowns and frocks. He arrived in November 1836 and worked for William Gellibrand until 1841, when he absconded and was caught across on the other side of the Derwent River at Sandy Bay pretending to be a free man.
  • Lydia Hines was tried in London in 1821 and sentenced to 14 years for felony. Despite standing 4 feet 11 and ¼ tall, she was impudent and insolent. Lydia was assigned to William Gellibrand in 1825. She spent six months at South Arm as his domestic servant before being returned to the Female Factory in South Hobart (currently open to tourists) for ‘insolence’.
  • Edmund Musk arrived in Hobart on 16 May 1832, married with five children (he and his wife had a further 10 children while at South Arm. John the eldest son drowned in Ralphs Bay while loading a boat. Their daughter Susannah drowned when a boat capsized at Rokeby.). Edmund was transported for stealing ‘beans and barley’. He was assigned to William Gellibrand, where his skills as a ploughman were used. He later gained his ticket of leave and leased a farm from the Gellibrand’s. By 1858 he was farming 120 acres at South Arm, and employing convicts himself. Edmund Musk is buried at St Barnabas’ at South Arm. The Opossum Bay bus passes this church. It is located on the left as you head back towards Hobart on the South Arm Road, after you have left Opossum Bay and not long before the South Arm Cenotaph corner is reached.
  • Thomas Kimble was transported in 1844 for the highway robbery of 1 ½ sovereigns. He received 15 years at His Majesty’s pleasure. After serving as a probationary convict at Maria Island isolated off the east coast of Tasmania, Kimble was employed at South Arm by George Gellibrand (William’s grandson) during the harvest time. His record lists him as a farm labourer who could plough, a shepherd and a hop grower all useful traits to establish the new colony. Thomas’s distinguishing features were a tattoo of a Mermaid on his left arm, a woman with a glass in hand on his right arm and the bust of a woman on the back of his right hand. He received a ticket of leave on 30 March 1852.

James Cumberland was sent to Sydney from his native home of Walthamstow in England for stealing geese but gained his Certificate of Freedom in 1827. In 1846, following his conviction for the manslaughter of his pregnant wife under the ‘spiritual influence’ of public house liquor, James was transported to Hobart for life. In Van Diemen’s Land, James worked for George Gellibrand at South Arm where he died from heart disease on 19 June 1853 aged 53.


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