Tag Archives: Gellibrand

Stage 2 on 4/9/2014 Summing up Email 14 of 14

I arrived at the Opossum Bay shop at 9.10 am to start Stage 2 of the walking journey, and I caught the return bus (number 638 with a transfer onto bus number 632 at Lauderdale) across from the shop around 2.05 pm.

Between times I walked approximately 10 kilometres.  However, Stage 2 only represents around 4 kilometres of the length of the Derwent River. Adding this to the 7 kms covered in Stage 1, I have now covered 11 kms of the 249 kilometre long river.

I am persuaded that no-one could complete Stage 1 and 2 on one occasion to fit within these bus times. For someone to replicate my journeys two separate trips are required. Alternatively, one longer visit could finish with a return to Hobart on the bus which departs Opossum Bay near Shelly Beach at 5.55 pm.  Unfortunately this latter option would probably leave you with lots of time to fill in waiting for the bus; this eventuality would need to be expected and planned for.

As a post note, in 1995 the Gellibrand property was acquired by the state, on behalf of the people of Tasmania and in 2011 the area was declared a nature reserve and named Gellibrand Point Nature Recreation Area. I feel excited to have walked the trails and found my own way around, for the friendly people I met, the stunning views, the fascinating history, and the discovery of another part of Tasmania, one footstep at a time.  And all for the cost of a couple of bus fares.

 The photo below was taken from Gellibrand Point, Stage 2’s destination. It looks across the Derwent River towards Hobart city with Mount Wellington behind.


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 http://www.ccc.tas.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/The%20Convicts%20of%20South%20Arm.pdf) 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.



The destination for Stage 2 of my walk along the Derwent River will be Gellibrand Point, at the northern end of the South Arm peninsula.

The name was conferred as the result of the first European settler in this area, William Gellibrand. William arrived in Hobart Town on the Ides of March in 1824 as a companion to his son Joseph Tice Gellibrand who been asked to take up the role of local Attorney General. William became a Magistrate in Hobart from 1826-1827. In addition, he has a special place in Hobart’s history because he set up banking here.

Initially, he was granted 2220 acres of land on the South Arm peninsula, and then later this was later increased by further grants. Land grants were routinely made to free settlers who then were allowed the assistance of several convicts to help clear and work the fields.

The site http://www.  southcom.  com.  au/~pottermj/pagef.  htm tells us that “as other settlers arrived, Gellibrand leased land to them and later they were able to purchase their lots. By 1885, many had purchased land on the Peninsula – some names are Musk, Alomes, Calvert, and Potters. Members of these family names are still in the district today.”

The site http://www.ccc.tas.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/The%20Convicts%20of%20South%20Arm.pdf

provides well researched detail: “William Gellibrand was a significant figure in Colonial society; he was a merchant and exporter but also served as a Justice of the Peace. After William died, his property at Arm End then passed to his grandson George Gellibrand who after leasing out some of the land placed it on the market in 1844 describing it as being studded with the tallest trees in the colony and having the very best vinery on the island, covering two acres of fertile ground with full bearing fruit.”