Van Diemen's Land

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Van Diemen's Land
British Crown Colony
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
1825–1856 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Van Diemen's Land Unofficial Merchant Ensign before 1875.svg Flag
Location of Van Diemen's Land Van Diemen's Land (15202418751).jpg
Location of Van Diemen's Land
1828 map
Demonym Van Diemonian usually spelt Vandemonian
Government Self-governing colony
Monarch
  1825–1830 George IV
  1830–1837 William IV
  1837–1856 Victoria
Lieutenant-Governor
  1825–1836 Sir George Arthur first
  1855–1856 Henry Young last
History
  independence from the Colony of New South Wales 3 December 1825
  Name changed to Tasmania and self-rule1856
Today part ofFlag of Australia (converted).svg Australia
Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land 1852.jpg
1852 map of Van Diemen's Land.
Geography
Location Southern Ocean
Coordinates 42°00′S147°00′E / 42.000°S 147.000°E / -42.000; 147.000
Area68,401 km2 (26,410 sq mi)
Highest elevation1,614 m (5,295 ft)
Highest point Mount Ossa
Administration
Australia
Largest settlement Hobart Town
Demographics
Population40,000 (1855)
Pop. density0.59 /km2 (1.53 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups European Australians, Aboriginal Tasmanians

Van Diemen's Land was the original name used by most Europeans for the island of Tasmania, part of Australia. The name was changed from Van Diemen's Land to Tasmania in 1856.

Tasmania island state of Australia

Tasmania is an island state of Australia. It is located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Australian mainland, separated by Bass Strait. The state encompasses the main island of Tasmania, the 26th-largest island in the world, and the surrounding 334 islands. The state has a population of around 526,700 as of March 2018. Just over forty percent of the population resides in the Greater Hobart precinct, which forms the metropolitan area of the state capital and largest city, Hobart.

Contents

History

Exploration

The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to land on the shores of Tasmania in 1642. Landing at Blackman Bay and later having the Dutch flag flown at North Bay, Tasman named the island Anthoonij van Diemenslandt, in honour of Anthony van Diemen, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, who had sent Tasman on his voyage of discovery. Between 1772 and 1798, only the southeastern portion of the island was visited. Tasmania was not known to be an island until Matthew Flinders and George Bass circumnavigated it in the Norfolk in 1798–99.

Abel Tasman Dutch seafarer, explorer and merchant

Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He was the first known European explorer to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand, and to sight the Fiji islands.

Blackman Bay is located on the south-east coast of Tasmania. It extends from the bay's inlet at the southern peninsula of Marion Bay to the village of Dunalley. Historically this bay was referred to as "Frederick Henry Bay".

Anthony van Diemen Dutch colonial governor

Anthony van Diemen was a Dutch colonial governor.

Around 1784–85, Henri Peyroux de la Coudrenière, an army officer serving in Spanish Louisiana, wrote a "memoir on the advantages to be gained for the Spanish crown by the settlement of Van Dieman's Land". [1] After receiving no response from the Spanish government, Peyroux proposed it to the French government, as "Mémoire sur les avantages qui résulteraient d'une colonie puissante à la terre de Diémen". [2]

Henri Peyroux de la Coudrenière (1743–18??), also spelled Coudrenaire, was a French politician and author who is perhaps best known for his scheme to transport the exiled Acadians from France to Louisiana, from which the people known as Cajuns are descended.

In January 1793, a French expedition under the command of Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni d'Entrecasteaux anchored in Recherche Bay and a period of five weeks was spent in that area, carrying out explorations into both natural history and geography. In 1802 and 1803, the French expedition commanded by Nicolas Baudin explored D'Entrecasteaux Channel and Maria Island and carried out charting of Bass Strait (Baudin had been associated, like Peyroux, with the resettlement of the Acadians from French Canada (from mostly what is now called the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia area to Louisiana).

Antoine Bruni dEntrecasteaux French explorer

Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni, chevalier d'Entrecasteaux was a French naval officer, explorer and colonial governor. He is perhaps best known for his exploration of the Australian coast in 1792, while searching for the La Pérouse expedition. Antoine Bruni d'Entrecasteaux is commonly referred to simply as Bruni d'Entrecasteaux or Bruny d'Entrecasteaux, which is a compound surname.

Recherche Bay bay in Tasmania, Australia

Recherche Bay is an oceanic embayment, part of which is listed on the National Heritage Register, located on the extreme south-eastern corner of Tasmania, Australia. It was a landing place of the d’Entrecasteaux expedition to find missing explorer La Pérouse. It is named in honour of the Recherche, one of the expedition's ships.

Natural history study of organisms including plants or animals in their environment

Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms including animals, fungi and plants in their environment; leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history is called a naturalist or natural historian.

Early colonisation

1663 map of Van Diemen's Land, showing the parts discovered by Tasman, including Storm Bay, Maria Island, and Schouten Island. Tasmania 1644.png
1663 map of Van Diemen's Land, showing the parts discovered by Tasman, including Storm Bay, Maria Island, and Schouten Island.

Sealers and whalers based themselves on Tasmania's islands from 1798 and in August 1803, New South Wales Governor Philip King sent Lieutenant John Bowen to establish a small military outpost on the eastern shore of the Derwent River to forestall any claims to the island arising from the activities of the French explorers.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Philip Gidley King British Colonial governor

Captain Philip Gidley King was the third Governor of New South Wales, and did much to organise the young colony in the face of great obstacles.

River Derwent (Tasmania) river in south east Tasmania, Australia

The River Derwent is a river located in Tasmania, Australia. It is also known by the palawa kani name timtumili minanya. The river rises in the state's Central Highlands at Lake St Clair, and descends more than 700 metres (2,300 ft) over a distance of more than 200 kilometres (120 mi), flowing through Hobart, the state's capital city, before emptying into Storm Bay and flowing into the Tasman Sea. The banks of the Derwent were once covered by forests and occupied by Tasmanian Aborigines. European settlers farmed the area and during the 20th century many dams were built on its tributaries for the generation of hydro-electricity.

Major-General Ralph Darling was appointed Governor of New South Wales in 1825, and in the same year he visited Hobart Town, and on 3 December proclaimed the establishment of the independent colony, of which he became governor for three days. [3]

Ralph Darling British Army general

General Sir Ralph Darling, GCH was a British Army officer who served as Governor of New South Wales from 1825 to 1831. He is popularly described as a tyrant, accused of torturing prisoners and banning theatrical entertainment, but he also built new roads and extended the boundaries of the colony. Local geographical features named after him include the Darling River and Darling Harbour in Sydney.

Hobart City in Tasmania, Australia

Hobart is the capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. With a population of approximately 225,000, it is the least populated Australian state capital city, and second smallest if territories are taken into account. Founded in 1804 as a British penal colony, Hobart, formerly known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney, New South Wales. Prior to British settlement, the Hobart area had been occupied for possibly as long as 35,000 years, by the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe, a sub-group of the Nuennone, or South-East tribe. The descendants of these Aboriginal Tasmanians often refer to themselves as 'Palawa'.

The demonym for Van Diemen's Land was "Van Diemonian", though contemporaries used the spelling Vandemonian. [4]

In 1856, the colony was granted responsible self-government with its representative parliament, and the name of the island and colony was officially changed to Tasmania on 1 January 1856. [5] [6]

Penal colony

From the 1800s to the 1853 abolition of penal transportation (known simply as "transportation"), Van Diemen's Land was the primary penal colony in Australia. Following the suspension of transportation to New South Wales, all transported convicts were sent to Van Diemen's Land. In total, some 73,000 convicts were transported to Van Diemen's Land or about 40% of all convicts sent to Australia. [7]

Male convicts served their sentences as assigned labour to free settlers or in gangs assigned to public works. Only the most difficult convicts (mostly re-offenders) were sent to the Tasman Peninsula prison known as Port Arthur. Female convicts were assigned as servants in free settler households or sent to a female factory (women's workhouse prison). There were five female factories in Van Diemen's Land.

Convicts completing their sentences or earning their ticket-of-leave often promptly left Van Diemen's Land. Many settled in the new free colony of Victoria, to the dismay of the free settlers in towns such as Melbourne.

On 6 August 1829, the brig Cyprus, a government-owned vessel used to transport goods, people, and convicts, set sail from Hobart Town for Macquarie Harbour Penal Station on a routine voyage carrying supplies and convicts. While the ship was becalmed in Recherche Bay, convicts allowed on deck attacked their guards and took control of the brig. The mutineers marooned officers, soldiers, and convicts who did not join the mutiny without supplies. The convicts then sailed the Cyprus to Canton, China, where they scuttled her and claimed to be castaways from another vessel. On the way, Cyprus visited Japan during the height of the period of severe Japanese restrictions on the entry of foreigners, the first Australian ship to do so.

Tensions sometimes ran high between the settlers and the "Vandemonians" as they were termed, particularly during the Victorian gold rush when a flood of settlers from Van Diemen's Land rushed to the Victorian goldfields.

Complaints from Victorians about recently released convicts from Van Diemen's Land re-offending in Victoria was one of the contributing reasons for the eventual abolition of transportation to Van Diemen's Land in 1853. [8]

Name

Anthony Trollope used the term Vandemonian: "They are (the Vandemonians) united in their declaration that the cessation of the coming of convicts has been their ruin." [9]

In 1856, Van Diemen's Land was renamed Tasmania. This removed the unsavoury criminal connotations with the name Van Diemen's Land (and the "demon" connotation) while honouring Abel Tasman, the first European to find the island. The last penal settlement in Tasmania at Port Arthur closed in 1877. [10]

Film

Music

Literature

Australian winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature Patrick White's novel A Fringe of Leaves places much of the novel's beginnings in Van Diemen's Land.

See also

Notes

  1. Ernest R. Liljegren, "Jacobinism in Spanish Louisiana, 1792–1797", Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 22, 1939, pp. 47–97, p.85.
  2. Paul Roussier, "Un projet de colonie française dans le Pacifique à la fin du XVIII siecle", La Revue du Pacifique, Année 6, No.1, 15 Janvier 1927, pp.726–733.; Robert J. King, "Henri Peyroux de la Coudrenière and his plan for a colony in Van Diemen's Land", Map Matters, Issue 31, June 2017, pp.2–6.
  3. "150th Anniversary of Australia". The Mercury . Hobart, Tasmania. 26 January 1938. p. 6. Retrieved 26 January 2012 via National Library of Australia.
  4. "Vandemonian – definition of Vandemonian by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia". Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  5. Newman, Terry Becoming Tasmania. Companion Web Site (Parliament of Tasmania)
  6. VanDiemensLand.com. About Van Diemen's Land
  7. Maxwell-Stewart, Hamish. "The state, convicts and longitudinal analysis." Australian Historical Studies 47, no. 3 (2016): 414-429.
  8. Fletcher, B. H. (1994). 1770–1850. In S. Bambrick (Ed.), The Cambridge encyclopedia of Australia (pp. 86–94). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  9. quoted by Patsy Adam Smith p.248 of Smith, Patsy Adam and Woodberry, Joan (1977) Historic Tasmania Sketchbook Rigby ISBN   0-7270-0286-4
  10. Australian Government, National Heritage site. Port Arthur Historic Site

Related Research Articles

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Alexander Pearce Australian criminal

Alexander Pearce was an Irish convict who was transported to Van Diemen's Land for seven years for theft. He escaped from prison several times. During one of these escapes he allegedly became a cannibal, murdering his companions one by one. In another escape, with one companion, he allegedly killed him and ate him in pieces. He was eventually captured and was hanged and dissected in Hobart for murder.

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William Sorell British colonial governor

William Sorell was a soldier and third Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land.

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References

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Van Diemen's Land at Wikimedia Commons