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ACT 2. Snapshot of Thomas Henty,  Life at Launceston


Well, what was Thomas Henty to do at Launceston, in his later life?

His sons had become successful at all their pursuits. His daughter had married into a rich family.

Racing horses, overseeing his rented, and owned properties. Looking after the Families of the Indentured Servants and their welfare.

Being a Magistrate.

Things were beginning to happen in Australia, The name Australia was made up by Mathew Flinders. England was still a long way away

There existed quite a link between Charles Darwin and Thomas Henty. Darwin visited Bathurst in N.S.W. where the Thomas Henty friend John Street lived. After Darwin visited Hobart, he sailed to King George Sound, at Albany Western Australia. That was a place that Thomas Henty had explored, looking for suitable Land.

Snapshot of Thomas Henty,  Life at Launceston
Commence the Slide or Picture show for ACT 2


Turf Club Chairman. That was a fine speech about your Farm and Home life in England, your sons at Fremantle, you and your wife here at Launceston and your other sons at Portland Thomas. It was interesting to hear that some of your sons playing cricket for your County. I admit I particularly liked that part about shipping to Fremantle that half brother colt to the Derby Stakes Winner at Epsom.

Thomas Henty. Unfortunately that colt and the other 2 horses died at Perth, however I have some very good young ones coming along, as you know.

Turf Club Chairman. I think we are going to have a very good race meeting in December. Your son James, who as you know is our Treasurer assures me, that the prizes will be very good this year..

William Archer.I have a very fine colt Thomas, he may be a bit young for the Special Steeple Chase this year, but he is going over the fences very nicely at Brickenwood. Our Father would have liked him very much, not like that awful horse that bucked him off and he then died of injuries.

Thomas Henty. You have some lovely river flats and hilly ground at Brickenwood to build up your horses stamina. I think your Father and I would have become good friends. It was quite a blow to our Community here on the Norfolk Plains, when he died.

Thomas Archer. When you come out to look at my best Merino Rams this year, you could look at William’s horse going over the jumps.

Thomas Henty. As you know William, I get my horses fit, by getting them to pull my cart and self between Cormiston and Red Hills Landfall, about 3 times a week. Then I school them over logs and fences.

Commissioner of Police. Thomas , I hear that Governor Gipps and Captain LaTrobe are having difficulties, agreeing to your choice and occupation of land at Portland.

Chief Magistrate. That’s not quite true, Commissioner of Police. We Magistrates feel that the British Colonial Office in England, misrepresented the quality of land at the Western Australian Colony, and here in Van Diemans Land. The “free” land quickly became taken. Only the valleys in this land at Norfolk Plains, are suitable for Farming.

Commissioner of Police. That’s not! what I am hearing from the Colonial Office representatives.

Chief Magistrate. Well look at that great ride of 250 miles that Thomas undertook when he rode from Launceston to Hobart and back to complain to Governor Arthur, about how he was unfairly treated by the Colonial Office. And what about that big sailing trip on his son James boat the “Thistle” over to the Swann River at Perth, then sailing the coastline of South Australia back to here at Launceston

Launceston Town Clerk. I can vouch for that , it is a vexatious problem. Drawing our maps of property and matching them with the Colonial Surveyors reports, and drawings is difficult.

Commissioner Of Police. That’s what I mean. Unfortunately it could affect your esteem as a Magistrate Thomas. Even John Batman and Pascoe Fawkner are under suspicion, for grabbing Land around Port Phillip Bay.

Chief Magistrate. Thomas even asked me if Black Men and Bushrangers were in the area before his ride, so I remember it well.

Launceston Town Clerk. The difficulty we have here in Van Diemans Land, I suspect also occurs in Mainland Australia. Land should be able to be taken up, if it is going to be worked for the good of the colonies. Now that we have had the “Black Line” roundup of Natives, and shipped them off to King Island under the charge of Augustus Robinson, all the land can be safely worked.

Chief Customs Officer Anyway Thomas that last cargo of Tea, Rum and Tobacco that your son James imported should give you enough money to purchases more property. James declared a high value of the cost of the goods.

Thomas Henty. Well Chief Customs Officer . You certainly know the value of our imported goods, that we have to declare to you so you can collect appropriate Customs Dues for the Government.

Chief Customs Officer At least the ships he uses and your son Stephens ships are not like the naval ship HMS Beagle, under the Command of Robert Fitzroy that came into Hobart some time ago. A young rich man, called Charles Darwin, related to the Wedgewood family who make most of our crockery, is being allowed by the British Government to fill up bottles and preserve skins and other things so that they may be studied later by the Royal Society in England.

Thomas Henty.I am well aware of the doings of Mr. Charles Darwin. My friend John Street, was in charge of making things available to Mr. Darwin, when and several others visited that fine Town of Bathurst in N.S.W.

Thomas Archer. Anyway Thomas, come as soon as you can to my property, “Woolmers.” I know that King George, the farmer King, and Sir Joseph Banks thought very highly of you as a breeder and raiser of Merino’s and ranked you number 2 in England for knowledge of the Merino’s.

Thomas Henty. My dear friend, John Street in Bathurst in N.S.W.and Captain John Macarthur in Camden N.S.W, would know as much as I do now about Merino’s and their adaption to life in Australia. However, I have heard that John Macarthur has been suffering ill health and has been declared a lunatic, so he is not be allowed to be anywhere in Public.

Chief Customs Officer. Your purchase of land at Kelso, on the entrance to the Tamar River was a very sensible purchase. You can save many hours of navigation down the river. Has your son Stephen, thought about getting a Paddle Steamer Tug Boat, to pull the sailing Ships up and down the river. I hear they have one in Sydney that operates between Sydney and Parramatta.

William Archer. Anyway Thomas, you must be very happy now that all your lads are settled in very good situations here in Australia. And your daughter Jane has married into a rich land owning family, the Bryan’s, here in Van Diemans Land at Ross. So you may rest easily about your Family now.

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