Sign In

Forgot Password Create Account

Finely detailed map of Tasmania, published by John Arrowsmith.

Fine example of Arrowsmith's map of Tasmania and one of the earliest separate maps of the island.  Abel Tasman (1609? - 1659), a Dutch navigator, discovered the island in 1642 and named it Van Diemans Land.

At the time, Van Diemens Land was still a primary destination for British convicts. The map is highly detailed with all convict stations, towns and roads

In 1803, a British expedition was sent from Sydney to Tasmania to establish a new penal colony there. Led by Lt. John Bowen, a settlement was created at Risdon Cove, on the  Derwent River. Originally sent to Port Philip, another expedition led by Lieutenant-Colonel David Collins arrived soon after. Dissatisfied with the first settlement, in 1804 an alternative settlement on the western side of the river at Sullivan's Cove, was set up,  at what would later became known as Hobar.

When the convict station on Norfolk Island was abandoned in 1807-1808, the remaining convicts and free settlers were transported to Hobart. Starting in 1816, more free settlers began arriving from Great Britain. On December 3, 1825 Tasmania was declared a colony separate from New South Wales.

The Macquarie Harbor penal colony on the West Coast of Tasmania was established in 1820.  In 1830, the Port Arthur penal settlement was established to replace Macquarie Harbor, as it was easier to maintain regular communications by sea.   The continuation of transportation of convicts to Van Diemen's Land saw the rise of a well-coordinated anti-transportation movement, especially following a severe economic depression in the early 1840s. Transportation was temporarily suspended in 1846 but soon revived. By the late 1840s, most convicts being sent to Van Diemen's Land (plus those to Victoria) were designated as "exiles" and were free to work for pay while under sentence.

In 1850 the Australasian Anti-Transportation League was formed to lobby for the permanent cessation of transportation, its aims being furthered by the commencement of the Australian gold rushes the following year. The last convict ship to be sent from England, the St. Vincent, arrived in 1853.

John Arrowsmith Biography

John (1790-1873) operated his own independent business after his uncle, Aaron Arrowsmith, died. After 1839, John moved into the Soho premises of his uncle and cousins. John enjoyed considerable recognition in the geography and exploration community. Like Aaron, John was a founder member of the RGS and would serve as its unofficial cartographer for 43 years. Several geographical features in Australia and Canada are named after him. He died in 1873 and the majority of his stock was eventually bought by Edward Stanford, who co-founded the Stanford’s map shop that is still open in Covent Garden, London today.