Gentlemen waiting, at the corner of George and Paterson Streets outside The Holy Trinity Church.
When you go exploring on a Launceston Up Close Historic Walk, you will cut across some of these historical markers. There were many firsts in Launnie, from the use of an anaesthetic in an operation to having an underground sewer system, or being the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to benefit from hydro-electricity! Look down the line and see how the City of Launceston has developed.
1798 Matthew Flinders and George Bass, while circumnavigating Van Dieman's Land in HMS Norfolk, discovered the mouth of the Tamar River. Not realising it was a river, Flinders named it Port Dalrymple in honour of a colonial officer in Sydney Town.
1803 Early in the year, Captain David Collins and crew explored the river mouth, where they discovered the mouth of what is now the Tamar River. They rowed up as far as the future site of Launceston. He was moved by the awe and beauty of Cataract Gorge and wrote expansively, thinking there was no more a beautiful place on Earth than here'.
1804 London were a little concerned that the French, who at the time were not on talking terms, might try to get a march on settling in New Holland. They had sent a party to settle in the Derwent River in the South East of the island in 1803, but they worried so much they ordered Lt Col William Paterson of the New South Wales Corps to lead a party of soldiers, free settlers and convicts to establish a presence on the northern coast of Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania).
Lt Col William Paterson
1804 Arriving on HMS Buffalo in November 1804, they settled on the western shore and named it Yorktown. However, the lack of water and good ground plus the strong gusty wind drove the group across to the eastern shore of Port Dalrymple. They named it Georgetown, and here they had found good water and the soil looked more suitable for cultivation.
1805 Winter proved to be less than amenable to the settlers. In late 1805, after the settlement was flooded and most of their cattle had died, they moved upstream to the confluence of the North and South Esk Rivers and established Patersonia. Lt Col Paterson however shortly after in...
1806 ... renamed it Laun-cest-on, in honour of the birthplace of Governor Gidley King. Launceston is in Cornwall, England, where the name is pronounced Launce-ton. Here there was water, good pastures and the forests were not so dense.
1811 Governor Lachlan Macquarie visited from Sydney Town, and disapproving of the 42-mile boat trip from Georgetown to Launceston, so ordered that the HQ of the Administration be moved back to Georgetown. It did not actually happen until 1819.
1847 Dr William Russ Pugh carried out the first medical operation using an anaesthetic in Australia at St Johns Hospital (now Morton House) which is on the west side of St John's Square (re-named Prince's Square which is where we start Tour I of our Historic Walk program.)