Next to the busy
commercial centre of Eastlands, Rosny, Tasmania is a
building belonging to the past. Situated amongst the
golf grounds, the Historic Barn is possibly the oldest
building on the eastern shore to Hobart and certainly
one of the oldest buildings in Tasmania. It dates back
to c1813 and was built for an early settler at Kangaroo
Bay, Richard Morgan.
with his family on 7th October 1806. He was a
First Fleeter and Norfolk Islander. Richard was sent as
a convict to Sydney and then to Norfolk Island. He
married Elizabeth Lock in Sydney, but it was a
short-lived union as he took up with Catherine Clark
on his 50 acre farm on Norfolk. Catherine became his
common-in-law wife and together with seven children
arrived on the King George to Van Diemen’s Land
after being removed from the South Pacific Island. In
1815 he was a constable at Kangaroo Point, a post that
he was dismissed from in July 1817. In that year he was
also Commissioner for wheat. Nonetheless, the Morgan
family prospered even though there were problems with
bushrangers and the natives. His 130 acres at Kangaroo
Point was not large enough to run the number of cattle
which he needed to supply the Government store with
meat, so Morgan also had land at Buckland where the
Rev Knopwood recorded (November 1815) “the
natives had killed and destroyed 930 of his sheep and
had piled them up together and burnt them.”
has often been – what I would consider unfairly maligned
pertaining to his character. He was arrested for
running an unlicensed slaughter house, but he was
exonerated. There were rumours that he was involved in
sheep rustling, which certainly one of his sons, William
was, but he was not the worst and probably better than
many characters of the time.
Richard died 26th
Sept 1837 and wife Catherine July 27th 1828.
I am not sure where their burial places are, but they
are listed in “Burials in the Parish of Clarence
Plains and Kangaroo Point.” The Morgan family
tombstone in the Rokeby cemetery is to the memory of the
various children of the couple, including Richard
Morgan junior who built the Bellerive Hotel
The barn and
property was sold to Algernon Sidney Montague in
1831. The barn would have been used for multiple
purposes other than just storing things. It could have
been a place of worship and where Morgan’s servants
The barn is well
worth a visit being located in a peaceful environment; a
rural plot now surrounded by intense modern development
with its commercialism and the accompanying hectic pace
MATERIAL RELATING TO THE MORGAN FAMILY
“Profiles of Norfolk Islanders to Van Diemen’s Land.
HMS Porpoise 1807-8, Volume 2. Part 2. Pages 4 & 5.
“Stock Thieves and Golfers”
– Peter MacFie. (Clarence City Council 2002)
“The Eastern Shore” – a history of Clarence.
Alison Alexander. (Clarence City Council 2003) –This
material cites the incorrect story that Richard
Morgan was flogged after felling a tree and killing the
occupants of a house.
work which includes The Morgan and Graves family by
Cecil (Bruzz) Quinnell. 10 Hudson Street, Seven Hills
NSW 2147). Excellent source for details on Morgan’s
“Tasmania! – a Saga of a Pioneering Family” – by
Reg. A. Watson. Living history of the
Morgan-Wade-Wentworth (Watson) families. This was
launched on the 200th
anniversary of the coming of the Morgans to Tasmania.
“Mystery, History and Intrigue…” by John Sargent.
“Sydney Cove 1788: by John Cobley. (P.113
mentions Morgan’s marriage to Lock.)
“The Forgotton Generation” – by Reg Wright.
(Library of Australian History, 1986)
“Island to Island”
–Published (2007) by the Hobart Town (1804) First
Settlers’ Association. Supplement, Vol 6. By Reg. A.
“Norfolk Island – its first settlement”. By
Raymond Nobbs. Briefly mentioned on page 198. He
writes: “Morgan’s Run was in the west towards
Headstone Point” This statement is repeated in Jack
McCubben’s work, “Norfolk Island and its first
settlement 1788-1814” on page 117.
“From Norfolk Island to Van Diemen’s Land” by
Reg. A. Watson. Australian Heritage magazine, Autumn
“Pioneers of Van Diemen’s Land” by Reg. A.
Watson. Mentions Richard Morgan and his father-in-law
John Wade of Sorell.
mentioned in an article on John Wade published in the
Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers’ Association “History
of Sorell” Part 1. Released 27th
March 2009, 200th
anniversary of the Pitt Water district. By Reg. A.
“Walk around Historic Bellerive” by Eve Gibson
(2010). Richard Morgan in mentioned in this book, but
what I would consider unfairly, puts him in a very bad
“The Founders of Australia” by Mollie Gillen.
Library of Australian History Sydney. 1989.
“Loath to be Tasmanians”.
By Reg. A. Watson. The Mercury Newspaper. .Sept 29th
2007, page 12.
“Bequest from the Past”.
By Reg. A. Watson. The Mercury. Sept 23, 2006.
“Spirit of Clarence”
City of Clarence 1989. Richard Morgan, both senior and
junior is mentioned quite a few times in the book.
by Reg. A. Watson. Lindisfarne Historical Society
Newsletter. July 2011
“Baptised in Blood”
by Robert Cox 2010. Brief mention on page 329
by Reg. A.