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1824 : A Criminal Act
Flinders Harbour 6,481
Flinders Landing 3,713
Sealers Cove 1,466
Transportation Act of 1822 (Hobart Town and Flinders Harbour penal settlements)
In 1821, a fleet from England sought to consult the District administration. It had been well known that England was nervous that her possessions in New South Wales and Van Diemens Land could be easily annexed by a rival European nation. A the same time, the loss of colonies in North America had seen the prison population swell and although the colonies of Port Jackson and Hobart Town had taken a significant number of convicts, England wished to expand transportation to the colonies to boost their population and ease the overcrowding in its prisons. A request from the Parliament of the UK to the district administration allowing for the settlement of convicts in Flinders Landing was presented.
In less than 10 years, the population of Flinders Landing had reached over 6,000 people but compared to the colony at Port Jackson (29,000), both Flinders Landing and Hobart Town (also about 6,000 people) were still very small backwaters of the Empire. Before arriving in Flinders Landing, the fleet from England had anchored at the settlement in Hobart Town which agreed to the expansion of its penal colony to take in more convicts so they could open up the plains around Hobart for farming.
Fearing that Flinders Landing, which already had a critical shortage of farmhands, would stagnate without increased migration from England, the district administration held a town meeting to seek approval from the townsfolk. After heated arguments between many people, the townsfolk in attendance agreed 55% to 45% in favour of allowing for the construction of a convict barracks in Flinders Landing to serve as a staging post for the deployment of labour for the district and to help increase the district's viability as a settlement. On return to England in 1822, the Transportation Act was signed by both houses of Parliament and provision was set forth for materials, redcoats and labourers (along with the convicts) for the journey to Flinders Landing.
Signing of the Transportation Act 1822
Waterloo Point Barracks
Named in honour of the victory over Napoleon achieved at Waterloo, the first stage of the Waterloo Point Barracks were constructed between 1822 and 1824. Built on a rocky outcrop on the Grenville River, the location was perfect for being both close to Flinders Landing but separated from the main settlements by a narrow causeway and the Monarch Docks.
Waterloo Point Barracks 1824
Soldiers Hill settlement
To house the redcoats and labourers that arrived to construct and work at the barracks, a new settlement was constructed at Soldiers Hill, half way between the barracks and Flinders Landing. Although the steep sloping hill proved a challenge, the views over the Grenville River proved popular and housing was quickly constructed to service the arriving ships from England.
Soldiers Hill 1824
A small sentry post (on the right of the picture) on the road to the barracks
Soldiers Hill & Waterloo Point Barracks circa 1824
Flinders Landing 1824 :
The population of Flinders Landing had grown slowly to just over 6,000 people by 1824. In the past three years, the main settlements at Pyrmont, Grenville Town and Georgewater had all expanded slightly and the farmland had begun to push inland away from the river bank. Additional housing at Tower Hill, the expansion of industrial land at Monarch Docks, and the new settlement of Soldiers Hill were the main extensions to the built up area of Flinders Landing during this time.
Flinders Landing 1824
Other Events :
Completion of the Great Western Road between Flinders Landing and Sealers Cove (1823)
New settlement : Carriagevale 1822
Map of Flinders Harbour 1824