236 JAMES SCOTT 1810 - 1884 - A Surveyor of Van Diemen’s Land An important group of items from the estate of James Scott, brother of Thomas Scott (1800-1855), surveyor and landowner, from Berwickshire, Scotland. Thomas came to Hobart Town in 1820 in the Skelton and temporarily became superintendent of government stock. The following year he was appointed by Governor Lachlan Macquarie as assistant surveyor under the deputy surveyor general, George Evans. He was active in his profession and responsible for surveying much of the early settlements. Between 1822 and 1824 Thomas explored parts of the east coast, laid out the town of Bothwell, and published his chart of Tasmania which showed much more detail than earlier maps. James Scott, his younger brother, arrived in Hobart in the Ann Jamieson in 1832. He was trained as a surveyor by his brother Thomas and worked with him, and on his resignation in 1838 joined the staff of the Survey Department. The appointment was short-lived. The next year, when contract surveying was introduced he was approved as a surveyor to be paid on piecework. Of strong physique and an excellent bushman, he became the Chief Surveyor in the North of the island. James Scott is best known for his explorations of the north-east but the journal detailed below [Item 3] adds considerable detail to his previously published surveying activities. In April 1852 he was engaged by the government to find a bridle road for stock from the last settlement on St Patrick’s River to Cape Portland, a vast area not previously crossed by Europeans. He went up St Patrick’s River, passed north-west of Mount Maurice to what he thought was Forester’s River, over a tier to the Ringarooma River, which he followed south-east of Mount Cameron to Cape Portland, and then returned to Launceston along the coast. He reported adversely: any track would be very costly and devoid of resting places for stock. He proposed instead a line by way of Piper’s River, across the Little Forester about 4.8 km above Bowood and then north-east to the Tomahawk and Ringarooma Rivers. In October 1852 he marked out this road. In January 1853 he applied for government assistance to open up a line of communication from St Patrick’s River along his former route to the Ringarooma River. He was promised £40 for this task but declined on the grounds of ill health and other business. However, both he and his brother George applied for land on the Ringarooma River at what is now Legerwood, and by November 1853 he reported that he had completed a bridle road and that the land supposed to be on the Great Forester’s River was on the main branch of the Ringarooma River. A little later he found fertile land in the near-by Scottsdale district, which was named after his family. For most of the 1850s Scott was the only surveyor in Launceston. In 1853 the department ceased to give him work, but not for long as no other surveyors could be found. When again offered a government post he refused it and continued to work on contract. He did much of the early survey of Port Sorell and Devonport. When the lands of the Cressy Land Co. were broken up about 1854 he did the survey. He did not like ‘teaching young men who might oppose me later’, but in 1856 when Thomas’s two sons arrived he trained the elder, James Reid Scott. After 1860 he restricted his activities as a surveyor. He owned many properties and an interest in a coal mine at the Don River, was a director of the British and Tasmanian Charcoal Iron Co., and a foundation director and later chairman of the Mutual Fire Insurance Co. He was appointed a justice of the peace in 1862. He served on the Launceston City Council, and in 1879 was chairman of the Launceston General Hospital Board. For some years he was chairman of the Paterson’s Plains Road Trust. Independent of any political party, he was a member of the House of Assembly for George Town in 1869-77 and for South Launceston from 1878 until his death in 1884. 1: James Scott’s silver pocket watch [Birmingham, 1823] (and key) inscribed within “James Scott, Earlstown, Berwickshire Scotland 1829 V.D. Land 1832” and with an internal watch-maker’s label of John Pringle, Earlstown, with a manuscript inscription from his father “Mr Geo Scott, Earlstown, 13 Nov. 1831” . The watch, listed amongst his personal property in an article in The Mercury in November 1955, is described as the watch he carried with him all his life. 2: James Scott’s personal bible being “The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments” [Edinburgh, Blair & Bruce, 1828] with an engraved frontis by J. Kerr; red-leather wrap-around cover. “James Scott’s, Earlstown, Berwickshire, 1831” in manuscript to front and rear endpapers and also on a blank leaf at the front to which has been added “died at Bowhill Tasmania on the 15th October 1884” (in another hand). Verso to the title page is a manuscript inscription “From Margaret Scott to her Brother James Scott, Earlstown, August 1831.] in Scott’s own hand he has provided a table of relative values (e.g. “a shekel of silver = 2/3” , “a talent of gold = £5475”; and on the blank leaves at the end Scott has made notes about where to find relevant passages (“Prayers for remission of Sins... ” , “Prayers for a private Christian in great danger” , etc.). 3: James Scott’s hand-written journal of his surveying activities from late 1835 to 1842 providing 312 densely filled pages of very legible notes regarding his travels, lands surveyed, iconic homes and properties, meetings with landed gentry, etc.The small book is leather-bound and in remarkably good condition considering its’ travels; the strapping is worn. Inverted, the book is an accounting journal for the period January 1836 to December 1842 in which Scott has recorded his expenditures, his income, and the nature of each transaction; a truly remarkable chronicle. Among the interesting entries Scott records meeting Governor & Lady Franklin at a Ball at the home ofThomas Archer of Longford on February 17th, 1837 [page 82]; in April 1838 he writes about bushrangers having shot a man and wounded another coming from Launceston. He notes being at Westbury with Captain & Mrs Moriarty; surveying the township and river opposite Mr Leiths Mill while marking out the streets at Westbury; he documents Miss Waddle’s School while surveying lots at Ellenthorpe Hall, writes of meeting with Pettit the blacksmith at Carrick (where he had his horse shod) and in Nov. 1839 he finds himself in a tent at Georgetown, marking with stakes, the school reserve and town allotments. Other areas surveyed by James Scott 1836 - 1842 and as detailed in his journal include Launceston town allotments - Windmill Hill -Tamar River numerous properties on both sides -YorkTown & Georgetown - Mt Direction - Nth East Coast Georgetown to Cape Portland - Avoca - Cleveland - Epping Forest - Campbell town - Ross - Mount Morriston & surrounds - Lincoln - Macquarie River areas - Evandale - Bishopsbourne - Cressy - Longford - Glenore - Westbury - Carrick - Deloraine - Port Sorell - Don - Circular Head. 4: A detailed family tree in manuscript, from 1691 to 1883 in Scott’s hand on several large sheets. An incredible amount of detail of both his mother’s family and his father’s. 5: Scott’s surveyors’ rolling rule, 62cm long. 6: The black-painted metal trunk (47 x 28 x 30cm) in which most of James Scott’s documents and other effects were held, probably by the family solicitors; with hand-painted “TRUSTEES / JAMES SCOTT’S ESTATE” to front. This remarkable group fills in a gap in the historical record. Published details of James Scott’s work during the period covered by the journal (1836-42) appear to be non- existent, most known records dating from after 1845 and covering his activities detailed in the introduction, above, which is largely from the biographical entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography. PROVENANCE Private Collection, Tasmania $60,000–80,000 38