The Mercury (Wed 23/09/1885)

Death of an Old Colonist

Today we have to chronicle the death of another old respected colonist of 53 yrs standing, in the person of Mr Thomas White, builder, of New Town, who died at his residence yesterday at the age of 79 yrs. Mr White was born at Norfolk, England, in the year 1806. At early age he went to London and served his apprenticeship in the building trade in the firm of Sir Wm. Cubitt builders, of London. In the year 1832 he left The Old Country for Tasmania in company with Mr H. W. Seabrook (father of Mr G.S. Seabrook, builder, of this city, who was a brother apprentice) his sister, who afterwards married Mr. Seabrook. The ship that brought them out was the “Thomas Lowrie,” commanded by Capt. Langdon R.N., formerly a member of the Legislative Council. He had as fellow passengers, Captain Swanston, and Mr Richard Roberts, all well-known colonists, and all of whom have paid the last debt to nature long since. The vessel arrived here in the latter part of 1832, the voyage taking exactly six months to accomplish. As soon as Mr White arrived here he took up his residence in a building in Murray Street, erected upon the spot on where now stands the present Quaker’s chapel. Three years afterwards he moved to his present residence at New Town where he entered into partnership with Mr. H.S. Seabrook, and at that time they took contracts for, and built some of the principal residences at New Town, notably those of the late Captain Swanston (New Town Park), and Bishop Francis Nixon’s Bishopstowe. Some years afterwards he dissolved the partnership with Mr. Seabrook, and carried on the business on his own account in conjunction with several of his sons till his decease. Mr White was always looked upon as a thoroughly competent and straightforward conscientious tradesman in every respect. In his habits he was frugal and abstemious, and was a staunch supporter of the Church of England, at which he was a regular attendant till within a few years of his death. Till about 5 years back he was a hale hearty man, after which he was troubled with severe attacks of asthma. This, and the loss of his wife 16 months back, told somewhat on his health, and bronchitis set in which caused his demise. Deceased leaves behind a family of 12 children (most of whom are married and in good positions), 46 grand-children, and 4 great grand-children. Deceased’s sister, Mrs. Seabrook, is still alive and enjoys good health, at the ripe old age of 81. With the exception of Mr. Thomas Coolley, the late Mr. White was one of the oldest residents in the New Town district. Throughout the suburb he was universally respected, and his demise is much regretted by all who knew him. His remains will be interred in the New Town Cemetery on Friday next.

(Bishopstowe was called Cairn Lodge at the time of its building by White & Seabrook for Robert Pitcairn, one of the first lawyers admitted to the Supreme Court of Van Diemen’s Land c1840).

Runnymede (from its National Trust website)

Beautifully preserved 1840 whaling captain’s house and gardens.

Just 8 minutes’ drive from central Hobart, Runnymede has a rich collection of maritime artifacts that belonged to Captain Charles Bayley and his family, who made it their home for over 100 years. Named after the Captain’s favourite ship, Runnymede now promotes marine conservation.

The Colonial marine villa was built for Robert Pitcairn, one of the first lawyers admitted to the Supreme Court of Van Diemen’s Land and a leading campaigner against the transportation of convicts.

There are also historic artworks and possessions of one of the property’s other owners,  Francis Nixon, Tasmania’s first Anglican bishop.

Following Thomas White’s death in September, 1885, Lebrina (Lot 1) and 3 adjacent Thomas White properties (Lots 2,3 & 4) were sold by Auction (December 1885); Frederick R Seager bought Lebrina for 750 pounds. Some Lebrina chattels had been sold at an earlier Auction in October 1885

December 1885 Auction (see notice above) – Lot 1 (far left) Lebrina, the building & shop front, to the right, then part of Lebrina’s half acre garden & grounds; Lot 2 (far right) the land on which was erected the workshop of the late owner – now New Town Swim Central, then ‘as a building site in a good neighbourhood, it needs no recommendation;’ Lot 3 (centre), a 6 roomed cottage, let at 8 shillings/wk, for many years, the premises of The Tasmanian Watch & Clock Company