‘NUMISNET WORLD’


Volume 13 Issue 11           Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)                 November 2008


 

Remember - be astute when you are handed change - not all the wonders of numismatics have been discovered yet - and they don't have to be shiny and new! This edition again features an assortment of  'trivia' that I think is of interest and I trust it will prove educational and entertaining to you as well. 

All or any prices quoted in articles in this newsletter, unless stipulated, are estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. Please note that the photoscans of numismatic items are usually not to size or scale, but - wherever possible - they are from the authors' own collection or the extensive picture library of the 'Numisnet World' - Internet Edition.

Any comments published in this privately produced newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) nor its Editor.

Bearing in mind our public disclaimers, the Internet links selected by the authors of this newsletter are usually provided as a complimentary source of reference to the featured article in regard to: (1) Illustrations and, (2) to provide additional important information. These items may be subject to copyright.

We trust that this issue of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) newsletter will continue to provide interesting reading.

PLEASE NOTE - RE-STATED DISCLAIMER: Where on-line web-site addressess are supplied, they are done so in good faith after we have checked them ourselves - however, our readers are advised that if a personal decision to access them is made - it is at your own risk.

 

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'NUMISNET WORLD'

INTERNET EDITION

Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2008.

 

Please accept my invitation to make a contribution if you feel you have something numismatically themed that may appeal to a general level of interest and fulfills our stated editorial guidelines. I am always prepared to look at it - and if need be - assist in presentation.

However, not every submission will be automatically accepted for publication if common courtesy and acceptable moral standards are not upheld or the subject matter is not considered 'generic' enough for this type of newsletter, nor if the subject has already been covered in depth in earlier editions.

This is, obviously,  not a scientific-style journal - our object is to educate, certainly - but, in an entertaining way for the average hobbiest collector. - G.E.P.

 

This month we feature several aspects, or actual items, that are well within the economic grasp of most numismatists - but, they have slipped into the cracks between the high profile, high dollar 'stars' of our hobby. They are the little forgotten gems that make life interesting!

 

THE AUSTRALIAN STATE SERIES 1985 - 1993

Non Circulating Legal Tender (N.C.L.T.) 34mm. Sterling Silver $10.00 coins

In 1985, a short series of N.C.L.T. was issued in Sterling Silver with a denomination of $10.00 and featuring each of the Australian states' Coats-of-Arms.

At this time, the Royal Australian Mint was in the middle of the process of upgrading their packaging and this was particularly noticeable with the 'Uncirculated' specimens. The earliest coin in the series was in a small fitted carboard box- packaged within a foldover vinyl wallet. The coin itself was carded and protected within a plastic capsule. The closed size of the foldover vinyl wallet is approx. 75mm x 85mm (open 155mm x 85mm)

The next few issues were in similar vinyl foldover wallets, enclosed in a paper envelope bearing the Southern Cross logo, within an arrowhead, of the Royal Australian Mint. The colour of the printed logo indicated the colour of the wallet enclosed.(as shown below - not to scale.)

All coins bear the common obverse effigy of her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, as designed by Raphael Maklouf - the reverses were designed by Horst Hahne, with the exception of the 1988 First Fleet BiCentenary coin which is attributed to Stuart Devlin.

Whilst the 1988 BiCentenary coin is not strictly a state entrant, it does provide a 'linking-point' - even if it was issued in the middle of the series - and Greg McDonald's "Australian Coins and Banknotes" includes it as a part of that group..

However, Renniks "Australian Coin & Banknote Values" catalogues it as a seperate item, issued in 1988, and I feel that it is probably more appropriate.

 

 

Small vinyl coin wallets (including descriptive text sheets) and outer cardboard or paper envelopes for Non Circulating Legal Tender coins.

1985 Victoria - Mintage 81,751

1986 South Australia - Mintage 78,100

1987 New South Wales - Mintage 55,000

1988 First Fleet BiCentenary - Mintage 111,497

 

The first of the more modern cardboard sleeves and coin-holders was introduced in 1989 with the issue of the Queensland coin.

The initial outer sleeve effort was relatively drab and depicted a sandy beach with shells - but the interior coin-holder opened out to show the glorious green-blue expanse of the Great Barrier Reef.

This was the same sort of  theme that was continued until 1993 - a relatively unimaginative sleeve but a beautiful inner pack.. (see below)

The 1990 W.A. state coin was housed in an identical 'Black Swan' outer sleeve and inner holder - but again the pictorial scenes inside were spectacular.

The exteriors are not totally unattractive as you can see below - however, the interior coin-holders had a descriptive text and some rather fantasic photograhic icons and scenes of the state being featured - so, if you see any of this series in a dealer's display - take the time to look at them caredully.

The 20 gram, 34mm. diameter .925 Silver coins themselves are quite a nice 'traditional' style with the Coat-of-Arms of the state concerned.

Unfortunately, the series seems to have lost its way somewhat with  retail prices of these N.C.L.T. coins still hovering at the original level of between $20 - $25 for more than 23 years - without an adequate explanation.

The coins, themselves, are well struck and, in my humble opinion, attractive with the dignity of an older era. 

I honestly believe that this series has been terribly under-rated - and it could have been partly because of the early attempts at producing  sleeves, with a difference, weren't quite 'on the spot' when the series started - that was a problem - but it was well and truly rectified at the end..

The mintages were relatively low, even for a $10.00 coin, and, whilst the early 'new style' outer sleeves do leave a bit to be desired, the interior quality of text and coin is usually excellent - so why are they languishing?

After all, we are coin collectors, not package purveyors - or are we?  Has the 'bottle become more important that the contents'?

 

1989 Queensland State $10.00 Sterling Silver Coat-of-Arms coin - Mintage 48,929

 

     

 State Series Coin-holders 1990 - 1993

 right:- State Series Inner Coin-holders (sleeves removed) - these open out to an iconic pictorial feast.

1990 Western Australia - Mintage 28,133

1991 Tasmania - Mintage 26,150

1992 NorthernTerritory - Mintage 24,164

1993 Australian Capital Territory - Mintage 19,288

 

A typical iconic scene (Tasmania's - Penny Royal Village, Launceston.) within the inner holder.

 

Main References:

The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes - 14th Edition. -  by Greg McDonald.

Renniks Australian Coin & Banknote Values - 20th edition - Edited by Ian Pitt.

 

VAN DIEMEN'S LAND - TASMANIA

THE ISLAND THAT HUMANITY NEARLY FORGOT!

1803 - 1853.

This article features a selection of tokens (and a few photos) from my own collection - the scans are not to scale, but they do illustrate some of the varieties and new designs that have been produced over the last 8 years for the Port Arthur Historic Site, and others, that have connections with our era as a penal colony.

As a descendant of both convicts and the early soldier settlers, as well as being a numismatist - with a broad interest in Tasmanian-oriented items -  I had been gradually accumulating the medals and medallions manufactured or authorised by the Hobart firm of 'Tasmedals' for some 20 years, or so, even before I officially  joined the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' in 1991.

To be in a situation where I was able to, eventually, combine my interests in family history and numismatics was an inevitable decision for me - and one that has been extremely satisfying and rewarding - particularly when I was eventually persuaded to take on the 'temporary' position of editor of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society's newsletter back in the mid 1990's. 

Researching the stories behind the different themes and items within numismatics, always leads to another 'doorway' - and I have never been known for not being inquisitive.  I'll always knock once, at least!

 

Port Arthur Guard Post - erected 1835.

 

In 1888, a publication in two volumes, "The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia" was produced and edited by the Hon. Andrew Garran, M.A., L.L.D., M.L.C. - and, in 1978, the Australian public were lucky enough to have had made available, a Summit Books - Paul Hamlyn P/L. reproduction of these works, at a price that amateur historians like myself could afford.

It is surprising how the human mind can categorise and file away snippets of information - of all sorts - but the book, with its 700 reproductions of contemporary engravings, is a mine of  information from that era - and has proven itself to be an additional, and valuable, educational and research tool.

It is a worthy addition to any home library.

 

A few paragraphs about the former penal settlement at Port Arthur, on the south-east coast of Tasmania, were of particular interest - and they  stirred some mixed emotions..

It happens that I have a younger cousin, Ann,  who once worked as a guide at the Port Arthur Historic Site. The site is the tidy, neat area that has been reclaimed and  re-opened to the public - it has been archeologically documented and it is a fascinating step back into a murky past - a real 'must see' place!.

In fact, I had been given a good informal tour of the establishment, by Ann, on a previous occasion - and had even been into places that, at that stage, had not been archeologically certified or opened to the general public. (Picture left: My cousin, Ann, and I at Port Arthur in earlier times)

As fate decreed, my late wife and I had chosen to make an impromtu visit to the site, and see Ann, after attending a 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' meeting in Hobart in March 1996, and Port Arthur was on our way home via the beautiful East Coast. 

We were there, just a month or so, before an awful event added another page to an already chilling tale. Every so often, I still feel the tenuous  -  'what if ...? -  and I have not been back to Port Arthur - at this stage..

Unfortunately, my cousin's career - and other aspects of her family life -  nearly came to a grinding halt, on the day of  28th. April 1996, when gun-crazy Martin Bryant reeked havoc at the site and mercilessly snuffed out the lives of 35 men, women and children and wounded another 37. How many others suffered as well?

Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_(Australia)

 

Port Arthur tour group about to start.

Far left: The bus and car park area near the old Broad Arrow Cafe (in background) - scene of a chilling tragedy in 1996.

 

As luck had it, Ann had just taken a group of tourists away from the 'killing ground' near the carpark and the, now demolished,  Broad Arrow Cafe - and she was able to secure the doors of the building they took shelter in when the shooting began.  She, and those in her charge, must have been terrified for hours!

However, like some of those who were not physically harmed, but later became victims of unreleased mental trauma, months after the event - Ann found it impossible to work there again -  or, for some years, to resume a normal home life - even after grief counselling, she has her own ghosts to contend with.

Even now, in her mid 50's, she is still haunted by loud noises and is subject to occasional panic attacks - so deep was the psychological  impact.

The mad, bloody curse of Port Arthur had reached out from the pages of history to try and claim another generation of my family.

 

A contemporary view of Port Athur 1888.

 ('Carnavon' - as it was called at that time).

A few short quotes from "The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia" are worthy of a spot in this narrative, as they explain - in far more eloquent words than I might chose - the feelings of someone who was a closer contemporary of the times. They also re-inforced the sense of desolation that still lingered there.

Andrew Garran's 1888 published description of the area around Port Arthur was admirable and in keeping with its true natural beauty  - but it also highlighted the dark side that still permeates the place over 120 years later..

"The colony had been founded 50 years when it received the gratifying intelligence of the abolition of transportation ..... to be commemorated on August 10th, 1853, by public rejoicings, by religious services in the churches ....."

" ....the old name of Van Diemen's Land should be allowed to fall into disuse, and that of the Dutch navigator who had discovered the island should be bestowed upon it, with the addition of two letters for the sake of euphony. Henceforth it was to be known as Tasmania.........."

 

The abolition of transportation had been a open sore in Tasmania's development for some years by that time - and the remnants were still evident.

"Two small steamers trading between Hobart and Tasman's Peninsula enable the tourist to visit one of the loveliest regions of the island - that which is associated with some of the darkest days and darkest deeds of its history as a penal settlement."

".... just such a place as a benevolent enthusiast might select as the locality of an experiment for the reconstruction of society in accordance with some idyllic dream of human perfection; but that it should have been deliberately chosen as a sort of 'cloaca maxima' - a receptacle for the criminal sewage of Great Britain, is altogether astounding. Never was one of the fairest recesses of virgin land more shockingly desecrated. Never did one of the finest sanctuaries of nature receive such terrible defilement."

 

 

Port Arthur Historic Site - ruins at the main penitentiary area and the Church on the hill.

The area has been cleaned of debris and landscaped over the last 15 years and excavations are continuing.

References:

 http://www.portarthur.org.au/pasitemap.php?htdig=1

http://www.smh.com.au/news/Tasmania/Port-Arthur/2005/02/17/1108500205903.html

 

He goes on with eloquent, vivid word portraits of the state of decay of Port Arthur in 1888 - a situation that was was not properly addressed until the 1990's.

"....there are heaps of ruins - large areas covered with the debris of dismantled buildings; a spacious penitentiary peopled with awful memories; its barred windows admitting a dismal light into cells associated with hideous crimes and terrible sufferings; its sentry boxes falling into decay; and some of the roofs collapsing with their own weight ......."

 

Garran also contemplated about  the disturbed 'ghosts' that he felt inhabited the grounds surrounding the ruins of the Church and at other places that had been damaged by the bushfires that had ravaged the derelict site after it has been converted into an asylum and then finally closed down..

"A little tumulus called 'the island of the dead" rises from the bosom of the water .... it covers the mortal remains of 1700 persons, bond and free - but all enfranchised now. Hard by is a narrow promontory known as Puer Point to which a ghastly legend is attached - that of it having been the scene of a collective suicide perpetrated by a number of youthful criminals, who linked hand in hand, leaped into the sea."

 

 

Port Arthur - Isle of the Dead - and the Penitentiary site.

 

Isle of the Dead 1831-77

Formerly 'Oppossum Island', it became the last resting place of at least 1700 - convicts and free - who lived, worked and died at Port Arthur.

This Port Arthur replica token depicts the desolate gravestones that still dot the small island just a short distance away from the prison site.

 

 

Point Puer Boys Prison - (Latin:- 'puer' - boy)

A seperate Boys Prison was established at Point Puer (1834 - 49) on the sea-edge of Port Arthur for 'little depraved felons'.

Approx. 3000 children were transported to this special purpose-built prison renowned for its harsh discipline.

This Port Arthur replica token highlights the despair experienced by these children usually aged between 8 - 18.

 

"Inside the church some of the charred rafters are seen protruding from the naked walls and the stone pavement, trodden by the feet of so many miserable criminals is littered with fragments of iron contorted by the actions of the fire. The place looks uncanny when the light of a young moon faintly illuminates its gaping void, and the rustling ivy seems to be whispering ghostly secrets to the shadowy trees in the dark avenue that slopes downwards from the hollow towers."

 

Those are the words of someone who was moved and enveloped by the spirit of Port Arthur - a place that, once visited, can never be completely forgotten.

Additional reading:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur,_Tasmania

 

 

 

Port Arthur Ghost Tours.

It is said that many unsettled spirits still roam the site and that sometimes a muffled 'sound' will be heard from the ruins

- or a 'shadowy glimpse' will appear at a window as dark is falling.

 

When the Port Arthur Historic Site commissioned Hobart firm, Tasmedals,  to supply the first series of suitable tokens in 2000, all these aspects of penal life that had been described, so ably, by Garran were high on the agenda of things that needed to be gathered and explained to the tourists who flooded to the area each year. The choices of subjects were already right there - ensconced in the stone ruins - and most of  the 'bones' of the stories were easy to find in records. The only thing that was lacking was the pain - but even that was only a few generations of heartbeats away in associated memories.

Tasmania has hundreds of families whose ancestors arrived here in chains, or as gaolers, and left the traces of their lives within family histories..

As the historical interest in the island's earlier grim past grew - so did the amount of information that came from these 'pioneer' families - including my own.

 

Great-great-great grandfather - William Robert Taylor
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t18270531-83
Trial Summary: Crime(s): theft : burglary,  Punishment Type: Death,  (Punishment details may be provided at the end of the trial.) Commuted to transportation - life imprisonment. Verdict: Part Guilty: convicted of a lesser offence.
Trial - 31 May 1827 for stealing. Crime Location: Harrison's-buildings, in the parish of St. Mary, Whitechapel
Associated Records... Original Text: 1096. WILLIAM TAYLOR
(Aged 21) was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of John Bosley Throp , about eight o'clock at night, on the 2d of April, at St. Mary Matfellon, alias Whitechapel, with intent to steal, and stealing therein 1 coat, value 30s.; 2 waistcoats, value 8s.; 2 shirts, value 2s.; 2 shifts, value 2s.; 2 window-curtains, value 1s.; 1 table-cloth, value 1s., and 1 petticoat, value 6d. , his property.

Prisoner's Defence. I was employed by a young man to help him move some goods; some people were coming into the house, and he said "I must get away, or we shall both he taken."   Verdict - ." GUILTY - DEATH .  (Of stealing in the dwelling-house, but not of the burglary.).
William Taylor had previously stolen a copper tea kettle and served a month in a correction centre at Cold Bath Fields, and as this was a second offence he was routinely sentenced to death, after the trial at Middlesex on 31st. May 1827, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and transportation to a penal colony in Australia - which was to be Port Arthur. William
Taylor was sent to the prison hulk 'Shurrefs’ where, as Prisoner 6338, he was sent to work at the Dock Yards where he earned £1-8-9 in pay before he was removed from the hulk for transportation to Van Diemen's Land on 10/3/1828 on the 'William Miles’ which arrived at Hobart Town on 28/7/1828.

 

Identification records show his age on arrival in VanDiemen's Land as 21 and that he was 5 feet 4 ¼ inches tall and had a ‘T’ tattooed high on his right arm and ‘W.T.’ and ‘Taylor’ on his left arm. He had brown hair, dark grey eyes and also he had a small scar on the left side of his upper lip. One advantage he had was that he could read and write, and this made him a more valuable worker than an illiterate convict, and consequently he would have ended up in slightly better employment situations. William Taylor , now known as Convict 408, must have been one of these prisoners and hence ended up in George Town, in the north of the state, to be set to work on the various convict-built constructions which are still standing today.

 

On  October 4th. 1839 he was reprimanded for ‘not fulfilling his written agreement with Capt. Gregarthin’, on October 24th. 1839 he received 10 days solitary on bread and water for ‘misconduct in being drunk in a public street’ and on January 13th 1840, he was brought up on a ‘felony’ offence but discharged.

The George Town Watch House was not built until the mid 1800's so it was unlikely than William Taylor would have spent his reward, for his few brushes with the law, there.

The previous gaol establishment was demolished just after he was married.

 

In view of the fact that he was granted permission (Ref.750/1840) to marry Miss Mary-Anne Allen of George Town, just one month after his conditional pardon No. 2674 was granted, and twelve years after he was deported from England, it would be reasonable to assume that he must have been in the George Town area for some time and had the opportunity to get to know Mary-Anne before his release.

Mary-Anne's parents were Joseph and Mary Allen, and, as it happened, her father was an overseer for the convicts in the George Town area - so he would not consent to a 34 year old convict marrying his only daughter, at the age of 15, nor would he accept the invitation to the wedding, so it appears that the consentual permission must have been given by Mary Allen.

The ceremony was conducted by Rev.W. H. Browne, and held on 30/10/1840 at the Uniting Church of England and Ireland, George Town, just 18 days after approval was requested and six days after it was officially granted.(Permission to Marry Records.) 

As church Banns had been issued, (usually a 3 week time span) it was obvious that the approval of the now pardoned Wm.Taylor’s request to marry was expected and that the wedding was planned

William Taylor died of 'Paralysis Congestion of the Lungs', on 29/3/1873 -  but not before he amassed a total of 15 children, all born at George Town, Tasmania..

 

Great-great-great-great-grandfather - Joseph Allen was christened in Shrivenham (?), England 13 Feb, 1780
He was a soldier in the 62 Wiltshire Regiment from 1807 - and  he had served wherever the Regiment took him during that turbulent time.

Extensive records that I have, place him in various battles throughout the Mediterranean area and in Egypt fighting against the French and Ottomans, in battles in America, and against insurrectionists in Ireland - where he was finally discharged in 1824 as nearly 'worn out'!.

In September 1825, recruiting was started in England for ex-soldiers, with honourable discharges for guard duty, and overseers for non-essential military duties in Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales. By this time Joseph had married  an Irish girl, Mary O'Brien -  and had a new baby girl, Mary-Anne.
The Army would pay for the family passage and provide land and a house after the soldier was discharged there.
The volunteers who were selected for duties would be paid full pay the same as the cavalry, 1s.3d per day with free rations, and 2 and a 1/2 fluid oz of rum or brandy.  So, on the 7th Dec 1825 Joseph re-enlisted in the army for service in Australia.

The 'John Barry' of 520 tons and captained by Peter Roche left London on the 20th of February 1826. 

 

Joseph was stationed in GeorgeTown near the mouth of the Tamar River, for most of his time as an overseer of convicts in Van Diemen's Land. 

Some of the buildings he may have been involved in were 'The Grove' in Cimitere St., and several lighthouses near there.

He may also have been involved in the Tamar Valley Signal Stations - as they were built during that time as well..

He was eventually granted his 10 acres of land in 1832 and his family settled in that area and Joseph died 27 March 1858 age 78yrs from pneumonia.

He is buried in C of E  Cemetery, GeorgeTown -  Register #75.
 

'HMT Lord Dalhousie' - built 1847

This ship made several trips to Tasmania as a convict transport - and brought my Irish great-great-grandfather and two of his brothers.

It was a tragedy that another convicted brother* died at Spike Island Prison the day before the ship sailed from Cork Harbour in Ireland.

Their ages, in 1849, when convicted -  10*, 14, 17 and 23 -  and they had been starving in Galway.

 

National Archives of Ireland: Conditional Pardon: 19/12/1854

Great-grandfather - John O'Berne (O'Byrne) - Age 19, Height 5’6”, Dark Brown hair, Blue eyes, Medium nose, Read little:
Original Trial date 22/6/1849 in Co. Galway - Magistrate: William Deane Merriman.

Sentence - 7 years for killing a sheep with intent to steal same. Incarcerated at Spike Island Prison - Cork Harbour.
Transported to Australia to complete sentence -  'Lord Dalhousie' 13th. April 1852 - arrival 14th August 1852.

Document Reference: TR9, page 76.
Family note: 31/12/1888.  Accidently killed when he fell from his cart when his horse bolted in the Westbury Rd./Sandhill area coming into Launceston.

 

So I have had soldiers, convicts - and their keepers - within my family background, and most had spent some time at Port Arthur which was the obligatory start on the road to redemption or oblivion. Some moved north and, when freedom eventually was at hand, they stayed to become part of the heritage of this beautiful place - they  multiplied, prospered within their communities, and became good citizens -  and even law-makers in Federal and State parliaments.

 

Often the trip to Van Diemen's Land did not start immediately after a convicted man, woman or child received a sentence that meant transportation. Sometimes, they languished in England or Ireland for years, in overcrowded prisons or prison hulks (old disused ships converted to house convicts) -  many convicted of crimes that were, by today's standards, only petty offences. How times change!  Some died in their English prison's before their ship's sailed.

 

 

Convict Love Tokens

Usually made from a smoothed copper coin, prior to transportation. Often exchanged between loved ones whom may never be seen again.

 

Many of the so-called 'love' tokens that occasionally come on to the numismatic scene were make from Bolton's cartwheel 1 oz. Copper Pennies, which were first produced in 1798

The original coin, once filed clean of the original designs, was stiple etched - probably hammered in with a nail or similar sharp hard instrument, and probably had a 'common' sentimental verse on the reverse side. Other examples, with a similar design and verse, exist - and may have originated from the same convict 'artist' who would charge a fee for making a 'love' token for those left behind.

The Port Arthur replica token (shown above) in two different finishes, is copied from a design prepared for convicted robber William Dee in 1831.

It has the name M. (possibly Mary) Huett beneath the main design. It is known that Wm. Dee was transported to Australia aboard the prison transport ship "England" that sailed 31 March 1832. He had been sentenced to be transported for 7 years - and he eventually died in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 14 October 1842  Few convicts ever had the opportunity to return home to their land of birth. It was a general rule that - once transported - the commuted death penalty convicts were, basically, exiled for life or possibly face the original verdict, or other dire consequences, if they ventured back to England and were detected.

After the American War of Independence, the English authorities were looking for a dumping ground, other than the former American colonies, for those dregs of society that were soon clogging the system - and often reoffending.

The situation in Europe, in general, at that time after the Napoleonic Wars was diabolical for common people. The Irish Potato Famine was in full swing - the whole fabric of society was changing in England.

The great empty land in the Southern Ocean, 'discovered' by Captain Cook in 1799, was far enough away that the authorities thought they could make a home-grown problem disappear and never come back.

They were nearly right for 50 or so years - and scores of thousands of condemned, or misplaced, souls would live out the rest of their lives beneath the Southern Cross. 

 

 

 

 

  Port Arthur Historic Site tokens produced for the tourist trade since 2000 by 'Tasmedals' of Hobart.

These various design tokens have proven to be a popular memento of a trip to the Port Arthur site.

Each contain a medallion style token depicting life at the time of the penal establishment - with a descriptive text.

 

When the winds of change started to blow from the major Australian colony of New South Wales about the never-ending flow of convicts in the mid 1800's, shiploads of the worst felons were redirected toTasmania - and thousands ended up at Port Arthur, and, then were forwarded on to other areas in Tasmania to be used, basically, as cheap (dare we say 'slave') labour by the increasing number of landowners who had made a new start on the bountiful island..

Eventually, Tasmania petitioned to refuse entry to any more convicts and, in 1853, the end of transportation came about - but not all of the problems.

Obviously, murderers, and those who had long sentences or life imprisonment,  could not be released, and many whose terms had expired turned back to crime - it was many a year before Tasmanian and its society absorbed the past that had been foisted upon it by the 'powers-that-be'  in England - but it did!

 

Cessation of Transportation 1853

The Anti-Transportation League had authorised production of a special medallion to commemorate the end of transportation and also the Jubilee of the Founding of Tasmania in 1803. This Port Arthur replica token design is copied from the original medallion.

 

In later, more enlightened years, it became 'fashionable' to claim convict ancestry and to look for the reasons why our forebears ended up where they did.

As the true state of affairs became obvious, we now know that the circumstances were not always quite as straight forward as -  'Stealing a teapot from a dwelling house.' -  or -  'Killing a sheep with intent to steal same - sentenced to  Death - commuted to 7 years transportation'.

There are usually 'shades of grey'. A huge number of convicts were - in reality - economic refugees!.

In many instances, it was probably the only option left to some individuals or families- other than starving to death, or worse!

For people who had reached their physical and mental limits in a country that could no longer support them - nor care - the prospect of staying alive, and starting life again away from the misery, was something that was probably clutched at with a sense of hope - not always as a last resort..

It was a tough decision!

 

Main References:

Family Histories & Photographs - Editor's own extended family histories and personal photographic collection..

"The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia" by Hon. Andrew Garran, M.A., L.L.D., M.L.C. 1888 - reprinted Summit Books - Paul Hamlyn P/L (1978)

Tasmedals - Souvenir tokens produced for Port Arthur Historic Site. (Editor's personal token collection 2000 - 2005)

Port Arthur Historic Site - Internet - general information pages and editor's own recollections of visits to the site.

"convict LOVE tokens" - Edited and Compiled by Michele Field and Timothy Millett,  published by Wakefield Press 1998 .

 

MY GRAND-FATHERS' FAMILY COINS.

 Graeme Petterwood. (T.N.S. Member # 332.) © 2008.

Like most Australians, whose forebears came out in the first fleets of European settlement, I come from a polyglot of different races that had already been assimilated into what was loosely called English or Irish.

My own background, includes Irish, Anglo-Saxon, Welsh and Norman French and, I suppose amongst those, there could be many more from across the North Sea, Europe and the rest of the Ancient world, who contributed to my being.

Talk about a 'multi-cultural' society!

With my late wife's different combinations of Celtic and central European, mixed in as well, my children and now their children, are a completely mixed up mob!  Our extended family of cousins and their spouses and offspring - which also now includes a cocktail mix of original Tasmanians, old Javanese royalty as well as hard-working Chinese miner stock (and goodness knows what else) - was multi-cultural before anyone in politics even knew what the words meant!  One thing, however, that bound all our grandparents and great grandparents together was the coins they had in their pockets.

 

One of my great-great-great-great-grandfathers, on my father's side of the family, was Joseph Allen, who was born in 1780 at Shoreham in England, and he may have known the coinage of George III as a child, and grown up with George IV pennies before he accepted the monarch's 'Shilling' as payment to become a professional soldier.

 

George III Cartwheel penny produced by Matthew Bolton; George IV - milled English copper penny

 

Europe had been in turmoil during the early 1800's with Napoleon doing his best to make it all French, and eventually, after his defeat at Waterloo on June 18th. 1815, thousands of English soldiers were 'out of work' and the economic climate in England plunged dramatically, with riots common-place, as all these men tried to fit back into a society that had no room for them.

In 1825, my g.g.g.g.-grand-father volunteered to leave England and to come to Australia as a private - a soldier-guard -  in the 57th. Regiment, and, on completion of his service in 1829, he opted to take his discharge at Cornwall (Launceston) in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) before moving to George Town as an overseer of convicts and it was where he settled and married and raised a family - and had a few of William IV's coins in his pocket.

 

 

William IIII (IV) and his daughter Victoria's - copper English pennies.

 

He lived long enough to admire the young Queen Victoria on the few coins that briefly passed his way - and for her to have been on the throne for a little over twenty years, when he passed away in late March 1858.

When another of my English great-great-great-grandfathers, also part of my father's side of the family,  William Robert Taylor, landed here in 1828, as a 22 year-old passenger on the prison ship 'William Miles' after having his death sentence - for stealing goods from a dwelling house - commuted to a life of luxury here in the colonies, he would probably only have remembered the coins of George III and George IV from his mis-spent youth in England. (See previous article)

It would have been doubtful that he would have had much access to the coinage of William IV during his early days in Tasmania, but as time - and his sentence - passed, a conditional pardon and freedom on September 23rd. 1840, meant that at least he might have managed to look at a limited amount of Queen Victoria's Young Head.

However, after marrying the overseer's daughter, Mary-Anne Allen -  and raising 15 children.-  any coins would not have lasted long in his household.

Before he died of 'Paralysis and Congestion of the Lungs' in late March 1873, he may have even seen the Queen Victoria's Jubilee coins.

 

Another great-great-grandfather, my grandmother's grandfather, Thomas Fox, who was born in Lancashire in 1821, would have hardly even known the coins of George IV, and as he was only 9 years old when William IV inherited the monarchy he certainly wouldn't have had access to those coins either  - but he certainly would have handled Queen Victoria's 'Young Head' coins here in Tasmania.

He lived to see her 'Jubilee' coins and her 'Veiled Head' in old age -  and he outlived her son, Edward VII, by 7 months - to die on Christmas Day 1910.

His family of 13 offspring, and his wife, shared in the little he had left them, before many of them headed off to make their fortunes in the greener financial pastures of Victoria.

 

 

Queen Victoria 'Jubilee' Head and 'Old' veiled Head; King Edward VII - bronze English pennies.

 

My great-grandfather, John Daniel Fox, - my grandmother's father - was born in late June 1866 in Tasmania, and worked as a Tasmanian and Victorian railwayman and then a stationmaster for many years. He would have been very familiar with Queen Victoria's 'three heads', as well as the new Australian version of Edward VII's and George V's shillings - but he would survive his wife, who died in 1948, and spend the last few years of his life mourning for one of his eight sons who had accepted George VI's 'Shilling' to fight the enemies of England and the Commonwealth during WWII..

My great-grandfather's remaining 7 sons and 5 daughters, gradually scattered throughout Victoria and Tasmania.

 

Great-uncle Clyde (aka Colin), earned his day's pay the hard way, when part of the Australian Army met the Vichy French at Khalde Radio tower near Beirut on 10th. July 1941 and he was one of those who didn't survive this encounter. He is buried near there.

(Pictorial History of Australians at War 1939 - 45. Volume 2.   Australian War Memorial Publication 1957.)

 

 

After serving his apprenticeship at Elizabeth Town and working at Lilydale and Launceston, one of my grand-fathers - my father's father - married one of the daughters of John Daniel Fox in 1911 when he was 26.  My grand-mother - aged 22 at that time -  had stayed behind in Tasmania and had found employment as a maid at a large private hotel in Launceston. (I often wondered, years later, why she was so 'fussy' with her home-duties)

My grand-father was a wheelwright and blacksmith by trade, and may have seen the odd Queen Victoria's Jubilee Head Shilling, as a boy on the farm at Longford, Tasmania where he was born in 1885, but life was hard then and it would be a case of earn it - but it always needed to be spent to survive!

As his expertise with wood and metal was recognised, the opportunity arose to actually put some of the new Australian coins of Edward VII and George V aside after he met his bride-to-be, during the early years of their happy marriage - and after they started a small family.

 

1910 King Edward VII .925 Fine Silver Australian Shilling

 

Grand-father decided to set up his own business, as a Master Blacksmith and Wheelwright, in  Launceston, near the banks of the North Esk River and for some years all went well and he was able to have his own house built near the historic Launceston City Park - which overlooks the river.

His choice of position for both his business, and his home,  proved to be very unfortunate!

The Great Flood of 1929 was a disaster that was unforseen due to a set of tragic circumstances.

 

Launceston is situated on the junction of two fresh water rivers, the North and South Esk and their tributaries, including the Meander River that drains the Western Tiers mountain range, and these flow into the larger tidal Tamar River about 40 miles inland from the coast.

Torrential rain, and the collapse of the large 'Cascade' dam miles upstream at the Breisis mine near Derby on the North Esk, all contributed to a nightmare for over 4,500 inhabitants of the city during Saturday night 6th. April 1929 when the town clock bell began a warning toll for over half-an-hour.

The dam collapse had claimed the lives of 14 underground miners and locals at Derby - and an extremely high tide back-up in the Tamar Riverl - plus local flooding of the Meander and South Esk Rivers which also drained into the Tamar had no time to subside before the deluge arrived.

The waters inundated the whole of the low-lying areas of Launceston and forced hundreds of families in the working class suburbs to flee during that night, with only the clothes on their backs. The authorities, fearing a serious outbreak of disease, ordered that the areas were to be evacuated completely, and everything recovered after the flood was to be burned or buried in a selected area on the outskirts of the city - and the full force of the law, who were armed appropriately, was to be applied to looters!

 

1929 - Receding floodwaters - my uncle (then aged 11) was paddling in the water.

(My grand-father's first weatherboard home was near the 3rd pole down the street leading towards the river).

 

My grandparents' house was flooded to the ceilings and they lost nearly everything they owned, and grand-father's uninsured fledgling business on the other side of the river was completely inundated and virtually washed away when that area received the brunt of the flooding.

Coming in the middle of the Great Depression, the flood meant that these battlers struggled harder to feed their families and the coins never stayed in one place for long, but grandfather saw out the hard times and then, with his wife and their small family of three young adults, welcomed the new style coins of George VI, who had succeeded his brother, Edward VIII. (Edward never issued coinage for Australia, and had abdicated in 1936, just before hell broke loose again in Europe.)

Just getting by, was the way it was during those dark years with his only two sons and son-in-law away, earning their servicemen's pay; it left grandfather valuing every George VI coin that came his way, as he didn't know how long it would be before, or if, the other men in the family  would return.

My grand-father had lost a brother to the First World War, and by 1942 my grandmother had already lost a brother in the Second World War and another was a P.O.W. - her two sons and her only son-in-law were also in the army - so expectations were always tinged with those memories of loss..

In the meantime they had cares closer to home as well to worry about.

Social benefits were not what they are today, and while my grand-father was never a mean man with the odd penny, those grandchildren left in his charge were taught the value of money by example, because of the thrift that was necessary during those hard times.

Like most Australians, hegrand-father admired the young Princess Elizabeth, for her efforts during the War, and always said she would make a good queen when her time came - and he was right!

Circulation issue Australian Shillings 1910 - 1964

 1910 Edward VI;  1911 George V;  1937 George VI;  1953 Elizabeth II

 

GREAT BRITAIN

COIN DESIGNS of the KING WHO NEVER WAS!

 Edward VIII had English coinage designed and approved in 1936 for 1937 issue -  a few (cypher or text only) colonial Bronze and Copper-nickel low denomination coins were issued for circulation in Br. West Africa and Fiji..

The general British Commonwealth release - including Australia -  was not authorised due to his abdication.

Some designs were amended and issued by George VI in 1937-38

Refer:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/june05.htm

 

My grandfather passed away in early 1965, before Dollars and Cents could have confused him.

My children's grandfather, my father, was born in late 1913, so he knew the coins of George V and George VI and Elizabeth II, during his lifetime.

In fact, he was also one of the first people to have been paid in decimal currency in this country on the morning of Monday 14th. February 1966.

 

1966 Australian Decimal Coinage and the 'three heads' of Queen Elizabeth II

(The Bronze One and Two Cents were discontinued after 1992; the Silver 50 Cent  was replaced with a Copper-Nickel 12 sided coin in 1968.)

The time span of my 'English' line of grandfathers' lives from 1780 - 1965, coincided in part, with the reins of George III (1760-1820), George IV (1820-1830), William IV (1831-1837), Victoria (1838 -1901), Edward VII (1902-1910), George V (1911-1936), *Edward VIII (1936) did not issue coinage in Australia, George VI (1937-1952), Elizabeth II (1953 - )

 

 

 

The 1997 Mint set of circulating coinage featuring Sir Charles Kingsford Smith (b.1897) - these are the coins of my youngest grandson.

 My grandson and Queen Elizabeth II - March 2000.

H.R.H. Prince Charles Investiture Medallion issued at Caernarvon Castle 1st July 1969

Refer:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Charles

 

Now, I am the grandfather who has grown old with Queen Elizabeth II and, who may - perhaps,  live to see her eldest son, Prince Charles,  become King Charles III and his likeness appear on our coins. However, I suppose I must also allow for another possibility - that is - if Australia opts for a republic in the near future. That would be another story, and of course, my Irish and Welsh great-great-grandfathers may have looked at the coinage situation with slightly more mixed emotions .............

 

Main References:

Extended family histories and photos, personal numismatic collection, selected photo-library scans.

Contemporary 'Examiner ' daily newspaper report 1929.

 

************************************************

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

CHARD (1964) LIMITED

MARIA THERESA - THALER ILLUSTRATIONS.

From time to time, we have used quality illustrations from various sources to provide our readers with a visual image of an item that we are featuring in an article. Occasionally, some of these illustrations - which we use in good faith - are sourced from outside our own image library and we may be unaware that they may, in fact, come from even further afield.  Wherever possible, we give credit where credit is due and, when a source is clearly identified, we have attempted to obtain permission to use the illustration and make the acknowledgement..

Recently, we have been contacted by Mr. Lawrence Chard of Chard (1964) Limited of Blackpool, England U.K. who mentioned that, in April 2004, we had used several illustrations that had actually originated from Chard (1964) Limited, in the first instance and that they had not been attributed to them.

Article Refer:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/April2004.htm

 

 

Maria Theresa Thaler

Images courtesy - Chard (1964) Limited

Chard (1964) Limited does not mind fair usage, and wishes us well with our non-profit newsletter - however, naturally, they do like their efforts to be acknowledged - just as we like ours to be. In this instance, we thought we had already done the right thing - but it was a case of not  being aware 'enough'.

It is the right thing to do and, as Editor, I consider it to be - at the least - good manners that we acknowledge the oversight in 2004 and also recognise the generousity and understanding extended by this prestigious organisation to collectors world-wide, who have purchasing access to some marvellous material over the years, or have had cause to call on their expertise and, occasionally, permission to use their illustrations in various ways..

Personally, I have had Chard (1964) Limited on my list of Favorites for many years.

Furthermore, I would publically acknowledge the various literary contributions that many numismatic dealers -  such as Chard (1964) Limited - have also provided to amateur- produced numismatic publications such as the 'Numisnet World' and its predecessor, the 'Tasmanian Numismatist'. 

We are all part of the same fantastic hobby, and, we can enjoy some marvellous collecting experiences by mutual co-operation. 

As they say - 'every coin has two sides' - and, for all of us to be part of a marvellous hobby - is a privelege that should be continually nurtured.

THANK YOU!

 

P.S. - If you haven't had a recent look at the newest CHARD (1964) Limited site additions, I recommend that you take a catch-up tour through some very interesting and diverse stuff! There are some real bargains up for grabs!

 

Chard (1964) Limited
521 Lytham Road
Blackpool. FY4 1RJ
England, UK.
Tel 0044 (0)1253 343081
Fax 0044 (0)1253 408058

Site: - http://www.24carat.co.uk/index.html

Email: -  lc@chards.co.uk

 

Next Month - The Pacific 'RING of FIRE'.

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GENERAL INDEX UPDATE.

TASMANIAN NUMISMATIST - INTERNET EDITION' 1996 - June 2007

'NUMISNET WORLD - INTERNET EDITION' July - December 2007

 

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug03.htm  - 1995 - 1997 (Volumes 1 and 2)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/ept2003.htm  - 1998 - 2000 (Volumes 3, 4 and 5)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Oct2003.htm  - 2001 - 2002 (Volumes 6 and 7)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Nov03.htm  - 2003 - to date Nov. (Volume 8 to date Nov,)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec2003.htm  - Final 2003 Dec. (Volume 8 final Dec.)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan07.htm - 2004 (Volume 9)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb07.htm  - 2005 (Volume 10)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/mar07.html - 2006 (Volume 11)

The final Index of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' (Volume 12 - Issues 1 - 6) and;

The first Index ( Volume 12 - Issues 7 - 12) of the 'Numisnet World - Internet Edition' are shown at:

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec07.htm - 2007 (Volume 12)

 

'NUMISNET WORLD - INTERNET EDITION' Volume 13, January - June 2008

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan08.htm

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb08.htm

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/mar08.htm

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/april08.htm

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/may08.htm

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/june08.htm

 

Our on-line Archives from 2000 to date can also be accessed (by subject matter) by using the Search Engine on our Internet page.

Earlier articles or subjects, where available, may be obtained - by written or email request  - from our off-line records.

 

'NUMISNET WORLD' - Internet Edition.

Volume 13 – July - to date 2008

 

Issue 7. July 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/july08.htm

Monetary Mementos of the Motherland - The First Fleet and early settlement. The earliest monetary problems arose when the motherland, in this case England, held the purse-strings too tight.- and how those problems were overcome with ingenuity - and a fair bit of graft - until the 'penny dropped'!

Tradesmen's Tokens - One of the alternatives to 'coin of the realm' were circulating bronze penny-sized tokens, normally privately produced as 'advertising pieces' - so it was said.They were not legal tender but who cared - they helped address a woeful shortage of small change for many years.

United States Presidential Dollar coins - the new series started in 2007 is planned through until 2016 - but it could go on forever......!

 

Issue 8. August 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug08.htm

Transport Tokens - 'Fares! Please! - the system of tokens that, while still relevant to some places in the modern world, is fast being overtaken by techology.

Banknotes at a Touch - the need for user-friendly banknotes for the blind has been on the U.S. agenda for years - but it's been left in the 'too hard basket'.

Bits from the Bottom of the Bin - the title says it all. Forgotten items that really do deserve another perusal - as well as some other interesting older stuff.

 

Issue 9. September 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/sept08.htm

'Cross my Palm with Silver!' - mainly a pictorial study of some large silver coins that have appeal to the 'magpie' who is always on the the Editor's shoulder.

'Bruised and Battered' - The Much Travelled Spanish Real Coinage. - a quick run-round of where the Old World's most popular coinage ended its journies.

Gutschein und Notgeld  - Austrian and German Emergency paper money 1916 - 1923. - An extremely tiny sampling of a hugely interesting subject..

 

Issue 10. October 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/oct08.htm

'The Invasion Notes of Nippon 1938 - 1945'. - Due to the huge amount of material that was originally available, this is an area that was often overlooked by the experienced collectors of years past - but it has more to it than meets the eye. It would make a good economic  'theme' collection for a beginner as well!.

Numerics in Numismatics - The arrangement of banknote serial numbers is an interesting and rewarding facet that appeals to some collectors.

The Excitement of Token Collecting - Omaha 2008. - a brief report and some pics. from our US token guru, Jerry Adams.

Myles Walter Keogh - perished at the Little Bighorn with Custer in 1876 but he will never be forgotten - nor will his famous battlehorse 'Comanche'.

 

Issue 11. November 2008:-

The Australian State Series 1985 - 1993 - The forgotten short series of $10.00 Sterling silver coins that I believe deserves better treatment.

Van Diemen's Land - Tasmania. - The Island that Humanity Nearly Forgot 1803 - 1853. Tasmania's murky past - Port Arthur souvenir reminders!

My Grand-fathers' Coins - A reminder of the coins that my various grand-fathers may have seen.

Acknowledgement - A belated 'Thank You! ' due in 2004 - for the use of illustrations that originally came from Chard (1964) Limited of Blackpool, England.

************************************************

'NUMISNET WORLD'

(INTERNET EDITION)

 

The 'NumisNet World'’ (Internet Edition) newsletter has been provided with space on this privately maintained Internet site and is currently presented free on a monthly basis with the aim of promoting the hobby of numismatics. 

The ''NumisNet World'' (Internet Edition) newsletter abides by the same basic guidelines suggested for the official 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter.

The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ newsletter is the only official newsletter of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society’ and it is published periodically and distributed by post, or hand delivered, directly to members of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society and selected associates and institutions. All matters pertaining to the T.N.S. are re-published with the permission of the current Executive Committee of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society.

Any literary contributions or relevant and constructive comments regarding numismatics are always welcome.

Please note that all opinions expressed in material published in the ''NumisNet World'' (Internet Edition) newsletter are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the Editor. 

ALL comments in linked articles are the responsibility of the original authors.

 

PRIVACY PROTECTION

The 'NumisNet World' (Internet Edition) newsletter complies with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act.

Under this act, information about individuals can be stored and published only if: the information is already contained in a publicly available document or if personal information has been provided by the individual to whom the information relates, and if that individual is aware of the purposes for which the information is being collected.

All information published by the''NumisNet World'' (Internet Edition) newsletter is either publicly available, or has been voluntarily provided by writers, on request from the Editor of the ''NumisNet World'  (Internet Edition) newsletter.

While the ''NumisNet World' (Internet Edition) newsletter may hold writers' addresses and other details for the purposes of communication and copyright protection, it will never make such addresses or details available to any member of the public without the permission of those involved.

The 'NumisNet World''(Internet Edition) newsletter also respects the privacy of our readers. When you write to us with comments, queries or suggestions, you may provide us with personal information including your contact address or other relevant information. Your personal information will never be made available to a third party without permission.

DISCLAIMER

All details of a commercial nature, organisations, items or individual arrangement to buy, sell or trade are provided in good faith as information only, and any consequent dealings are between the parties concerned. 

The 'NumisNet World' (Internet Edition) newsletter takes no responsibility for disagreements between parties, and also reserves the right to only feature information that it considers suitable in promoting the hobby to our readers. Deadline for any literary contributions or amendment to copy is 7 Days prior to the beginning of the month of publication.

COPYRIGHT

The contents of this Internet newsletter, and all prior issues - included the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' - are copyrighted ©, but anything herein can be fairly used to promote the great hobby of numismatics; however, we do like to be asked by commercial interests if they wish to use any of our copy. 

This permission, however, does not extend to any article specifically marked as copyrighted © by the author of the article. Explicit permission from the author or the Editor of the  NumisNet World' '(Internet Edition) newsletter is required prior to use of that material.

 

The Editor,

Numisnet World - (Internet Edition). 

P.O. Box 10,

Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.

Australia.

Internet Page: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/tns.html

Email: pwood@vision.net.au