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Bass Strait Traders #1: The sealing schooner ELIZABETH

BASS STRAIT TRADERS
Vessels in Colonial Waters 1830-1850

The sealing schooner ELIZABETH

The establishment of the Colony of Van Diemen's Land, and its principal settlements of Hobart in the south and Launceston in the north, occurred in the first decade of the 1800s. These events predated settlements on the northern side of Bass Strait, along the southern coast of the mainland (or Colony of New South Wales), by at least 30 years. The later settlements at Portland Bay (Portland1834), in Port Phillip Bay (Melbourne and Geelong 1835), and St Vincent's Gulf (Adelaide 1836), were in effect supplied by the earlier settlements of Launceston and Hobart during their formative years from 1830 to 1850. The flow of population and capital (including livestock, farming implements and basic provisions) was from the ports of the older colony, over Bass Strait, and into the natural harbours of the new colonial incursions.

This process began with relatively small vessels, one masted cutters and two …