The first penal settlements of Van Diemen’s Land, often referred to as “VDL” in the day – received ship-loads of British and Irish convicts, whose hard work built towns, infrastructure and buildings that have survived to tell their tale . . .
Van Diemen’s Land (often referred to as ‘VDL’ at the time and now known as Tasmania) was originally proclaimed as Anthoni van Diemens Landt by Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman during his voyage of discovery back in 1642. The name was in honour of his sponsor and the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies at the time, Anthony van Diemen.
Over the next century, the original name of Anthoni van Diemens Landt became more commonly referred to Van Diemen’s Land.
The first European settlement of Van Diemen’s Land was by the British at Risdon Cove in 1803, when a party, lead by Lieutenant John Bowen, was sent from Sydney to deter the French from claiming the island.
By 1824 the colonists of Van Diemen’s Land were eager to separate from the colony of New South Wales. They petitioned the King to exercise the power vested in him by Section 44 of the New South Wales Act 1823 to grant their independence from New South Wales.
Order-in-Council separating Van Diemen’s Land from New South Wales, to effect the provisions of the above mentioned Act was passed on the 14th June 1825 . . .