Van Diemen’s Land – Renamed

Van Diemen’s Land (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.

Terra de Diemens 24 Nov 1642The 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.

Some 212 years later, on the 23rd October 1854, the Legislative Council voted to petition Queen Victoria to substitute the name Tasmania for Van Diemen’s Land.  The push for a new identity for the island was an attempt to close the door on its penal past and embrace a new future of freedom and self-government.

The petition was accepted, and the new name “Tasmania” proclaimed, on the 1st January 1856.  It is believed that the name Tasmania was derived in honour of the Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, who had discovered, recorded and first named the island.


View other important events in Australia’s History . . .

View other important events in Tasmania’s History . . .

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