George Thomas Lloyd and his Obituary
Above - A Photograph of George Lloyd taken by Chuck Thomas Foster and published in 1872, the year after George Lloyd died, as part of a photographic series entitled 'Early colonists and settlers of Victoria' - Held at the Victoria State Library in Australia - Courtesy Vivienne Rybarczyk, GG Granddaughter of George Thomas Lloyd.
George Thomas Lloyd, brother of Horatio Lloyd and Uncle of Arthur Lloyd, was born in 1809. When he was just ten years old he sailed with his uncle Charles Jeffreys to Van Diemen's Land, now Tasmania, on the ship the Saracen on the 25th of December 1819. They arrived in Hobart Town on the 24th of April 1820. After many years living in Tasmania and Australia George wrote a book about the voyage and his experiences there called "Thirty-Three Years in Tasmania and Victoria."
George Thomas Lloyd's Obituary
Death OF MR GEORGE THOMAS LLOYD
It is with feelings of sincere regret that we
announce the death of one of the earliest pioneers of this colony, Mr
It is but little more than a month ago that Mr Lloyd announced himself as a candidate for the representation of Geelong East, and held his first public meeting at German Town. Those who were present at that meeting little dreamed how soon. Their genial, warm hearted, friend was to be taken away from them and we feel assured all will deplore his death. Owing to the ill-health of one of his children and of himself, he was unable to prosecute his canvass so vigorously as he bad intended and desired. This caused him great unhappiness, and naturally made him very low-spirited, as he knew that nothing but persistent effort could secure for him the position which he so eagerly desired to fill.
Three days before the day of polling a severe attack of dysentery
stretched him on a bed of sickness, and he never left his
Like many other candidates he received many promises of support which
were afterwards ruthlessly broken, and, clutching his pillow as if it
were the coat of a voter, he would say, "Now, come along old fellow,
you know you promised to give
The deceased gentleman was sixty or sixty-one years of age, but had the appearance of a much younger man, his constitution being more rigorous, and his intellect brighter, than those of many a younger man.
The favoured nephew of Lieutenant Charles Jeffreys, a naval officer, he accompanied him when in his ninth year, on his emigration to Tasmania, and sailed from the Downs, on the 25th December, 1819, in the Saracen, of three hundred tons Bartham, and on the 24th day of April, 1820, set anchor in Sullivan's Cove, Hobart Town.
At that time, quoting from "Thirty-three Years in Tasmania and Victoria," a book written by Mr Lloyd during his visit to England, Hobart Town could only boast of about fifteen or twenty buildings worthy of designation of dwelling-houses, the remainder, about 250 in number, being rudely constructed huts.
With his uncle he first commenced life in Tasmania on an estate 1300 acres in extent on the banks of Lake Pittwater, but the success they obtained in farming was far from being what they had been led to anticipate - and as for wool, up to the year 1823, such little value was placed upon it that sheep-farming was a profitless occupation.
In 1830 Mr Lloyd formed one of the band of colonists who formed a cordon across Tasmania with the object of driving the natives, who had been very troublesome, on to Tasman's Peninsular. This scheme, which originated with Col. Arthur, who was then Governor of the island, signally failed. After an expenditure of £36,000, the "Black Line," as it was called by some, and by others the "Black Campaign," which is so humorously described by Mr Lloyd in his book, resulted in the capture of two blackfellow. In this campaign he had the command of fourteen men, who captured one native, when they afterwards, to Mr Lloyd's chagrin, allowed to escape.
After he had been three years in the colony, Lieutenant Jeffreys died, leaving the subject of this notice, as he puts it, "a young and inexperienced farmer to plough and sow for himself." This rural but non paying employment he diligently followed until 1836, when he sold his farm, and in company with a brother and some friends sailed for Victoria in the schooner Gem. This vessel, freighted with precious ewes, horses, and stores for six month's supply, arrived off Geelong early April, 1837, simultaneously with the ships of Messrs Gray and Austin.
"Point Henry," says Mr Lloyd, "our only landing place, was not celebrated at that time for being the most convenient spot on the shores of Port Phillip, in the matter of wharfage accommodation; and, so far as we were concerned, whenever business was required to be done in the way of landing sheep or goods, by some unfortunate arrangement it was always low water. The sailors, therefore, and not unfrequently the adventurers, had the extreme felicity of shouldering their bags of flour, and trundling heavy casks of Irish port, knee-deep in soft mud and water, for at least 150 yards - abounding, too, with that insidious and most dangerous fish, the spear-barbed stingray."
For fourteen days Mr Lloyd's party camped and messed together, occasionally making excursions into the country to discover well grassed sheep-walks. When these were discovered straws were drawn for first choice, and among other runs selected in this manner were St. Leonards and Rosencath; these party, six in all, occupied for a few months, when they again separated into two distinct interests, and with their flocks took up new and better grassed country at Lake Colac.
Here Mr Lloyd was the first to take up the land which now constitutes Mr W. Robertson's station, rendered celebrated throughout the colony for the fattening of cattle branded FF, after the late Captain Foster Fyans, who succeeded Mr Lloyd as owner of the run.
Becoming tired of pastoral pursuits, which however well they may have paid since, were not at that time profitable, Mr Lloyd returned to Geelong, where in 1841 he commenced business as a wine and spirit merchant, on the land now occupied by this office, of which he was the proprietor. In that year he acted as agent for the first steam-vessel (the Aphrasia) that ever plied between Geelong and Melbourne.
In 1843 he assisted to secure the return of the first representative of Geelong in the Sydney Legislature, Dr. (Sir Charles) Nicholson, and in the same year assisted in the erection of the first church in this town (St Andrew's), of which he was trustee for 12 years. (See Market Square Geelong here) He assisted in laying the foundation-stone of the Geelong Hospital, and was one of the first committeemen of that noble institution.
Right - A Photograph of George Lloyd taken in 1860 when he was 52, and two years before his book was published - Held at the Victoria State Library in Australia - Courtesy Vivienne Rybarczyk, GG Granddaughter of George Thomas Lloyd.
In 1848 he was one of three to petition and obtain a corporation for Geelong, which was granted in 1849. On the 1st of February, 1850, he was elected the first councilor for Barwon Ward, and on the 9th of that month was elevated to the dignity of Alderman. This position he continued to fill with credit to himself and to the advantage of the town, until 1853, when he left on a visit to England, and spent several years in the wine-producing districts of France.
Although thousands of miles away from us, the book there, written by him, shews that in spirit he was with us. His "Thirty-three Years in Tasmania and Victoria" did more to remove the absurd prejudices that existed some years ago against Australia than almost any book that ever was written. It abounds in colonial historical facts, told in a genial way, the purity and simplicity of its style being remarkable.
He remained at home until about three years ago, when he unfortunately returned when mining speculation was at its height. Like many others he speculated, and lost considerably.
The knowledge he had gained in France respecting the making of wines he was always ready to impart to his fellow-colonists, and one of his last appearances in a public capacity was one of the judges of colonial wines at our recent local exhibition.
The changes that he saw during his lifetime were strange and wonderful to a degree. When he arrived, the Barabool tribes of natives numbered three hundred, and of white men there were not a score in Geelong. When he died there was only one native left, whilst on the other hand he left behind him a town containing 20,000 of his fellow-countrymen, who lament the loss of an enterprising and good man.
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