Early settlement of Launceston

Lieutenant-Colonel Paterson led the British settlement to Port Dalrymple in 1804. Port Dalrymple is the current site of George Town. They eventually moved 40km down the Tamar River to the site that was to become Launceston. It was originally called Patersonia but the name was changed to Launceston in 1807.

This was to honour Governor Philip King of N.S.W. who was born in Launceston, Cornwall. By 1827 the population had climbed to 2000. The population is now approximately 64,931 people. (Launceston City Council, 2005). In the early years Launceston became a centre for mixed farming and the timber industry. It was also the home base for many of the whalers who worked the waters of Bass Strait. The gold rush in Victoria helped speed the city's growth, as did the discovery of gold at Beaconsfield. Launceston retains many beautiful 19th century buildings that connect current residents with the city's rich history.