Launceston History

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.

Library Resources
Trove - Newspapers
Web Resources

Library Resources

Dewey Numbers

  • Books on Tasmanian history, that may include sections on Launceston can be found at: 994.6
  • Books on Launceston are at: 994.65

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Other resources on the history of Launceston

The Library has a copy of History of our Streets: the origins of Launceston street names. Do you know where the name of your street came from? The main entrance of St Patrick's College is in Mount Leslie Road. This book tells us that Mt Leslie Road led originally to the Mount Leslie Estate which was owned by Patrick Dalrymple. Westbury Road leads to the Bass Highway and onto the historic village of Westbury.

Library archives

The Library has been slowly building an online archive of College life.  You can access photographs, documents, and publications in this growing collection.

Trove - Newspapers

Many Tasmanian and Launceston newspapers have been digitized and can be searched on the National Library of Australia's TROVE database. - Search for articles about St Patrick's College; including the article in The Advocate from 7 September 1918, which writes about the near completion of the "new"college.

You can also access, and freely use thousands of images of Launceston.

Web Resources


Libraries Tasmania 

University of Tasmania - Launceston

Historic Buildings and Houses in and around Launceston

Launceston Floods 1929

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