Tenders called

As this blog is now part of the world wide One Place Studies, I thought I would join in their #oneplaceWednesday activity.  Every Wednesday I will write a post relating to something found in the newspapers on Trove. I will try to make it close to the date 200 years ago.

2 December 1820 and posted on 9 Dec 1820 in the Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter

The area now known as Sorell was once called the District of Pitt Water.

When teaching at Sorell School, we told the students the school was opened in 1821. According to this article in the newspaper, tenders were being called for erecting a school house or perhaps a place of confinement or maybe both. Looks like they had very little time to contact Major Bell, the acting engineer, to say they would be interested in getting the tender. I wonder how much red tape they had 200 years ago compared to today?

Sorell School

The Sorell School Motto:  “Respecting our past, creating our future.”

In 1821 Governor Macquarie chose the site to build Sorell School.

The first building at Sorell School was made of stone and was built where the secondary school library currently is. In November 1888 it was made into a school residence when the original part of the school was completed. The original stone building was used up until 1921 when it got demolished. The school had two rooms and in 1926 whilst the school was being reconstructed an iron roof was put on to replace the old one which was made of shingle.

When Sorell School first opened a total of 57 students were enrolled. Sorell School’s first Headmaster was Charles Edward Hippesley Cox. He was paid £20 a year along with a convict for a servant and he was fed a ration and a half of food. Throughout the years Sorell School has had a total of twenty-nine headmasters and principals.

Now we have so many students I am unsure on the number. We also have both a primary and secondary side. But a long time ago they would put all the people in the one class. They would give you different work depending on your age, but that’s all different now. Our school goes from Kinder – Gr 10 and then you can go on to college.

Fun Fact:
Before Sorell School’s bell was burnt in a fire, it was rang when a convict was escaping.

Interviews with teachers about memories of Sorell School

Mrs Hansen has been going to Sorell all her life and she has been teaching for 14 years so since 1994! She began in kinder at age 5. She lived in the area she was in Lewisham until she turned 11 and then they moved house. There was no school at all seeing that Dodges did not exist yet so Sorell School was built. They used the cane until Mrs Hansen was in grade six! She said that it hurt. Mrs Hansen loved school and her favourite subjects consist of Music, Cooking and Social Studies. She loved helping other people and that’s why she became a teacher but she didn’t decide on this career until uni. Before then she always wanted to become a journalist and wondered what her life might have been like if she had done that! She began by teaching grade 3 but as the years went on she progressed her way up to grade 12 before stopping and teaching grade 6/7. She is very proud of where she is today but she could have never done it without the help of her fellow teachers and family.

From Mr Morley we got some old yearbooks and we read through them and they were very interesting; how much it has changed in so many years. Fashion was a big difference since when we went to school. In the yearbooks they didn’t have much colour because of the cost, but there was a double page of the day that they had the sports carnival, similar to what we have today. Ye old shotput and tugga war all the things that make the day. The clothes so different to what people wear now, like as we call them ” Harry high pants ” being worn it made us laugh. Sorry if you used to wear them but i know you probably think the same. Also looking back to the leavers dinners, we still have them but they are just so different. But I must say some of the dresses they wore back then were beautiful! with the puffy sleeves and everything. The school back then was just one small house type building located where the school library is located now. It was white in colour and very small, but as the years went on we built and eventually this building became what we know it as today!

This report was made by two groups of students: Maddi and Emily, Jenna and Shannan

Early schooling

Sorell had two schools for both sexes operating as early as 1820 said Mr John Wade before giving evidence to the Imperial Parliamentary Commissioner, Mr J.T. Bigge.

The first school in the municipality was built in Sorell in 1821 and was on the site between the present school building and the headmaster’s residence. Charles Edward Hippesley Cox was the first headmaster and he received £20 per annum as well as having a convict servant with a ration and a half from stores. It was a very fine stone building. There were 57 pupils at this time.

By November 1888, the school consisted of two rooms and the old building was used as a residence until it was demolished in 1921. In 1926, the front room was reconstructed on a larger scale and an iron roof replaced the original shingles. Further sections were added in 1935, 1947 and 1952 and in 1955 a new room was built. In 1939, the schools at Cherry Tree and Wattle Hill amalgamated with Sorell, as did Forcett in 1949 and Cambridge seniors and Nugent in 1950.

Some highlights in the school’s development include:

  • 1930 introduction of Agricultural training
  • 1931 presentation of a century old bell by Mr Charles Birchall
  • 1933 presentation of a 300 year old sundial by Mrs G.R. Davis
  • 1936 introduction of home arts training for girls
  • 1947 introduction of trades classes for boys

In 1827, a children’s census was taken of the lower settlement and upper settlement at Pittwater and Carlton area and below are the names of children in the district, their age and whether attending school. There is also a section about children with special family needs. The information was gathered from microfilm at the Archives Office of Tasmania. Children could attend school from age 3 to age 15.

Children at lower settlement Pittwater

Name of child Age (in years) Attends school
Rawlings, James 8 Yes
Rawlings, Alfrede 7 N
Buckingshaw, Mary 12 N
Buckingshaw, Eliza 2 N
Buckingshaw, Sarah 3 N
Kennedy, Ann 5 N
Kennedy, Harriett 15mo N
Arnsow, Mary ? 9 N
Hursy, Eliza ? 2 N
Evans, James 7 N
Gangil, John 9 N
Gangil, Jacob 7 N
Gangil, Mary 5 N
Gangil, Alice 3 N
Gangil, Isaac 10mo N
Patterson, Sarah 9 N
Patterson, William 7 N
Patterson, Mary 5 N
Patterson, Thomas 4 N
Patterson, Emma 15mo N
Pross, Charles 2 N
Reilley, Thomas 8 N
Reilley, George 5 N
Reilley, Eliza 2 N
Bingham, George 17 can read and write
Bingham, James 15 cannot read or write
Bingham, Robert 13 N
Patterson, Eliza 15 can read and write
Wade, Lewis 9 Yes
Kemp, Richard 5 N
Kemp, Mary 3 N
Kemp, Ann 2 N
Howell, Thomas 3 N
Howell, Nancy 18mo N
Newport, Mary 4 N
Newport, Joseph 10mo N
Kane, Ellen 6 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Kane, Eliza 3 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Kane, Sarah 1 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Newport, Mary 13 N
Reardon, Susan 15 can read and write
Reardon, Sarah 12 Yes
Reardon, Bartholomew 10 Yes
Reardon, Robert 8 Yes
Reardon, William 5 Yes
Reardon, Edward 1 N
Roustey, William? 9 Yes
Young, Henry 13 Yes
McCandrew, Ann? 3 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
McCandrew, Mary 1 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
McNamara, Ann 14 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
McNamara, Mary 3 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Dolan, James 1 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Coggins, Margret 12 Roman Catholic can read & write
Coggins, Catharine 10 Roman Catholic can read & write
Cunningham, Ann 17 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Cunningham, Mary 14 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Cunningham, Patt 11 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Cunningham, Margret 2 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
McGowan, Honorah 15 Roman Catholic can read & write
McGowan, John 13 Roman Catholic can read & write
McGowan, James 3 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Wolley, George 9 N
Wolley, William 4 N
Wiggins, Charles 5 N
Walker, Thomas 2 N
Walker, Susana 6mo N
Wiggins, Martha 4 N
Wiggins, Samuel 8mo N
Gill, Esther 5 N
Gill, Mary 3 N
Gill, Elizabeth 1 N
Gatehouse, Charles 8 Yes
Gatehouse, Mary Ann 7 N
Gatehouse, Harriett 3 N
Gatehouse, George 2 N
Allemby, Jane 3 N

 Children at upper settlement Pittwater

Name of child Age (in years) Attends school
Downward, Joseph 20 can read or write
Downward, Frances 17 can read or write
Downward, Edward 15 can read or write
Downward, Frederick 14 N
Downward, Jaimes 11 N
Downward, Alice 10 N
Downward, Ellen 8 N
Downward, Thomas 5 N
Downward, Margret 3 N
Downward, John 2 N
Hayton, George 3 N
Hayton, James 1 N
Glover, Eliza 15 can read or write
Glover, Henry 13 N
Glover, Charles 5 N
Billett, George 16 can read or write
Billett, James 18 can read or write
Billett, John 4 N
Billett, Walter 4mo N
Willice, John? 6weeks N
Kidner, Thomas 5 Yes
Kidner, Eliza 3 N
Kidner, Jean 1 N
Kidner, Ann 6 Yes
Allums, Emma 18 can read or write
Allums, Eliza 16 can read or write
Allums, William 13 N
Allums, Jacob 11 Yes
Allums, Mary 9 N
Allums, Robert 7 N
Allums, John 6 N
Allums, Edward 4 N
Birchell, James 17 can read or write
Birchell, William 15 can read or write
Birchell, Charles 12 Yes
Birchell, John 10 Yes
Birchell, George 8 Yes
Birchell, Eliza 6 Yes
Birchell, Susan 4 Yes
Birchell, Henry 2mo N
Kimber, Edward 21 can read or write
Kimber, John 19 can read or write
Kimber, William 15 cannot read or write
Kimber, Maria 10 N
Kimber, Thomas 8 N
Kimber, Jane 4 N
Laing, John 11 Yes
Laing, Alexander 9 Yes
Laing, James 7 Yes
Laing, Susan 4 Yes
Laing, Helen 2 N
Stacy, Susan 6 Yes
Stacey, John 2 N
McQuire, Mary 3 N
Fittiss, John? 21 can read or write
Fittiss, William? 14 N
Foreman, Jane 6 Yes
Foreman, James 2 N
Foreman, Daniel 1 N
Anglum, Elizabeth? 11 Yes
Wood, Jean 7 Yes
Wood, John 5 Yes
Wood, William 3 N
Wood, Joseph 1 N
Duncomb, Sophia 17 can read or write
Duncomb, Jean 13 N
Hambley, Lucy 11 N
Dogherty, Elizabeth 9 Yes
Dogherty, James 7 Yes
Dogherty, Mary Ann 5 N
Dogherty, John 2 N
Steers, George 8 N
Larsom, Mary Ann 15 can read or write
Larsom, Richard 12 N
Larsom, Jemima 9 Yes
Larsom, Elizabeth 7 N
Larsom, Jean 4 N
Gatehouse, Mary 18 can read or write
Gatehouse, Grace 14 N
Gatehouse, Sarah 13 N
Gatehouse, John 12 N
Gatehouse, Charles 7 N
Gatehouse, George 9 N
Walker, Helen 2 N
Cox, Mary 2 N
Cox, Samuel 1 N
Wade, Ann 17 can read or write
Wade, Mary 15 can read or write
Wade, John 13 N
Wade, Henry 11 N
Wade, George 10 N
Wade, Margaret 6 N
Garrett, H. Maria 3 N
Green, Caroline 11 N
Green, Jean 8 N
Green, John 6 N
Ganard, George S.? 1 N
Culliford, George 4 N
Culliford, Ann 3 N
Culliford, Susan 1 N

 Children in the Carlton district of Gloucester

Name of child Age in years Attends school
Cooper, Eliza 12 No
Cooper, Elizabeth 9 No
Cooper, William 7 No
McGinnis, Sarah 5 No
McGinnis, Susan 3 No
McGinnis, Kesiah 18mo No
McGinnis, Emily 2 No
McGinnis, William 7mo No
Smith, William 17 Can read or write
Smith, Eliza 15 Can read or write
Smith, Abigail 10 No
Morris, Robert 17 Can read or write
Morris, Henry 14 No
Dodge, Sarah 2 No
Vallely, Mary 11 No
Vallely, Charlotte 8 No
Vallely, Francis 5 No
Vallely, Sarah 3 No
Steele, Edward Sampson 12 No
Steele, Joseph Sampson 11 No
Steele, Anthony Wylie 10 No
Steele, Richard 7 No
Steele, Mary Ellen 5 No
Steele, James Gordon 3 No
Steele, Elizabeth Ann 1 No
Brown, James 5 No

 Children with special family conditions

Orphans, male and female

Morris, Henry 14 years Carlton Good character Father has been a constable of the Carlton, destroyed himself by hanging; an Inquest taken at the hollow tree.
Morris, Robert 17 years Carlton Good character


Ormon, Mary 9 years lower settlement Pittwater In charge of a single man at the lower Ferry, no relation. Recommended to His Excellency – from her tender years and sex, that she be provided for else where.

Males and females having a father living

Evans, James 7 years Pittwater Good character Father had been free, tried for sheep stealing and sent to Macquarie Harbour.
Routley, WIlliam 9 years Pittwater Good character Mother dead, father an outlaw in the woods, charged with being concerned in the murder of Mr Simpson.
Young, Henry 13 years Pittwater Good character Father gone to England, has been an assistant Surgeon on this establishment.
Green, John 6 years Sorell Good character Mother died, father Constable at Sorell holding a ticket of leave.
Green, Caroline 11 years Sorell Good character
Green, Jane 8 years Sorell Good character

Males and females having both parents living but in distress

Rose, John 2 years Richmond Illegitimate, mother’s name Dwyer a convict, child adopted by John Rose, blacksmith
Kimber, John 19 years Pittwater Good character Father holds a ticket of leave, mother and six children sent out from England by Government, industrious but distressed.
Kimber, WIlliam 15 years Pittwater Good character
Kimber, Thomas 8 years Pittwater Good character
Kimber, Jane 4 years Pittwater Good character
Kimber, Maria 10 years Pittwater Good character
Evans, James 7 years Pittwater Father transported to Macquarie Harbour stealing sheep from Mr Gordon
Newport, Joseph 10 months Pittwater Illegitimate, mother free, a bad woman
Newport, Mary 4 years Pittwater
Kennedy, Ann 5 years Pittwater Father had been Scoolmaster at one time in the District, sometimes cracked, inclined to be drunken when he can get it, unfit for labour, wife daughter to an old Marine – distressed
Kennedy, Harriett 15 months Pittwater
Harry, Eliza 2.5 years Pittwater Father found guilty of killing a beast the property of Mr Lewis, sentence Death, transported to Macquarie Harbour.
Gould, Catharine 5 years Jerusalem Illegitimate, mother free, bad woman
Lynch, Ellen 6 years Coal River Father free by servitude, left the country, mother free, a bad woman in Hobart Town
Perryman, Zilda 4 years Coal River Mother a prisoner assigned to Mr Pevor, father in England

Males and females having a mother living and father deceased

Patterson, Eliza 15 years Pittwater Good character Native of Hobart Town, father had been wharfinger, living with sister.
Judge, Catharine 6 years Coal River Living with James Stynes on charity, mother a bad character living at the black brush
Cooper, Eliza 12 years Carlton Father dead, mother married to Hugh McGinniss Constable of the Carlton – opulent
Cooper, Elizabeth 9 years Carlton
Cooper, William 7 years Carlton
Vallely, Mary 11 years Carlton Father dead, drowned at the Carlton, mother married to Bernard Quinton – opulent
Vallely, Charlotte 8 years Carlton
Vallely, Francis 5 years Carlton
Vallely, Sarah 3 years Carlton
Cobb, William 12 years Tea Tree Brush Father killed by a tree falling on him at New Town, mother a very bad woman living at the Tea Tree Brush
Cobb, Hanna 8 years Tea Tree Brush
Cobb, John 6 years Tea Tree Brush