The India, a vessel purchased by Henry Lipscombe
From the Cornwall Chronicle, 16 February 1850
Monthly Lunchtime Talks Program
Tuesday, 4 September 2018
Justin Browne And Henry Lipscombe:
To California in 1850, and what happened afterward
Presented by Tony Marshall, historian and former archivist
In the course of the Californian gold rush in 1849-50, nearly 400 Tasmanians crossed the Pacific to seek
their fortunes, or have adventures, or possibly both. This is the story of two young Tasmanians who, in
March 1850, at the height of the rush, set sail on the William Melville for San Francisco—who they were,
why they went, and what later became of them. And, central to the story, what happened on their voyage.
Justin McCarty Browne, the son of a prominent Anglican clergyman, was a nineteen-year-old aspiring
businessman. Henry Lipscombe, aged seventeen, worked with his father, the well-known nurseryman
Frederick Lipscombe. Henry recorded the long, difficult and tragic voyage of the William Melville in a
journal, which is preserved in the WL Crowther Library at the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office.
After their youthful adventures, Justin and Henry both established trading businesses in Hobart, and were
both, one way or another, involved with shipping; but, other than that, their lives and their success in
business were very different.
Tony Marshall worked for 36 years with heritage collections at the State Library of Victoria and Libraries
Tasmania. He is now an Adjunct Researcher in the University of Tasmania’s School of Humanities. His
research focuses on the lives of obscure and often unjustly neglected Tasmanians.
Time: 12.00-1.00pm, Tuesday 4 September 2018
Place: Royal Society Room, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Customs House, 19 Davey St entrance.
John Wadsley, Maritime Museum