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Hassall family papers made available for transcription

Recently the Hassall Family Historical Association generously provided funds to allow the digitisation of the valuable collection of Hassall family papers held by the Library.

Hassall Family Diaries 1859 1865

Thomas Hassall diaries, 1859 and 1865 (B 246–B 247).

Using our online transcription tool, anyone can now contribute to transcribing the over 8000 original papers. The papers are accessible here.

Rowland Hassall (1768–1820) was born in Coventry, England, and was one of the first members of the Missionary Society to preach in the Pacific.

Along with his wife, Elizabeth, and two young sons, Thomas and Samuel, Hassall arrived in Tahiti onboard the missionary ship the Duff in 1797. Due to feeling unsafe, the family moved to Sydney the following year. Initially working as a lay preacher in the newly founded colony, Hassall was made government storekeeper in charge of the granary at Parramatta and the stores at Toongabbie.

Hassall was a good friend of the Reverend Samuel Marsden and acted as his agent and property manager while Marsden was in England. By 1808 Hassall had acquired 1300 acres of land. In 1814, he was appointed superintendent of government stock, which included the management of Cowpastures, the most extensive sheep run in the colony.

Hassall died at Parramatta on 29 August 1820 during an epidemic which also claimed the lives of two of his grandchildren. His estate included farms totalling 3000 acres at Parramatta, Dundas, Prospect, Mulgrave Place, Cook and Bringelly.

Geoff Barker
Senior Curator, Research and Discovery