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Launceston1860

by Frederick Strange

Frederick Strange sailed from England to Hobart as a convict in 1838. When he was granted a leave pass for good behaviour, he moved to Launceston where he made a meagre living as a portrait painter. In 1851, he exhibited some of his landscapes at the Launceston Art Exhibition.

Although Launceston was relatively small in the 1860s this view shows several features of the emerging township, including two prominent churches. The church to the right is St John’s Anglican Church on the corner of St John Street and Elizabeth Street. Its foundation stone was laid in December 1824 and it opened in 1825. Only the steeple and front of the church survives, the remainder was replaced in the first half of the 20th century by a large structure designed by Launceston architect Alexander North. Two waterways merge in the foreground, the River Tamar and the North Esk River.