ALLAN CARSWELL of Kings Meadows

Allan Carswell lived with his parents at Muirhouse, Parish of Dunlop, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

On 26th September 1821 ALLAN CARSWELL was sentenced to death in the Ayr Circuit Court. He had denied forgery of a bill for £40 on the Commercial Bank of Bath and was indeed found not guilty. The jury, however, 'by a mere plurality of votes', and on the word of the actual perpetrator who had turned 'King's evidence', found him guilty of "procuring the bill to be uttered knowing it to be forged". He was advised by the Judge, Lord Meadowbank, not to entertain strong hopes for mercy.

A well written plea for clemency by his counsel Archibald Hope Cullen was strongly supported by the foreman of the jury Sir Alexander Boswell, 1st Baronet, 10th Laird of Auchinleck who suggested a possible miscarriage of justice.

Allan Carswell's death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in Van Dieman's Land. On 26th April 1823 Allan left on board the ship 'COMMODORE HAYES' bound for Hobart. His Gaol report was 'Good' and his Hulk report was also 'Good'.

The HOBART TOWN GAZETTE of Saturday August 16th 1823 reported;

"Arrived this morning from ENGLAND which she left on the 26th of April, the ship 'COMMODORE HAYES' captained by L.W. MONCRIEF with 216 male convicts for this settlement".


Hobart Town 1823


The HOBART TOWN GAZETTE of Saturday August 23rd 1823 reported; "The convicts from the ship 'COMMODORE HAYES' were landed on Thursday and after the usual inspection by the Lieutenant Governor, were assigned to their several services - these convicts landed in a very healthy and orderly state. Fifty convicts proceeded immediately to Port Dalrymple (Launceston)

The Lieutenant Governors report showed that ALLAN CARSWELL was single, 5'10 1/2", light grey eyes and brown hair, from DUNLOP Parish ( Scotland) and convict No. 558.

He was not one of those sent to Port Dalrymple, as in 1827 a Dr. BROMLEY who owned 2,000 acres at HAMILTON complained that he had stolen some sheep. For this he was committed for trial.


Hamilton 1860s


Bromley was likely the original settler of Hamilton and was later disgraced as a result of his negligence in performing his duties as the Naval (Customs) Officer at the Port of Hobart.

Allan Carswell was charged with sheep stealing but was exonerated by the Supreme Court. He was transferred to the Forestry Camp on the Dentrecastreaux Channel (Birch's bay).

On 24th April 1830 at Birchs Bay (Approx. WOODBRIDGE) for refusing to work and absenting himself on the 16th of April he received 50 lashes and was put on the TREADWHEEL for 14 days.

On 25th October 1833 he was deprived of his Ticket-of-Leave for fabricating a statement that he had only been transported for seven years when in fact he had been transported for Life.

One year later on 23rd October 1834, for disobeying orders and neglecting work, he received 50 lashes. On 26th December 1834 he received another 50 lashes and six months hard labour for being drunk at muster. It was recommended that he be placed on the Launceston Chain Gang.

On 15th July 1836 he was admonished for failing to attend muster.

On 24th May 1839 he was given a Conditional Pardon- No. 2012.

He married MARGARET BEVERIDGE of Westbury ( No records located).


  • ELIZABETH (1840 - 1932)
  • WILLIAM (1842 - 1891),
  • MARGARET (1845 - 1927)
  • ISABELLA (1847 - 1927)
  • THOMAS (1850 - 1861)
  • JENNOT (1851 - ?)
  • ALEXANDER (1852 - 1936)
  • JAMES ROBERT also known as DAVID ROBERT or 'Nair' (1854 - 1941)

In May 1848 ALLAN was granted contract as settler to hire convicts at a stated wage from May 1848 to October 1857. [Hobart Archives CON/30/folio2]

In 1867-8 the Tasmanian Directory showed that ALLAN CARSWELL was a farmer of KINGS MEADOWS. ALLAN Died on 15th July 1876 aged 75 years. (Death Certificate No.3104) His wife Margaret died in Launceston on 26th April 1890.

The Rolls for WILMOT of 1914 show DAVID ROBERT (ex JAMES) CARSWELL lived at BREADALBANE. They also show that his eldest son DAVID JOHN was a farmer at BRACKNELL.

On May 9 1867 Elizabeth Carswell married James Gove at the Baptist Mission House in Launceston. She was 26. The witnesses to the wedding were Allan, Isabella and David Carswell.

The Tasmanian Director ( a Walsh publication) shows that in 1867 in the district of Selby (roughly Evandale - Perth - Kings Meadows - Hadspen) Allan Carswell was a farmer at Kings Meadows. The same directory of 1881-1882 shows that Mrs. Allen Carswell (note she has changed the name) lived at Franklin Village (or Kings Meadows) indicating that poor Allan, whose body had received quite a bit of punishment, had departed the world by then.

The Electoral Rolls for Wilmot of 1914 show that quite a group of Carswells lived at Breadalbane (turnoff to Evandale or Launceston Airport) i.e. Franklin Village.

The head of the family was David Robert Carswell.

The electoral rolls of Wilmot also show that David John Carswell was a farmer at Bracknell in 1914. He was probably the son of David Robert (?).

In December 1973 a book was published about Westwood. Two of the properties on Westwood (near Carrick) 'Corona' and 'Meadow Lea' were leased by David John Carswell. The property of Westwood was owned by John Millar.

The whole thing was sold in about 1912.

The author (H. Vernon Jones of 8 Campbell Street, Launceston) notes with regret that when the property was sold the district lost some of its finest families notably the Carswells.

David John Carswell was the father of Eva, Dave (sen), Tom, Sel, Bert, Keeler, Jess, Ivy, Andy and Bill, and the properties he was leasing fetched the highest prices (£12 per acre). The author added that the Carswell boys - Tom, David and William were excellent bicycle riders, particularly David who at one country show won the Sheffield, the bicycle race and the chopping event.

David John reappears on the 1915 Electoral rolls at Bracknell, on the1916 rolls as Hotelkeeper, Hobart, and the 1917 rolls as miner, Queenstown.



(Foreman of the Jury) Sir Alexander Boswell, 1st Baronet, 10th Laird of Auchinleck, (9 October 1775 – 27 March 1822), was an antiquary and song writer, son of James Boswell of Auchinleck, Johnson's biographer, and Margaret Montgomerie. He was the grandson of Alexander Boswell, Lord of Auchinleck. Sir Boswell was interested in old Scottish authors, some of whose works he reprinted at his private press. He wrote some popular Scottish songs, of which Jenny's Bawbee and Jenny dang the Weaver are the best known. Boswell died in a duel with Mr. Stuart of Dunearn. It was one of the last duels in Scotland. Boswell purposely fired into the air, but Stuart may not have been aware of this as Boswell, after he fell, said that he wished he "had made his fire in the air more decided than it had been." Stuart was found not guilty of murder at his trial. Over 11,000 people attended Boswell's funeral and the funeral procession was over a mile long.