John Nevin senior’s land grant 1859 at Port Cygnet

JOHN NEVIN snr: LAND GRANT at HUON VALLEY (Tasmania)
JOHN NEVIN snr at KANGAROO VALLEY (Tasmania)

A farmer and friend surveying his sown crop
Stereograph by Thomas J. Nevin ca, 1870
Blind stamp on border at right “T. NEVIN PHOTO”
TMAG Collection Ref: Q1994.56.22

John Nevin snr (1808-1887) was born at Grey Abbey, Ireland and served with the Royal Scots 1st Regiment of Foot in the West Indies from 1825 to 1838. He then served at the Canadian Rebellions from 1839 until 1841 when he was invalided out to the hospital at Chelsea, England, and thence to Ireland. He married Mary Ann Dickson, pursued the vocation of gardener in his wife’s brother’s business, Alexander Dickson’s nurseries at Newtonards, taught school, and contributed to journals with surveyor John Hurst, proprietor of the Freeman newspaper. By the time he arrived in Tasmania in 1852 as a free settler, he had become the father of four children. His eldest, Thomas James Nevin (1842-1923) who became a professional photographer in Hobart from the 1860s, survived all members of this immediate family group, including his wife Elizabeth Rachel Day, dying in his 81st year, his beard still red, his eyes still clear, according to his grandchildren.

The House at Kangaroo Valley
Their grandfather John Nevin snr had arrived in Hobart, Tasmania, as a pensioner guard on board the convict transport, Fairlie, in 1852 with his wife Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson and their four children – Thomas James, Mary Ann, Rebecca Jane and William John, all under 12 years old . He was granted a parcel of land in 1859 in the shire of Buckingham, near Cradoc, in the Parish of Bedford, on the Huon River. Although John Nevin snr was able to settle his wife and their four children who had all arrived with him in 1852 on the land grant in the shire of Buckingham, he settled them instead on land granted to Dr. E.S.P. Bedford situated just above the Lady Franklin Museum at Kangaroo Valley (now Lenah Valley, Hobart). He was employed by the Trustees of the Wesleyan Church to teach school at Kangaroo Valley, and granted permission to use the one acre of land on which to establish orchards and build a house. John Nevin snr resided at Kangaroo Valley until his death in 1887, firstly with his wife Mary Ann Dickson and young family, and four years after her death in 1875, with his second wife Martha Nevin nee Genge and his grandchild Minnie Carr.

Detail of map below; location of the Lady Franklin Museum within the 10 acre land grant of E.S.P. Bedford and J. Price. John Nevin snr was granted the lease of the Wesleyan Chapel, the school house and land on which to build his cottage in 1854. By 1872, John Nevin had leased an additional acre of land nearby for gardens and orchards from Maria Nairn, wife of William Edward Nairn (1812-1869), assistant comptroller of the Convict Department in 1843, in charge of prisoners in Tasmania and on Norfolk Island, and sheriff of Hobart in 1857-68. His wife Maria Nairn was a sister of John Swan, Inspector of Police in the 1870s.

Map – Buckingham 116 – parish of Hobart, allotments fronting New Town, Humphry’s (Humphrey), Guy Fauks (Fawkes) and Hobart Town Rivulets and Brushy Creek, landholders HULL GEORGE, BROWN W C, BYE H, CUNNINGHAM, GEE, BRINDLY J, BROWN, MEZGER J and others
Description: 1 photographic print
ADRI:AF396-1-123
Source:Archives Office of Tasmania

Source Citation: Nominal registers of the hiring and disposal of immigrants with details of marital state, age, children, trade, employer, wages and term of employment.; Film: SLTX/AO/MB/143; Series: CB7/16/1

The record (above) shows that John Nevin snr, schoolmaster at Kangaroo Valley, Hobart, Tasmania, paid £5 (five pounds) for a family ticket of 2 [?] individuals on 11th July 1854. These tickets may have been issued for any number of purposes: payment for John Nevin’s return to Tasmania from his unhappy venture at the Californian gold mines; payment for the arrival or departure of family members to or from intercolonial ports; or payment for the assisted passage of teachers’ assistants, servants etc for the school at Kangaroo Valley.

So, by 1854 John Nevin was registered in the Hobart Gazette as resident schoolmaster and leasee of the school house at Kangaroo Valley, and by 1858 he had built a house there, which he called “My Cottage in the Wilderness” in a poem he published in 1868. The house was located inside the triangle just above the Lady Franklin Museum, on land which was sold by the Hobart City Council on it acquisition from the Church Trustees (those originally designated by Lady Jane Franklin) in the 1920s. The triangle is visible in this Southern Met map of 1973:

Lenah Valley (1973).Ref: 5172-19.
Archives Office Tasmania

John Nevin snr remarried in 1879, four years after the death of his wife Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson, to widow Martha Salter nee Genge, daughter of his friend, William Genge,lay preacher at the Wesleyan Church in Melville Street, Hobart . With his second wife Martha Nevin nee Genge, he adopted his grand-daughter, Minnie Carr, daughter of his daughter Mary Ann Carr nee Nevin, who died days after giving birth to her in 1878 at Sandridge, Victoria. and brought her to the house at Kangaroo Valley in 1879 where she resided until his death there in 1887. His widow Martha Nevin and granddaughter Minnie Carr then moved to Patrick Street, North Hobart, where Minnie, just 20 years old, died suddenly of gastric poisoning and haemorrhage in 1898.

The cottage that John Nevin built at Kangaroo Valley
“T.J. Nevin Photo” inscribed on verso, 1868.
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint & The Liam Peters Collection 2010.

The bridge in the foreground crosses the rivulet. The Lady Franklin Museum sits below the site where John Nevin built his cottage (now demolished), next to the house (pictured) above on the rise at 270A Lenah Valley Rd. Photos copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2012 ARR.

The Land Grant in the Parish of Bedford
In 1859, John Nevin snr was granted ten acres one rood and seventeen perches in the parish of Bedford on the Huon River near Cygnet, about 60 kms south west of Hobart, but it appears he never moved his family from Kangaroo Valley to take up permanent residence on the grant. He may have used the land, however, to cultivate orchards, grow vegetables, and make jam for export. In 1870 he exhibited marrows at the Industrial Bazaar at the Hobart Town Hall. His eldest son Thomas Nevin exhibited photographs as well. In 1873 he presented an exhibit of peat to a meeting of the Royal Society of Tasmania, and in 1877, he exported jam on the Southern Cross to the colony of Victoria. The peat may have been extracted from Kangaroo Valley, known originally as Sassafras Gully in the 1840s, a valley rich with the type of flora that grows as ‘wet’ and/or mixed forest in Tasmania. In 1891, the Nevin orchards on the land grant at the Huon may have produced fruit in quantities large enough that John Nevin’s sons Thomas and Jack, may have attempted mechanised packing. Their application for a patent of their fruit packer was tabled by the Hobart Fruit Board in June 1891.

1870: Marrows and Photographs

Vintage Botanical Print Antique PUMPKIN, MARROW, botanical print 1960s
Source: Pinterest Vintage Prints ETSY

The Mercury newspaper recorded the opening of the Bazaar in a detailed report on 31st March, 1870. Exhibited on the same Table 8 as John Nevin’s marrows were apples from his neighbour W. R. Giblin, Attorney-General, President of the Working Men’s Institute and the Nevin family ‘s solicitor.

The ceremony of opening the Industrial Bazaar at the Town Hall took place yesterday afternoon with great success. The resolution to have an exposition of local industries and products was come to many months ago, after much consideration by the members of the Working Men’s Club, but it being the first of the kind, the difficulties and labour attending it could hardly have been anticipated by the promoters. Indomitable perseverance on the part of Mr. Walker, the Secretary, Mr. Crosby, and the committee generally, has,however, enabled them to achieve the object, and the experience gained cannot fail to be of advantage on future occasions, for after the co-operation and kindly spirit shown by all classes, not excepting the members of the Government, and the city authorities, the Working Men’s Club will no doubt be encouraged to have more exhibitions of an industrial character, the benefits of which must be diffused in a variety of ways. The capacity of the club to sustain a bazaar has been favourably tested ; the public have had the opportunity of witnessing for themselves what the artisans and working classes can achieve; industries of which the general community may have heard, but which they had but imperfect conceptions of, have been represented in one grand Exhibition, brought into a focus within the general comprehension, and producing a spirit of emulation, no doubt, on the part of many who have stood aloof, or at all events have not participated in this industrial exposition. It is not easy to say how extensive the influence such a concentration of local products and manufactures will have on tho public mind ; but we may safely predict that the enthusiasm displayed on the occasion will have a salutary effect on producer and consumer, and lead to a more grateful recognition of the dignity of labour, and its bearing on tho enterprise and prosperity of the community. The Bazaar was announced to be under the patronage of a number of distinguished persons, including His Excellency the Governor and the Hon. Mrs. DuCane, Sir Francis and Lady Smith, the Lord Bishop of Tasmania and Mrs. Bromby, Sir Robert and Lady Officer, and the Mayor and Aldermen of Hobart Town, all of whom have directly or more remotely evinced an interest in measures for promoting the solid and social welfare of the industrial classes generally, and the Working Men’s Club in particular. The appeal of the committee for exhibits and contributions was cheerfully and generally responded to, as demonstrated by the large and varied samples and specimens with which the Town Hall was crowded yesterday. Cabinet work, agricultural implements, coopers’ and turners’ work, hats, boots, and clothing, basket anil tin ware, leathers and furs, saddlery, horological and photographic art were all represented ; printing, in letter press, and lithography, and machine work, were in practical operation, which “the million” had the opportunity of seeing for themselves. The committee adopted the idea of one or two of its active members of having a capital centre-piece, in the shape of a trophy of suitable dimensions, to display some of the principal products of the colony. There were also stalls for the exhibition and sale of lighter articles, presided over by ladies ; and the tables, platform, and available ground space were allotted to the different commodities, which were sent in for show. Had the space available been more extensive, the goods would have shown to much greater advantage ; but those who had the arrangement of affairs did their best to give a fair and equal chance to all tho exhibits according to their relative value and importance, and towards the last, it became necessary for Messrs. Crosby, Walker, Ellis, and the other workers to devote night and day to the preparation for the opening. As we intend to subjoin a detailed description of the various features in the Bazaar,this general introductory notice will suffice, and we proceed therefore to record the proceedings at the opening ceremony.,,

TRANSCRIPT

No 8 contained a butter tub, sent by Mr. Ivey, bag of flour by W. Green, and a bag of flour by G.Gibson, oatmeal from Ritchie’s Perth Mills, contributed by G. R. Napier ; and malt, wheat, oats, and barley, the names of senders not stated. In the vicinity of this compartment were sundry farming implements from Harcourt’s, Elizabeth-street, namely, spade, hayrick, patent scythe and reaphook.There were also specimens of stone from the Queen’s Park and Ross, and some stone, muskwood and dogwood exhibited by the Royal Society’s Museum. In front were collections of vegetable marrows, sent by Nevin, Dobson, Stabb and Lane, a sample of potatoes contributed by James Wardlaw, East Coast, from an early crop which realized 22 tons to an acre; collection of apples, “Court Pender Plat” and ” Margal,” sent by W. Thomas, Sandy Bay ; and another collection by W. Giblin, Providence Valley.

Source: INDUSTRIAL BAZAAR AT THE TOWN HALL. (1870, March 31). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8869213

The Bazaar was something of a family affair: John Nevin’s eldest son, Thomas J. Nevin exhibited photographs and stereoscopic views together portraits by his close friend Henry Hall Baily, noted next day in the Mercury:

There are also photographs and stereoscopic views by Mr. Nevin. A velocipede of approved construction is exhibited near, the platform, but the name of the exhibitor is not given.

Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) Fri 1 Apr 1870 Page 2 INDUSTRIAL BAZAAR AT THE TOWN HALL.

1873: Peat

  1. From Mr. Nevin – A piece of Turf, or peat, used for fuel in Ireland.
    Source: University of Tasmania ePrints

ROYAL SOCIETY OF TASMANIA.
The monthly evening meeting of the Society was held on Tuesday, the 12th August, the Right Rev. Bishop Bromby, D.D., in the chair.

The presentations were as follows :
1. From Mr. J. AVatson, Muddy Plains-A musk duck (ñiz’mra lobato).
2. From Mr. Aldred-A Nankeen night heron (Nyctkorax caledon kits).
3. From Dr. Huston-A ” native companion,” or Australian crane (Gnu auntralasianvs).
4. From Mr. Hissey-Two shells (Haliotis sp).
A silver pheasant, prepared and mounted.
5. From Mr. T. Askdl, Brighton-A swamp parakeet (Pezoporm forinosns).
6. From Mr. Gregory-Four young native cats
(Dasijurus v’werrimis) from the pouch.
7. From Miss Castray-Alga! and corallincB, from Port Arthur, dried and piessed.
8. From Mr. D. Girdwood-Fossil Ostrea (?) und
Terebratula, from Greymonth, New Zealand. fl. From Mr. F. H. Eckford-Copper ore, from
Yamba, Queensland.
10. From Mr. Nevin-A piece of turf, or peat,used for fuel in Ireland.
11. From Mr. Mason-A fish, from Shipwright’s Point, Huon.
12. From Messrs. Cawthorn Bros., Macquarie Plains-A lamb with eight legs. Two mountain thrushes (Oreocincla Ittnulata).
13. From Mr. R. M. Johnston. A collection of fossils, from near Launceston.
14. From Mr. S. H AVintle. A number of mineralogical specimens from various parts of the colony. Accompanying them was an “analysis” of a specimen of mineral incrustation from the inside of a boiler supplied by well- water during a period of three years -from ‘ the estate of J. Todd, Esq., Blue Hills.
A specimen of coal of a peculiar character from Rostrevor, Spring Bay, was exhibited by the Archdeacon. On testing, it was found to be incombustible. In appearance it resembled lignite,and contained no trace of bitumen. The Bishop brought forward some specimens of iron ore, from Mount Pleasant, Swansea ; and Mr. Allport exhibited a collection of tin ore from Mount Bischoff.

Source: ROYAL SOCIETY OF TASMANIA. (1873, August 21).The Mercury(Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8919233

1877: Jam

EXPORTS.-February 19.
Southern Cross, for Melbourne-3 pkgs luggage, 1 es fruit, Murray ; 1 prcl, Count de ¿aba ; 1 prcl, J. Sly ; 1 cs fruit, W. Crosby and Co.; 1 cs fruit, Rev. It. D. Harris ; 1 bx, Lewis and Son ; 1 pkg, Blyth ; 2 bxs birds, Jacobs ; 1 prcl, 1 cs fruit, Walch and Sons ; 2 preis. Rev. W. W. Spicer ; 1 cs jam, J. Latham ; 1 prcl, U. Bank ; 1 cs fruit, Miss Webb ; 12 csks oil, 15 pkgs merchandise, A. McGregor ; 37 bis wool, 1 bg bacon, 1 pc machinery, A. G. Webster ; 12 csks black oil, I. Wright ; 50 ess jam, Geo. Peacock ; 2 csks ale, Degraves ; 1 es, Cole and Co. ; 42 cwt. ‘ willows, Bridges ; 1 cs bats, Bidencope ; 1 cs jam, J. Nevin ; 1 trnk boots, Blundstone ; 3 pkgs copper, Clarke ; 10,000 palings, T.S.N. Co. ; 1 tra drapery, J. W. Woolley ; 2 csks fruit, Creswell ; 1 ort tish, Barnett ; 2 ess birds, Ray ; 20 ess preserved fruit, C ess fruit, Johnson Bros.; 30 ess fruit, J, Milliken; 27 ess fruit, J. Osborne ; 34 ess fruit, W. Connor ; 40 ess fruit, W. Ikiu ; 9 ess fruit, J. Ikiu ; G ess fruit, 0. E Knight ; 2 ess jam, Hollinsdale ; 4 cages birds, Ornant ; 3 horses, %i’eng;3 horses, Lang; 1 horse, Goyder; 1 horse, JDi$n.

Source: SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. (1877, February 20). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8951353

1891: Fruit packer patent

“Nevin’s patent fruit packer”
Source: The Mercury, 6th June 1891

TRANSCRIPT

HOBART FRUIT BOARD.- This board met last evening, all members being present. Minutes of former meeting were read and confirmed. Correspondence was also read and dealt with. The chairman was instructed to insert notices in the papers, drawing attention of orchardists to the necessity of removing and cleansing all bandages on or before July 1 next. The annual fruit growers’ roll, prepared by the chairman, was laid on the table for inspection. Nevin’s patent fruit packer was also laid on the table. The business being concluded, the Board then rose.

The Deeds of the Land Grant 1859

John Nevin (1808-1887)
John Nevin’s Deed of Land Grant
Ten acres one rood and seventeen perches in the parish of Bedford in the County of Buckingham
Dated 15th September 1859
Item Number: RD1/1/44: page 16
Description: Deeds of land grants
Further Description:
Start Date: 15 Sep 1859
End Date: 29 Oct 1859

TRANSCRIPT

In the Supreme Court of Van Diemen’s Land BE IT REMEMBERED that on the Fifteenth day of September One thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine, Henry Hardinge Clerk in the Office of the Inland Revenue Branch of the Colonial Treasury at Hobart Town brought into this Court a certain Deed Poll or Grant under the Public Seal of Tasmania and its Dependencies to be therein enrolled and recorded the tenor of which said Deed Poll or Grant is as follows (that is to say)

Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith To all to whom these Presents shall come Greeting KNOW YE that We of Our especial grace and favour have thought for to give and grant and do by these presents by these presents for Ourself Our Heirs and Successors give and grant unto John Nevin and his heirs ALL Those Ten acres one rood and seventeen perches of Land situate and being in the parish of Bedford in the County of Buckingham in Our Island of Tasmania and bound as follows (that is to say)

On the north west by thirteen chains and eighty five links south westerly along Lot 38 commencing at the east angle thereof on a reserved road on the south west by seven chains and forty eight links south easterly along parts of Lots 37 and 33 on the south east by thirteen chains and eighty five links north easterly along Lot 30 to the aforesaid reserved road and thence on the north east by seven chains and forty eight links north westerly along that road to the point of Connors Road [?]

Together with the Appurtenances TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said Ten acres one rood and seventeen perches of Land with the Appurtenances unto and to the use of the said John Nevin his heirs and assigns for ever the same in free and common socage tenure of Us Our Heirs and Successors to be holden YIELDING AND PAYING therefore yearly unto US Our Heirs and Successors the Quit Rent of one peppercorn if the same shall be demanded IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent and the Seal of Our said Island of Tasmania and its Dependencies to be hereunto affixed WITNESS Our trusty and well-beloved SIR HENRY EDWARD FOX YOUNG KNIGHT Our Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief in and over the Island of Tasmania and its Dependencies at Hobart Town in the said Island the Twelfth day of August in the Twenty-third year of Our reign.

By His Excellency’s Command
Wm Henty
Colonial Secretary

Public seal of Van Diemen’s Land now called Tasmania and its dependencies affixed

H E K Young

John Nevin (1808-1887)
John Nevin’s Deed of Land Grant
Ten acres one rood and seventeen perches in the parish of Bedford in the County of Buckingham
Dated 15th September 1859
Item Number: RD1/1/44: page 16
Description: Deeds of land grants
Further Description:
Start Date: 15 Sep 1859
End Date: 29 Oct 1859

Detail of above: Nevin, John

Did the family sell the original land grant? Possibly not until some time after John Nevin’s death in 1887 when it was passed to his two surviving children, his sons photographer Thomas Nevin and Constable John (William John, aka Jack). Thomas photographed the area around the Huon in the 1860s, and acted as a guide to the Salt Caves near the town of Victoria for surveyors, providing the Lands and Survey Department with photographs of the area on commission.

Stereograph by Thomas J. Nevin, ca. 1870 at Huon River
Verso stamp with government Royal Arms insignia,
T. J. Nevin Photographic Artist, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town
Pencil inscription verso “A. Pedder”.
Photos recto and verso copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2014-2015
Taken at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 10 November 2014
TMAG Ref: Q16826.19

Stereograph by Thomas J. Nevin, ca. 1870 of five men in a cave
Verso stamp with government Royal Arms insignia,
Inscription: “Salt Rock Cave, Victoria, Huon”
T. J. Nevin Photographic Artist, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town
Photos recto and verso copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2014-2015
Taken at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 10 November 2014
TMAG Ref: Q16826.14

When Thomas Nevin’s younger brother Constable John Nevin died from typhoid in 1891 while employed at H. M. Gaol, and Thomas Nevin died of natural causes in 1923, the land was sold. Thomas Nevin’s fourth son George Ernest Nevin (1880-1957), who was born at the Hobart Town Hall during his father’s residency as Keeper, used the funds to purchase land at Penna, 20 kms north east of Hobart, near Richmond, and farmed potatoes, although neither he nor any of his siblings resided there. On the death of their father Thomas James Nevin snr at Claremont House, 270 Elizabeth St. Hobart in 1923, George Nevin and four of his siblings – May, Thomas, William, and Albert moved to 23 Newdegate Street, North Hobart.

George Nevin, son of Thomas Nevin, grandson of John Nevin snr
Sale of potatoes from Penna
TYpo error? – 23 Newdegate St. not 63 –
Mercury 10th December 1940

TRANSCRIPT

FRESHLY DUG from my Penna Estate, limited quantity of New Potatoes, 10lb. for 1/-. Must bring own bags. Apply quickly, George Nevin, Potato Farmer, 63 [sic] Newdegate Street.

Rabiteers: George Nevin, extreme right, ca 1910
The photograph in its original tattered cardboard frame.
The verso is signed “George Nevn” [sic].
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2009 ARR.

Addenda 1: Maps
The PARISH of BEDFORD in the county of BUCKINGHAM

Archer, J. (Joshua), active 1833-1866.
Title:Van Diemen’s Land or Tasmania [cartographic material] / drawn & engraved by J. Archer, Pentonville, London.
Scale: Scale [ca. 1:1,584,000].
Publisher:London : H. G. Collins, [1855?]
Date:1855
Material Type:Map
Physical Description: 1 map ; 26.7 x 21.4 cm.
Notes:Map showing counties, districts and major land owners in Tasmania with relief shown by hachures.
Probably plate 55 from: College atlas for schools and families. London : H.G. Collins, [1855?.
Prime meridian: Greenwich.
Includes comparative lengths of Ireland and Van Diemen’s Land.
Map has imprint: London : Published for the Proprietors by H.G. Collins, 22 Paternoster Row.
Includes insignia of compass rose and sphere.
Phillips, 272.
Also available in an electronic version via the Internet at: http://nla.gov.au/nla.map-rm1670
Subjects: Counties — Tasmania — Maps.
Tasmania — Maps.
Call Number: MAP RM 1670
To cite this item use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.map-rm1670

Pensioner Allotmentsl Parish of Bedford 1855

Archives Office Tasmania
Item Number: AF396/1/173
Description: Map – Buckingham 163 – parish of Bedford, various landholders including soldier settlement partly bordered by Port Cygnet and town of Cygnet boundary (Field Book 56) landholders INNES E E, THE CLOSER SETTLEMENT BOARD, HALL R H, LAWLER E P,
Further Description: 87049
Start Date: 01 Jan 1917 End Date: 31 Dec 1917

Addenda 2: 
John Nevin snr (1808-1887)

John Nevin 1879

John Nevin senior (1808-1887), aged 71 years, photographed on the occasion of his marriage to his second wife, Martha Genge (aged 46 yrs) by his son Thomas J. Nevin at the New Town studio in 1879. Held at the Archives Office of Tasmania Ref: NS434/1/155, Photo copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2012

John Nevin (1808-1887) died in the gardens of his much beloved cottage at Kangaroo Valley on 9th October 1887. His obituary was published in The Mercury on 11th October:

OBITUARY
John Nevin (1808-1887

DEATH OF AN OLD VETERAN.- There passed away very quietly on Sunday, 9th inst., at the good old age of 79, Mr. John Nevin, who for the last 30 years has lived in the secluded shades of Kangaroo Valley, adjoining Lady Franklin’s old Museum. He lived a retired life on his pension and in working his plot of garden ground at the Wesleyan Chapel, enjoying the respect of all in the neighbourhood as a consistent Christian. His latter days were spent in quietness among his family, and he leaves a widow (a second wife) and two sons and several grandchildren in Hobart. Only a fortnight ago two friends of his, who were boys in the Royals, and had known him in Canada 50 years ago, paid him a visit, and a pleasant time was spent with him in recounting feats of valour long since almost forgotten. He was then enjoying good health, but last Wednesday, while working in his garden, he felt tired, and rested awhile on the damp ground, which caused a chill. He took to his bed, and, after three days’ sickness, quietly joined the majority. In his day he was a wielder of the pen as well as of the sword, and was some 50 years ago a contributor to the infant Press in London, Canada West, when the present city of that name was a struggling town of rough and rude buildings and log huts. As a soldier of the Royal Scots he served under his colonel, Sir G.A. Wetherall, and the present Sir Daniel Lyons [i.e. Lysons] was his ensign; and he did his duty in very stirring times in the Canadian Rebellion of 1837-1838. He was engaged in the storming and capture of St.Charles and St. Eustache and in engagements of St. Dennis, St. Benoit, and many other operations on the Richelieu River and adjacent country of Chambly, and at Terra-Bone [i.e. Terrebonne] he assisted in the capture of a large number of French prisoners during a severe winter campaign, often struggling with his comrades to the waist in snow in following his officers in the work of quelling the rebellion of Papineau. John Nevin’s proudest boast was that he had been a soldier of the Royals.

Source: The Mercury, 11 October 1887

John Nevin died of pleurisy on October 8th, 1887: his death certificate recorded that he was a gardener when he died:

Registration of John Nevin’s death 1887
Archives Office Tasmania: RGD 35/11 No. 1000

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