The Old Buffer John Brickhill 1817 - 1900

It is with regret that. We record the death of Mr. John Brickhill, a colonist of over 57 years. Deceased arrived in Tasmania in November, 1842, and after filling several appointments he accepted the position of postal messenger for West Tamar. In the fulfillment of those duties he had to walk from Launceston to York Town, delivering letters and newspapers, making two trips per week. At that time there were no postage stamps, and He had to also collect the postage. Mr. Brickhill had several experiences with bushrangers, but they always treated him well. Deceased was afterwards a letter carrier in the Launceston office, and subsequently succeeded Mr. Charles C Saunders as Post Office keeper, having quarters at the Post Office, which was then situated in George-street, next to the establishment of Mr. D. H. Connolly. He retired on a pension about 16 years ago. In 1859 he joined the Masonic body, and became a member of the Lodge of Hope. He held an official position, and after 30 years service he resigned and. was made a life member of the lodge. Deceased was in his 84th year, was of a genial disposition, and made a large number of friends. He was of active habits, and enjoyed good health until Sunday, the 22nd inst., when he was seized with an attack of heart weakness, a second following on Friday last. His medical adviser, Dr. Thompson, pulled .him through for a time but he had another, attack yesterday afternoon, and passed, quietly away at about 4.30 o'clock. Mr. Brickhill leaves a widow, two sons (one of whom is Mr. James Brickhill, secretary of the City Stock Exchange), and one daughter. The funeral will leave his late residence at 4.30 p.m. tomorrow.

York Town

Model of York Town

York Town is the site of the first attempt to establish a British presence in northern Tasmania it was the fourth oldest permanent settlement in Australia behind Sydney, Norfolk Island and Hobart. It was settled in December 1804 under the leadership of Lt. Col. William Paterson. At its height it was home to 300 people, however, they faced many difficulties stock losses, poor soil, food shortages and episodes of robbery, bushranging and piracy. It had a year round water supply and was close to Bass Strait but it had poor soil and difficult access. Launceston was commenced in December 1805 and the two settlements co-existed until York Town was largely abandoned in December 1808.

  • John Brickhill's late residence 181 Wellington St. Launceston

  • The Postal route taken by John the Letter Carrier in the late 1840,s

  • John Brickhill's walking stick used on his Postal route.