Miscellaneous government printing 1815-1820



A number of printed proclamations and government notices from the early part of 1815 survive in the Colonial Office files in TNA. Some or all of these may well have been printed by Bent given his statement that he was appointed Government Printer in 1815, and that the last surviving appearance of George Clarke as Government Printer is in the Van Diemen’s Land Gazette for Sep. 10/24 1814. As none of these early 1815 notices bear the printer’s name it is impossible to be certain. There is some variation in style and skill level but no clear cut change that enables any of them to be attributed definitively to either Clarke or Bent. It is possible that they represent the changeover period when Bent was assisting Clarke and that both printers made a contribution during the time of the bushranger crisis.

Most of the items listed below are available digitally via Australian Joint Copying Project

1815 or earlier:

Public notice from Deputy Surveyor Evans. Date of 20 Jan. 1815 has been added in pen. Neatly printed. (CO201/134 f. 160)


11 Mar. Davey’s Proclamation re bushrangers. Original printing. Lacks royal arms. (CO201/76 f. 122 encl. in Macquarie to Bathurst 24 Mar 1815)

11 Mar. Two reward notices on a single sheet (CO201/76 f. 279 encl. in Davey to Bathurst 30 Sep. 1815)

25 Apr. Proclamation of martial law, original printing. (CO201/78 f. 352 encl. in Abbott to Sutton 28 May 1815)

Three Government and general orders re bushrangers: 25 Apr. (lacks royal arms); 8 May; 29 May (CO201/37 f. 415-417 encl. in Davey’s memorial to Bigge. The last one is closest in style to the proclamations printed by Bent later in the year)


From Sep. 1815 any dated government printing can be definitely ascribed to Bent. Some items in the following list which are undated or bear printed date 181- may possibly have been printed earlier by Clarke.


Sep. 1815: Four reprinted proclamations re bushrangers. Originally issued by Davey 11 Mar. 1813; Macquarie 14 May 1814; Davey 11 Mar 1815; Davey 25 Apr. 1815 (proclamation of martial law). Forwarded by Davey in a despatch to Bathurst 30 Sep. 1815. All are reprints in identical style, and those from 1814-15 are typographically quite different from the original printings TNA CO 201/76  f. 273 (1813); f. 274 (Mar. 1815); f. 280 (Apr. 1815); f. 281 (Maquarie’s proclamation of 1814)


Proclamation of Martial Law (original printing) TNA CO201/78 Image courtesy TNA

Proclamation of Martial Law 25 Apr 1815 (reprinted Sep 1815) TNA CO201/76

Proclamation revoking Martial Law 2 Oct 1815.

Proc revoking Martial Law RS 49_16
University of Tasmania Special and Rare Collections RS 49/16

Copies: ML (trimmed and bound with An Address to His Honor Lieutenant Governor Davey …  1815 F630), TU (Royal Society Collection RS 49/16; 37 x 24 cm. paper watermarked: C. Bringelly 1814; presented by Joseph Hone 1857)

Port regulations and orders …1815. Hobart Town: Printed by Andrew Bent, Government Printer. 1815. 8p. Regulations dated 14 November 1815. Ferguson 631. Copies: ML

The earliest surviving imprint where Bent’s name is given as Government Printer.

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1817 or earlier:

Port clearance signed 13 Dec. 1817. (ML A256 Piper Papers f. 895)


Form for persons given permission to depart VDL signed 13 Dec. 1817; Governor Sorell’s name printed on document (two printer’s errors corrected in ink).  (ML A256 Piper Papers with previous item)

Government Public Notice. Hobart Town, 23d October, 1817.

The Public Are Required to Take Notice That No Buildings in This Township Are to Be Erected but in a Regular Line of the Streets … (TNA CO201/134 f. 458)

Govt public notice 1817
TNA CO201/134

Government & general orders. Government House, Hobart Town. Wednesday, 24th December, 1817.

[ordering Mr. Beaumont, appointed to the situation of Naval Officer by the Governor in Chief 15 Nov. 1817] to assume the duties of that office] Also appeared in HTG 27 Dec 1817. Copies: TU (RS69) Not sighted.

[Printed handbills re escaped felons and rewards] No copies. Noted in HTG 28 June 1817 as sent to the magistrates]

1818 or earlier:

Promissory note issued by Commissariat Office (TNA CO 201/141 f. 417)

ca 1818:

Licence to Occupy Land in Hobart Town (TNA CO 201/136 f. 313)

1819 or earlier:

[Ticket of leave] 18–; 16.5 x 21.5 cm. Printed both sides. (CO201/134 f. 218)

[Certificate of freedom] 18–; 12.7 x 19 cm. Printed both sides. (CO201/134 f. 217)

[Permit for a prisoner to employ himself off the store] 181-; 8.7 x 17.8 cm. Printed both sides (CO201/134 f. 214)

Port Clearance (similar to 1817 version, but wording slightly different and printing different); 18– 20.5 x 19 cm. (CO201/134 f. 87)

[Bond forms for masters of vessels visiting the Derwent]. Four different forms, being bonds on arrival, not to take away silver or copper coin, not to take away persons, and to pay duties; 18–  33 x 19 cm. (CO201/134 f. 88-91)

License of occupation for grazing ground, 18–; 12.7 x 30.5 cm (CO201/134 f. 215)

[Bill of sale] 18– (CO201/134 f. 446) Probably an example of the forms privately printed and sold by Andrew Bent


Public notice. Deputy Surveyor General’s Office. Hobart Town, January 2d, 1819. Finding a Number of the Plots of Land Remaining Vacant and Unimproved … (TNA CO201/134 f. 459)

1820 or earlier:

Secretary’s Office fees undated; 31.8 x 20.4 cm. (CO201/134 f. 221)

Naval Office [Table of fees and duties] undated; 33 x 19 cm. (TNA CO201/134 f. 92)


[Shipping arrival report] 182- (CO201/141 f. 440)

[Travel pass for prisoner] 1820. Printed both sides, provision for description on verso. 11.5 x 13.3 cm. (CO201/134 f. 245)

[Travel pass for ticket of leave holder] 1820. Printed both sides, provision for description on verso. 11.5 x 13 cm. (CO201/134 f. 246)

[Travel pass for persons with carts] Two forms, for northward and southward bound travellers. 1820 (CO201/134 f. 219-220)

[District Constable’s warrant to search for and apprehend prisoners] 182-; 23 x 14 cm. (CO201/134 f. 247)

Order on Treasurer of Police Fund 182-; 12.7 x 29.3 cm. (including butt) (CO201/134 f. 216)

Pay on Police fund CO201 134
TNA CO201/134

Proclamation announcing the allegiance of the colony to the new king George IV, following the death of George III. Dated 18 Sep. 1820. A copy was presented to the Royal Society of Tasmania by Joseph Hone in 1857, recorded in the Society’s report for 1857 and also in Catalogue of the library of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 1885 (p. 70) Assume this was a separately printed proclamation and not just a copy of the HTG of 23 Sep.  in which this proclamation was printed, or the manuscript copy. (not sighted)