Stock Thieves and Golfers

Stock Thieves and Golfers coverPublished by Clarence City Council in 2002.

Stock Thieves and Golfers explores the social history of Kangaroo Bay and Bellerive, centred on Rosny Farm whose stone barn and cottage survive on the golf links and are among the oldest buildings in Tasmania.

Until the Derwent River was bridged in 1943, all contact with Hobart Town was via Kangaroo Point, the ferrying place.

Using New South Wales and Tasmanian archival records, Peter MacFie traces the evolution of Kangaroo Bay from frontier lawlessness through farming and emergence as a recreational escape, followed by post war development as a residential community.

Beginning as a series of grants to Norfolk Islanders in 1807, Kangaroo Bay became the centre of a rampant stock theft industry. All levels of colonial society were involved - bushrangers, influential figures such as RW Loane and the Reverend Robert Knopwood and settlers like the family of Richard Morgan on whose grant the golf course later stood.

Purchased by Judge Montagu and then Askin Morrison and known as Rosny Farm, the property was run by the Pedder, and Nichols families during the late 1800's.

From 1915 the site became the Royal Hobart and later a public golf course. The author used interviews with former green-keepers to trace the history of not only the golf course but also the social life of Bellerive and Kangaroo Bay in the 20th century.

Copies are available from the Clarence City Council offices. For more information contact Clarence City Council.