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Reference to the index of the Walker family papers

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Walker Family, (2010) Reference to the index of the Walker family papers. University of Tasmania Library Special and Rare Materials Collection, Australia. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

George Washington Walker (1800-1859) was born in London, son and 21st child of
John Walker and Elizabeth (nee Ridley), but from the age of five he was brought up by his
maternal grandmother in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He went to a Wesleyan School at Barnard
Castle and was later apprenticed to a draper, Hadwin Bragg, who was a member of the
Society of Friends (Quakers). George began attending the Friends Meeting and met James
Backhouse of York, a friend of the Braggs. In 1832 George W. Walker accompanied
James Backhouse on a missionary journey for the Society of Friends' London Meeting For
Sufferings and came first to V.D.L. where they established a Friends Meeting. They spent
some years in the Australian colonies, being particularly concerned with the welfare of
convicts and aborigines, and went on to South Africa in 1837. G.W. Walker returned to
Hobart in 1840 to many Sarah, only daughter of Robert and Ann Mather and he set up in
business as a draper.
G.W. Walker's eldest son, James Backhouse Walker, was born in 1841 and was sent
to the Friends School in York, U.K. from 1853M 1856. On his return he worked as a clerk
in the office of T.D. Chapman. In 1859 he joined the staff of the Savings Bank and in 1872
he entered the legal profession and practised as a solicitor in Hobart from 1876 until his death
in 1899. He was a prominent member of the Royal Society of Tasmania. He was also on
the Council of Education and was actively concerned in the establishment of the University
of Tasmania and served on the University Council from the beginning and was
Vice-Chancellor 1898-9. He also worked for the Total Abstinence Society, the Bible
Society and was on the committees of the High School, the Ladies College and, although the
Walker family were brought up as Quakers, he attended the Congregational chapel and taught
in the Congregational Sunday School
After his father's death in 1859 James, as head of the family helped to support and
educate his younger brothers and sisters. His eldest sister, Elizabeth Ann (Lizzie), was her
mother's helper and housekeeper but the other girls were educated as teachers or
governesses. Sarah became a teacher at the Ladies College about 1888 and Vice-Principal
1890. Mary Augusta was a governess and taught drawing, French and Italian and studied
art in Melbourne and then at the Slade and Herkomer Schools in England. Of the boys
Robert was a linen draper, John Ridley was clerk to a merchant, P.O.Fyshe and Joseph was
articled to the architect Henry Hunter but died young.
The papers consist mainly of family correspondence of G.W. Walker and his children
and a few diaries and miscellaneous papers. James B. Walker's letters to his sisters,
particularly letters to Mary Augusta while she was overseas are especially descriptive of his
activities and of Hobart life. Mary Walkers' letters from London describe her life as a
student in London and her correspondence with friends met then contain references to artists,
especially women painters and sculptors.
Most of the Walker papers were deposited in the care ofthe University by members of
the Walker family (W9), some members still retaining some papers, but some
correspondence of George Washington Walker was deposited by F.e. Wolfhagen solicitor
of the firm of Simmons, Wolfhagen, Simmons and Walker (W7).

Item Type: Other
Keywords: Tasmania, van diemens land, social history, history, colony, colonial, Australia, indexes, University of Tasmania, Library, private deposits, archives, Collections, catalogue, Special, index,
Publisher: University of Tasmania Library Special and Rare Materials Collection
Collections: Other Special Collections
Additional Information:

University of Tasmania Library, Special and Rare Materials Collection - Private Deposit W.9

Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2011 05:20
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2011 22:10
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