BROWNE, Thomas (1816-1870) — Hobart
Stationer, lithographer, photographer and surveyor. Produced Albert Synnot, Sketch of the gold country [California] 1850 for the Launceston Examiner, supplement of 30 Jan 1850; a map of Van Diemen’s Land, divided into electoral districts 1851; A. Haig, Wabbs Harbour ca.1860. Also produced music, views, etc.
Born 10 Mar 1816, but not baptised until 8 Feb 1824 at St. Dunstan Stepney, when he was baptised along with four brothers — sons of Thomas Browne, gentleman, and his wife Jane Rutherford, who had married in 1804. Reported to have been educated at Christ’s Hospital, he arrived in Tasmania in the 1830s, apparently working at Launceston for the printer and stationer Henry Dowling. He married Sarah Spicer (1822-1903), with whom he was to have fourteen children, at St. John, Launceston, 10 Mar 1840. Moving to Hobart in 1844, Browne opened his own stationery and printing business. In 1846 he added photography to his range of activities and by early in 1849 he was advertising portraits in coloured daguerreotypes, “having just received (direct from the first Daguerreotype Artist in London) a complete set of the recently invented material for colored Photographs, Mr. Browne is now enabled to execute these beautiful portraits in a style equal to any establishment in London or Paris”, as well as his more regular work — “every description of lithography in an unequalled manner. Illustrations or subjects in natural history, geology, anatomy, engineering, architecture, &c., either in single or double tinted lithography, microscope details, maps, plans, sections, commercial lithography, and every description of geometrical drawing, together with chrome lithography executed on stone, according to the method adopted in Germany, and printed with an effect little inferior to steel. N.B. Address cards, circulars, bills of exchange, bills of lading, cheque books, music, chemists’, perfumers’, and every other description of plain and fancy labels, &c., &c., printed in the London style, at London prices, in any number of colors” (Colonial Times, 5 Jan 1849). In February 1854, Browne was appointed City Surveyor and Director of Water Works at Hobart at a salary of £450 per annum. He was compelled to retire because of ill health in 1870, being awarded a handsome gratuity by the mayor and alderman. He died later that year on 23 Dec 1870 of liver disease, aged fifty-four, leaving a wife and a large family, including several young children. He was buried at St. David’s Park.
54 Liverpool Street, Hobart — 1844-1847
31 Maquarie Street, Hobart — 1848-1851
COPAC. DAAO. NA. NLA. Tooley. Trove.