Writing in 1888, a columnist in the Launceston Examiner had the following paragraph.

Evandale has sustained a further loss of good old Mrs. Hood, perhaps better known as Mrs. Morrison. When, as such, she went home to England in 1853 she assisted several persons from her native place(Leicester) to emigrate to Tasmania, and also imported the first steam-threshing machine over seen in Tasmania. She often rendered material assistance to the struggling farmer, and I hope some one will fill the position she held in connection with the Sunday-schools, and that the children will not suffer from her loss. She left others to do the preaching, but she performed acts of benevolence ostentatiously.1

She did more than that. There is obviously a lot more to found out about this lady, including when she actually arrived in the colony, but here are some bits I found with some poking around yesterday which tell you something about her.

Eleanor Perkins was born about 1808 and appears to have come from Leicestershire, or at least one of her brothers lived there.

PERKINS On 7th August, at his residence Leicestershire, England, William Perkins, aged 87 years. Father to late Mrs. Daymon, Evandale ; brother to Mrs. Hood, Evandale ; and brother to James Perkins, Longford.2

In 1843 she marred John Morrison in Launceston.3

Royal Oak
Former Royal Oak hotel and stables, Russell St, Evandale

John Morrison had the Royal Oak at Evandale, which was built “about 1840”. The earliest mention I can find is December, when John was granted a license. So it possibly was built just before that date, and he wasn’t a publican when he married.

He held the licence from 1844 to 1852. Eleanor had it in 1852. Then it is in the hands of Abraham Banks until 1865, although still owned by Eleanor. The index I was using doesn’t list it after that date, but was advertised to be let in 1876, having being “lately occupied by Mrs Hanney”.5

An advertisement listing coaching services, May 1852, included the following paragraph

Leaves Evandale for Launceston at half-past 8 a.m., and Launceston for Evandale at 4 p.m., on Monday. Wednesday. Friday, and Saturday. Offices–Royal Oak, Evandale; Angel Inn, Launceston. To prevent mistakes, all parcels intended for this conveyance should be addressed to the care of Mr. Morrison, Royal Oak, Evandale.

John was only forty-four when he died of rheumatic fever. He left everything to his wife.

DEATHS. On Tuesday morning, 11th instant, Mr. John Morrison, of the Royal Oak, Evandale, aged forty-four years. The funeral will take place at 2 o’clock to-morrow afternoon, when friends are invited to attend.7

An advertisement listing coaching services, June 1852, included the following paragraph

leaves Evandale for Launceston at 8 a.m., and Launceston for Evandale at 3 p.m., on Monday, Monday. Wednesday. Friday, and Saturday. Offices–Royal Oak, Evandale; Angel Inn, Launceston. To prevent mistakes, all parcels intended for this conveyance should be addressed to the care of Mrs. Morrison, Royal Oak, Evandale.

For the original article, it seems after her husband’s death she “returned home”. Then in 1855, she was granted a brewer’s license.9 What that was about, I have no idea.

STEAM THRASHING MACHINE.-Mrs. Morrison, of Evandale, has imported, at very great expense, a steam thrashing machine, capable of thrashing from five hundred to eight hundred bushels of grain per day ; it chaffs it, and with very little trouble fills the bags. The machine was tried at Evandale, on Monday, in the presence of a large number of farmers and others interested, with complete success. The machine will be tried against Evandale, on Saturday, at two o’clock, when persons interested in the application of machinery to agricultural operations will have an opportunity of observing its working. The directors of the various insurance companies, who are reported to be disinclined to insure produce on farms where this machine is employed, will also have an opportunity of observing how entirely free from risk the machine is. We may mention that Mr. Kirkby is so convinced of the perfect safety as well another advantages of the machine that he intends to have it at work at Kirkdale Lodge.10

MARRIAGES. On the 3rd November, 1859, by special license, at Trafalgar Farm, by the Rev. R. Russell, Mr. Richard Hood (engineer), of Sutton Scofield, Warwickshire, to Ellinor widow of the late Mr. John Morrison, Evandale, Tasmania. 11

For 1858-1861, Mrs Hood is listed as a borrower at the Evandale Subscription Library.12

The letter from Mrs. Hood offering a piece of land for building Municipal Offices on, was taken into consideration, when it was resolved’ that the thanks of the Council be conveyed to Mrs. Hood for her offer, but that she be in formed that the piece of land is not sufficiently large enough for the purpose. Mr. John Williatt offered a piece of ground verbally, when it was resolved that Mr. Willliatt point out to the Council the piece of ground and make an offer of the same in writing, the same to be taken into consideration on Thursday next.

The following year an article about the new Evandale council chambers has this bit:

The Council held its meetings in an inconveniently small and unsightly building, for which it paid a rental of £40 per annum. It was thought that it would be better for the municipality to have Chambers of its own, and designs were invited for a building. In the meantime some of the large landed proprietors of the district, imbibing the patriotic spirit of their civic representatives, engaged in the rather novel rivalry of providing gratuitously a site for the now edifice. Messrs. Williatt and Fall tendered blocks of land on certain conditions, but Mrs. Hood presented a piece unrestrictedly. Her generous offer was at once gratefully accepted, and the building, which was designed by Mr. P.Mills, is now in progress. It will contain one large public room, something like 30 feet by 40–which will be used for meetings of Council and police business–and other offices, the whole costing about £700.14

Council Chambers
Former Council Chamber, now Ingleside Bakery, Russell St Evandale (and next door to the Royal Oak)
EVANDALE POLICE COURT. Tuesday, April 22. (Before the Warden and Jas. Cox, Esq., J.P.)

Thomas Owen, charged with assaulting An drew Carmichael Murray on Wednesday last,16th inst., pleaded not guilty.

Complainant, A. C. Murray, having been sworn, stated that he went to the Royal Oak Hotel on Wednesday, 16th inst., at the request of Mrs Hood, to receive some money; went first into the front room, but as some ladies were in there asked Mrs Hood to go into the back room; Owen followed us; Mrs Hood paid me part of the money, and went to got the balance. As soon as she was gone, Owen turned round, hit me in the face, and said “I want no dealings with you.” I then left the house.

By the defendant–It was in one of the back rooms this took place. I did not call you. I think all the doors were open ; any person in the adjoining room might have heard any alter cation taking place between us. I did not speak to you after you hit me ; you swore at me before you hit me. A great deal of blood was drawn from the effects of the blow.

By the Bench–I was laid up for one day.

Mrs Hood being sworn, deposed–I remember complainant coming to my house on Wednesday last at my request; I was engaged when he came, but went with him into the back parlour to pay him some money ; I gave him £3, and went upstairs to get some more; as I went out of the room defendant went in ; I was away about two minutes; when I went back to the room complainant was not there ; I was told he had gone away holding his hand up to his head; I don’t think defendant was sober when he went into the room ; I advised Owen to apologise to complainant; he said “apologise for what I have not done” ; he said he would not as no one saw him do it.

By the defendant–I do not know if you said you would not apologise because you knew nothing about it–before you told me no one saw you do it ; I do not recollect telling any one that I was half-way up the stairs when you went into the room.

Sophia Demond, a child about 10 years old, made a statement as the Bench did not consider it right to administer an oath :-As Owen was coming out of the room he said ” I gave him a woa come ‘ither in the eye,” to Charles Smith.

By Defendant-I did not hear Mr Murray call you into the room ; my aunt told me to go and tell you ; I heard what you said to Charlie Smith ; aunt was going up stairs when you went into the room.

Defendant made a statement to the following effect –It is true I went into the room where. complainant was ; he asked me in and solicited my custom ; I told him I wanted no trust from him ; I did not strike him ; we had no quarrel, if we had done so some one in the other rooms must have heard us; I did not make use of the words the girl says I did. He than called

Charles Smith, who, being sworn, deposed–I am in Mr Hood’s service ; on Wednesday last I was in the bar parlour of the Royal Oak Hotel ; I know the plaintiff ; I heard him call defendant to go into the next room where he was ; he went to him ; he was away about two or three minutes, when he came back he said “what a check complainant must have to ask me to deal with him after the way he served me”; I did not hear defendant say anything about having given the complainant a woa-come-ither in the eye ; I have heard him tell Mrs Hood he had nothing to apologise for that he know of.

By the Bench–I was sitting on the settle at the end of the table; there were several persons in the bar-parlour ; Owen walked down the centre of the room when he was saying what a cheek complainant must have had ; Mrs Hood was on the stairs when Mr Murray beckoned to Owen, and said “I want to speak to you;” defendant may have said something else when he was walking down the room, but I did not hear him; I did not hear any blow struck or noise of any kind while defendant was away

The Bench considered the assault proved, and fined the defendant £2 and costs, which were at once paid.15

(Woa come ‘ither is an interesting term.)

SIR,-.Re the Evandale Council Chambers, I have been told that the ground on which it is built was given by Mrs. Hood, so that Evandale might have not only a Council Chamber- but also a room in which amusements might be held. Are the councillors doing right then, in closing this room against the public just because they have a few new and young J.’sP in their midst? I was glad to see that one of our old and respected councillors had the sense to object to their altering the room, although so far, with out effect.
Thanking you for space to air our grievances.
-Yours, etc, A Lover of Fair Play
Evandale, March 24.

Then the following year (being 1888):

HOOD On 29th August, at Evandale, Eleanor Hood, wife of Richard Hood, late of Royal Oak, Evandale.

The funeral of the late ELEANOR HOOD will take place at the Presbyterian Church, Evandale, at 4 o’clock p.m., on Friday next, 31st inst. Friends are invited to attend.17

The “wife of a retired publican”, Eleanor died of senility.18 There is a photo of the headstone here. She is buried with John. Her will is involved (and hard to read on screen) but she obviously owned a bit of property at the time it was made up. It says in part:

To Mrs Mary Ann ?ky of Evandale aforesaid the sum of fifty pounds And upon trust to manage my real estate and to pay the rents issues and profits thereof to my husband Richard Hood as long as he shall live by equal monthly payments and to permit him the said Richard Hood to occupy free of all charges — whatsoever during his life any house of mine in Russell St. Evandale that he may choose And upon the decease of the said Richard Hood Upon trust to sell and convert my said real estate into money (and divide between Launceston Benevolent Society, Evandale Church of England, Evandale Presbyterian Church & her niece in England) 19

Then just to finish up.


Mr. Richard Hood, a much respected resident of Evandale, fell down dead while working in his garden to-day. He came to the colony in 1855, bringing with him a steam-threshing machine, supposed to be the first brought to Tasmania. 20

1. Launceston Examiner, 12 September 1888
2. Launceston Examiner, 7 November 1887
3. BDM 2 February 1843, Launceston district Regd 1843/582
4. Launceston Examiner, 7 December 1844
5. LINC indexes & Launceston Examiner, 30 November 1876
6. Launceston Examiner, 1 May 1852
7. Launceston Examiner 12 May, 1852
8. Launceston Examiner, 5 June 1852
9. The Courier, 14 August 1855
10. The Courier 30 January 1856 (taken from the Launceston Examiner)
11. Launceston Examiner, 10 November 1859
12. Keith Adkins, “Books and Reading in Colonial Tasmania: The Evandale Subscription Library 1847-1861”
13. Launceston Examiner, 6 December 1866
14. Launceston Examiner, 9 March 1867
15. Launceston Examiner, 24 April 1873
16. Launceston Examiner, 25 March 1887
17. Launceston Examiner, 30 August 1888
18. BDM 29 August 1888, Evandale district Regd 1888/212
18. Will of Eleanor Hood, 1888
19. The Mercury, 4 September 1897

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