Land and Coast Care
6. Site of Robert Knopwood's 1830-35 grant
The Rokeby Village shopping centre stands on land claimed by Robert Knopwood in 1830 (granted 1835). One of the best remembered of those who arrived at Sullivan's Cove in 1804, he was a popular figure, with his horse and dog, conducting regular services in barns, houses or under gum trees, if necessary. He was also controversial, with a liking for the good life, even chairing the inaugural supper of one of Hobart's first public houses, The Sign of the Whale Fishery. He brought the first Huon Pine, later used for headstones, back to Hobart.
Some thought him a failure as a chaplain, but he was revered for his benevolence and integrity. His diary entries, if somewhat short, have given us an insight into the early days of the Colony and Clarence Plains. His declining years were spent in a cottage near where Howrah Primary School is today. He died on September 18, 1838 and his memorial stone stands in St. Matthew's Burial Ground, where his ward Betsy Mack is also buried.
The pointer on the sign here shows us the way to the old Congregational cemetery.