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Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

The plaque commemorates the first church service held in Tasmania by the Reverend Knopwood in the vicinity of the Town Hall in February 1804.

February 26 is an important date in the history of the state and diocese, being the one hundred and thirtieth anniversary of the first church service held in Hobart, if not Tasmania (writes Rev. W. R. Barrett in the current issue of "Church News"). The first settlement in Tasmania was established by Bowen at Risdon in September, 1803. But it was a very small establishment with no chaplain on the staff, and there is no record of divine service ever having been held. Collins transferred to the Derwent from Port Phillip in February, 1804, and on February 26, the first Sunday after landing on the present site of Hobart, a church service was held by the chaplain, Rev. R. H. Knopwood, M.A. By request of Lieutenant-Governor Collins the sermon was "upon the prosperity of the new settlement, and to pray to God for a blessing upon and increase of it."

The manuscript of the sermon is preserved amongst the records of the diocese with other documents and relics of Knopwood. As far as can be ascertained the actual spot on which the service was held would be somewhere in the vicinity of the present Town Hall. To commemorate this most important event his Lordship the Bishop in tends to hold a special open-air service in front of the Town Hall at 11 o'clock on Monday morning, February 26, to which all our leaders in political and civic life will be invited, and it is to be hoped that our church people and members of the community generally will attend in large numbers. The Bishop will give the address, and the arrangements are in the very capable hands of the Very Reverend the Dean of Hobart, His Excellency the Governor and his Worship the Mayor intend to be present.
Examiner (Launceston, Tas), 14 February 1934.

A few months ago the Tasmanian Society was formed for the purpose of, preserving historical records and associations in this State, with the Lord Mayor of Hobart (Mr.J.J Wignall) as president. The society, in pursuance of its objectives has arranged for the unveiling of four memorial tablets at Hobart on Wednesday, at 3.30 p.m. The tablets include one to commemorate the holding ot the first church service in Tasmania at the front of the Town Hall.
The Mercury (Hobart), 4th April 1936.


Address:50 Macquarie Street, Town Hall, Hobart, 7000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.882482
Long: 147.330818
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event Start Date:26-February-1804
Actual Event End Date:26-February-1804


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 8th April, 1936
Front Inscription

Erected to commemorate the holding of the first church service in Tasmania near this spot Feb. 26 1804. by the Rev. Robert Knopwood M A

Sir Ernest Clark K.G.B. Governor 1936

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au