Ed Devine (Cabbage Tree Ned)Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

The headstone over the grave commemorates Cobb & Company coach driver Ned Devine who was known as 'Cabbage Tree Ned.'  The Cobb & Company Old Drivers Association used to make annual pilgrimages to his gravesite.

In 1862 he was assigned to drive H. H. Stephenson`s cricketers, the first All-England team to visit Australia, on their tour of Victoria.

His spectacular handling of a new coach with twelve magnificent light greys won him widespread fame. Something of a showman, he drove the cricketers right on to the oval at a match in Geelong. When the tour ended, the Englishmen presented him with a purse of 300 sovereigns at a complimentary dinner. Devine acquired his nickname of `Cabbage Tree Ned` by wearing a hat made from the fibrous leaves of the cabbage palm.

At Ballarat he gave an exhibition drive with an eight-horse team harnessed to a Cobb & Co. coach, and on 12 July 1904 was admitted to the Ballarat Benevolent Asylum. As driver of the institution`s wagonette, he became a familiar figure on the city`s streets. The large tombstone, decorated with a horses head, horseshoes and a tiny Cobb & Co coach, was erected by Cobb & Co’s old drivers and other admirers of “Cabbage Tree’s” legendary skills throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Memories of old coaching days were revived yesterday with the unveiling of the headstone over the grave at the Ballarat New Cemetery of Edward Devine once known as "Cabbage Tree Ned"  one of Cobb and Co's coach drivers.  The assemblage, presided over by the Mayor (Councillor J. Pryor), included Mr F. Smiley (president of Cobb and Co's Old Coach-Drivers' Association), who once drove in the Western district, and Mr. A Partington (secretary), who flgured on the Ballarat-Streatham run.  The Historical Society of Victoria was represented by Messrs. J. K. Moir and J. A. Allan. It was Mr Moir who two years ago found that Devine had been buried in a pauper's grave after his death at the Ballarat Benevolent Home in 1908, and he took steps which through the Cobb and Co's Old Drivers' Association, resulted in the old driver's grave being surmounted with an appropriate stone.
The Argus (Melbourne), 8 February 1937.


Address:Lydiard Street North & Norman Street, Private F, Section 3, Row 2, Grave 3, Ballarat New Cemetery, Ballarat North, 3350
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.535941
Long: 143.863381
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 7th February, 1937
Front Inscription

Edward Devine
(Cabbage Tree Ned)

Peerless driver of Cobb`s mail coach 

Born Brighton Tasmania 10.8.1823.

Died Ballarat 18.12.1903. 

Erected by Cobb & Co`s old drivers and other admirers in Australia & N.Z.

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