Daniel Herbert, a fine stonemason


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Born in England in 1802, Daniel Herbert was the son of Daniel, an Army corporal, and Mary Herbert.

He worked as a signboard writer and stonemason.

In 1827, he and two other men were charged with a number of crimes including highway robbery.

Initially he was sentenced to death. The sentence was later changed to transportation. As a result, Herbert arrived in Hobart in 1827.

Over the next seven years, he was employed as a stonemason on a number of goverment projects. Among these was the Cascades Female Factory. Again Herbert got in trouble with the law, being charged with drinking and skipping work.

Soon he was being paid to oversee other stonemasons working on the new Customs House. Eventually he went to Ross where he contributed to the building of a new bridge across the Macquarie River. It is for his involvement in this work that he is well known.

Construction of the Ross bridge was completed in 1836. Herbert is credited particularly with keystones and motifs on the bridge.

Herbert married Mary Witherington at Ross in 1835. And there was more good news in 1842 - he was granted free pardon.

He continued living at Ross, working as an ornamental stonemason. He is also known for his motifs on other buildings in Tasmania, including St Luke's Presbyterian Church at Bothwell.

In 1868 he died of bronchitis, at Campbell Town. He left behind his wife and three children.

It would seem that even after transportation, Herbert had a little trouble with being law-abiding. However his work must have been impressive enough that he was employed in important building work in Tasmania. I'm certainly glad he was, because we get to admire his beautiful keystones and motifs.

More information on Daniel Herbert can be found at
The Australian Dictionary of Biography Online website,


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