John Lee Archer


Thomas Dodd, 'Ross Bridge', undated (ALMFA, SLT)

John Lee Archer (17911852), architect and engineer, trained in London and later practised in Ireland where he was born. He arrived in Hobart Town in 1827 to take up the post of Civil Engineer and Colonial Architect under Lt-Governor Arthur, but was retrenched by Arthur's successor Lt-Governor Franklin in 1838. He became Police Magistrate to the Circular Head district, and lived at Stanley until his death. His projects included government buildings, lighthouses, bridges and other civil works, and churches built under government sponsorship. The finest examples of his work are the Customs House, now Parliament House (183541), Ross Bridge (183336) and Old Trinity Church, Hobart (183133). The majority of his designs, particularly in Classical styles, are fluent and elegant, his gothic essays less sure.

Further reading: R Smith, John Lee Archer, Hobart, 1962.

Barry McNeill and Eric Ratcliff