Beswick Family

Derby in 1905, when the Beswick family was flourishing there (AOT, PH30/1/2100)

The Beswick family's first member in Tasmania was Thomas Beswick, who arrived in 1823, transported for stealing a watchcase from a London shop at age 17. He was assigned to Anthony Cottrell at Evandale, was later given a free pardon, married Mary (née Mackenzie), the daughter of a soldier and a female convict, and became a farmer himself at White Hills and Whitemore.

Thomas and Mary had eight children. Their eldest son, Thomas II, moved to the north-east after the discovery of gold and tin there, and was one of the pioneers of the Scottsdale and Derby districts. He opened the first tavern at Scottsdale and, with his brother Samuel, introduced the first coach service between Scottsdale and Launceston. Thomas II took up land at Derby and with his wife Catherine had fourteen children, of whom ten grew to adulthood. Among their descendants are three former state cabinet ministers, several academics, medical practitioners, engineers, farmers, lawyers, bankers, teachers, tradesmen and computer scientists.

Further reading: J Beswick, Brothers' Home, Gravelly Beach, 2003.

John Beswick