Henry Melville

Henry Melville (17991873), journalist, author and publisher, purchased the Colonial Times from Andrew Bent in 1830. He published Henry Savery's Quintus Servinton, the first Australian novel published in Australia; his Hobart Town Magazine (18 issues, 183334) was Australia's first monthly journal 'with literary pretensions'; and his The bushranger; or Norwood Vale was the first play with an Australian theme published and performed in the colonies. Melville fell foul of Lt-Governor Arthur, and was briefly imprisoned. His The history of the island of Van Diemen's Land from the year 1824 to 1835 highly critical of Arthur was published in London in 1835. Melville sold his newspaper interests in 183839 and retired to New Norfolk, but left the colony in 1849. In London he published Present state of Australia, with particular hints to emigrants (1851).

Further reading: ADB 2; E Morris Miller, Pressmen and governors, Sydney, 1952.

Michael Sprod